The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic direction and operations of the state Association. The board is comprised of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the OT profession and aim to support and grow OT practice in NC.





PresidentDebb Dorsett, MOT, OTR/L, CEIM

Debb Dorsett attended Cabarrus College of Health Sciences for her OTA and OT education. Her background includes pediatric outpatient, early intervention, home / community, academia, and leadership roles. She owns Circle Therapy, a pediatric practice in NC. Debb is an enthusiastic advocate of holistic intervention, feeding, eating and swallowing, sensory processing, relationship based therapeutic use of self, inclusion for children of all abilities, ethical service delivery, OT and OTA partnerships, mentorship, and occupational balance for practitioners. Debb strongly believes that OT practitioners can make lasting, meaningful impact by seeking and accepting opportunities to expand OT in our communities. Her most passionate occupation is motherhood and greatest inspiration comes from her 6 beautiful children, ever supportive partner, and colleagues that help her laugh and smile through life's many adventures. 

Contact: [email protected]




Vice President: Bethany Pritchett, OTR/L

 Bethany (she/her/hers) received her Associate of Applied Science in OT from Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rock Spring, GA, a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Winston-Salem State University here in NC. Bethany has a diverse clinical background beginning in pediatrics, which evolved into a specialization in treating dysfunction in the older adult and prepared her well for a career as a clinical leader in long term care. Bethany currently serves as Regional Director of Operations for a rehab company specializing in senior-care here in NC and has a passion for student collaboration, advocacy, and special clinical interests in understanding cognition, fall prevention, and pelvic health.  Bethany is a wife, mother, and Christian, who enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, roller-skating, and traveling with her family in her spare time.   

Contact: [email protected]



Secretary: James M. Herzog, MS, OTR/L

Mr. Herzog has held positions within corporations, rehabilitation clinics and rehabilitation. presently New York State.   He has advance training in ergonomic assessment and abatement, Behavior Based Safety.  He achieved Certified Ergonomic Associate, Fellow of the American Board of Disability Analysts, and is a former member of the Professional Advisory Committee for the American Board of Disability Analysts.

Contact: [email protected]



Treasurer: Jennifer Lowder, MSOT

Jennifer Lowder is a graduate of Cabarrus College of Health and Sciences where she received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She completed a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management from Pfeiffer University and Associates in Health Science in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Stanly Community College. Jennifer currently works as an occupational therapist in North Carolina Public Schools. She is a supporter for the inclusion of children with a disability and applying occupation- based practice throughout school community environments.  In the summers, she enjoys working for Atrium in acute care and outpatient settings, mentoring students, and spending quality time with family.

Contact: [email protected]



Member at Large:  Valerie Fox, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP

Dr. Valerie Fox is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received her Master's degree and PhD in Occupational Science. She also completed the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship at the Durham Veterans Affairs Healthcare Center, which focused on recovery-based mental health services for Veterans. Dr. Fox currently works as an occupational therapist in behavioral health at the Durham VA. Her research interests include community participation for individuals with mental health issues and the role of occupational therapy in mental health services, specifically supporting occupational engagement. She is an avid OT advocate and fully believes in the power of occupation to enhance function, quality of life, and wellness. Thus, she enjoys program development, expanding OT services in needed areas, continuing to progress the profession, and mentoring students in occupation-based practice.  



OTA Liaison: Denae Floyd, COTA/L

Denae received her OTA based education from Durham Technical Community College. She has worked in several settings including home health, private clinics, charter schools and skilled nursing. However, working with preschool age children brings her such joy. There is never a dull or carbon copied day and knowing that OT helped shape the foundation of many future leaders is also a joy.


Denae is a passionate and dynamic COTA that finds immense fulfillment in collaborating with families, educators, and other professionals to promote accessibility and equality.  She is motivated and fueled by The Golden Rule. Denae is dedicated to helping the pediatric population and their families achieve their personal goals through educated coaching, therapeutic interventions and most importantly..PLAY! 

Contact: [email protected]




Legal and Political Co-Chairs: Clarice Grote, MS, OTR/L & Amy Siegler, OTR/L

Clarice Grote, MS, OTR/L is an innovate advocate for occupational therapy, Medicare specialist, and Founder of Amplify OT. Clarice is dedicated to inspiring occupational therapy practitioners and students to engage in advocacy to create meaningful change in our healthcare system.


Amy Siegler (she/her/hers) is an occupational therapist who owns LimbTech, an accessibility and mobility focused outpatient therapy practice located in WNC. She has been instrumental in advocacy of telehealth and the changes that have been implemented over the past 2 years. She believes in fostering the growth of the next generation of OT/OTA and takes students from all over the country in a student-led learning model to help mold the future of our profession. She is passionate about seating/positioning, accessibility, and access to healthcare for all populations.

Contact: [email protected]









Membership Co-Chairs: Jacqueline Mayo, OTD, OTR/L & Nikki Kardouni, MSOT, OTD, CLT

Jacqueline Mayo, OTD, OTR/L, (she/her/hers) is an occupational therapist and the chair of the Master of the Occupational program at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in Concord, North Carolina. Jacqueline has experience as a school-based therapist, serving as a member of the early childhood leadership team, diagnostic team, and the equity team. She received a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy from Utica College of Syracuse University, a post-professional Master of Science from Boston University Sargent College, and a post–professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. Jacqueline’s interests include the development of a cultural competence training program for educators and is a member of the North Carolina DEI. She is also a member of the NC Interprofessional Education Leaders Collaboration (IPELC) whose goal is to identify and immerse students in real world interprofessional experiences before entering clinical practice. Jacqueline is also involved in identifying evidence-based methods for the development of professional reasoning skills in occupational therapy students.   


Nikki Kardouni currently serves as Occupational Therapist and Director of Clinical Education at Cape Fear Orthopedics-Outpatient, and Adjunct Instructor at Methodist University. Nikki is interested in hand orthopedics, health disparities, lymphedema, and emerging roles and student engagement in occupational therapy education. Nikki is a wife to an Active-duty Army soldier, mother of two, avid reader, traveler, and foodie. 

Contact: [email protected]



Continuing Education Co-Chairs:  Sydney Mitchell, MS, OTR/L, CNS, CBIS & Charity Faragoi, COTA/L


Sydney Mitchell, MS, OTR/L, CNS, CBIS (she/her/hers) received her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina and currently works in neuroscience acute care at Duke University Hospital as well as in various instructional roles in the Duke OTD program. Sydney has gained experience in critical care occupational therapy through the Duke Acute & Critical Care OT Fellowship and has received specialty certification to become a Certified Neuro Specialist and Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She has a passion for neurorehab, improving access to care for underinsured patients, and student mentorship. Her favorite occupations outside of work include rock climbing, camping, crocheting, pottery, and gardening. 

Charity Faragoi (she/her/hers) graduated with her Associates of Applied Science degree from South College in Asheville, NC. She currently works as an occupational therapy assistant in the school system. She is the wife to a retired Army soldier, mother to 4 children (3 are triplets!), and in her free time, she enjoys reading, running half marathons, and camping. 

 Contact: [email protected]










Communications and Outreach Co-Chair: Christine McConnell, DC, OTR/L & Kayleigh Fessenden, OTD, OTR/L

Dr. Christine McConnell is an Associate Professor and faculty for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Wingate University. Dr. McConnell earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Bachelor of Human Biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. She has almost 40 years of experience including early intervention, hospital, home-based, school-based, skilled care, community, and center-based settings and has additional expertise in management, business leadership/private practice, and program development.  Dr. McConnell has been in academia since 2014, involved with curriculum development, dynamic classroom and content process, interprofessional education and the development of the Wingate University OT Student Led Educational Clinic. Currently, Dr. McConnell is teaching the evidence-based practice course series as well as human gross anatomy at Wingate University.  Her areas of current research include interprofessional education and evidence-based scholarship within occupational therapy education and all areas of clinical practice.

Kayleigh Fessenden is currently an occupational therapy instructor at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences instructing courses on development, mental health, adult intervention and kinesiology as well as serving as a capstone advisor. She has been an occupational therapist for 13 years working in both the inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation environment specializing in hip fractures, amputations, fall prevention and balance. Kayleigh designed and led a joint commission accredited hip fracture program in the inpatient rehabilitation environment, as well as played the role of Student Fieldwork Coordinator. Prior to switching to academia, she held the role Director of Rehabilitation for an outpatient clinic in an assisted living facility that included a memory care unit. Kayleigh is originally from South Florida and relocated to North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her dogs, running, doing yoga, traveling and spoiling her nieces and nephews

Contact: [email protected]






Education and Research Co-Chairs:  Charley Jo Cross, OTR/L & Stacey Caplan, OTD, OTR/L

Charley Jo Cross (she/her/hers) attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington obtaining a Bachelor's degree in psychology in 2016 and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill obtaining her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2018. She has focused her early career on expanding occupational therapy services in rural North Carolina and recognizes the importance of occupation-based practice to demonstrate the effectiveness of occupational therapy. Most recently, she has served as occupational therapist and Director of Occupational Therapy with Monarch where she developed an occupational therapy program and provided occupational therapy services focused on mental health to those most in need. 

Stacey (she/her) is the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Assistant Professor for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Wingate University.  She has over 30 years of clinical experience in pediatric private practice that has expanded her education and expertise toward non-profit management, organizational leadership, and program development. Her practice experience spans NICU, PICU, early intervention, hospital, home-based, school-based and center-based settings. Stacey’s advanced training and professional interests reflect her passion surrounding infant and child development and working with families caring for children with medically complex, special needs. Outside of her professional roles, Stacey’s favorite occupations include hiking, biking, exploring NC wineries, reading and gathering with family and friends.

Contact: [email protected]



Awards Chair:  Sherry Stancliff, OT

Sherry Stancliff has 35-plus years of experience providing services within the occupational therapy adult continuum and school-based practice. In 2019, she received her postgraduate doctorate from Chatham University and has taught for the last five years at Rowan Cabarrus Community College's Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. Sherry is passionate about occupational therapy and the unique value that OT practitioners offer individuals to meet their desired occupational goals.

Contact: [email protected]



Bylaws Chair: Reese Vikram, OTR/L, BCPR 


Reese Vikram, OTR/L (he/him/his) received his Masters in Occupational Therapy from University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  He currently works as a Senior Occupational Therapist at Duke Raleigh Hospital. He has experience in home health, outpatient, and skilled nursing settings.   Prior to his involvement in

NCOTA, he served as Vice Chair for Middle TN in their OT association (TNOTA). He has a lab named Jet and enjoys traveling, golf and spending time with family/friends. 

Contact: [email protected]



Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Chair: Julius Davis, MHA, COTA/L


Julius Davis, MHA, COTA/L Julius Davis is a Rehabilitation Director for Broad River Rehab with over 5 years of occupational therapy experience in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Over the years, Julius has enjoyed helping patients reach their full therapeutic potential while also empowering his colleagues to reach professional goals. Julius looks forward to bringing his experience in DEI, to inspire and create opportunities for occupational therapy practitioners throughout the state of North Carolina. 


Contact: [email protected]



Special Interest Section Co-Chair:  Nicole Creech, MSOT, OTR/L

Nicole Creech, MSOT, OTR/L, (she/her/hers) received a BA in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University. She is currently employed at UNC Lenoir, as an Outpatient Therapist, as well as the current OT Fieldwork Coordinator. Nicole has worked in a variety of treatment areas including acute, inpatient rehab, transitional care, outpatient, and skilled nursing. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, and relaxing at the pool/beach.

Contact: [email protected]







SIS Administration and Leadership Co-Chairs: Brittni Winslow, MS, OTR/L & Maryann B. Brennan, OTD, MA, OTR/L, CSP

Brittni Winslow (she/her/hers) received her masters degree in occupational therapy from East Carolina University in 2011 and promptly began her career in pediatrics. She has now worked with the pediatric population for over 10 years and has experience and training in sensory processing, reflex integration, DIR/Floortime, SOS Approach to Feeding, and working with a variety of diagnoses such as Down Syndrome, Autism, ADHD, developmental delays, and dyslexia. She is the Executive Director and Owner of Emerge Pediatric Therapy (formerly Emerge - A Child's Place). Brittni is married to another entrepreneur in the food service industry, and has 3 daughters who keep her very busy with their many occupations. She serves as the SIS co-chair of the Admin and Leadership SIS.

Maryann Brennan, OTD, MA, ORT/L, CSP

Prior to moving to Sunset Beach, North Carolina and joining the Brunswick County Schools Exceptional Children staff, she practiced in Pennsylvania for over 30 years.   Dr. Brennan served as an Adjunct Faculty member and Assistant Professor at Alvernia University and Penn State University.   Dr. Brennan has presented at state and national conventions over the years.

Dr. Brennan earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Dr. Brennan continued her professional development by earning an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology from Immaculata University. A lifelong learner, Dr. Brennan continued her journey earning her Post Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. While at Boston University she developed her skills under the Dr. Wendy Coster and Dr. Karen Jacobs.

 Dr. Brennan brings with her a broad range of skills to the profession.  She has spent much of her career working in diverse pediatric and community settings. Dr. Brennan has over thirty (30) years of clinical experience in the hospital setting (NICU, inpatient, and outpatient adult and pediatric), early intervention (Birth-3-year-old), preschool (3-5), K-12 public education, and numerous adult settings.   

 Dedicating her career to helping individuals achieve and acquire skills, Dr. Brennan founded her company Brennan Educational Services, LLC, expanding her ability to provide comprehensive services to children, adults, and families.  Continuing her lifelong educational journey, she developed her Community-Based Practice Paradigm (copyright pending) while at Alvernia University and Penn State University.  Collaborating with professionals in the community, raising awareness for occupational therapy, and developing future leaders in the field continue to be a passion fueling Dr. Brennan’s endeavors. 

 Dr. Brennan’s educational philosophy is driven by continuous evaluation to ensure her students are prepared to deliver impactful results, utilizing the best practices most currently available. Her philosophy is perhaps best encapsulated by Simon Sinek, “The value of a true leader is not measured by the work they do but by the work they inspire others to do.”

Contact: [email protected]




SIS Gerontology Co-ChairsSusan Blair, OTD, OTR, BCPR, BCG, CDCS and Jeff Lucas, Ph.D., OTR/L, CDP, CKTP, CAPS

Susan lives in Clemmons, NC and works for Baylor University’s OTD Program. She graduated from MUSC in 1987 (OT) and Chatham University in 2019 (OTD). Susan became AOTA Board Certified in Gerontology in 2013.  Her research focus is frailty in older adults. 


Dr. Lucas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Lucas received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University earning a BS in Recreational Therapy in 2005, BA degree in Psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan University in 2006.  He then achieved his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Winston-Salem State University in 2009.  Then he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2016. He joined Winston-Salem State University in 2017 as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Lucas has worked in multiple settings during his career as a practicing occupational therapist including acute care, outpatient, home health and skilled nursing. Skilled nursing is where he spent most of his practicing years specializing in geriatrics, fall prevention, wheelchair seating and positioning, and splinting and contracture management. Dr. Lucas's research interests are Factors Influencing Burnout in Rehabilitation Directors in Skilled Nursing Facilities and The Impact of Free Occupational Therapy Clinics has on Student Learning.

Dr. Lucas, co-founded/owner Trending Devlopment, LLC in 2019. Trending Devlopment, LLC allows an individual (s) to obtain and sustain affordable housing in Eastern North Carolina.  

Contact:  [email protected]




SIS Mental Health Co-Chairs: Hannah Kanthak, MAOT, OTR/L & Catherine Kaminski, MS, OTR/L, BCMH

Hannah Kanthak, MAOT, OTR/L (she/her/hers) received her Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University in Minnesota. She completed the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship at the Durham VA Health Care System, which emphasizes providing recovery and function-focused services to Veterans with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. She currently works at the Durham VA, providing holistic and occupation-based interventions within the acute care setting. Hannah finds joy in spending time with loved ones, fostering dogs, reading, gardening, and trying her best at trivia. 

Catherine (she/hers) is an occupational therapist in the criminal justice system since 2013. She received her board certification in mental health in 2019. She enjoys being a fieldwork educator and advocating for OT in mental health. Catherine also enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and son, reading, being outdoors, and wetting her plants (gardening).

 Contact: [email protected]




SIS Children and Youth Co-Chairs:  Meg Harris, MS, OTR/L & Tamika Harris

Meg Harris (she/her/hers) earned her Master's in Occupational Therapy from UNC Chapel Hill and has been in school-based practice ever since. She is currently the Lead Occupational Therapist for Guilford County Schools. Her professional interests include occupation-centered assessment and intervention, working as part of a collaborative school-based team, and adapting materials and tools for students who have significant cognitive and physical disabilities. Meg enjoys reading books, travel with her husband (including visiting her two adult sons), and appreciating & making art.

Tamika (she/her/hers) is an East Carolina University graduate who has worked with the pediatric population in a variety of settings including: early intervention, home health, outpatient clinics, residential centers for people with multiple disabilities, and primarily in the public schools systems of North Carolina. Her professional passions include using creative therapeutic interventions, client-centered approaches, diversity, behaviors and mental health, mentoring and working on a collaborative team. Outside of work, Tamika likes to spend time with her son, travel, and listening to live music. 

Contact: [email protected]





SIS Physical Disabilities Co-Chairs:  Tina Webb, OTD, MS, OTR/L & Sanchala Sen, OTD, MS, OTR/L, BCPR

Tina Webb (she/her/hers) is an adjunct professor at Winston-Salem State University.  Much of her professional background is in adult inpatient rehab settings, including acute care, inpatient rehab, and skilled nursing settings.  While she enjoys all things OT, she has particularly love for working with clients with stroke and neurological conditions.  Away from work she enjoys traveling, and spending time with family, both the two-legged and four-legged ones.

Dr. Sanchala Sen (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in the department of Occupational Therapy. She is originally from India and has been in the US since 1993. She has been an occupational therapist for over 35 years and has experience in several OT settings. Her expertise is in Neurological conditions as it relates to OT and the NICU. She teaches mainly Adult-based and NICU courses and Labs in OT. She likes to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Contact:  [email protected]




SIS Home Health Co-Chairs: Kayla Smith, OTD, OTR/L & Miranda Amey, MS, OTR/L

Kayla (she/her/hers) received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Chatham University and her Master’s degree from Winston Salem State University. She currently works for Advance Home Health as a clinical therapist. Her professional interests relate to work with clients with stroke/TBI, COPD, and dementia. She also enjoys being a fieldwork educator. Her personal occupations are traveler, hockey lover, wife, dog mom, and gardener.

Miranda (she/her/hers). I currently live and work in Charlotte NC at a Level I Trauma hospital. I work with patients with a variety of conditions daily, including neurological conditions, ortho trauma, medical/surgical, and oncology. I also have experience in inpatient rehabilitation and independent living. I love working with adults and older adults with a variety of conditions and diagnoses to regain participation in meaningful occupations, but have a passion for the neurological population. Outside of work I love to spend time with family and friends (including my 2 year old cat), travel, bake, and be outdoors! 

Contact:  [email protected]




SIS Technology Co-Chairs: Amanda Davis, OTR/L, OTD & Annabeth Knight, OTD, OTR/L, ATP 

Amanda Davis is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Pfeiffer University. Her clinical experiences have included working with adults across a variety of settings, including inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, outpatient services, and community programs. She enjoys spending time with her family and getting outdoors and exploring the area. 

Annabeth Knight, OTD, OTR/L, ATP (she/her/hers) is an occupational therapist and an assistant professor/doctoral capstone coordinator in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Methodist University. Her clinical experience includes early intervention, schools, outpatient pediatrics, and assistive technology consultation, where she specializes in assistive technology evaluation and intervention. Annabeth has presented at state, national, and international conferences on transdisciplinary assistive technology provision, program development, therapy dosage, and quality of life of children with complex medical profiles. 

Contact:  [email protected]





Student Board Members: Brooklyn Morton, OTA/S & Tajze Johnson, OTS


Brooklyn Morton (she/her/hers) is a 21-year-old OTA student at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in Concord, North Carolina. She has grown up with a passion for serving others and cannot wait to join the field of OT where that is at the heart of it all. After working as a COTA, she plans to return to school and earn her MOT. She is excited to serve alongside other OT/COTAs that are eager to continue improving and innovating this wonderful field of work. 


Tajze Johnson (he/him/his) is currently a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Methodist University. He recently graduated as an Occupational Therapy Assistant student from Eastern Virginia Career College. Before that, he received his master's degree in healthcare administration from Purdue University. He also received a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Business Management and a concentration in Entrepreneurship. He has a breadth of experience from many years working with young children ranging from school to young adults. Before attending the Eastern Virginia Career College OTA program, Tajze was a residential counselor for at-risk youth. After completing pediatric fieldwork placement, Tajze knew he wanted to devote his career to working children and their families. Tajze is excited to continue to grow his knowledge and work towards his goal of providing care to underserved clients. He is enthusiastic about advocating and improving others' lives for the rest of his career. Everyone deserves access to quality occupational therapy services, and he hopes to ensure that underserved populations in his community are not forgotten. Tajze enjoys time with his fiancé, family, and friends, sports, working out, and traveling in his spare time. Tajze also enjoys bringing sports rehabilitation into his therapy sessions.

Contact: [email protected]


NCBOT Liaison: Heidi Dorfman, MS, OTR/L

Heidi (she/her/hers) received her Master's in Occupational Therapy from Boston University.  She is currently working in a private practice setting.  He professional interests are in older adults and aging in place.  She enjoys her role as a wife and grandmother of two.  Heid has many hobbies, including dance and playing the drums and ukulele.  


Other NCOTA Leaders:

Administrative Assistant: Brittany Reynolds, MS, OTR/L, MHA


Brittany (she/her/hers) received her Master's in Occupational Therapy from Boston University and her Master's in Health Administration from Champlain College.  She has worked in a variety of settings but most of her career has been in the acute care setting.  She has a passion for helping others learn and grow.  Her hobbies include reading and spending time with her 2 children.