CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Terri Nishimura, MA, OTR/L
Terri Nishimura is the Chief Executive Officer and one of the founding Executive Directors of Pediatric Therapy Network. She is an occupational therapist who trained under Dr. A. Jean Ayres, the pioneer of sensory integration. She was one of the Co-Directors of the Ayres Clinic from 1987 to 1996 and served as a Clinical Instructor/Voluntary Clinical Faculty for the USC Department of Occupational Therapy from 1989 to 2009. Appointed by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe in 2004 and reappointed by Supervisor Janice Hahn, Terri served on the Policy Roundtable for Childcare and Development Commission until 2019 which she chaired for two years. She has served on the board at Harbor Regional Center and was the Chairperson of the Service Provider Advisory Committee. Terri was also on the Board of Directors for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce for six years. She has served on various committees for the City of Torrance, the Occupational Therapy Association of California, Harbor Regional Center, Kaiser, and The Partnership for Early Childhood Investment. She has been honored numerous times for her work as a pediatric occupational therapist, business leader and community volunteer, including the LA County Women of the Year, Occupational Therapy Entrepreneur Award, Women of Distinction in the 66th State Assembly, and the Torrance Distinguished Citizen of the Year.
CHIEF PROGRAMS OFFICER
Rosalinda Garcia
Rosalinda Garcia is the Chief Programs Officer of Pediatric Therapy Network. She is a parent of a former PTN client and was a member of PTN’s Hearts and Hands Committee, and later became a member of PTN’s Community Advisory Board serving for two years. She is a successful businesswoman starting her own company over a decade ago. Rosalinda served as the chairperson of the Parent Advisory Board for the Southwest SELPA. For the past two years, she served on Redondo Beach Unified School District’s Strategic Planning Committee. She is an active member of the PTSA. She volunteers for Redondo Sunset Little League and the VIP program (Special Needs League) for AYSO Region 34. She is currently serving on the Self Determination Advisory Committee at Harbor Regional Center.
Senior Director
Andrea Scatena
Andrea Scatena is a Senior Director who has been a part of the PTN family for over 17 years. A seasoned leader with over 30 years’ experience in project management, information technology, and organizational excellence, Andrea ensures successful project execution for Pediatric Therapy Network. After completing her Bachelor in Computer Science from San Diego State University, Andrea started her career in aerospace as a software developer. After earning her Master of Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University, Andrea worked in management consulting, focusing on strategic planning and organizational assessments for healthcare, aerospace, and the entertainment industries. In her role at PTN, Andrea enjoys the behind the scenes efforts that assist our talented therapists and staff in helping children reach their full potential. When not working, Andrea enjoys teaching dance to young adults with special needs and coaching high school marching band.
Development Director
Stephanie Townsend
Stephanie Townsend is the Development Director who has been a part of the PTN family for one year. Before joining PTN, Stephanie spent five years at the American Red Cross, where she worked in corporate development and strategic partnerships, managing donor relationships in LA and NYC. Before entering the nonprofit world, Stephanie managed corporate reputation and public education campaigns for national brands and government agencies at Burson Marsteller in Washington, DC. A native Angeleno, Stephanie is a true blue Dodger fan and loves to run along the South Bay beaches. She and her husband spend their weekends paddle boarding and participating in triathlons and 5Ks around Southern California. Their son, Ward, just celebrated his second birthday in June.
Director of Early Intervention
Kimberlee Elliott, MSW
Kimberlee Elliott is the Director of Early Intervention Services who has been a part of the PTN family for 17 years. After earning a Bachelor in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Master in Social Work, Kimberlee began her social work career with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Adoptions Division. Kimberlee’s love and affection for PTN began shortly after the birth of her daughter Kaitlyn in July 1996, two months before PTN opened its doors in September. Kaitlyn was born with a neurological condition called Arnold Chiari II, in addition to having Hydrocephalus and a cleft palate. Kaitlyn became a client of PTN at age four months. Kimberlee attributes Kaitlyn’s developmental progress to the incredible in-home nursing support as well as to the fantastic and talented therapists, teachers, and assistants of PTN! PTN instantly became a very special part of Kaitlyn’s village. Kaitlyn continued to make good progress in her development, receiving individual therapies, and attending the Leaps and Bounds program. Sadly, at age three, Kaitlyn passed away. In January 2002, Kimberlee joined PTN as their staff social worker. In 2011, Kimberlee became PTN’s Director of Early Intervention. Kimberlee will be eternally grateful to the dedicated staff of PTN and what they did for Kaitlyn and all the children of PTN. Kimberlee expresses a sincere love and unyielding commitment to children with special needs and their families.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Heather McGuire
Heather McGuire is the Marketing and Communications Manager who has been a part of the PTN family for nine years. A south bay native, Heather was born and raised in Torrance. She received her Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of San Diego and then returned to the south bay area. Before joining PTN, Heather spent a decade working at an LA-based public relations firm where she handled media relations for lifestyle brands, consumer products, and special events. Heather appreciates the sharing the PTN story so the organization remains top of mind to a parent looking for help for their child, to a volunteer looking to give their time, to a student looking for a career path, to a doctor looking for a place to refer a child, and to a community member looking to donate to a worthy cause.
Human Resource Manager
Haifah Van Der Schyff
Haifah Van Der Schyff is the Human Resource Manager at Pediatric Therapy Network. She has been part of the PTN family for the past year providing leadership and management to core HR functions. Haifah has been in human resources and operations for over 20 years in various industries, including restaurant management, technology, marketing and global consulting. With a passion for diversity and inclusion, and the ability to speak Arabic fluently, she has spent several years of her career in Dubai and Karachi, focusing on full employee lifecycle needs as an HR professional. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Long Beach, she is also a member of the Professional in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). During her free time away from PTN, she enjoys bowling, hiking, golfing, traveling, photography, and spending time with her three kids - the youngest is a six-year-old Blue Persian named Clouds.
Clinical Coordinator of Occupational Therapy
Joan Surfus, OTD, OTR/L, SWC
Joan Surfus is a Clinical Coordinator of Occupational Therapy who has been a part of the PTN family for 20 years! Joan grew up in West Michigan, where she attended Western Michigan University for her Bachelor in Occupational Therapy. Flash forward many years, Joan received her Master of Science and Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University. Joan’s focus is on pediatric intervention with an emphasis on sensory integration, feeding, and dysphagia. She loves to collaborate and provide mentoring to ensure our staff continues to deliver high-quality services for our clients and their families. Joan’s passion includes working with kids who have feeding issues and their families to improve the mealtime experience for all. Joan is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and is a current instructor for the Chan USC Sensory Integration Certification. Joan also teaches USC’s OT610 course, a world-renowned training program held at PTN that provides small groups of occupational, physical, and speech therapists graduate-level training in assessment and clinical reasoning and intervention strategies in sensory integration. When she is not working, Joan spends her free time volunteering abroad, providing services for children with special needs, and staff training at a school in Honduras. She also provides volunteer teaching and training in Russia with the Naked Heart Foundation. Joan received the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the California Foundation of Occupational Therapy in 2011.
Administrative Coordinator of Occupational Therapy
Merry Lee, OTD, OTR/L, SWC
Merry Lee is the Administrative Coordinator of Occupational Therapy who has been a part of the PTN family for over six years. Merry grew up in San Francisco and El Cerrito, CA. She attended UC Davis for her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts and attended the University of Southern California for her Master of Arts and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. In addition to working with children and families, Merry co-coordinates the OT 610 program held at PTN. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to other countries to provide occupational therapy services with children and lectures at schools abroad.
Coordinator of Speech Language Pathology
Kathleen Murnen, MA CCC/SLP
Kathleen Murnen is the Coordinator of Speech-Language Pathology who has been a part of the PTN family for three years. She received her Master in Communications Disorders from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Actively seeking continuing education, she has been the recipient of two continuing education awards with a focus on the areas of Apraxia, Augmentative Communication, Autism, and Dysphagia. She is trained in PROMPT, NDT and is LSVT certified. As a clinician, Kathleen believes each child has the potential to be a functional communicator and works with each child and family to reach that goal. As a supervisor, she assists clinicians and students to actively seek evidenced-based practices and develop family counseling and clinical reasoning skills.
Director of Physical Therapy Services
Nancy Smith, PT, MPT
Nancy Smith is a physical therapist who has been a part of the PTN family for over 17 years. Nancy grew up in Camarillo, California, and then relocated to the south bay area. She received her Bachelor in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles and earned her Master in Physical Therapy from Mount St. Mary’s College. Nancy’s focus is on pediatric intervention with a keen interest in developmental orthopedics. She loves working with children to acquire, regain, or maximize their abilities for increased participation in their daily activities. She enjoys collaborating with our staff and providing mentorship to ensure high-quality services for PTN’s families. Nancy is a proud mother and grandmother of three beautiful boys and appreciates spending time outdoors with her family.
Director of Early Head Start
Araceli Espinoza
Araceli Espinoza is the director of Early Head Start who has been a part of the PTN family for eight years. She received her Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies from California State University, Long Beach. Raised in California since the age of two, Araceli couldn’t think about residing anywhere else. The experience she has gained working with families in the last 17 years has taught her many lessons. Araceli strongly believes in shaping little ones as they will be the decision-makers as her generation grows older. She believes in becoming involved in a holistic approach to working with families, children, and communities.
Director of Social Skills and Community Integration
Abbie Gregory Bryant, OTD, OTR/L
Abbie Gregory Bryant is an occupational therapist who has been a part of the PTN family for over 13 years! Abbie grew up in New Hampshire where she attended the University of New Hampshire for her Bachelor and Master in Occupational Therapy. She came to California 13 years ago for an internship, grew to love Los Angeles, and eventually received her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. Abbie currently oversees PTN’s social skills and community integration programs and appreciates the warm and loving team atmosphere at PTN. When asked about why the social skills programs are meaningful to her, she shared, "Social skills are so important - if you think about it, there is very little we do that doesn't involve sharing space with others. These skills aren't really taught in school - everyone is expected to innately learn them, and that just doesn't happen naturally for a lot of people. It is so powerful to watch children join our program, not knowing how to make a friend, and leave with a group of peers that they have grown with and can call friends. I have heard that some kids who met in our programs have gone on to be college roommates - isn't that incredible!?”
Director of Camp Escapades
Karen Rodriguez, MS, OTR/L
Karen Rodriguez is an occupational therapist and Director of Camp Escapades who has been a part of the PTN family for ten years. Karen, a lifelong native of Torrance, decided to go back to school after raising her three children and teaching preschool for twelve years. She received her Master of Occupational Therapy from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2009. Karen completed her required volunteer hours for OT school at Camp Escapades in 2006 as a one-to-one camper buddy. Little did she know that years later, she would not only work at Pediatric Therapy Network, but she would be the Director of Camp Escapades! Working with children is her passion!
Coordinator of Early Start Denver Model
Ashley Springer, MS, CCC-SLP
Ashley Springer is the Coordinator of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) who has been a part of the PTN family for five years. In the state of California, there are only 27 therapists certified in ESDM and Ashley is one of them! Originally from Florida, she attended Florida State University for her undergraduate degree and then Northwestern University for her masters. She considers the people she works with at PTN a second family. Her favorite activity to do with the kids is playing with bubbles. In her free time, she likes to snowboard, rock climb, paddleboard, and knit.

Board Of Directors

Nancy Arter, Chair

Nancy is a seasoned digital marketing and market research executive with experience across the technology, media and telecommunications industries.  She is currently SVP, Research and Consulting at Escalent, a leading market research firm.  Nancy earned her BS in Business Administration/Marketing from California State University and her MBA from Pepperdine University.  She is a longtime supporter of Pediatric Therapy Network and the current Board Liaison and former Co-Chair of PTN’s Community Advisory Board.  Nancy currently serves as Chair of the PTN Board of Directors, Chair of the Executive Committee, and is Chair of the PTN Bylaws, Board Development & Governance Committee.  She was introduced to PTN in 2005 by one of the initial parents who benefitted from PTN, and whose child was one of the first graduates of PTN.  That parent felt that the organization could benefit from Nancy’s marketing guidance to spread the word about the amazing work that PTN does for children.  She came, fell in love and has been involved since.

Robert E. Gawlik, Vice Chair

Bob is a corporate strategist whose specialty is adding market value to manufacturing companies prior to sale.  He is the founder of The Performance Group, based in Redondo Beach, CA and established the company in 2013 to provide business advisory services with special emphasis on improving profit performance and strategic planning as well as merger and acquisition assistance.  Bob has served on several for-profit boards throughout his career and also was involved in Food for Life, a Chino, CA based nonprofit focused on feeding the needy. He continues to give back to his community as a PTN Board of Directors member where he serves as Vice Chair as well as on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Bill Foltz, CPA, Treasurer

Bill is the CFO for the Anaheim Ducks, Anaheim Arena Management and H&S Ventures, the entity that manages the Samueli Family Office and the various other holdings of the Samuelis.  He has an extensive 30-year career including working as the CFO of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the O’Malley Family, private equity fund Platinum Equity in Beverly Hills and the Wonderful Companies.  Most recently, Bill was CFO of Oakwood Worldwide, LLC, the world’s largest provider of temporary housing. A native of Southern California, Bill received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance at the University of Southern California and began his career at Ernst & Young where he obtained his CPA certification.  Bill has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Big Brothers, and was a “big brother” for 15 years. He also started the Lunada Bay Little League “Challengers” program bringing special needs children together with mainstream “buddies” to play baseball. Bill is the Treasurer of the PTN Board of Directors and serves on the Executive and is the Chair of the Finance/Investment Committees.

Cathy Hauschildt, Secretary

With a background as Finance Manager at Hughes Electronics, Cathy is now a dedicated Parent Advocate and has served as a volunteer for many organizations including Las Madrecitas, a nonprofit organization raising funds for Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital, and St. Lawrence Martyr Church’s Food Pantry.  She is actively involved with cycling and tennis. Cathy is a proud PTN parent and currently serves as Secretary on the PTN Board of Directors as well as the Executive Committee and is chair of the PTN Fund Development Committee.

Thomas P. Collins

Thomas is a senior director in West Monroe Partners’ Financial Services practice, based in Los Angeles.  He has more than 30 years of financial services experience, with an emphasis on organizational effectiveness and a strong track record of success in driving transformational and sustainable change.  Tom earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and is a long-time supporter and donor of PTN. He serves on the Finance and Investment Committees.

Zoraida Hernandez

With a 17-year finance and banking background, Zoraida recently launched MOP Consulting, LLC which brings her clients a more holistic approach to their finances and business strategies.  Zoraida started her career at Bank of America gaining experience in various sectors including wealth management and commercial banking and her last corporate position was as Vice President for the business and personal banking division at California Bank & Trust.  She developed many new business relationships with a strong emphasis on commercial lending consulting. Zoraida also supports various nonprofits focused on economic development and education in the Los Angeles area including the Latina Business Association and Latino Chamber of Commerce, and she is President of the Gardena Police Foundation and Vice Chair of the Gardena Economic Development Council.  Zoraida serves on PTN’s Fund Development Committee.

Janet Hodgman

Janet is a recent addition to our Board of Directors. She began her career in banking and as a legal secretary. She is a certified shorthand reporter who reported LA County Superior Court trials, criminal and civil for 15 years, and owned her own deposition reporting firm for 12 years. As a sole proprietor, she used her good reputation in court to build her clientele while recruiting and writing training manuals for support staff, managing court reporters, and preparing billing statements and tax reports. Janet’s daughter was a PTN client from age 4 to 9. To achieve inclusion for her daughter, she coached soccer for four years and lead a girl scout troop for 10 years. She is an ardent believer in PTN’s mission and has personal insight into the effectiveness of therapies to meet goals and benchmarks, and the crucial parent education and support provided by PTN therapists. She believes that the special needs community continues to need strong representation to remain visible in the community and feels her work with PTN is a way to give back and promote a cause that fits her soul.

David Lim, MD

David recently retired as a physician at Kaiser Permanente specializing in anesthesiology. Dr. Lim is also a proud PTN parent who credits the therapists for the significant strides his daughter has taken in speech, physical and cognitive development. David serves on the PTN Fund Development committee.

Laurie Love, Ed.D.

Laurie considers herself a life-long learner and proud educator with a degree in history and education from USC, CSUDH Masters in Early Childhood Education and her Ed.D. from USC in Administration Policy and Planning with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction and a minor in Business and Finance.  Dr. Love was a teacher, principal, curriculum coordinator, Assistant Superintendent and retired as the Chief Academic Officer for the Torrance Unified School District. She now serves as an adjunct professor at USC’s Rossier School of Education and as a dissertation chair at Brandman University. She is on PTN’s Early Head Start Policy Council Committee.

Kyle Mathews, ESQ.

Kyle is a partner in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group at the Los Angeles office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.  He received his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Southern California. Kyle serves on PTN’s Finance/Investment Committee.

Diane Petersen, MD

Dr. Petersen is a board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT) who earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.  She went on to complete a six-year residency in head and neck surgery at UCLA Medical School, where she was chief resident. Recently retired, Dr. Petersen was also the lead physician at the HealthCare Partners medical spas in Torrance and Manhattan Beach.  She is also very active in the South Bay Community and served as a board member and president of Sandpipers, a philanthropic organization, where she was instrumental in establishing the Sandpipers South Bay Community Fund valued at nearly $6 million. Diane serves on the Governance Committee.

Lisa Radeski

Lisa is currently a transitional kindergarten teacher with the Torrance Unified School District and has a remarkable 40-year career in early childhood education, including teaching positions at Walteria Elementary (Torrance), Chadwick School (Palos Verdes), Town and Country Nursery School (PV Estates), and Creative Kids Preschool (Manhattan Beach).  She holds a Master of Arts in Education degree from Chapman University and is a member of the Torrance Teachers Association as well as currently serving on the Walteria Academic Alliance.  Lisa is a more recent addition to PTN’s Board of Directors and strongly believes that early outreach and education are vital to young children, especially those at risk.  Lisa is a member of the PTN Early Head Start Policy Council Committee.

Wendy Valverde

Wendy is a long-time supporter of Pediatric Therapy Network and prior to joining the Board of Directors, she served on the Early Head Start Policy Council for three years where she was an active and articulate member.  Wendy is a proud and devoted parent of two young children who participated in the EHS program and she is very knowledgeable of the home-based as well as center-based models.  Her son also attended Camp Escapades and Wendy brings a keen client perspective to the board. Wendy serves on the PTN Early Head Start Policy Council Committee.

Mark Weinfeld

Honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of Southern California’s Most Influential Marketers of 2019, Mark is currently the Senior Vice President, Managing Director of General Accounts at Innocean USA, a global advertising agency with clients such as Hyundai, LG, Habit Burger and UC Davis Health.  Mark’s expertise in consumer insight and strategy are the foundation of his involvement in repositioning and re-launching dozens of brands including LG, Toshiba, Honda Financial, Hilton Garden Inn and Dole Food Co. He previously worked automotive clients handling strategic development for Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Infiniti and the award-winning “Zoom Zoom” campaign for Mazda. Mark serves on the Fund Development Committee.

Board Emeritus

Terri Nelson Carpenter
Reel Muzik Werks

Diane Parham, Ph.D., OTR/L

Shauna Valenzuela
Parent Advocate

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) at Pediatric Therapy Network (PTN) consists of community leaders, volunteers and parents who promote PTN and its mission. While PTN is fortunate to enjoy the support of many people and businesses in the community, CAB members go above and beyond by giving of their time, ideas and resources to ensure PTN is a strong and viable organization now and in the future.

 

Honorary Community Advisory Board

Ted Lieu
US House of Representatives 33rd District

Ben Allen
State Senator, 26th District

Al Muratsuchi
Assemblymember, 66th District

Janice Hahn
LA County Board of Supervisors, Fourth District

Pat Furey
Mayor, City of Torrance

Steve Napolitano
Councilmember, City of Manhattan Beach

Mark Waronek
Councilman, City of Lomita

Eve R. Berg
Police Chief, City of Torrance

Martin A. Serna
Fire Chief, City of Torrance

Kathy Dunbabin
Former Mayor, City of Hermosa Beach

Donna Duperron
President and CEO, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce

Community Advisory Board

Steve Goldstein, Chair
Payroll Management Solutions

Karin Baker
American Honda Motor Co, Inc.

Jonathan Beutler
Sunrider International

Ivan Borja
Commerce West Bank

Denise Dragotto
T-Mobile

Judy Gibson
Community Advocate

Lisa Guili
Educational Insights

Theresa LaVerne
Parent Advocate

Anna Pinto
MICATO Safaris

Alex Reuben
Edward Jones

Donna Rizzo
Reel Muzik Werks

Matt Solomon
Western Psychological Services

Matthew Yu
The Law Office of Matthew Yu

Akira Yuhara
Miyako Hybrid Hotel

Medical Advisory Council

Kenneth K. Chan, MD
Perinatology, Co-Chair

Rayne Pang, MD
Pediatrics, Co-Chair

David W. Berman, MD
Pediatrics

Sunitha Bharadia, MD
Neurology

Pat (Bessen) Rowe, MD, FAAP
Pediatrics

Laura Sergis, MD
Pediatrics

Elaine Shoji, MD
Pediatrics

Elliot T. Sumi, MD
Pediatrics

Jon Yamamoto, MD
Neonatology/Perinatology