Immigrant Legal Center
An Affiliate of the Justice
For Our Neighbors Network
4223 Center Street
Omaha, NE 68105

402.898.1349 |

An Affiliate of the Justice For Our Neighbors Network


The ILC board of directors serves the organization by providing governance, technical expertise, and support to our growing nonprofit law firm. We deeply appreciate their commitment to our important work.

Mary L. Umberger

Professor, Communications
& Humanities
Metropolitan Community College

Mary L. Umberger is a faculty member in the Communications and Visual Arts Department at Metropolitan Community College, where she teaches Communication and Humanities full time.  She earned her B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  Between degrees, she worked in the Communication and Information Policy Bureau at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.  Mary joined the ILC board in 2016 and chairs the Fund Development and Communications Committee and its Food Truck World Tour Task Force.

Thomas Simms

Human Resources Director
Kiewit Corporation

Tom has been a member of ILC’s Board since 2017. Currently, he is a Director of Human Resources with Kiewit Corporation, where oversees HR programs for employees throughout North America. Tom holds several Human Resources certifications and has acted in various leadership roles across the U.S. including in Charlotte, Dallas, San Francisco, Portland, and Omaha. Tom graduated with a BS in Business Administration from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey and completed an international program at Kingston University in London, U.K. His global and national experiences allow him to bring a unique sense of style and passion to ILC’s Board.

Mike McMeekin,

Senior Advisor to the Board
Lamp, Rynearson

Mike has over 43 years of engineering experience, and . He has played a leadership role in numerous signature projects in the Omaha area, including the Omaha Convention Center-Arena / Riverfront Redevelopment and Aksarben Village. Mike is a graduate of the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Senior Executives Institute, an advanced management, leadership, and public policy training program for current and emerging leaders of engineering and architectural firms.  He is a credentialed professional in the Envision sustainability rating system for infrastructure projects.
Currently, in addition to his role at Lamp Rynearson, an engineering, landscape architecture, and surveying firm headquartered in Omaha, Mike serves as chairman of the board of directors of Omaha by Design and ACE Mentor Omaha. Mike was one of the founders of Engineering Change Lab-USA and currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors.  He took on the role of Executive Director of ECL-USA in August 2019.

Denise Powell

Alley Poyner
Macchietto Architecture

Denise works on the Business Development and Marketing team at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture. In her role overseeing the firm’s public relations and community engagement initiatives, she works with design teams and clients to solicit feedback and build consensus among key community stakeholders and constituents. Over the past 20 years, Powell’s work has run the gamut from helping organizations strengthen community relationships to building brand awareness through events, media relations, and strategic marketing partnerships. A native Spanish-speaker, Denise has led multicultural community relations and PR initiatives for various brands, including Pfizer and HSBC.  She joined the ILC board in 2017 and serves on the Fund Development and Communications Committee.

Karen Borchert

Chief Operations Officer

Karen helps growing companies accomplish incredible work with amazing teams. Currently, Karen is the Chief Operations Officer at ROKA, Roka makes patented and award-winning performance sunglasses, prescription and technical apparel. Karen’s background is in building non profits and early-stage companies, focusing on product development, technology strategy, and innovation. She sits on the board of the Omaha Community Foundation, The Union for Contemporary Art, and Maha. Karen lives in Omaha with her husband Taylor and three children.  In her spare time, Karen is an avid runner, a farmers market super fan, and the host of a lot of impromptu dinner parties.

Lester Katz

President & CEO
LK Design

Lester is the President and CEO of LK Design, an interior design firm that specializes in residential and hospitality design.  Since setting up his practice in Omaha in 2010, he has won Best of Omaha six years running.  He graduated summa cum laude from Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, Tennessee with a BFA in Interior Design. For the first two years in interior design, he headed the commercial interior design department for H. Michael Hindman Architects in Brentwood, Tennessee where he designed numerous hospitality projects, such coffee shops, retail stores and spas. While there, he led an effort to get himself and eight architects LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited. Three of Lester’s grandparents were immigrants to the United States and knowing that his family is privileged to have the benefits and rights of being US citizens helps make him keenly aware of the need to protect and help the immigrants that ILC serves.  Lester joined the ILC Board in 2019.


Emily Moody

Ergonomic Specialist
Mutual of Omaha

Emily Moody has practiced physical therapy primarily in geriatrics for 18 years working as a rehab director and director of operations of a home health company. She joined the team at Mutual of Omaha as a certified Ergonomic Specialist where she oversees a proactive program that evaluates and provides interventions for all 5000 employees. She earned a B.S. in Psychology and Criminal Justice and a M.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of South Dakota. Prior to joining the ILC board, Emily served as the Food Truck World Tour Host Committee Co-Chair, leading the fundraising efforts of the committee. She also traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border with a delegation of immigration attorneys and community activists to better understand the challenges faced by migrants trying to gain lawful entry into the country. Emily Moody joined the ILC board in 2019. Emily brings a unique skill set to the ILC board as she has both volunteered on numerous nonprofit boards in the community and has acted as an executive director of a nonprofit.

Mick Mulhall


Mick is the President of Mulhall’s, a local garden retail and landscape contracting company. His grandparents immigrated to Omaha in 1953 to landscape, starting their family business three years later out of their Dundee garage. Today immigrants remain at the core of the Mulhall’s workforce, and Mick experiences daily the culture and values they bring to the Mulhall’s team and to our community. Mick is passionate about learning, joining, and growing the conversation around immigration here in Omaha. Mick graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He joined the ILC board of directors in 2018.



Tonya Wilson Conley

Union Pacific Railroad Company
Senior General Attorney

Tonya Conley has more than 15 years of legal expertise in commercial transactions. Tonya joined Union Pacific in 2006 and has advanced through a variety of roles in the Law Department. Currently, Tonya is a leader on the commercial legal team of Union Pacific Railroad Company. Tonya graduated from Creighton University with a double major in History and Political Science. She also holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Juris Doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis.

Tonya’s community leadership has been focused on the advancement and improvement of life for women. Her leadership roles have included Secretary and Nominating Chair for the Board of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, member of the executive leadership team for Women’s Fund Circles, Chair of Omaha Community Foundation’s African American Unity, Secretary for the Board of the Omaha Small Business Network, and Nebraska State Director for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Tonya is also currently the president of the Omaha chapter of the Union Pacific Black Employee Network at Union Pacific.

“The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources—because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.”

— Lyndon B. Johnson

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