Jay Katari is married to Kimmy Katari and father of four amazing boys with our son Blake having Autism. Jay was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and moved to Florida in 1991 to finish his senior year of high school at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. After high school Jay went on to Florida State where he majored in Business administration and marketing. Jay is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building amazing companies with amazing company cultures. Jay is very excited to serve My Favorite Therapists' clients and their families to make their lives better. Jay is very passionate about giving back to the community. Jay sits on the board of directors of Autism Speaks of Broward County, Love Boca Homeless Charity and the Board of Directors of The Boca Raton Police Foundation.
My Favorite Therapists is a very special place where our passion for success translates to our clients getting the very best therapies available anywhere all in one amazing place.
Kimberly Katari, best known as “Kimmy” to those who know her, is the quintessential working woman turned parental advocate. She was a practicing commercial litigation attorney, licensed in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. She met and married her husband 18 years ago and gave birth to 4 wonderful boys. While pregnant with her middle twin boys, Kimmy’s mom, a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Kimmy made the difficult but determined decision to leave the practice of law to focus her attention on her ailing mother and baby boys.
Having twins provided a much different perspective as far as keeping track of her babies’ progression. Blake’s brother soon surpassed him on the pediatrician’s checklists of milestones. Kimmy and her husband brought Blake for an early evaluation and were told that Blake simply had low muscle tone and was speech delayed. About a year later, however, Blake’s therapist suggested that they bring him to see a neurologist because it seemed as if Blake’s was “spacing out” often. That was the beginning of a whole new life for the Katari family … Blake was diagnosed on the autism spectrum with PDD-NOS
Kimmy has been passionate about finding and doing all that she can for her son, Blake, since that diagnosis. Not one to give up, give in, or accept defeat, she became the voice, advocate, cheerleader, pin cushion, and counselor for Blake. She watched, she listen, she learned, she read, she argued – all for her son. She cried often, yet maintained a strong, stable image and persona for the betterment of the rest of her family and those that she loved so deeply.
Kimmy quickly discovered that there is an entirely separate world out there for children with special needs and their families. In that world, values are different, priorities are different, relationships are different, and people are different. In that world, being different is good. It is special. Small things could be astronomical in that special world.
Over the next decade, Kimmy delved into the life of being a mom of a son with autism as well as a wife, daughter, and mom of three “typical” boys. She incorporated into their lives the gluten free casein free diet, doctors’ visits, RDI therapy, ABA therapy, OT therapy, equine therapy, speech therapy, social skills classes, Tomatis listening therapy, floortime therapy, and acupuncture because there was no telling what would be best for Blake. She spent countless hours with therapists, teachers, paraprofessionals, school administrators, and doctors and even more on the phone with insurance companies in order to try to obtain the best services possible to help her son. It seemed as if time was passing by and yet Blake was at a standstill with the choices of local therapists and therapy clinics. Kimmy and her husband agreed to take a gamble and seek services outside of the state of Florida. She traveled alone with Blake and homeschooled him for months, leaving her supportive family behind, a very difficult and emotional time for the entire family.
Kimmy returned to Florida with the revelation that there needed to be better options for families like hers in Florida. Parents needed and deserved to focus their time and efforts on their special children and not drive around town from one appointment to another. It was rarely possible to describe and update each therapist on what another one had accomplished or noticed with Blake. Those therapists should be able to converse and share notes with one another. Kimmy strongly felt that children with special needs deserved to be in a caring, well-equipped environment conducive to optimizing the child’s capabilities and not in a small cluttered room. Most importantly, she wanted qualified, talented therapists who were not robotic or routine. She did not believe in leaving Blake with a “glorified babysitter”. She complained repeatedly to her husband, a self-made entrepreneur, and he encouraged her to “do something about it”. With his extensive business knowledge, acumen and guidance, My Favorite Therapists began to emerge.
Jen majored in Education, is the mother of two amazing daughters, a master multi-tasker, a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an obsessive perfectionist. Jen loves going to work each and every day to see the amazing progress of all of the clients at My Favorite Therapists. She plays a vital part in the daily operations of the therapy center.
Following her many years in healthcare as a Dental Hygienist and as an Owner of various businesses,
Debbie Marcus is now bringing the heart of her experiences to My Favorite Therapists!
The contentment and well-being of employees are always her priority. She has a passion for creating joy
in the workplace, connecting with people, and helping to ensure a sense of fulfillment for all who work
with her. Debbie knows that a happy, engaging work environment is extremely impactful to both
employees and clients.
When Debbie is relaxing, she can be found out on the town with her husband, enjoying South Florida,
like the native she is. She enjoys practicing yoga, watching Superhero movies with her teenage son,
going to the theatre with her teenage daughter, and walking her 2 dogs while listening to a book or
Mallory Lucillo is a Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received her Masters of Science in Cognitive Behavioral Disabilities with a concentration in Emotional Behavioral Disorders from Nova Southeastern University and her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. Mallory has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for over a decade. Ms. Lucillo has experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities ranging in ages from eighteen months to twenty-one years old. She has worked in the environments of clinic, school, home, and community focusing on improvement in the quality of life for every client. She has extensive background in increasing language and functional communication, reducing problem behaviors, acquisition of self-help skills, parent training, training of other clinicians, social skills, acquisition of new skills and generalizing them to be used in the real world, and vocational skills. Her passion is to continually grow and learn as a clinician to make the biggest positive impact on the lives of others. When you don’t see Mallory working she is usually spending time with her family and friends exploring new adventures or working out in the gym. Mallory is a Crossfit nut with a passion for physical fitness. She has competed throughout the state of Florida in many state and local Crossfit competitions.
My name is Angela Palermo and I am extremely excited to join the MFT team all the way from New York! I began working with adults and children with developmental disabilities about 6 years ago. My career path as a behavior analyst started in Boston at the New England Center for Children. There I worked in a residence with teenage males who were diagnosed on the spectrum. As time went on, I wanted to broaden my horizons and finish my education in NY which led me to teach in a preschool and early intervention classroom for toddlers who were just recently diagnosed. After receiving my BCBA certification I was given an amazing opportunity to be an analyst for an entire Day Habilitation program in Manhattan. These experiences will help me to grow with and support the current MFT family! Let the fun begin!
Arielle Stuhmer is a BCBA, LBA who obtained her graduate degree at Western New England University while working at the New England Center for Children in Southborough, Massachusetts. She has 12 years of experience providing ABA to children with Autism and their families. Arielle has worked as a residential behavioral therapist, a home-based behavior therapist, and has served as a clinical supervisor and lead BCBA for a small home-based company in Newton, Massachusetts for the past 6 years. Arielle specializes in early childhood development, pre-school inclusion, facilitating play-dates, parent training, and teaching play skills. Arielle is brand-new to Florida and looks forward to bringing her skills to the Sunshine State!
Janice Coronel is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Her passion to work with those in the Autism community first stemmed from growing up with a younger brother on the spectrum. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University and received her master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in behavior analysis from Florida International University. Janice has worked in both clinic and in-home settings in Miami and Palm Beach County. She has experience working with clients from 2 to 17 years old with various needs whether it be skill acquisition or behavior reduction. She enjoys growing and learning from her clients and fellow BCBAs as well as continuing her education within the field by attending conferences or reviewing new research. She is very excited to join the amazing My Favorite Therapists’ Dream Team.
Shayli earned a Masters of Science in Developmental Disabilities with a concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelors of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Southern Illinois University. Shayli started her ABA career working with children diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities in 2015.Through the years she has gained experience working with clients from 2 to 65 years of age. She specializes in the reduction of severe problem behaviors. She also has experience in teaching functional communication, implementing acquisition programs, writing functional assessments and behavior plans, providing parent training, improving social skills, overseeing the implementation of treatment from direct support staff/RBTs, and presenting at local review committees.
Suwenda Louis, BCBA earned a Masters of Science in Developmental Disabilities with a concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Public Health from the University of South Florida. Suwenda started her ABA career while working with children diagnosed with Autism and other related developmental disabilities in 2012. With over 7 years of experience in Early Intervention and Education, Suwenda’s professional background includes an emphasis on Behavior Modification, Direct Trial Teaching, and Verbal Behavior.
While providing direct therapy early on in her career, Suwenda observed the impact that positive behavior changes have on the overall quality of life and learning of children and their families. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference in each child’s life by providing high-quality behavioral intervention services and implementing effective teaching strategies.
Tiffany Mabin is a nationally board certified and Florida licensed occupational therapist. She earned her Bachelors degree in Community Health at Florida Gulf Coast University and her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University. Tiffany has worked as an occupational therapist in pediatric outpatient settings as well as in schools. She became an occupational therapist because she has a passion for helping others. Her hope is to make a difference in the lives of children and help them reach their full potential and achieve their goals! She is excited to be joining the team at My Favorite Therapists and looks forward to working with our families.
Lindsay is a Nationally and State of Florida licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida, where she also earned her Masters of Arts Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Since entering the field, she has had the opportunity to work in school, skilled nursing facilities, hospital homebound, and home health therapy settings.
Lindsay specializes in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delays, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Articulation/Phonological Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders and Pragmatic Social Language Disorders.
Lindsay is certified in Core Vocabulary, a therapy technique used to develop vocabulary and language in children who have limited verbal skills or have inconsistent speech disorders. She is also certified in the Social Thinking curriculum and Zones of Regulation. Her goal is to provide evidence-based treatments so that patients develop effective communication skills.
In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys fitness, yoga, catching up on Netflix, and spending time with her loved ones.
Danielle (Dani) Piper, M.S., CCC-SLP was born and raised in sunny South Florida. She went on to Gainesville and received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. Dani was excited to come back home to earn her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University where she graduated cum laude. Dani is passionate about working with children and making a positive impact on their lives. She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, speech and language clinics, pediatric home-health, skilled nursing facilities and working for non-profit organizations. Dani has experience working with individuals with varying needs including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders, Pragmatic Language Disorders, Feeding, Articulation/Phonological Disorders, Developmental Delays, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) needs. In her spare time Dani enjoys cooking, staying active, and spending time with her friends and family!
Calley Rock is a nationally board certified and Florida licensed occupational therapist. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies with a Minor in Psychology and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England in Portland, ME. Calley has experience working as a pediatric occupational therapist in an outpatient clinic setting and has also worked with adults in psychiatric and physical rehabilitative settings. Her experience working at a summer camp for children with autism prompted her to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Calley is passionate about working with children of all abilities and with their families. She is excited to be a member of My Favorite Therapists’ team!
I always have had a special interest in working with children who have different abilities, especially with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. I believe in teaching by using a multi-sensory approach that is built upon each child’s unique way of learning.
For 7 years, I was a classroom teacher, facilitating social skill groups and providing academic tutoring for children of all ages and abilities. I conducted extensive research on various behavior intervention strategies and technologies to assist students with ASD. I strongly believe in collaborating with parents, therapists and professionals to ensure the success of each and every one of my students.
I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. I went on to receive my Masters Degree in Exceptional Student Education from Lynn University in 2014. I hold teaching certificates in K-5, ESE K-12, Pre Kindergarten - 3rd, and Birth - Kindergarten. I have additional endorsements in Reading and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
My passion is to make a difference in the lives of children who have autism and special needs, advocating for them, connecting with them and celebrating every big or small step along the way.
I am happy to have found a place where I can provide children with one-on-one academics, structured to their learning abilities and needs, in a nurturing and supportive environment so that they may grow to reach their highest potential. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love each day at My Favorite Therapists.
Karla Ramirez has a BS in Industrial Engineering from ITESM University in Monterrey, Mexico. She earned her Masters of Science degree in Sustainable Energy from Cardiff University in Wales. Before joining My Favorite Therapists’ team, she was teaching Math and Science to high school students in Mexico. Karla has had the opportunity of working abroad in different customer service roles as well as in a manufacturing company. She hopes her job will impact positively on children’s progress.
Tania Bernaldez has a B.A. in Communication Sciences at ITESM University in Monterrey, Mexico. She also had the opportunity to study abroad at Universidad de Deusto in San Sebastian, Spain. After finishing her studies she worked in the event management industry for 4 years in which she developed skills for customer relations, marketing and time management.
Engineer, Human Development and Innovation Enthusiastic. Experience in Operations, Logistics and Marketing. His passion is to help and improve people’s lives and That’s exactly what this company does.
He is excited to now be a part of My Favorite Therapists Team. He enjoys to read cool books, watch documentaries, go camping and spend time with family and loved ones.
Raquel has a Bachelor's degree in Education and is experienced in interpreting, translating and teaching English as a Second Language. Passionate about helping people, learning, and traveling. She has collaborated with Mission organizations in countries such as Cambodia, South Africa and Nicaragua to build, embrace and serve people in any way needed. Drawn by new challenges, she has had the opportunity to gain experience in several areas such as customer experience, quality assurance, and human relations.
Our highly skilled team of therapists provides an inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary team approach to working with families and their children with unique needs