Founder

Director

Dick is the Director of STAR Institute responsible for providing leadership to the Executive team and advocating for collaboration among the three primary centers that represent the cornerstone of the organization. The centers include Treatment, Research and Education focused on Sensory Processing Disorder. He is also accountable to the Founder and Board for day-to-day operations of the Institute.

Prior to joining the STAR Institute, Dick spent twenty-five plus years in the high technology industry in research and development with emphasis on building and leading high performance…

Treatment Center

Dr. Roianne Ahn is passionate about social success for people with Sensory Processing Disorder and committed to sharing the tools to achieve it! Dr. Ahn, a licensed psychologist who is trained in the DIR/Floortime approach, infuses the DIR relationship-based play model into every aspect of her work with children, teenagers, adults, and families. Whether providing consultation, testing, therapy, or coaching, she focuses on creating positive, joyful relationship experiences that support and facilitate long-term learning. Through consultation, testing, therapy, and coaching, she helps…

Mim joins the STAR Institute as an experienced therapist. Since completing the occupational therapy program at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001 she has focused on increasing her skills by attending continuing education courses on topics including dyspraxia, modulation, posture, and feeding. She has completed the SPD Foundation Intensive Mentorship Program Levels 1 and 2 and is trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding Program. Before joining the STAR Institute Mim worked in a variety of settings including in-patient and out-patient hospital settings, home care, schools, and…

Feeding Specialist

Specialties Include: Feeding children on the Autism Spectrum & Helping Atypical Learners eat better

Lindsay received her Masters in Occupational Therapy from The Ohio State University. During her graduate studies, she received a graduate assistant scholarship where she trained under Dr. Jane Case-Smith in a multidisciplinary Autism diagnostic clinic and collaborated with a special needs preschool to provide OT services embedded within the classroom curriculum. Prior to employment at STAR, Lindsay worked as an occupational therapist at a pediatric…

Infant Feeding Specialist

Deborah received her Masters in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 2008. During her graduate studies, she focused on feeding disorders and dysphagia in infants and children. Prior to joining STAR Institute, Deborah practiced in a pediatric outpatient hospital setting, working primarily with infants and children with feeding disorders. She also spent time working in the NICU as part of a multidisciplinary team, supporting premature infant development and early feeding experiences. Deborah’s passion is to work…

Carrie received her Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from The University of Arizona in 2004. Prior to joining STAR Institute, Carrie worked in Southern California and practiced in several different pediatric settings including a multidisciplinary SPD clinic, public schools, a hospital-based mental health treatment program, and private practice clinics.  She served as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) specialist and has experience developing and running social skills programs.   Carrie has taken the University of Southern California Advanced Training…

Carrie graduated with her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She has extensive knowledge and training in Sensory Processing Disorder treatment and evaluation through participation in the Level 1 Mentorship program with the STAR Center and through participation in the SIPT Certification program. Carrie has also received training in iLs, Therapeutic Listening, SOS feeding approach and Handwriting Without Tears.

Before joining the STAR team, she worked in both the outpatient pediatric clinic setting and school settings in Chicago and…

Kelly received her Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Memphis in 2012. During her graduate studies, she focused on dysphagia and bilingual speech pathology. Kelly also conducted research on the reliability of aspiration measurement scales in infant swallowing. Prior to joining STAR Institute, Kelly practiced in a pediatric outpatient hospital setting as well as in an early intervention setting working with children ages birth to three. Additionally, she has been trained under Kay A. Toomey, PhD using the SOS Approach to Feeding. Kelly’s…

Vincentia graduated from West Virginia University in 2007, with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Health & Performance, & a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. She has extensive training in Sensory Processing Disorder treatment including Level 1 Mentorship program with the Star Institute. Vincentia has also received continued education training in iLs, treating Central Auditory Processing Disorders, SOS feeding approach, NDT approach, licensed Level 2 Therapist in Hippotherapy, & Handwriting Without Tears. Before joining the STAR team, she worked in outpatient pediatric clinics…

Lindsay began her relationship with STAR Institute in 2006 volunteering as an aide to the therapists where she furthered her passion and understanding of Sensory Processing Disorder. She pursued her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Puget Sound. Throughout her undergraduate program, she spent many hours volunteering and nannying children with multiple handicaps. After completing her undergraduate degree, she spent a year traveling the country and observing occupational therapists from Florida to Alaska and everywhere in between. She graduated from Tufts…

Feeding Specialist

Bethany received her Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy from The College of Saint Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota. She completed her Master’s thesis on Autism and feeding challenges using the SOS Approach to Feeding. Prior to her work at STAR Institute, Bethany worked as a member on a multidisciplinary team in a day treatment clinic for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, SPD, emotional/behavioral disorders, and feeding problems. Additionally, she has completed the STAR Institute Intensive Mentorship Program and trained under Kay A. Toomey, PhD…

Dr. McKenzie started her career as a Neonatal ICU nurse and nurse researcher at the University of Colorado Hospital in 1983. She attended The University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency program at The Children’s Hospital in 1995. She has been a partner with Arapahoe Park Pediatrics in Littleton and Highlands Ranch, CO for twenty years. Her special interests include: adoption, autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol exposure, sensory processing disorders, feeding problems, anxiety, depression and ADHD.

Dr. McKenzie currently practices general…

Maura graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in psychology from North Carolina State University and a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Winston-Salem State University. Prior to her work with the STAR Institute, Maura worked one-on-one with children, adolescents, and young adults with a wide range of disabilities and/or delays, including rare genetic disorders, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2009 and 2010, Maura completed research internships with the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation co-located with the STAR…

Sarah is a licensed and registered occupational therapist with experience in inpatient and outpatient pediatric hospital, school-based, early intervention, summer camp, and private practice settings. She graduated with a Master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of South Alabama and spent several years working in Tennessee and Georgia before coming to Colorado.

Sarah is committed to helping individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder and their families experience life to the fullest. Sarah is trained in DIR/Floortime, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs),…

Dr. Kay Toomey is a pediatric psychologist who has worked for nearly 30 years, with children who don’t eat. She is the developer of the highly effective, family-centered SOS Approach to Feeding in successful use worldwide to assess and treat children with feeding problems. In addition to directing SOS Feeding Solutions at STAR Institute, Dr. Toomey speaks nationally and internationally about her approach. She also acts as a consultant to Gerber Products. Dr. Toomey helped establish The Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oral Feeding Clinic in Denver and Rose Medical Center’s Pediatric Feeding…

Rachel brings to STAR Institute a breadth of experiences and skills. She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Arts from the State University of West Georgia. Rachel received her Master’s in Education in School Counseling from Georgia State University and is a licensed Professional School Counselor. Following three years of work as a high school counselor, Rachel served for two years in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps volunteer, working in the sector of Girls’ Education and Empowerment. Due to this work, she founded and is the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising…

Education Center

Caraly has over 15 years' experience as an administrative professional, serving as administrative assistant at an animal hospital and boarding facility for nearly seven years before joining the STAR Institute family in 2008. Caraly’s responsibilities include assisting with the coordination and production of STAR Institute's Intensive Mentorship programs, SOS Approach to Feeding Conferences, faculty speaking engagements, and annual symposia. In addition, Caraly provides support to the administrative, marketing, and development teams.

Research Center

Dr. Schoen is an occupational therapist with 30 years of clinical experience and a doctorate in occupational therapy from New York University (2001). She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry, working with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller. During her fellowship she was awarded the Developmental Psychology Endowment Grant from the William T Grant foundation to study the Sensory Processing Scales, which she is co-developing and researching with Dr. Miller. Dr…

Andrea Valdez graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Bachelors in Psychology with an emphasis in research in 2015. She started as an intern with STAR Institute in 2013 and has since taken on the role of Senior Research Assistant, working closely with Dr. Schoen and Dr. Miller. She has her hand in many projects, but takes a lead role in research involving the Sensory Processing Three Dimensions Scales. With the intent of attending graduate school to become an Occupational Therapist, she hopes to someday be an OT at the STAR Institute. 

Marketing

With over 10 years of marketing, messaging, rebranding, and educational sales experience Amanda joins the STAR Institute team with enthusiasm and the goal of informing the mainstream about Sensory Processing Disorder. Amanda began her career as a graphic designer, but quickly began gravitating towards learning everything she could about marketing. In 2005, she started a business inspired by her fascination with how to spark grass roots movements and quickly spread information on a global scale. She expanded her business into 7 european countries where she successfully trained speakers and…

Development

Operations

Sue is the Director of Operations for the STAR Institute. She played a vital role in opening the STAR Center in 2005 and became a member of the SPD Foundation team in 2007. She is currently a member of the leadership team, finance committee and staff liaison to the board of directors. She contributes to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies and practices. Her responsibilities include managing financial systems, providing HR support, managing the daily operations of the STAR Institute, overseeing IT and facilities management and other operational…

Administrative

Jennifer is the scheduling coordinator for the STAR Institute. She is our scheduling specialist, making scheduling as painless as possible and provides front desk assistance. Jennifer has been with STAR Institute since 2010. Before coming to STAR Institute Jennifer spent 20 years in the child care industry including 9 years as a director.

Andrea will be your personal guide into STAR Institute’s treatment program. In most cases, she will be the staff member to respond to your inquiries when you contact us. She will review your developmental history form and make recommendations about how to proceed. She conducts intake evaluations and helps coordinate programs for families coming to STAR Institute from out of town. Andrea has managed therapy clinics since completing her college degree in management and marketing.