Meet the Staff

Lissa Sutton, Executive Director

Lissa has been active in the Omaha non-profit community for over thirty years. Born and raised in Omaha, she began her community volunteer work in college and was active on many non-profit guild boards, as well as, planning and chairing many special events over the years.

Prior to coming to Take Flight Farms, Lissa was involved with Methodist Richard Young as a member of their guild board and when the opportunity arose, she became the Volunteer Coordinator at the hospital in 1999. After Richard Young closed in 2003, Lissa joined Goodwill Industries as their Development Director.

In her ten years at Goodwill, she raised over $12,000,000 in capital and programmatic funds. Lissa was also responsible for all direct mail campaigns, many special events and worked closely with the marketing department.

Quinn Lawton, Licensed Mental Health Practitioner

After graduating from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a degree in Psychology in 2001, Quinn completed her Masters Degree in Community Counseling and began practicing in mental health in 2005. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor with diverse professional experiences including program development, training, agency counseling and employee assistance counseling. Her background with horses inspired her to become EAGALA certified in 2006 and since that time her passion and primary professional focus has been on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning. Quinn recently became advanced certified in the EAGALA model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning which is the highest level of certification possible within the organization. Quinn has been one of Take Flight Farm’s equine assisted counselors since 2006 and played a major role in expanding services to the Lincoln community in 2015. Quinn primarily practices out of the Lincoln location and can be contacted at (402) 499-0668 for more information about services available in the Lincoln area. 

“In my personal and professional experience, I have never found a better therapist than the horse. Horses have a unique way of connecting to people that is genuine and direct. As counselors, horses not only enable us to be more effective at assessment and treatment, but they also hold us accountable. I feel so honored and humbled to have the opportunity to practice equine assisted counseling which such a great organization as Take Flight Farms. It is truly a combination of my passion and profession. The potential in Take Flight and equine assisted psychotherapy is immense and I am very excited to be a part of the process.”

Barb Cotten, Licensed Mental Health Practitioner

During my career I have very fortunate to have had many diverse experiences. I taught Elementary K-6 at low income schools which enabled me to learn a great deal about numerous cultures.

After receiving my Master’s in counseling I worked at a Rehab center dealing with numerous injuries such as, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke patients, cardiac rehab and cancer patients. After leaving there I started at an elementary school as a school counselor. During my time as a school counselor I was also working part time with the City Of Omaha as an EAP counselor. I worked with police and firefighters doing personal and family counseling. I was also on the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team.

After my time in elementary I worked at an Alternative High School as the school counselor and then moved to a regular high school. During my time as a high school counselor I worked part time for the Dept. of Defense doing on demand activities for the Military. These activities included, briefings on deployment or reintegration after deployment. I also served as a resource for active duty soldiers and there families.

Keri Nider, Licensed Mental Health Practitioner

I completed my Master’s degree in Counseling from Doane College in July of 2015.  My licensing includes; Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP), and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.   I have attended various trainings focused on trauma, psychosis, addictions, Trauma focused-CBT, art therapy, and I am a certified equine psychotherapist utilizing the EAGALA model.

I have worked in the human services field for over 15 years. I have experience working in a variety of settings with many different populations, all who were experiencing some kind of challenge or crisis in their life. My clinical experience includes but is not limited to: Depression, Anxiety, Psychotic disorders, Personality disorders, Trauma, Adjustment disorders, Substance Abuse and Addictions.  I have also worked with people dealing life transitions (i.e. college, relocation, divorce, death, etc).

I have worked with individuals ranging in age from pre-adolescent to well into retirement. I have found that I enjoy working with people of all ages and from many different backgrounds.  However, I consider my specialty areas to be with depression, anxiety, trauma both childhood, and adult onset, addiction both active and recovering, personality disorders, and life transitions.

Mara Anania, Development Director

Jennifer Leverett, Licensed Health Practitioner

Steve McWilliams, EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist

Karman De Luca, EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist

Dara Liss, EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist