Click on each staff member to view their bio.

  • Founder & Executive Director
    Dr. Patricia Newman
    Founder & Executive Director

    Dr. Patricia Newman is a Clinical Child Psychologist and the Founder and Executive Director of RESPECT. She also holds graduate degrees in Educational Psychology and Special Education. Dr. Newman is in private practice with Family Enrichment, Inc. and works as a Medical Consultant for the Nebraska Department of Disability Determinations. She is the recipient of several professional and community awards including the Y/WCA Tribute to Women Award for her work in the areas of Human Service and Community Advocacy; the Nebraska School Psychologists Association “Psychologist of the Year” award; the Cultural Adult Program Award from the United Way of the Midlands; the Leadership Award for Prevention of Domestic Violence Programming from the Y/WCA; and the Community Service Award from the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Dr. Newman was awarded the 2022 School Mental Health Champion Award at the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference. She is the playwright of two of RESPECT’s plays.

    Email Dr. Newman

  • Associate Executive Director
    Paige Brenneman
    Associate Executive Director

    In 2016, Paige graduated with a Bachelors degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha through the College of Public Affairs and Community Service with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration and a Minor in Women and Gender Studies. During Paige’s college career she spent her service learning project with the Women’s Center for Advancement as a group leader for the Girls Leadership Academy. Since starting her work with RESPECT in 2017, Paige has expanded her knowledge in nonprofit development and management. She looks forward to her growth within the organization and continuing to build relationships with community partners.

  • Program & Development Manager
    Cara Neufeld
    Program & Development Manager

    Cara joined RESPECT in 2017, initially contributing her expertise to data entry and analysis. Over the years, her commitment to RESPECT as well as her communication and organizational skills, led her to take on more significant responsibilities. Now, as the Program and Development Manager, she is excited to take her place as an integral part of our team.  Cara thrives on building connections, offering support, and providing encouragement to both her colleagues and the community we serve.

  • Co-Artistic Director
    Michele Phillips
    Co-Artistic Director

    Michele was born in New Jersey, raised in Omaha and is a graduate of UNO with a Bachelor of Arts/Dramatic Arts degree. She has acted and/or directed in nearly every theatrical venue in the metro. Michele teaches TV Screenwriting at UNO and is a teaching artist for the Nebraska Arts Council. In addition to workshops for WHY ARTS with special needs students, Michele teaches at two area middle schools in the OPS After-School Program for Brigit St Brigit Theatre Company. She is the resident playwright for RESPECT.

  • Co-Artistic Director
    Aiden Poling
    Co-Artistic Director

    Aiden is a professional actor, visual artist, singer-songwriter, coach, and creator from Shreveport, Louisiana and is a recent transplant to the Omaha area. Aiden graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with BFAs in both Theatre and Studio Art, and both areas
    of study have allowed him opportunities to succeed not only on stage but behind the scenes, as well. Aiden believes in bringing diverse, inclusive, and truthful story-telling to life and making the arts accessible to all communities. He is excited to have joined the team at RESPECT and looks forward to planting some roots in the Omaha arts community.

  • Education and Training Director
    Kathleen McGee
    Education and Training Director

    For more than 35 years, Kathleen Sorensen McGee has worked with, and on behalf of children and teens – as a classroom teacher, a trainer, an author and a public speaker. She has written more than 20 books and articles including Unmasking Sexual Con Games: Helping Teens Avoid Emotional Grooming and Dating Violence, Who’s Raising Your Child: Battling the Marketers for Your Child’s Heart and Soul and There are NO Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter, all published by the Boys Town Press. Kathie has presented workshops nationwide on bullying, teen dating violence, the influence of media, as well as sexual harassment and abuse. She earned both her BA and MA from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.