Our board and staff are committed volunteers who believe in our mission, our vision, our purpose, and our goals. They are dedicated to assisting in the growth of our organization and work to obtain full functionality of our programs. This organization would not be functional without the support and hard work from these individuals.
Board of Directors
Chelsea, the founder and President of Share My Smile, designed and created the plans for the organization while in high school. She grew up with foster children in her family and drew inspiration from her Aunt and Uncle, who fostered, and from her own foster brother to develop the concept of each program. Chelsea graduated high school and made Share My Smile a legal non-profit organization in July of 2010. While beginning the workings of Share My Smile, Chelsea earned her B.A. in psychology and human services from Buena Vista University in 2012. She worked as a Youth Care Worker at Children’s Square USA in Council Bluffs for just over a year. Following the birth of her son in 2014, Chelsea stayed home and worked part-time for Community Options: Individual and Family Services of Omaha as a Family Support Worker. She then took an opportunity as an Enrollment & Match Coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands for a year before deciding to go back to school full time at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for a Master’s in Counseling with concentrations in K-12 Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Chelsea is expected to graduate in the spring of 2019 and hopes to pursue a career in school counseling in the Council Bluffs area. Her goal is to serve children in the community as a school counselor while having a schedule conducive to serving both her personal family as well as the families of Share My Smile.
Michelle Irions is an Omaha native, happily married to her husband, Al for 18 years. Michelle graduated from Benson High School in 1988 and began working at the age of 15, while taking classes in IT and Training from Bellevue University. Michelle most recently worked for ConAgra Foods as a Training Specialist for 14 years. She was a volunteer leader of the ConAgra Veteran's Network specializing in recruitment, on-boarding, training, marketing, and event planning. Prior to ConAgra, Michelle was a Research Director for Clear Channel and Waitt Media.
Michelle and her husband are also co-owners and managers of a successful, regional cover band called Taxi Driver since 1991 (taxidriverlive.com). Taxi Driver has donated their services to many non-profit events including Share My Smile, where Michelle and Chelsea worked together for the first time. They have also donated their service to events such as the Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's, Light the Night, and numerous first responders' and veterans' fundraisers, to name a few. Michelle has been involved with Share My Smile for over a year and now serves on the Board of Directors as our Vice President.
Bonnie has a BBA from the University of Iowa. She retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009 after 37 years in Human Resources. She began her career as a clerk and became a personal management specialist where she handled recruitment and staffing, training, employee and labor relations, classification and pay as well as EEO. She held three supervisory positions including the Director of Human Resources at the VAMC in Omaha. She helped set up a National VA Service Center to handle a number of HR functions. She ended her career with the VA in a consultant role where she negotiated nation-wide VA labor agreements.
From 2006 – 2010 Bonnie served as the Executive Director for HOPE-Net Ministries, a non-profit organization whose mission is Helping Other People Experience hope through meeting needs and healthy relationships, in Council Bluffs, IA. She supervised the volunteers who worked at the two thrift stores, represented the organization at meetings with other agencies/organizations, and supervised a part-time project director and a part-time office manager.
In June of 2010 Bonnie became licensed to provide foster care. She provides respite care for foster children when foster parents go on vacation or need temporary child care. Bonnie has been actively involved with Share My Smile for just over a year and is now serving on the Board of Directors as our Agency Liaison.
Samantha is an Omaha resident who attended University of Nebraska-Kearney her freshman year of college. There she trained as a crisis hotline counselor at the S.A.F.E. Center, which began her interest in social services. Samantha returned to Omaha and began working on a bachelor's degree in psychology with a focus in child and adolescent psychology. Her goal is to work with children in a clinical setting.
In 2013, Samantha began a position as a Youth Care Worker at Children's Square USA. She quickly developed a passion working with children and adolescents with mental illnesses, behavioral difficulties, and those in the foster care system. During this time Samantha met Chelsea and began her involvement with Share My Smile.
After spending a year working in the cottages at Children's Square, Samantha changed to a position at the Montessori Infant House in Omaha. She spent a year and a half with many sweet infants and toddlers, but ultimately missed doing therapeutic work at Children's Square. She decided to return in February 2016 as the Children's Welfare Emergency Services (CWES) Lead Worker. Samantha currently works in the shelter communicating with the Department of Human Services to arrange placement and care for all youth admitted to shelter. Much of the population for CWES comes from foster and adoptive care.
Samantha has been involved with doing foster care for rescue animals for one year and has helped 7 dogs find their forever homes. Samantha also lends some of her time to grieving families as an affiliated photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, shooting professional-quality portraits of infants who pass away at birth. Samantha has been a dedicated volunteer to Share My Smile since 2013 and has been the volunteer Program Director of Project Birthday Joy since 2015.
Kelly earned a B.A. in Earth Sciences from the University of Northern Colorado in 1991, when he also received a commission in the U.S. Air Force. As an air traffic control officer, he has lived or worked in 24 states, 26 countries and on 5 continents. He earned a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1999, and graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, in 2005. His final assignment was as the Commander of the 78th Operations Support Squadron at Warner Robins AFB, Georgia, where he was responsible for day-to-day operation and strategic direction of all operations associated with aviation support. He is a disabled veteran having served in three combat zones.
In 2011, Kelly was selected as a graduate teaching assistant in the Geography Department at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He taught physical geography and geographic information science laboratories, and also filled the role of adjunct professor, lecturing undergraduate students on physical geography. Kelly graduated in 2013 with an M.A. in Geography with a graduate certificate in geographic information science. Kelly is presently enrolled in the Master of Public Administration program at UNO.
Kelly serves as a Trustee for the Sanitary and Improvement District 385, and he is on the Board of Elders at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Omaha. Kelly connected with Share My Smile in early 2016 and served on the Board of Directors from May 2016 - June 2017. Kelly remains involved with Share My Smile and now serves as our Partner Liaison.