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2021 Employees of the Month



Valencia's October Employee of the Month

Alyssa Ojeda

Alyssa is an Occupational Therapist and has been known to step up and help with tasks outside of her responsibilities. She always offers a lending hand when in need and is a joy to work with. She provides the team with unique ideas for treatment and contributes to the team's foundation of evidence-based practice by bringing relevant studies and research articles to the table.  Alyssa works seamlessly with other team members both in program and with shared clients. She not only strives to provide the best care to her clients, but she is frequently collaborating with other therapists to improve her therapeutic outcomes. Also, she will LITERALLY try to catch you when you fall (even when she is 10-feet away!).


Fun facts about Alyssa are…


  • She recently picked up boxing where she gets to box to the beat of the music! 

  • Sushi is her favorite food that she could probably eat every day if she had to

  • Fall is her favorite time of the year because it's the start of the fun holiday season


Alyssa loves working at McRory because of the wonderful families and kiddos she gets to work with each day. She believes It has been really fun getting to know all of them and watching them grow and thrive.



Tarzana's October Employee of the Month

Darya Nagayeva

Darya is a Behavior Therapist and has worked with McRory for five years! She has excelled as a team player by always taking and implementing supervisor feedback. She asks for feedback and is always receptive. Darya is also excellent about reaching out to her supervisors if she has any questions about a client or to share something new that may have occurred in a session. She demonstrates openness to collaboration with both the therapy team and her clients’ families.  When Darya has the opportunity to work with other therapists, she happily shares helpful educational tools and materials that she has found useful. During the start of the COVID pandemic and while many families have, and continue to, receive services via telehealth, she has helped make virtual sessions for school and home cases fun and enjoyable, but also productive in addressing the client’s goals.  Thank you, Darya, for exceeding expectations and providing a genuine interest and devotion to the success of your clients.

 Fun facts about Darya are…

  • She loves her cat Zizzy and her dog Buster

  • She is an avid hiker and universal studio goer

  • She is a fan of horror movies and fantasy books 


What Darya loves about McRory is the supportive nature and growth opportunities the company offers.  She loves how responsible and respective her colleagues and supervisors are and believes McRory makes a difference in the lives of those who need it the most.



Valencia's September Employee of the Month

Joanne Shatz

Joanne is a Physical Therapy Assistant and has stepped up into a new role and has absolutely excelled in it. The Jump Start team has been excited to have her lead through this transition back into program. She goes above and beyond for each child and their family in order to reach their highest potential. Joanne has always been an incredible advocate for her kids and a huge support to their families. She helps guide and assist them, not only through their therapy sessions, but also in navigating outside resources and the just the overall world of parenting. I know her team members and the families appreciate her greatly. McRory has been incredibly lucky to have her on our team! 


Fun facts about Joanne are…

  • She grew up camping and continued that with her family.

  • She loves to be outdoors!

  • The beach is my happy place. 


In her free time, she likes to spend her free time with her family. Most Friday nights, you will find her at their local high school football games.


Joanne loves working at McRory because of all the great people she gets to collaborate with daily. She feels so lucky to be on this journey with clients and their families watching all their achievements and growth!  






Tarzana's September Employee of the Month

Madelyn Risbrough

Madelyn is a Speech Therapist working in our Tarzana clinic. She has been very flexible with many changes to her schedule recently. Madelyn runs successful sessions with her clients and reaches out appropriately via various methods and resources as needed. She always has a positive, encouraging attitude with co-workers, her clients, and their families! Madelyn is a joy to work with; she exhibits the McRory spirit and is an excellent asset to our team.


 Fun facts about Madelyn are…

  • She has been skydiving! 

  • She is left-handed.

  • She lived in Italy for 5 months!

In her free time, Madelyn loves spending time in Lake Arrowhead with her family, relaxing at the beach, and brunching with her friends.


What Madelyn loves about McRory is being part of such a friendly and talented team. She appreciates the collaborative environment and ability to seek guidance and professional help from experienced therapists. She loves working with all the kids and their families, building strong relationships, and seeing growth over time! 




Tarzana's July Employee of the Month

Randy Irungaray

Randy continuously goes above and beyond to "get things done" for the company. She makes herself available to assist employees and families when they have questions, and always keeps open communication with her supervisor and members of the Admin Team. She is always willing to step up and step in when needed, does her job with a smile on her face even when stressed, and can find a resolution for any problem. Randy ALWAYS has McRory Pride. She loves the company like it's her own and comes in to work with a smile on her face every day. Her positivity is contagious and we are so lucky to have her!


Fun facts about Randy are…


  • She loves watching Korean dramas and Sumo Wrestling

  • She enjoys all types of food

  • She likes sewing, painting and all types of arts and crafts

  • She loves talking to people


Randy is a very bubbly person and young at heart. She likes spending time with her husband Ray, daughter Bliss, and grandson Jay in her free time. She also loves that every Sunday, she can talk to her dad and catch up. 


What Randy loves about McRory is how down-to-earth Nikki, Michael, and all of the therapists are. She believes everyone here is so passionate about what they do and how they care for everyone. She believes we are so lucky to have an amazing Administrative Supervisor/ team, and she is blessed to call them her coworkers and her friends. She loves where she works and wouldn’t trade it for anything!



Valencia's July Employee of the Month

Julie Henry

Julie is the Office Assistant at the Valencia clinic. She is always available to answer questions and to help with any random problem we throw her way.  She works behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly, and her dry sense of humor adds some spice to the everyday grind. Julie also faithfully and creatively completes the calendar in the lunchroom each month and keeps our lobby invitingly decorated at the change of every holiday and season.​ Thank you Julie for your hard work and dedication to our company. 


In her free time, Julie is away from work on roller skates. She has been playing roller derby since 2012, and this year, a group of friends and her have started a roller derby league called Valley Community Rollers.


Fun facts about Julie are…


  • She enjoys roller skating on the bike paths in Santa Clarita.

  • The furthest skate she has done is 19 miles.

  • The skatepark is another place you can find her roller skating around and carving in a bowl is one of her favorite feelings!

  • If Julie is not on roller skates, she is at home with her French bulldog, Pepper, and probably crafting something for a friend. 



Julie’s favorite part about working at McRory is when a kiddo sees her as they come in the door, and they smile and run towards her. She loves seeing their eyes light up with excitement to say hi or show her what they brought to the clinic that day!




Tarzana's June Employee of the Month

Elvia Amesquita

Elvia is a Registered Behavior Technician who joined the McRory team on November 2, 2020. She is very flexible when it comes to providing what her cases need, and she communicates very well with her supervisors and works very well with her parents on the cases she is on. In addition, she implements feedback immediately and works very well with her clients. She is an amazing part of our team!


Fun facts about Elvia are…


  • She has a key collection of every state she has visited. 

  • Although she is left handed, she can do everything with her right side as well for example write, kick, and shoot a basketball. 

  • In her free time, she like to work out or hike. 



Elvia likes working for McRory because she believes there is room to grow, and everyone in the clinic is friendly. There’s never a day she feels like I’m going to “work” because her supervisors and the other therapists are the best support. Also, she loves working with these kiddos because she loves to see their progress and gets excited to see them grow into their own little person.





Tarzana's May Employee of the Month

Christiana Rosa

Christiana is a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant and is extremely flexible and a wonderful team player in the speech department. She is always happy to cover for other speech therapists and ensures that she collaborates with other specialists who work with her clients to ensure that clients are making the best progress. Christiana has excellent communication skills with her supervisor and other team members. She has a passion for learning more and making a difference for her clients. She goes above and beyond to find, customize, and make useful materials for her client sessions.  


Fun facts about Christiana are…


  • She has 3 children ranging in age from 17 - 34

  • She decided on a career in communication disorders late in life, so she is still new to this profession

  • She loves the outdoors and spending time at the beach, in the local mountains, or just lounging in her backyard

  • She used to bake professionally and even started a family-owned cookie business 


Christiana is proud to be part of a team of such amazing and caring individuals in collaborating to provide the best care to the children and families we serve. She is honored to make a difference in a family’s ability to communicate more effectively. She appreciates the wealth of resources and training that McRory provides, and she is grateful for the support and expertise of her fellow clinicians. Christiana is excited to be working in a company with strong female leadership and looks forward to learning and growing with McRory. 




Valencia's June Employee of the Month

Lauren Hale

  Since entering the field of ABA, Lauren has shown tremendous growth as a Behavior Therapist. Lauren has a natural approach as well as a keen eye when it comes to ABA. Each challenge thrown at her, she has faced with a balance of composure and resilience. Lauren is constantly communicating between clients and supervisors to ensure smooth transitions and program changes. She has built a strong personal rapport with her clients while also keeping professional boundaries. Lauren can take feedback from supervisors and implement changes immediately and precisely. She always pays close attention to detail and is constantly thinking of different ways and ideas to target goals. Her clients are always a main priority and her commitment to them is admirable. 



Fun facts about Lauren are…


  • She is a cat lady and brought one home that she met in Romania.

  • She is super patriotic and serves in the Army Reserves as a military police officer. 

  • She eats a vegetarian diet. 


In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, spending time with friends, traveling, volunteering, and being at the beach. 


 Lauren loves working at McRory because she is grateful for all the training opportunities provided. She believes she has kind staff to work with and feels to be in a field where she can see a difference and make a difference in the lives of families. Lauren feels McRory understands the hectic nature of the Army and helps her work with both schedules to serve our country best and serve her client's family needs.





Valencia's May Employee of the Month

Natalie Chavez Ruiz

Natalie is a Behavior Therapist who works in the ABA clinic. She works with multiple kids in the clinic all day and always asks to help around the classroom and pick up additional hours. She has a smile on her face from the moment she walks into the clinic to the moment she leaves and greets everyone by name. We appreciate the effort and the time Natalie has put into her job. We have noticed that since the time she joined our team,  she has displayed great enthusiasm to learn and grow professionally.



Fun facts about Natalie are…


  • She loves Jurassic Park movies and cannot wait to visit the ride at Universal studios

  • She loves finding new recipes and trying them out

  • She binge watches medical shows, but cannot get into Grey's Anatomy


In her free time, she is usually consumed by school and working out, but she has recently been introduced to paddle boarding, and it has become her new favorite activity. Anytime she can get away and go to the beach and watch the sunset, she will be there.


Natalie loves working at McRory because she gets lots of support and could always seek help when needed from her supervisor and colleagues. Everyone is always happy to help and happy to be there working with the kiddos. She loves working with the kids, seeing their progression through time, and getting so excited when they achieved so much!

Lee Ann.png

Tarzana's April Employee of the Month

Lee Ann Gan

 Lee Ann is an invaluable part of the OT/PT and overall McRory Team. She works endlessly to keep our department organized and functioning smoothly. Lee Ann's friendly personality, straight-talk sensibility, and fun personality make it easy for clinicians, staff, and families to feel comfortable with her. The OT Department has grown in number, quality, and professionalism thanks to much of the systemic work Lee Ann has provided. She's our rock and our department, nor company, wouldn't be the same without her.



Fun facts about Lee Ann are…


  • Lee Ann believes it is important to find balance between hang time with friends/family and "ME time".

  • She loves to travel, hike, camp and days at the beach. She is all about packing a bag and heading out- and she needs more of all of the above!

  • She likes to snowboard, check out breweries and new food spots, thrifting and retail therapy.

  • She is into martial arts, boxing, eskrima- all the action!

  • During the pandemic, she picked up hula and tahitian dancing- aloha! 



What she loves most about Mcrory is her MPS fam! She loves teaching, learning and working with all of the staff, clinicians, kids and families- and having a good time while she’s doing it! All of it together is what drives her to keep growing as a person, professional, and as a therapist. ❤







Valencia's April Employee of the Month

Hannah Goldner

Hannah is an Occupational Therapist at the Valencia clinic. Her welcoming personality makes her accessible to anyone who speaks with her, whether it be a fellow OT, PT, Speech Therapist, or family members of our kiddos. Hannah has always been available and ready to collaborate when sharing clients. She excels as a team player, and if ever asked a question, she always has an idea readily available.  Hannah once answered a question about a family whose little one was having trouble with eczema. She provided great solutions and offered a scent-free lotion option the family could try. The family was very pleased with her suggestion!



Fun facts about Hannah are…


  • She's not partial to theme park rides but once convinced herself to jump out of a helicopter (with a parachute, of course!) 

  • During quarantine she joined a choir and is excited to experience in-person rehearsals some day 

  • She goes to the farmers market every week - it's her happy place!

  • In her free time she loves to cook and bake vegan treats, hike and go for walks, listen to podcasts, and travel 


She loves working at McRory for the collaborative work environment and team approach. Her favorite parts about being a pediatric OT at McRory are getting to witness celebratory moments when her clients hit milestones that they've worked so hard to reach, and hearing caregivers excitedly share about their kiddos continuing to use those skills at home and out in the community even long after they've been discharged. 




Tarzana's March Employee of the Month

Tiffany Lagerstrom

Tiffany  is a very hardworking and dedicated Case Manager who has been a great addition to the ABA Supervisory Department. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills as she effectively trains her staff as well as the caregivers she works with. She works very hard in identifying and implementing the most effective and appropriate interventions for each of her clients. She researches and looks to other providers for support outside her scope and continues to participate in collaboration meetings with her colleagues contributing valuable information to the team. Tiffany brings out the McRory Pediatrics spirit with her dedication and willingness to continue to go above and beyond to best support her clients and her staff!


Fun facts about Tiffany are…

  • She's getting married in August!

  • In her free time, you can find her reading, practicing calligraphy, or watching a true crime documentary.

  • She survived a flash flood while camping once!



What she loves most about Mcrory is to track the child's measurable progress and know that she is a part of it! Equipping parents to implement strategies of ABA is also so rewarding to her. The collaborative spirit at McRory is truly unique and Tiffany believes she’s lucky to be surrounded by so many professionals, from different disciplines, who are all committed to the child's success. McRory is a place to keep learning and growing!



Valencia's March Employee of the Month

Jenn Heckel

Jenn has been valued team member through her growth from the BB Mentorship program into her role as BCBA Supervisor.  Jenn has always had a strong passion for clinic-based services and has been instrumental in helping start the ABA Clinic Program in Valencia. She has gone above and beyond in dedicating her time and efforts in ensuring that it is running smoothly. She is an asset to the behavior department and deserves recognition of all the hard work and care she puts forth in supporting and providing quality services for the families and children in which she works with.  

 Fun facts about Jenn are…

  • She has donated over 30 inches of hair to cancer patients

  • She was homeschooled 3rd grade through high school.

  • She used to raise and show animals in 4-H. (horses, sheep, pigs, goats and rabbits)


In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her 2 cats and watching Friends or Harry Potter, going to the archery range with her compound bow and watching American football. Go Broncos!


What she loves about McRory is the leadership and mentorship opportunities that is offered for employees to grow within their current departments or a new department and the family values this company brings to all employees. 


Tarzana's February Employee of the Month

Dana Beason

Dana has so graciously stepped into the role of Intake Coordinator at the start of COVID and really has just knocked it out of the ball park. Her interactions with families are phenomenal.....she really insures a great first impression and makes both parents and kids feel so welcome! She is personable with the families and kiddos, greets the kiddos by name as soon as they get off the elevator, and motivates the Administrative Team to match that personableness. Dana has also done an amazing job with the referrals and getting new clients scheduled timely and juggling therapists' schedules to accommodate new client availability.

Dana is always willing to help other Team Members, even when she is busy herself. She works very well with the Supervisors in the programs and different departments to make sure schedules are planned out and referrals run smoothly. She is also an amazing team player with the whole Admin Team. She is supportive, positive, and dedicated to making sure others feel supported by her.

Dana's positiveness at the front desk is contagious to all and is a great example of "McRory Proud". She encourages employees, parents, and kiddos to have a great day and does whatever she can to help make that happen.


Fun facts about Dana are…

  • She started at McRory Pediatrics working as a Behavior Technician.

  • In her free time she loves spending time with her kids and husband.



Dana loves working at McRory for so many reasons.  She truly feels lucky to have the amazing co-workers and friends to work with. Also, seeing all of the kids and the progress that they make is so inspiring to her on so many levels. 



 Valencia's February Employee of the Month

Ariel Hale

Ariel has been a Rockstar ever since Day 1 of her becoming a Case Manager. She works extremely hard at learning, understanding, and practicing every facet of being a supervisor. She takes on every challenge with a unique mix of confidence and exuberance, and has been a wonderful example to those around her. Ariel is awesome to work with and watch grow!


Ariel's communication skills are off the charts-  she has been very meticulous in helping everyone feel supported. She takes tons of time out of her week to reach out to all of her staff members and families by constantly checking in, being present, and assisting with everyone's needs.  She truly understands the value of a team- she involves everyone in decision making- therapists, parents, and supervisors. Ariel has been a sponge when it comes to collaboration- relaying pertinent information, asking questions, and applying feedback in a detailed, well-thought out manner. It doesn't go unnoticed how seamlessly she has fit into our Valencia team!


Some fun facts about Ariel are…

  • In her free time she loves spending time with her animals.

  • She has horses, chickens, cats, and dogs!

  • She loves competing in Barrel Races with her horses. Barrel Racing is a timed rodeo sport that she competed in ever since she was little. She is still passionate about it today. 


What she loves about McRory: She loves the comradery! Within her new role as a Case Manager in the Valencia office, she had to learn quickly and adapt but has enjoyed every moment! She can appreciate the knowledge and guidance that fellow supervisors have shown her. She has constantly felt supported and has tried her best to reciprocate that support in any way she can. She loves her McRory Team! 




Tarzana's January Employee of the Month

Zoe Pontius-Courtney

Zoe is awesome and has been so helpful in the clinic - a true team player!


She's reliable and resourceful. She helps to problem solve department and clinic obstacles that might pop up; offering suggestions and willing to help out in any way that she can. Working her way through so many changes in providing services, Zoe has been open to taking on new challenges and always has engaging, creative treatment activities for her kiddos. She's fun, caring, kind and passionate- all characteristics of the McRory Spirit! 


Fun facts about Zoe are…

  • She loves arts & crafts, especially ceramics, watercolors, and calligraphy

  • She enjoys hiking, camping, and being outdoors

  • Her newest quarantine hobby is gardening, and she is looking forward to eating some homegrown veggies this summer


What Zoe likes most about working at McRory is the kids! She loves having the opportunity to play, laugh, and watch them become more independent.  She also likes being part of an interdisciplinary team in the Jump Start, Building Bridges, and ITS programs. Zoe believes there are so many opportunities to learn from others and continue developing her skills as a clinician. 



Valencia's  January Employee of the Month

Nathaniel Naces

Nate is a Behavior Case Manager who was nominated by one of his new hires.  “Transitioning from a job of 10 years to a new one is not an easy thing to do but Nate is encouraging and provides positive feedback which is important as a new employee”.


Nate is easy to approach without hesitation and he makes his team feel comfortable with any questions concerning clients.  His positive attitude is passed down to the people on his team. He gives positive reinforcement and inspires everyone to succeed in new settings and new environments. Nate answers all questions promptly and makes everyone feel welcomed and a part of the McRory Family. He truly makes his team want to continue to strive in succeeding at McRory.


Nate’s attitude is absolutely contagious. Whenever there is nervousness or uneasiness about collecting data, he is encouraging with his positivity and reassurance. Nate has been such an amazing Supervisor and has made all the difference to new employees transitioning into McRory!


Some fun facts about Nate are…

  • He Loves road trips! Quirky photo ops, randomly following signs that look like they lead to something/somewhere interesting or noticing something in the distance that needed to see more of.

  • Organizing clothes by color in his closet is his special skill J

  • He has always dreamed of being a flight attendant.

  • Cooking is his stress reliever. Yes, he loves to cook!

  • His dream vacation would be in Tuscany.



During his free time, he loves to spend it with his husband, either doing groceries or just exploring nearby towns with their fur babies. He also loves taking care of his plants at home. When the pandemic is over, he would love to resume volunteering in a cancer treatment center.


What he loves about working in McRory is the support he gets from his colleagues. The collaboration from different disciplines and mentorship that are unselfishly given to him to be more capable in understanding the dynamics and importance of providing the best support to our clients and families.

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