2023-2024 ISHA Executive Board Introductions
Published October 2023 in the ISHA Voice
ISHA is a professional association that is dedicated to advocating for the professions and the patients served. The work of the association is completed by dedicated volunteers who share their knowledge and expertise while giving their time for the betterment of the association and professions. Learn more about the professionals who will be serving the association this year on the ISHA Executive Board.
President: Jordan Bowman
Jordan has worked in long-term care and senior living including skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory care. For the past couple of years, she has served as the Vice President of Business Development for Powerback Rehabilitation. In this role, she has enjoyed working with various other healthcare professionals where she continues to learn the value of interprofessional practice. She has been with Powerback Rehabilitation for 12 years now and has held other positions that she also loved, including senior speech-language pathologist, Director of Rehab, and Clinical Director.
Back in 2014, Michelle Zemsky Dineen, an ISHA fellow, colleague, and friend, encouraged Jordan to join both ISHA and the Medical Practice Issues Committee. She immediately understood the value of ISHA for both clinical and professional practice. She is forever grateful to be a part of such an awesome community of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
During her tenure as ISHA President, Jordan hopes to empower current and future members to advocate for their practice and their profession across practice settings. ISHA has endless opportunities for mentorship and leadership for members. She encourages students and professionals to join ISHA to continue to grow as a clinician and leader. Through continued connections with mentors, colleagues, and peers, Jordan remarked those connections will keep new professionals motivated and inspired.
Outside of her work with ISHA and her career, Jordan enjoys spending time with her partner, Bryan, as well as with family and friends. She also loves any form of movement and exercising, including hiking, biking, climbing, dancing, yoga, and strength training.
President-Elect: Valerie Elise Boyer
Valerie is an associate professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She joined the association 15 years ago to learn more about the profession within the state of Illinois. During her time with ISHA, she has actively served on committees, including the Multicultural Issues Committee and the Student Involvement Committee. She served as a co-chair of the Multicultural Issues Committee in addition to Convention Track Chair for the Multicultural Tracks. She has also previously held a position on the ISHA Executive Board as the Vice President for the Division of Association Affairs.
While serving on the ISHA Executive Board, Valerie hopes to help continue the leadership within the state to promote our professions and ensure the recognition of the value of the speech-language-hearing professionals in Illinois. ISHA provides opportunities for sustained interpersonal relationships among members that support professional development. She believes that ISHA as an organization is a force for influence in this state. She encourages new professionals to join ISHA and volunteer on a committee to meet other professionals while learning about the professions.
Valerie and her husband spend their free time driving their daughter all over the tri-state area to watch her play soccer. They also have three awesome dogs that they love spending time with and one very grumpy cat who really could care less about them.
Past-President: Maria Claudia Franca
Maria Claudia has been in higher education since 2008 as a professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Prior to her work in higher education, she has been a speech-language pathologist since the 1980s. In the early 2000s, Maria Claudia joined ISHA when she moved to Illinois as a doctoral student.
Prior to serving ISHA as the President in 2022-2023, Maria Claudia served as Convention Track Chair for Multicultural Issues. She previously served on the ISHA Executive Board as Vice President for the Division of Professional Affairs from 2016 to 2019. She has remained an active member of the Multicultural Issue Committee.
During Maria Claudia’s tenure on the Executive Board, she has strived to promote the idea that we are stronger together. Through ISHA, she reminds members that the association is a safe place to network along with a friendly and welcoming environment to learn and share. She has engaged in advocacy actions and promoting collaboration to advance the professions throughout her tenure.
When she is not teaching or advocating for the professions, she loves music. She remarked that “Singing brought me to our beautiful profession, and that makes me happy!”
Vice President for Association Affairs: Candace Tablerion
In 2016 as a student, Candace joined ISHA to learn more about the association and discover how she could be involved. Since graduating, she has remained involved as the Student Involvement Committee Chair. She currently is a school-based SLP, who enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her dog, Jerry.
While on the executive board, Candace hopes to serve as a resource for her committees. Collaboration and connection with members are her priorities as a division vice president. Candace understands the wonderful opportunities that ISHA provides to members to meet and collaborate. She enjoys new professionals to ask questions and connect with colleagues to expand your knowledge and practice; ISHA is a great place to start this!
Vice President for Audiological Affairs: Angi Martin
As a dually certified member of ISHA, Angi joined ISHA for the opportunity to interact with both SLPs and audiologists. She currently is a professor at Western Illinois University. As the Vice President for the Division of Audiological Affairs, she is primarily focused on increasing the membership of audiologists within the association.
She encourages new professionals to get involved early in their career. She stated, “Speech pathology and audiology are dynamic fields. Developing relationships with other professionals who have had different experiences and varying experience levels is essential. Keeping an open mind and building a support team early is important. It will make you a better SLP/audiologist for your current and future clients.”
As the mother of three children, two of which have cochlear implants, she spends the majority of her free time shuttling them from place to place. When she does have a spare minute, she enjoys traveling and reading.
Vice President-Elect for Audiological Affairs: Heidi Ramrattan
Heidi is an associate professor at Eastern Illinois University. As an audiologist, she supervises students in auditory processing and language processing evaluations. She also teaches numerous courses, such as Speech and Hearing Science, Sign Language for the SLP, Intro to Audiology, Aural Rehab, and Auditory Processing Disorders for the SLP. While she has worked at EIU for the past eight years, she recently just completed her clinical fellowship in a school this last year to become dually certified.
In 2015, Heidi joined ISHA to become more involved in the legislative process as well as to increase her awareness of what was happening within the profession. She has previously served as a track chair for the annual convention as well as been the Vice President for the Division of Audiological Affairs. Through her involvement in ISHA, she has become aware of how helpful ISHA is to networking with colleagues and staying informed on issues that impact the profession. She encourages new professionals to reach out to friends and colleagues when you don’t know something and to start building your own group of mentors.
In her spare time, Heidi can be found chauffeuring her children around, so they can “live their best life!”
Vice President for Educational Development: Beth Leggitt
Beth joined ISHA early in her career as a school-based SLP to allow her to network with other professionals, stay current on trends and research, and remain informed on current policies impacting the profession. Along with working at a special education cooperative for the past 29 years, Beth has volunteered for numerous positions within the association. She was served as the Technology Track Chair for the annual convention, participated on the School Affairs Committee, been the Program Co-Chair for the ISHA Convention, and held the role of Convention Coordinator.
Beth helped lead the ISHA’s convention through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this time, she was part of the team that guided virtual educational and in-person opportunities. As she finishes out her term on the executive board, she wants to complete the revamping of the annual convention and recovery from COVID.
Her extensive active participation in ISHA has given her a first-hand look at the great resource ISHA is for professionals. It provides networking, professional development, advocacy, and much more. She commented that ISHA safeguards our identity and scope of practice while maintaining autonomy for our profession. Through ISHA’s lobbyist and volunteers focusing on legislation, SLPs are greatly represented at the state level. Beth encourages new professionals to jump into your career feet first.
When not working on the annual convention, Beth loves to spend time with family and friends. Most weekends, she helps her niece run her handmake boutique trailer at festivals in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. She enjoys people watching and spending time with her niece. She also enjoys baby snuggles with her new great-nephews. Summertime finds Beth camping and spending time playing mountain and hammer dulcimer with friends and another niece.
Vice President-Elect for Educational Development: Jennine Northup-Harvey
Jennine is currently an associate professor at Illinois State University. She has been at ISU for the past 11 years. She joined ISHA in 2014 because the association offers excellent continuing education and resources. She has served as the Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders Track Chair as well as the Telepractice Committee Chair.
During her tenure on the ISHA Executive Board, she looks forward to serving the ISHA membership through management of the DED committee goals and professional development initiatives. ISHA is a pillar organization among state associations. She commented that the resources provided to the members and the SLP community at large are to be commended.
Jennine encourages new professionals to keep space in your life and to prioritize your well-being. The rest will fall into place. In Jennine’s free time, she enjoys reading, running, scrapbooking, camping, travel, and attending theatre and performing arts shows.
Vice President for Legislation and Regulatory Affairs: Janet Olson
Janet is a professor at Northern Illinois University and has been for the past 23 years. She first joined ISHA to better understand what is happening within the professions. Prior to her position on the executive board, Janet was a member of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee.
Through her work with legislation and advocacy, she has strived to increase the amount of information on the ISHA website relating to legislative and regulatory matters.
She commented that ISHA plays an important and strong role in advocating for our professions. The efforts of ISHA volunteers help ISHA keeps its eyes on so many of the regulatory and reimbursement facets of our jobs. She encourages new professionals to be involved as much as you can within ISHA. Provide feedback, so that ISHA can hear from multiple voices.
Janet is an avid reader and gardener. She loves to settle in with a good book or plant something!
Vice President-Elect for Legislation and Regulatory Affairs: Kim Pritikin
Aound 2007, Kim joined ISHA to become more informed about state issues related to the professions. Since joining the association, she has served on the Telepractice and Early Intervention Committees. She is the co-chair of the Billing and Reimbursement Committee. She has previously served in this role on the executive board. In addition to the numerous roles she has held within ISHA, she is also the ASHA STAR for Illinois. Kim has worked for the California Online Public Schools since 2017.
While serving on the ISHA Executive Board, Kim hopes to continue the amazing work that we are doing as a tri-alliance (with ILOTA and ILPTA) to increase reimbursement within the state of IL. Communication with members about legislative/regulatory happenings within the state.
When asked why a professional should join ISHA, Kim commented, “ISHA is an amazing group of professionals who volunteer their time and talents to benefit our professions. The impact of our organization is nationwide. We have one of the biggest associations in the country which hosts one of the most amazing conventions. Our volunteers have made lasting impacts within all of the settings in which we practice.”
In her moments of spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, and spending time with her beautiful family.
Vice President for Professional Affairs: Sarah Moon
Sarah joins the ISHA Executive Board for the second time. She brings fifteen years of experience as a preschool to 12th grade school-based SLP; prior to working in the school setting, she worked in early intervention and the hospital setting.
The personal encouragement from Tena McNamara, an ISHA past president, led to Sarah becoming involved and attending the annual convention. Initially, she joined looking for professional camaraderie and a way to expand her colleague relationships. Since joining the association, she has served in numerous capacities including the Leadership Development Committee, Honors Committee, School Affairs Committee, Representative Council, Program Chair for convention, and as Vice President for the Division of Educational Development.
Sarah commented that our professional needs, solutions, and progress are accomplished when we collaborate and respectively hold seats at our diverse table of professionals. She stated, “In the words of Barb Goodson, ISHA is us, and we are ISHA!” She encourages new professionals to join ISHA and stay connected to the professionals throughout the state.
On the weekends, Sarah and her husband enjoy boating and visiting their two adult children, who live in Holland, Michigan. She loves cookbooks, Enneagrams, authentic conversations, and living by her newest mantra, “Try Softer!”
Vice President for Professional and Consumer Communications: Jessica Zulueta
As an undergraduate student, Jessica joined ISHA. She converted her membership from Student Member to Regular Member after graduate school due to the discount. As she began her clinical fellowship year, she became more involved in the profession and saw the value of the community and resources ISHA provides. Prior to joining the executive board, Jessica served as the chair of the Public Information, Membership, and Marketing Committee. She hopes to continue to grow and organize the committees under her division. Jessica has been an SLP at Carle Auditory Oral School for the past four years.
Due to her involvement, she has witnessed what a great advocate for the professions ISHA is. From the continuing education opportunities, lobbyist, mentorship opportunities, and overall community, ISHA supports its members and the professions.
She encourages new professionals to remember, “It will all get done, because it has to! Don’t sweat it!” She also offered the reminder that you always have a positive impact when on the days you feel like you didn’t.
In her spare time, she loves to play piano and enjoys playing at church. She is also busy as a mom to her young daughter and is expecting her second child in the spring of 2024.
Vice President-Elect for Professional and Consumer Communications: Laura Sambrookes-McQuade
Laura is the owner and founder of Aurora Pediatric Therapy and Integrative Health. Prior to opening her own private practice, she was a pediatric SLP with 22 years experience specializing in providing neurodiverse affirming speech-language services and feeding. She joined ISHA in 2019 to contribute professionally to the state organization and work with SLPs within the state. During her time with ISHA, she has been a mentor in the ISHA Mentorship Program, chair of the Public Information, Membership, and Marketing Committee, and a member of the Evidence-based Practice and Communications Committees.
Through her service with ISHA, she wants to reach and support early practitioners in the field with zero to five years of experience. She wants to grow this demographic by providing valuable resources and supports for early career professional development and membership retention. She encourages other professionals to join ISHA to become a part of a local community of SLPs committed to excellence in the field. ISHA’s Mentorship Program can be an invaluable support to early career clinicians and seasoned professionals to form mutually beneficial relationships.
She encourages new professionals to continue to pursue continuing education and supportive relationships. The first couple of years of practice mark a transition where learning becomes self-directed and self-initiated. The transition from student to independent clinician can be quite challenging and overwhelming. Forming relationships with other SLPs inside and outside your organization and managing your personal expectations that learning will shift to independent knowledge-seeking as we learn about our clients and the application of coursework and resources to their individual needs can make this shift less anxiety-provoking.
In Laura’s spare time, she enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures.
Vice President for Professional Services: Patricia Boyd
Patricia retired from Homewood-Flossmoor High School after serving as an SLP for 31 years. During her clinical fellowship year in 1988, she was urged to join ISHA and attend the convention by her supervisor. She immediately recognized the importance and value of being a member and attending the annual convention. Over the years of involvement with ISHA, Patricia has been a long-standing member of the Representative Council and Representative Council chair. Through her role as division vice president, she has supported the committees under her division. She strives to continue to assist these committees as they work to reach their goals.
Due to her longstanding involvement in the association, Patricia knows that ISHA is the most important pipeline for providing timely information impacting the professions. The annual convention provides a broad range of CEUs with nationally-recognized and local speakers in all areas within our profession. Being involved in ISHA will provide you with a network of friends, colleagues, and mentors who will support you throughout your career. She encourages new professionals to be involved. Patricia commented that she is grateful for the hard-working and dedicated individuals who have sacrificed their time and energy to make our association so successful. She remarked that the mentorship and leadership that she has experienced through ISHA has been invaluable.
She and her husband are passionate about traveling and visiting national parks with the goal of visiting them all someday.
Vice President-Elect for Professional Services: Kim Hoffer
Kim has been at Midwestern University for the past 11 years. She is an associate professor and the founding director of clinical education. She became a member of ISHA early in her career to be a part of a group that supported her profession by offering stellar conventions as a vehicle for continuing education. When she joined as a new professional, it also allowed her the opportunity to keep in contact with members of her undergraduate and graduate cohorts and professors. During her years of service to ISHA, she has served as Vice President of the Division for Educational Development, Student Day coordinator, College Bowl coordinator, and Convention Registration coordinator. She has also been a member and chair of the Ethics Education Committee. She has also coordinated the first Ethics webinar and co-coordinated the 2023 Ethics webinar.
In her role as a vice president, she believes that she is a conduit for communication to the executive board from the four committees under this division. She commented that it is a privilege to work together and learn from these groups, who are composed of committed members with strong leadership. She plans to continue to support their work to advance the objectives each committee has thoughtfully and intentionally designed as their mission.
She encourages new professionals to join ISHA as it is beneficial to stay current with legislative issues, trends in service delivery, developments in research and content, ethical issues, billing and reimbursement. ISHA aims to represent, support, provide information, and offer continuing education opportunities. As new professionals are starting their career, she offered this advice, “Give yourself some grace to learn, to make mistakes, to grow in your new position. Celebrate gains, both large and small, both your clients' and yours! We go into helping professions to "make a difference", and you will. At the end of every day, you will be able to see how much others were impacted by your actions. Try to have some fun, see the humor in situations, enjoy the collaboration with colleagues, and find ways to recharge and renew.”
Kim recharges by spending time with her husband and their three dogs. She is an avid reader and a fair-weather gardener. A highlight of her day is getting to video call from her son’s family in Denver where she talks with their granddaughters while they eat dinner, which is always full of surprises and lots of smiles.
Representative Council Chair: Ashleigh Pierce
Ashleigh is an elementary school SLP, who joined ISHA as a student. After graduating, she continued her membership because of all the amazing work the association does to support and advocate for SLPs as well as the individuals served within the professions. Prior to becoming the Representative Council Chair, Ashleigh was a member of the council. Through her role as chair, she hopes to bring more awareness and accessibility of ISHA’s area groups throughout the state.
Ashleigh encourages new professionals to take the time to learn, collaborate, and interact with other phenomenal professionals within the field. Having a network of people who share similar passions, encounter similar struggles, and celebrate the same kinds of victories is priceless. Interactions with your colleagues almost always lead to rich discussions and fresh ideas. Never stop learning and always remember your “why.”
In Ashleigh’s spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, drinking a cup of tea, and watching her young daughter work through all the developmental milestones we learned as students.