Our Team | Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education - ABA Therapy

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Meet The Team

Our team is comprised of professionals who take their work very seriously but don’t take themselves too seriously. We are engaged and motivated to help create a culture of care, advocacy, and excellence to have a lasting positive impact on the ABA field.

Our executive team has more than 80 years of experience in healthcare operations. We understand all aspects of sustainably growing a business and focus all of our time and attention on providing our clinical teams with the support they need, to allow them to focus on their patients.

Our clinical leadership team comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds: healthcare, academia, industry advocacy, nonprofit and more. Our team has a deep understanding of the unique challenges each region presents and is skilled in developing partners to grow their practices.

Jerome “Jerry” Mee
Chief Executive Officer
Jerome “Jerry” Mee
Chief Executive Officer

Born in Ohio, but a Texan for 30 years. Healthcare executive for
25 + years, Father, Husband and race car driver

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#Thinkswithpassion

My Spirit Animal?

Grizzly Bear

Tim Clark
Chief Operating Officer
Tim Clark
Chief Operating Officer

Tim Clark joined Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education, a growing ABA Therapy Provider, in October 2019. As the Chief Operations Officer, he oversees Cultivate’s workforce, facilities, and operations at the Austin-based headquarters across Cultivate’s business holdings. Tim provides substantial strategic direction for Cultivate’s expanding business capabilities, while ensuring Cultivate has the proper tools and resources to fulfill its critical work of improving the lives of their patients and families.

Bringing over 25 years of senior management experience Tim has a proven track record of analyzing an organizations critical business requirements; identifying deficiencies and creating opportunities. With his robust track record of growing an organization to triple its size, he is able to nurture innovative, cost-effective solutions for enhancing competitiveness, increasing revenue and improving the patient experience. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Texas State and earned a Master of Science from Oklahoma State University where he has served as Director of the Alumni Association for South Texas.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#nota #er #gopokes

My Spirit Animal?

Omar Abdullah

Jonathan Curlett
Chief Financial Officer
Jonathan Curlett
Chief Financial Officer

Jonathon has a diverse background in Accounting & Finance with many years in Behavioral Health. He has led organizations on both the Payor and Provider sides. His experience is in both public and private companies of various sizes. Jonathon enjoys spending time with family & friends, outdoor activities and trying new restaurants.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#FinanceRocks #Math_Is_Frun #Team

My Spirit Animal?

Unicorn

What movie title best describes my life?

Either Groundhog Day or The Accountant

Karen Smithson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
VP of Human Resources
Karen Smithson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
VP of Human Resources

Karen Smithson, Director of Human Resources, joined Cultivate in 2020. As a certified and seasoned HR professional, her HR philosophy focuses on centering the HR Department at the crossroads of culture and compliance. Her decision to join the Cultivate team was due in large part to the company’s investment in human capital, recognizing the direct connection between employee engagement and the delivery of high-quality services to our patients and their families. Prior to joining Cultivate, Karen worked in professional services, non-profits, and health care organizations.

She is a Texas native, avid reader and lover of stories, trained mediator, group facilitator, and a Certified DiSC Facilitator. She has a life-long
commitment to community service and has served in leadership roles for both professional and non-profit organizations.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#loverofstories #resourceful #glass1/2full

My Spirit Animal?

Owl

What movie title best describes my life?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Omar Abdullah
VP of Marketing & Outreach
Omar Abdullah
VP of Marketing & Outreach

As a Director of Outreach, Omar helps raise awareness regarding ABA therapy and solidifying relationships with various care providers in the community. Prior to joining Cultivate, he was an interdisciplinary scholar and a communication consultant. He has taught college courses at UC Davis and Texas A&M, along with speaking at conferences and facilitating workshops at Trinity University and SXSW. He has a bachelors in Communication from Saint Mary’s College and he earned his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of California, Davis. Additionally, Omar is a former stand-up and sketch comedian performing in venues all across the San Francisco Bay Area. Omar loves reading, playing tennis, and is obsessed with continental breakfasts.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#Opositive #omargoodness #askmywife

My Spirit Animal?

Golden Retriever

What movie title best describes my life?

La La Land

Stephanie Gunn
VP of Integrations & De Novo
Stephanie Gunn
VP of Integrations & De Novo

As Cultivate’s Director of Operations, Stephanie oversees De Novo openings, new aqcuisition integrations, and developing and improving operational policies. Previously as Cultivate’s Operations Manager, Stephanie managed scheduling, the intake process, talent management, insurance billing and credentialing. Before coming to Cultivate, Stephanie worked at Center for Autism and Related Disorders, LLC. (CARD) for 7 years, starting as a Behavior Technician and growing through several leadership roles to ultimately serving on the corporate operations team to oversee 32 clinics nationally. Working on both the clinical and operations sides of Autism service providers has given her a well rounded undestanding of challenges faced in the field by clinicians, behind the scenes by all support positions and by families. Stephanie is passionate about working for our families to remove and eliminate barriers for autism treatment and takes every opportunity to learn more about insurance, policy and advocacy. Outside of work Stephanie loves to spend time her husband and thirteen-year-old son. She loves traveling, audiobooks, and cooking.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#daretolead #resourceful #makeadifference

My Spirit Animal?

An orangutan

What movie title best describes my life?

The avengers

Stephen J Wood, MSW, BCBA, LBA
Director of Special Projects
Stephen J Wood, MSW, BCBA, LBA
Director of Special Projects

Stephen J Wood, MSW, BCBA, LBA is a Board Certified and LicensedBehavior Analyst residing in Lexington, KY. Stephen is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Social Work. Stephen initially obtained BCaBA certification in 2003, and BCBA certification in 2008. Stephen served six years on the Kentucky Applied Behavior Analyst Licensure Board, and currently serves as a board member with the Child Development Center of the Bluegrass and the ABA Advocates-KY provider group. Stephen is a member of the KY-ABA Executive Committee and in 2020, Stephen became the President Elect for the KY Association for Behavior Analysis (KYABA).

Stephen joined Cultivate’s team following the successful acquisition of his program ABC by Cultivate Behavior Health and Education in
December, 2019. In his role as Director of Special Projects, Stephen is charged first and foremost with promoting Cultivate’s employee positive culture and mission of providing the highest quality of clinical care. Stephen is routinely involved with special projects identified by Cultivate including: clinical, outreach, protection and advocacy, due diligence, and conference participation.

Stephen is an avid nature and outdoor sports enthusiast. He enjoys rollerblading, biking, hiking, gardening, and dog parking with his boxer dogs.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#grateful #cinderfella #boxerdoglover

My Spirit Animal?

Boxer Dog

What movie title best describes my life?

Fantasia (1940 Film)

Rachel Sherek, M.S., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Operations
Rachel Sherek, M.S., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Operations

Rachel joined the Cultivate team in March 2018 as the clinical operations manager. In this position, she worked to develop organizational systems to support quality clinical care, specifically through the oversight of treatment plan development, staff training programs, and acting as a liaison between clinical and operational systems. Rachel now serves as the Director of Clinical Operations and continues her work to support the organization’s ability to deliver high quality services. She supports program and systems development, coordinates staff training programs, and oversees clinical quality initiatives for all our partners. Rachel has a bachelors in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin and earned her Master’s in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys gardening, raising chickens, and serving as a music minister for her local church.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#gardeningislife #sustainableliving #bornmusician

My Spirit Animal?

Spider

What movie title best describes my life?

The Biggest Little Farm

Nissa Van Etten, M.A., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Services
Nissa Van Etten, M.A., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Services

As Director of Clinical Services Nissa works with the clinical team to ensure best practices in treatment for each individual patient. Nissa supports clinicians in training, case conceptualization, and clinical development. Nissa is passionate about behavior analysis and has been working in the field for over 20 years. Prior to joining Cultivate Nissa worked with children with autism in California providing direct treatment, parent training, and school consultation. Nissa received a Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in ABA at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Nissa is currently completing her doctoral studies in behavior analysis and hopes to complete her Ph.D. in 2021. Nissa loves impacting future behavior analysts and instilling passion for the science in everyone she meets. During downtime you can find Nissa at the Crossfit gym, hiking with her three kids, husband, and dogs.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#momlife #bcbyay #teamnosleep

My Spirit Animal?

Black Panther

What movie title best describes my life?

13 Going on 30

Lindsay Michalewicz, M.A., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Lindsay Michalewicz, M.A., BCBA
Regional Vice President

Co-founding The Centers for Behavior Intervention was an inevitability according to those who know her best. After completing her master’s degree at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Lindsay put into action her passion for individuals diagnosed with autism. She is a caretaker at her core, and currently, as the Regional Vice President works diligently to share her experiences with others to inspire and support them while on their journeys to achieve their goals. Opportunities to innovate and the growing teams’ ability to bring quality resources to new communities is what drives Lindsay each day. Additionally, she is a lover of the outdoors and enjoys camping with family and friends. Lindsay is a lifelong bowling enthusiast and enjoys biking.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#witty #caretaker #teamoptimist

My Spirit Animal?

Wolf – loyal guardian with strong social connections. Intelligent and prefers to work as a team or pack. Teaches others to trust their instincts and strives to be a leader by example. Ability to manage life balance.

What movie title best describes my life?

The Breakfast Club

Stephanie Beaulieu, M.A., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Stephanie Beaulieu, M.A., BCBA
Regional Vice President

As Regional Vice President of Center for Behavior Intervention, Stephanie is gifted the opportunity to touch the lives of others in extraordinary ways—from the children and families CBI serves to the clinical and operational team. Stephanie gets to live out her true passion of serving individuals with special needs by leading and mentoring the entire CBI team in order to ensure the very best therapy is provided to every individual we serve. The driving force behind Stephanie’s passion is the outcomes her team achieves through the amazing life changes in the individuals we serve.

When Stephanie is not serving others, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, Henrik and Waylen. Stephanie’s favorite weekend activities include running, hiking, and just being a boy-mom.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#passionate #rage #effervesentlycharming

My Spirit Animal?

dolphin

What movie title best describes my life?

I’m going to have to ask Lindsay for this answer.

Brett Blevins, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Regional Vice President
Brett Blevins, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Regional Vice President

Brett Blevins, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA, is Founder of Bluegrass Behavioral HealthGroup headquartered in the Northern Kentucky area. He has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults of all ages and abilities. Brett began his behavioral science career in education as a Behavioral Consultant specializing in school-wide discipline, classroom management, alternative school programming, and individual behavior intervention with the EBD and ASD populations. During his time in education, he also helped found and develop the Boys’ Basketball Program at Randall K. Cooper High School. Currently, Brett has developed a model of practice that emphasizes a mixture of ABA, mental health counseling, and skill-based learning.Brett’s personal philosophy is centered around building lasting relationships and putting people first. His professional goal is to help communities, by helping families and individuals improve their lives. Brett has many other business interests and passions including entrepreneurship, sports performance and psychology, employee wellness, and servant leadership.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#Leadership #GrowthMindset #WhatATimeToBeAlive

My Spirit Animal?

Judge Judy

What movie title best describes my life?

Easy Rider

Jenni Abdullah, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA-TX
Regional Vice President
Jenni Abdullah, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA-TX
Regional Vice President

Jenni Abdullah graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Sociology. While spending her early post-graduate years exploring different fields, she learned of Applied Behavior Analysis, and was instantly compelled to work with children and families. It was only a few months into working as a behavior technician that she realized this was her calling. Jenni earned a Master’s of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University in 2015, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2016.

Jenni joined the Cultivate team in 2018 as a clinical supervisor, became a clinical manager, and now serves as Vice President of all Cultivate locations. She is honored to work alongside an immensely skilled and talented clinical team, and could not be more thrilled to witness the success and growth of Cultivate’s patients.

In her spare time, Jenni is a doting dog mom and aspiring guitar player.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#alwayshungry #newadventures #music

My Spirit Animal?

Panda

What movie title best describes my life?

The Breakfast Club

Ozzie Holmgren, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Ozzie Holmgren, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Vice President

Ozgul “Ozzie” Holmgren, M.Ed, BCBA is the founder of Pediatric Therapy Group in Chicago, IL.  She has over 20 years of experience working in the field of special education with an emphasis in pediatric development.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  She received her board certification from the BACB in 2018.  She enjoys mentoring BCBA candidates and educating family’s on ABA principles in underserved communities.  She is excited to join the Cultivate team and assist in growing the company’s mission to deliver effective therapy services and make significant changes to clients’ lives.   

When she is not changing lives one client at a time, she loves traveling with her husband and daughter and checking out the newest restaurant in town.    

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#foodie #adventurous #dedicated

My Spirit Animal?

Peacock – outgoing, influential, social, energetic, curious and loyal.

What movie title best describes my life?

Wonder Woman

Maria Arizmedi, M.S., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Maria Arizmedi, M.S., BCBA
Regional Vice President

Maria Arizmendi, BCBA has dedicated herself to the special-needs community from the moment, two decades ago, she came to the United States from Colombia and worked as a nanny for a child with autism. Since then, as an advocate, college professor, therapist and business owner, Maria has tirelessly employed Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to empower special-needs families. Maria has been recognized as UM-CARD’s outstanding clinician of the year, the South Florida Business Journal as one of South Florida’s top executives under the age of 40, and also by her three little girls, who think she is a “cool mom.” Maria’s business, Progressive Behavioral Science, known by many South Florida families as “where love meets science,” was brought into the Cultivate family in 2020. Maria cannot wait to work with her new team to change lives and bring joy to families on a wider stage. In the 5 or 6 minutes each week not consumed by her twin passions of ABA and raising her three feisty little daughters, Maria loves to eat dulce de leche on Saltines, travel and to horseback ride.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#AwarenessInclusionAcceptance #TheAmericanDream #joyfulmama

My Spirit Animal?

A spider, who suspends the laws of nature and time to build something slowly and deliberately both beautiful and necessary.

What movie title best describes my life?

“Life is Beautiful,” because life- in its sadness and joy- is what we make of it.

About the Artist 

Nicolas (“Nico”) Martinez is a freelance animator, storyboard artist, and illustrator based in Flossmoor, Illinois located just outside of Chicago.

Born in 1988 with high functioning autism, Nicolas has always loved to draw and illustrate cartoons as his means of communication and expression. Nicolas holds two undergraduate degrees from the American Academy of Art (Illustration) and Columbia College Chicago (Animation). Nicolas’ robust freelance portfolio includes commercial entities including Calabash Animation Inc., and 321 FastDraw Inc., as well as nonprofit clients such as Urban Autism Solutions, and LEEP Forward, Inc.

“I think my autism actually helps me in my work, as it lends me a unique focus and precision that makes me a reliable hire and someone who has extraordinary focus. When I immerse myself in animation, my handicaps disappear.”

In his spare time, Nicolas works part-time at Dunning’s Market. He also loves to read, watch old movies, and hone his skills as an artist.