NCOTA Leadership

This is Who We Are

Positions on the board are volunteer based, and nominations and elections are held annually in June.  

NCOTA Board of Directors

Meredith Gronski, OTD, OTR/L, CLA


 *Email: [email protected]            


*OT Education: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology; 2003)- Washington University in St. Louis; Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD; 2005)- Washington University in St. Louis

*Current Setting/Title: Academia/Early Childhood

*Previous Experience: Schools, Early Intervention, Community-based Pediatrics

*Clinical/Professional Interests: early childhood, trauma/toxic stress, food allergy self-management, hearing impairment/vestibular dysfunction 

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: parent (of 5 boys), wife, meal prep and trying new recipes, watching beauty blog videos, lector and faith formation catechist

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): NCOTA board member, AOTA member, Executive Committee- Partnership for Children of Cumberland County 




Valerie Fox, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP


 *OT Education: Master's degree and PhD in Occupational Science from UNC at Chapel Hill

*Current Setting/Title: Durham VA Health Care System, Inpatient Mental Health

*Previous Experience: Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship at Durham VA, SNF

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Behavioral Health OT, OT advocacy and expansion of OT into setting with under-served populations

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Mother, wife, movie-goer, Netflix-binger, home remodeler, OT advocate, yard-saler, Foodie, Church volunteer, volleyball player

Additional Information: Member of NCOTA and AOTA, NCOTA Award for Outstanding Mental Health Practice (2015), VA Innovations Award (2012), Marlys Mitchell Pioneer Award (2008), R.I.S.E. Award (2008)




Melissa Hale, OTR/L 

Vice President




Mary Bird, OTR/L




 Robbin Newton, MA, OTR/L, BCP, C/NDT

 OT Education: BSOT-East Carolina University, Master of Liberal Studies-Duke University, AT Certificate-ECU

Current Setting/Title:Clinical Manager, Duke Pediatric Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Previous Experience: 34 years at Duke in Pediatric OT

Clinical/Professional Interests: Neuromuscular Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Assistive Technology

Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Mother of Two Adult Children, Beach Lover, Advocate for OT

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Member of American Occupational Therapy Association and Neuro-Developmental Therapy Association. Life time member of NCOTA.  Past recipient of the Nova and Scullin Award from NCOTA.



Beth Hathaway, OTD, OTR/L
Member at Large


*OT Education: Undergraduate degree from East Carolina University, Advanced Master's Degree from AT Still University and OTD from Thomas Jefferson University in 2013

*Current Setting/Title: Founder of a Raleigh based pediatric private practice which intentionally hires new graduates and practitioners who wish to change practice areas or have not worked in the field for several years, offering a 1:1 mentorship program that supports them in their professional growth. 

Previous/Current Experience: Over 35 years in the specialty area of pediatrics, specifically focusing on providing early intervention services to families and young children

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Pediatrics, teaching

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Husband and blended family of 7 adult children. Currently enjoying the "empty nest"

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): NCOTA Member, recently completed term as NCOTA President



Reeti Douglas, OTD, OTR/L

Special Interest Section Coordinator

 *Name/Credentials: Reeti Douglas, OTD, OTR/L

 *Email: [email protected]

*OT Education: Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy with a specialization in Hand Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from University of Texas Medical Branch

*Current Setting/Title: Academia/ Doctoral Capstone Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Wingate University

*Previous Experience: Founding Pediatric Hand Therapist at Sports Medicine Center for Children, Founding Pediatric Hand Therapist at Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center

 *Clinical/Professional Interests: Pediatric Sports Medicine, Pediatric Hand Therapy, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Advocacy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in OT

 *Meaningful Roles and Occupations:  World traveler, runner, avid reader, mountain hiker, scuba diver, and biggest cheerleader of two children

 *Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): NCOTA board member, AOTA member, COTAD Faculty Advisor for Wingate University, NCOTA Diversity, Inclusion, Equity Committee member,  Mentor for COTAD Minority Mentorship Program




 Kimberly Godwin, OTR/L

Legal/Political Chair

 *OT Education: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Winston-Salem State University, current Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate Student at Creighton University

*Current Setting/Title: UNC Health Care at Wakebrook, Senior Occupational Therapist

*Previous Experience: Behavioral Health, SNF

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Mental Health, emerging areas of practice such as primary care, pain management, academia, and breast cancer

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: A proud dog mom, frequent kayak and camping trips, enjoy watching improv comedy, and spending time with loved ones

*Additional Information: NAMI Public Policy Committee member




Samantha Ryan, COTA/L

OTA Liaison

*OT Education: Associate of Applied Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant from Greenville Technical College.

*Current Setting/Title: Pediatric Outpatient Clinic

Previous Experience: Skilled Nursing, Home Health, CCRC, Vocational Rehabilitation, and School Services

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Advocacy, Special Education Rights, sensory processing, emotional and behavioral regulation in children, leadership, 

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Samantha resides in Cary, NC with her Partner, Jenn, and their son. In her free time she enjoys cooking, exploring outdoors with her dog, and game nights with her friends and family. 

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Member of American Occupational Therapy Association, North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association; graduate of the 2017-18 cohort of American Occupational Therapy Association’s Emerging Leaders Development program. 


Heide Dorfman, OTR/L

NCBOT Liaison





Karen Kitchens-Law, OT/L

Membership Co-Chair

*OT Education: MS in Occupational Therapy Springfield College Massachusetts, BS in education Central Michigan University.

*Current Experience: Outpatient orthopedic and Neuro PRN currently.

*Previous Clinical/Professional Experience: 23 years in variety of settings. Aging in place CAPS, Acute Care, NICU, Skilled Nursing, Acute rehab, Rehab Manager at CCRC, Trauma, ICU.

*Clinical and Professional Interests: Emerging Practice areas, Aging in Place, Diversity expansion in the field of Occupational Therapy, Community Revitalization, professional development, NCOTA membership /Board participation. 

*Meaningful Roles: Helping seniors with productive lives, musician, being a positive force for change and equity. Parent, spouse, friend, working for environmental justice, immigration reform, LGBTQ equality. 

*Additional Information: Long time AOTA and NCOTA member, advocate for professional memberships. 



 Christie Briskey, OTR/L

Membership Co-Chair

 *OT Education: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy - James Madison University 

 *Current Setting/Title: Inpatient Rehabilitation; Atrium Health - Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte - Occupational Therapist II

*Previous Experience: Outpatient Pediatrics 

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Traumatic/non-traumatic brain injury, clinical leadership, neuromuscular re-education, interdisciplinary care

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: reading, running, spending time with friends and family

*Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc): Member of NCOTA, Member of AOTA, cohort member of 2018 AOTA Emerging Leaders Program 



Morgan Sawyer, MS, OTR/L, ITFS

Continuing Education Co-Chair

*OT Education: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 *Current Setting/Title: Early Intervention - North Carolina Infant Toddler Program - Raleigh CDSA Occupational Therapist

*Previous Experience: Acute Care

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Early Intervention, Family Coaching

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Member of a large (and growing!) family, Flower Guild Member at Church; Enjoy baking, photography, gardening

*Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc): Member of NCOTA




Charity Faragoi, COTA/L

Continuing Education Co-Chair

 *OT Education: Associate of Applied Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant from South College Asheville.
*Current Setting/Title: School System
*Clinical/Professional Interests: Advocacy, Leadership, Physical Fitness
*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife to a Retired Army Soldier, mother to 4 children (3 are triplets!). In her free time she enjoys reading, running half marathons and camping.
Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Member of American Occupational Therapy Association, North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association



Communications and Outreach Co-Chair



Dana Kolbfleisch, OTD, OTR/L

Communications and Outreach Co-Chair

*OT Education: OTD from Chatham University, MS in OT and BS in Psychology from University of Pittsburgh

*Current Setting/Title: Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Methodist University, PRN OT at WakeMed Hospital

*Previous Experience: Pediatrics, SNF, Acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, home health (clinician and director), ALF (clinician and Regional Vice President)

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Health Promotion, Self-management of chronic disease, universal design and accessibility in the environment

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: wife and mother to our 2 year old daughter

*Additional Information: Member of NCOTA, member of AOTA, Specialty certificate in Health and Wellness in Occupational Therapy


Marcie Gardner, OTR/L

Awards Chair




Nancy Green, MHA, OTR/L

Bylaws Chair

*OT Education: BA from Western Michigan University, Cum Laude

*Current Setting/Title: Education, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, Atrium Health, OTA Program Chair

Previous Experience: Weekend Charge of acute care OT, PT, & ST, intensivist at Trauma Level I, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Use of art and horticulture, Reviewer


*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Mother, grandmother, friend, sister, gardener, antiquer, artist

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Member of AOTA & NCOTA, Award of Outstanding Practice in Clinical Education, North Carolina Occupational  Therapy Association,  Award of Outstanding Practice in Community Service, North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association