ACT Board of Directors and Leadership Team
ACT Board President
Director, Sunshine Therapy Services
Kristin Gier, MA, CCC-SLP completed her MA in Speech Pathology in 1997 from San Jose State University after completing 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 28 years, providing home-based therapy services privately and through Arizona programs for the last 22 years. Founding Sunshine Speech-Language Therapy Services in 2001, Kristin has managed the agency, often while maintaining an individual caseload.
Kristin served as a TBEI core team member and 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, implementation, and growth ever since. Sunshine currently staffs all disciplines on core teams across all regions ACT holds contracts for. Kristin has enjoyed being on the Board of Directors over 5 terms since 2012 and is pleased to serve as a member of the ACT Board of Directors again to help support continued accomplishment and prosperity to all its staff and members.
ACT Board Vice President & Treasurer
Owner, Arizona Speech Pathology
Trish Nedberg graduated with a Master of Sciences in the field of Speech Pathology in 1980 from the University of North Dakota. Her experiences in working with the pediatric, adolescent and adult caseloads has been a joy of ongoing learning and developing relationships for 40+ years in the Phoenix Valley. In 1997 she took over the ownership of Arizona Speech Pathology, a private practice serving a wide range of clients. Trish has remained an active part of Arizona Cooperative Therapies since its establishment. She looks forward to continuing the relationships with other professionals and her clients for years to come.
ACT Board Secretary
Owner, Tender Touch Occupational Therapy Services
Alicia Quintana, MS OTR/L completed her undergraduate studies at Grand Canyon University in 1998 and received a Master’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University in 2000. Upon graduation, Alicia began working with the pediatric population in clinic, home, community and school-based settings. She developed a passion for working in the area of Early Intervention. She founded Tender Touch Occupational Therapy Services, LLC in 2003 and became a member of ACT in 2006. Alicia began serving on the ACT Board of Directors in 2015 and has held the positions of Vice President, President, Immediate Past President and Board Secretary. Alicia lives in Peoria, Az with her husband and 3 children. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, yoga, hiking, spending time with her family and watching her boys play soccer and basketball.
ACT General Manager
Owner, Huppert Pediatric Therapy
Leo Huppert earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of New Mexico in 1987. He began his career working as a 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 partnered with four other small therapy companies to establish Arizona Cooperative Therapies. Leo has served in a number of capacities within the Cooperative; in addition to Huppert Pediatric Therapy staffing ACT's early intervention teams of professional providers, he also currently serves as ACT's General Manager. His interests outside of work include hiking, snow skiing and reading.
ACT Business Administrator
Co-Owner, Sunshine Therapy Services
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 Semiconductor 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 Therapy 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.
ACT Clinical Director of Children and Family Services
Gayla Jensen, LMSW is the Clinical Director of Children and Family Services at ACT (Arizona Cooperative Therapies). She has been working to improve the lives of children and families for the last 20+ years in Arizona. Throughout her career, she has worked extensively with victims of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse, serving as the shelter supervisor for a local shelter for more than 6 years. Additionally, Gayla has managed numerous prevention programs focused on youth mentoring, school readiness, and parental involvement. She previously managed multiple home visitation, child welfare programs in Arizona. Gayla Jensen is also certified in Trauma-Informed Care.
ACT Nurturing Parent Program Supervisor
Mandy CasConi is a Nurturing Parenting Program Supervisor for Arizona Cooperative Therapies. She previously worked for JFCS in the Family Reunification and Family Preservation programs for 3 years and was then promoted to a Supervisor in the Parent Aide program where she worked for 7 years. During that time she assisted in training DCS staff for the MARC (Multi-Agency Reunification Collaboration) Program. She also trained all staff annually on Mandated Reporting. Mandy has been teaching the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum for the last 5 years and has worked with staff in implementing the program.
ACT Family Connections Supervisor
Heather Brown is an experienced Child and Family development advocate. She is aware of the importance of developing our younger generation and enhancing their trajectory. After receiving her graduate degree in Infant Family Practice, focusing on trauma and development, she dedicated working with at risk populations. She has the drive to keep learning and understanding how to better our communities. Heather has over 10 years’ experience working with community-based programs that support the high-risk population of children and families. She foresees herself being able to impact her community with her awareness and knowledge of trauma. Heather is an advocate for families and children, most importantly doing it with empathy and support for change within family units.
ACT TBEI Team Conference Coordinator
Susan discovered her passion for working with families and their young children as a parent volunteer in a Head Start classroom over 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. Susan’s 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 as the Team Conference Coordinator for all of ACT’s TBEI Regions.