MARC Inc. Board of Directors

Mary Anne Oemichen, President — Mary Anne is an attorney whose practice primarily focuses on employment law. Mary Anne serves on the Easter Seals Wisconsin Board of Directors, as well as on the New Glarus School Board, where she chairs the Policy and Personnel Committees. Mary Anne has also served as a board member for the New Glarus Community Foundation, the New Glarus Excellence in Education Fund, and Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic Abuse located in River Falls, Wisconsin. Mary Anne is the parent of a Marc client.
Linda Nelson, Vice President — Linda Nelson graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in 1968, with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Social Work. She and her husband Doug came to Madison in 1970, where Doug worked on his PhD in American History at the UW, and Linda was hired by the Portal Foster Center as their Home Trainer. This was the beginning of 40 years of professional and volunteer work in the DD and Mental Health fields. From serving on the Board of Portal Foster Center after the birth of her first child, Erica, in 1975 to a teaching role at The National Center for Therapeutic Riding in Washington, DC in the 1990s to her current service on the MARC Board, Linda has been a champion of meeting the needs and defending the rights of all people who face obstacles to their full participation in the community.
Anita Short, Secretary — Anita is employed with American Family Insurance as a Business Planning Specialist, where she is actively involved in the company’s United Way committee. She is also a member of the American Family Women’s Business Resource Group and, in 2012, led the Awareness and Inclusion Team. Outside of work, Anita volunteers and for Sun Prairie Special Olympics and is a member and past secretary for the American Legion Auxiliary Post 333. Anita is a parent of a MARC client.

Jean Christensen, Treasurer

Jeff Wulf— Jeff Wulf graduated from Valparaiso University in 1967 with a degree in Business Administration. He spent his business career in the insurance field and retired form Cuna Mutual Group in 2002. He spent almost 30 years with Cuna Mutual, working in New York, Madison WI, and California.
Jeff, and his wife Renee, returned to Madison upon his retirement, where he spent the next 11 1/2 years working for MARC RES as a Job Coach, retiring in 2014. His current service on the MARC Board continues his dedication to helping the developmentally disabled reach their full potential.

Mary LaPlant— Mary began her involvement with MARC when her youngest daughter was graduating from high school. She is the mother of five, with her youngest daughter having an intellectual disability. Mary is originally from Wisconsin, having grown up in Kenosha County in the little town of Center Lake, the youngest daughter of seven. Mary has had the privilege to raise her family as a stay at home mom and business owner for the past 30 years. She reflects that it has been very difficult having a child with special needs, but all of her children tell her that they have more empathy, family values, and appreciation for the little thing because of their experiences. Mary is a strong advocate for inclusion and community, and is looking forward to sharing her experience to help others

Bonnie Cate — Bonnie graduated from UW-Whitewater with BS in education, and has worked 40 years with people who have a wide range of developmental disabilities. Currently, she has a daughter who attends Marc East. Bonnie is deeply interested in community support of people with developmental disabilities, both in residential long term support and day programming, that is truly person-centered, with safety a key component.

Ardythe Cobb — More than 50 years ago, Ardythe and her husband joined with other parents of children with disabilities to form a group called HEED (Help Educate Disturbed Children) to fill in the gap left by the public schools’ inability to serve children who were labeled “Emotionally Disturbed.” The group teamed with local professionals to form their own school called the Portal-Foster Center — which would later become part of MARC. The program was named after an English nurse, who in Wisconsin while her husband attended the university. HEED became the Madison chapter of the new Autism Society of America in 1969. Ardythe also still serves on the Portal-Foster Board of Directors, and the program is now operating five homes providing well-cared-for homes to people with developmental disabilities.

Michael Lawton — Mike is an attorney with the firm of Boardman & Clark and concentrates his practice in litigation, business, and real estate law. He graduated cum laude from the UW Law School and is a member of the American, Wisconsin and Dane County Bar Associations, as well as a member of the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mike’s diverse practice includes such matters as commercial real estate development, antitrust and other trade regulations, drafting of shareholder agreements and stock options, and representation in the purchase and sale of businesses. He also serves as the chair of the MARC Foundation of Dane County.

George Couch — George is a retired freelance writer, editor and public relations consultant.  He is a former officer or director of:  the Arc of Dane County, the Arc of Wisconsin, the Family Support and Resource Center of Dane County, the Mt. Horeb Community Foundation, the Mt. Horeb Rotary Club, the Stick & Rudder Flying Club (Waukegan, IL), and the UW Flying Club. George is a parent of a MARC client.

Paul Krc

Greg Kresling — Greg Kesling began working with individuals with intellectual disabilities in 1976 in Chippewa Falls WI and then in 1980 in Madison WI at Central Wisconsin Center (CWC). Greg worked as a staff psychologist specializing in supports for individuals with sensory deficits. Eventually he became Director of Psychology and then Director of Program Services. As Director of Program Services he developed and managed contracts with Madison area agencies providing day program support services for clients residing at CWC. He also guided the creation of the Short-Term Assessment Program which provides intensive assessment and short-term treatment for individuals who are experiencing medical and/or behavior challenges. Greg retired in 2011 and began private consulting at that time. Major interests include regulatory issues impacting the support and treatment of individuals with intellectual disabilities, applied behavior analysis, and organizational quality improvement. Greg received a BS in Psychology at the University of Evansville and an MS in Psychology from Indiana State University.

Nancy Townsend, Emeritus — Nancy’s first contact with MARC was when her husband, Peter, was the advisor to The Jolly Homemakers, a MARC sponsored group providing activities for girls and women living at home.  Nancy received a BA in Russian from UW-Madison, and she was the first student to receive a Master’s degree in Special Education from the UW-Madison. Nancy was the first Special Education teacher in the Waunakee Public Schools, and the last teacher (for MARC) of children who were excluded from the Madison Public Schools before the schools accepted all children.  Nancy received her doctorate from BU and upon returning to Madison she worked for 25 years as a Psychologist at Central Wisconsin Center before retiring.  Nancy spent several years on the MARC-Inc Board and the MARC Foundation  Board before she was granted emerita status.

Fran Bicknell, Emeritus — Fran won the  2012 YWCA “Woman of Distinction” Award and has previous won several awards from the Autism Society and The Arc of Dane County and The Arc of Wisconsin, as well as the League of Women Voters of Dane County “Carrie Chapman Catt” Award. In addition to twice serving as president of MARC, she has served as president of the Autism Society of Madison and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families,  chair of the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities, and a member of the Exceptional Education Council of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction .  Fran was a charter member and co-chair of Madison Citizens for Fair Housing. Madison’s Fair Housing Ordinance and was a leading advocate for  Mandatory Education Law allowing all children with disabilities to attend public schools and the  Guardianship Reform Law.  Fran is a parent of a MARC client.

Bill Olson, Emeritus