Caroline Nailor-Oglesby, ACT Program Director
Caroline Nailor-Oglesby graduated from Northern Arizona University with a master's degree in early childhood in 2014 and a master's degree in educational counseling from the University of Phoenix in 2003. Caroline also earned a bachelor's degree in speech pathology and audiology from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1990. Caroline has been working in early intervention since 1994. She has many years of experience working in early childhood as a service coordinator; developmental specialist; mental health specialist; program manager; and technical assistance and monitoring specialist. Caroline has been with Arizona Cooperative Therapies since 2013, and is the Program Director for Team-Based Early Intervention Services.
Camille Verdugo, ACT Quality Assurance Specialist
My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies with a minor in Gerontology and a Master’s degree in Education. I have been involved with the Arizona Early Intervention Program for 15 years in various roles including Service Coordinator, Developmental Specialist, Program Manager and now as Quality Assurance Specialist for Arizona Cooperative Therapies to assist our teams with compliance and training.
Leo Huppert, Contract Administrator and Board of Directors Treasurer
Leo Huppert earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of New Mexico in 1987. He began his career working as civilian in Logistics Management for the Department of the Air Force. When Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993, he moved into Aviation Management at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport eventually working as the Director of Development for the Airport Authority.
In 2001, Leo and his wife Becky, started Huppert Pediatric Therapy Inc. In 2006, he worked with four other small therapy companies to help create Arizona Cooperative Therapies.
He has served in a number of capacities with the Cooperative; currently serving as the Board Secretary and as its Contract Manage. Interests outside of work include hiking, snow skiing and reading.
Don Gier, Business Administrator
Don Gier graduated with his B.S degree in Economics from the University of Maryland in 1986. Don spent 19 mid-level management years in the Semi-Conductor industry, most of those 19 years were spent in Maryland and California before settling in Scottsdale Arizona.
Don currently co-owns and operates Sunshine Speech-Language Therapry Services, which was established in 2001 to provide pediatric speech therapy services in the natural home environment. Sunshine Speech has been an active member of Arizona Cooperative Therapies since 2006.
Don has been actively involved with Arizona Cooperative Therapies since 2013 with a focus on finance and daily operations. Don is currently serving as Assistant Contracts Administrator and Board Treasurer.
Amber Neubauer, Board of Directors - President
Amber Neubauer, M.S. CCC-SLP graduated with her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Disorders from Arizona State University in 1999. She then entered into the private practice sector before entering into the public school districts. Amber continued working in the school districts while completing her Master's in Clinical Speech Pathology from Northern Arizona University. Upon completing her Master's degree in 2005, Amber began working with the pediatric population in the home health setting with the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). Amber began serving on the ACT Board of Directors as Vice-President in 2014, President in 2015 and Immediate Past President in 2016. In August of 2018, Amber was re-elected to the ACT Board of Directors, serving as Vice-President.
Kristin R. Chase, ACT Board of Directors Vice President
Kristin R. Chase, OTR/L graduated with her degree in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University. She has worked in a variety of settings as an Occupational Therapist. Kristin worked for many years as a Rehabilitation Hospital Administrator in Texas and Arizona prior to returning to her passion of serving children with special needs. After working 11 years as Director of Children’s Services for a DDD company she started a small business. She established A to Z Therapies in 2009. A to Z Therapies has been affiliated with ACT for many years. Kristin has enjoyed serving 3 terms on the ACT Board. It is an honor to work with the cooperative; supporting the common mission of providing excellent early intervention services.
Julie Sorrick, ACT Board of Directors - Secretary
Julie Sorrick graduated with her Masters of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from Kent State University in 1996. Upon graduation, she work in a variety of settings including hospital inpatient/outpatient, home-based, private practice clinic, and schools. She and her husband moved to Arizona in 2000 at which time Julie chose to work full time in the home-based setting with the pediatric population.
In 2002, Julie opened her own private practice in the Ahwatukee area where therapists provide speech, physical, and occupational therapy in both a clinic setting and the natural home environment. Julie’s dedication to her own family fueled her vision to create a company of talented therapists who value balance by being equally passionate about their personal lives while helping children and families reach their fullest potential. Desert Valley Pediatric Therapy has been an active member of Arizona Cooperative Therapies since 2006. Julie has served on the ACT Board of Directors for 6 terms and is currently serving her 2nd term as President. Desert Valley Pediatric Therapy, along with other ACT agencies, are leading the state in providing quality services to our birth to three population.
Kristin Gier, ACT Board of Directors
Member at Large
Kristin completed her MA in Speech Pathology in 1997 from San Jose State University after completion of a BA in Speech and Hearing Sciences from The University of Arizona in 1994. She has been working with children of all ages in schools and homes for 24 years, providing home-based therapy services privately and through Arizona programs for the last 17 years. Founding Sunshine Speech-Language Therapy Services in 2001, Kristin managed Speech and Occupational therapists in subcontract, school-based, clinic-based and home-based settings, while maintaining an individual caseload. In 2006 when they began a family, her husband, Don left Corporate America to run the agency together. They continue to work side by side daily to dedicate themselves to their family and the agency. From 2008-2012, Kristin served as a TBEI core team member full-time, leading a team of Speech Pathologists to provide services for the Northeast Region during the AzEIP pilot of TBEI. She has always believed in supervising Bachelor level clinicians in route to higher education accomplishments. Kristin has had direct experience with the Early Intervention Program in AZ since 2008. As a clinician, she specializes in birth to five year old children with communication delays, phonological processing disorders and secondary sensory processing disorders. Sunshine joined Arizona Cooperative Therapies in 2006 and has been an active part of its development and implementation ever since. She served on the Board of Directors from 9/2012- 8/2015, serving first as Vice President, then as President, and finally as Immediate Past President, consecutively. Her agency currently staffs all disciplines of core teams, except PT, across all 9 regions ACT carries contracts for. Kristin is proud of what ACT has accomplished to date, and looks forward to further opportunities to grow personally and professionally side by side with ACT and its members. She is pleased to serve as a member of the ACT Board of Directors again to help support continued accomplishment and prosperity to all of its staff and members.
Sandra Makrias, Regional Program Coordinator
I came to ACT as a Regional Program Coordinator for Regions 7, 8, and 9 in February 2017 with a 17-year career working in Early Intervention. I have a bachelor’s degree in Family Social Services from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Professions from Roosevelt University. I was a Developmental Therapist for 15-years working for the Illinois Early Intervention Program under a non-for-profit agency serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. I provided evaluations and direct service to families working in collaboration with other therapists and providers. Prior to coming to ACT, I was a Program Supervisor with Child and Family Resources (CFR) for the Arizona Early Intervention Program. I began with CFR and AzEIP in September 2015. I helped run the daily operations of the AzEIP program and supported the DSI’s, therapists, and service coordinators.
Susan Becerra, Regional Program Coordinator
Susan discovered her passion for working with families and their young children as a parent volunteer in a Head Start classroom 28 years ago.
She studied Early Childhood Education at Central Arizona College. For most of the last 25 years, Susan has worked in Head Start, Early Head Start, Healthy Families and the Arizona Early Intervention Program.
Her experience includes program coordination, service coordination and direct service provision in an early intervention program serving medically fragile children.
Susan joined ACT in September 2018 and is excited to begin her new journey as the Regional Program Coordinator for Regions 2, 4 and 5.
Charlene May, Regional Program Coordinator
Charlene graduated with a BS in Heath and Human Services Administration from Bellevue University in Nebraska. After making the move from Florida to Arizona in 2008, I started as a Service Coordinator for children with Developmental Delays. I began working in Early Intervention in 2010 as the Early Intervention Supervisor with Division of Developmental Disabilities. In 2013 I became the Regional Program Coordinator (RPC) with ACT. As an RPC, I manage 3 regions with 9 teams who provide Early Intervention Services to our families. I have the best job, working with teams who have a passion to work with our families. I learn something new every day and I am blessed to be able to do what I do.