Denise is indeed passionate about her work and she brings over 20 years of operational management, fundraising, strategic communications and partnership development experience to the table. As a thought leader and consultant in non-profit and for-profit enterprises, she is skilled and highly valued for her innovative initiatives that resulted in exceptional team engagement, profits, and savings. “First and foremost, as a non-profit leader I understood the importance of two things: maintaining communication and transparency with all stakeholders and, valuing partnerships beyond transactions.”
Over her career, Denise has raised more than $70 million dollars, led over 100 staff, mentored many, and rallied thousands of volunteers to advocate organizational missions.
Her early body of work includes creating and directing some of most controversial and talked about campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness and the “Don’t Try. We Comply” tobacco ID retail campaign. She directed national advocacy and pharmaceutical campaigns targeting diabetes and insulin awareness, low dose birth control, and celebrity endorsed hormone replacement therapies. She also created one the first needle exchange programs in the District of Columbia, “Prevention Works, ” that led to her national and international recognition in HIV/AIDS prevention and lectures in Europe and Russia with the Albert Schweitzer Institute, USAID and the Clinton Administration’s Office of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
Under her leadership as the Executive Director of the National Capital Region for the American Cancer Society, the Society launched its first breast cancer walk, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and hosted hundreds of its signature Relay for Life events in the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Denise is a 5th generation Washingtonian. She received her Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University focusing on finance; her Master of Science in Health Education/Public Health from Trinity Washington University; and, her Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in Marketing/Public Relations. She is moderately conversational in Spanish and enjoys learning French and Portuguese languages.
Lisa McCarthy (Deputy Director)
Lisa McCarthy, MA, NCC, CBIST is the Deputy Director. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University, an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Shenandoah University and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from The College of New Jersey. She has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 1999.
NKenya Lassiter (Director of Operations)
NKenya Lassiter, MA, CRC, CBIS currently is the Director of Operations at Brain Injury Services. She has her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.
NKenya has been employed at BIS since 2002 and has worked in the field and with persons with various disabilities since 2000.
Katy Schnitger (Office Manager and Outreach Specialist)
Katy Schnitger is the Office Manager and Outreach Specialist at Brain Injury Services. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology from Albion College. Katy has been involved with BIS since 2010 as a client and as a volunteer with the Speaker’s Bureau. She has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 2015.
Aleena Gardezi (Manager, Development, Marketing, & Advocacy)
Aleena Gardezi is the Development, Marketing, & Advocacy Manager at BIS. She graduated from George Mason University as an English major with a concentration in Non-Fiction Writing and Editing.
She has over 10 years of marketing, journalism, public relations, and digital media experience. Her experience includes Divergenow.com, the COPD Foundation, Cox, Matthews and Associates and more.
Sara Aly, CBIS, MSW (Department Manager, Adult Case Management Services)
Sara Aly, CBIS, MSW is the Department Manager of Adult Case Management Services at Brain Injury Services. She received her Bachelor degree in Social Work from her home country Egypt and her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from George Mason University. She began her experience with Brain Injury Services as an intern during her graduate program. Sara is a certified Wellness and Recovery Coach and facilitates a variety of wellness workshops that empower survivors of brain injury and their caregivers in developing a personalized wellness plan that can help them in improving the quality of their life. She is also a certified interpreter in health and community settings and currently, a supervise in social work and working towards her LCSW. She has been employed at BIS since 2011.
Gail Bothwell (Senior Specialist Case Manager)
Gail Bothwell, CCM, CBIS is a Certified Case Manager with more than 20 years experience specializing in support for survivors of brain injury and their family members. She has practiced in rehabilitation settings for inpatient acute, subacute, residential, day treatment, outpatient and long term care settings. She provides community Case Management services for survivors of traumatic and acquired brain injury in the northern Virginia area, and has been employed with Brain Injury Services, Inc. since 2005.
Claire Callison-Aub (Case Manager)
Claire Callison-Aub, MSW, CBIS is an Adult Case Manager. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English, and a Master’s in Social Work from George Mason University. She has been employed at Brain Injury Services since August 2009.
Natascha Grant (Adult Case Manager)
Natascha Grant, MA, CRC, CBIS, is an Adult Case Manager. She holds Undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Fayetteville State University and a Masters degree in Rehabilitiation Counseling with a concentration in TBI from George Washington University. Her experience began with Brain Injury Services as an intern. She has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 2014.
Joy Koeppen (Licensed Clinical Therapist)
Joy Koeppen, LCSW, CBIS is the Licensed Clinical Therapist at BIS. Joy’s passion for working with individuals with disabilities and their families began when she worked for Brain Injury Services as a Case Manager from 2000-2003. Joy spent her years away from BIS serving on the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board, running a private mental health practice, working at a psychiatric hospital and working for a local school system.
Paula Levin-Alcorn (Case Manager)
Paula Levin-Alcorn, MSW, LCSW is an Adult Case Manager. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Maryland. Paula was a case manager at BIS from 1996 to 2001 and is delighted to be back.
Dustin Mays, OTR/L, (Occupational Therapist- Community Participation and Skill-Building Services)
Dustin Mays, MS, OTR/L is an occupational therapist serving the Department of Community Participation and Skill-Building Services (COMPASS). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech, and a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dustin has provided assistive technology interventions in the community and clinical settings throughout graduate school, and he looks forward to empowering BIS consumers to achieve their goals through various interventions including assistive technology and cognitive rehabilitation.
Sarah Pickford, MS, OTR/L, CBIS (Manager of Community Participation and Skill-Building Services)
Sarah Pickford is the Manager of Community Participation and Skill-Building Services. She is helping to initiate the BIS Assistive Technology Program. While obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University she studied product design, human factors/ergonomics, aesthetic appeal, and universal design principles. She also earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Shenandoah University and is licensed in the state of Virginia. She draws knowledge and skills from both of these fields as she helps clients find assistive technology that supports their ability to engage in the activities they find meaningful. Sarah has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 2012.
Stacy Stone MS, OTR/L, (Occupational Therapist- Community Participation and Skill-Building Services)
Stacy Stone, OTR/L has a Bachelor of Business and Organizational Communication from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Health Science certificate in Occupational Therapy from Cleveland State University. She had experience in marketing and public relations before pursuing her degree in health sciences. She has worked in rehabilitation settings in Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, and Virginia primarily in hospitals, however is eager to further her experience with assistive technology and cognitive rehabilitation at BIS. She is pursuing on-going certifications and education with a passion to share new skills and knowledge with clients. Her interests are in reading, travel, running, and animals. She has a set of electric drums that are gathering dust, but that will one day be mastered!
Iva Ward (Case Manager)
Iva Ward, MSW received her Bachelors of Social Work and Masters of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She began working with survivors of brain injury during her undergraduate studies. She has been employed with Brain Injury Services since June 2015.
Child and Adolescent Services
Amy Tsekov (Program Manager, Children and Adolescent Services)
Amy Tsekov, MSW is the Program Manager of the Child and Adolescent Program. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from City College of New York and Master’s degree in Social Work from Adelphi University of New York. Amy has experiences working with various populations especially children with special needs and adult mental health. Amy also had exposure to the legal system with the revolving door effect and struggles of homelessness and substance abuse. As an employee of BIS, she is happy to return to work with the population she is most passionate about- children and families. She looks forward to help families navigate the system to ensure BIS consumers are connected to the right resources.
Community Outreach & Volunteer Programs
Michelle Thyen (Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement)
Michelle Thyen, CVA is the Director of Community Engagement. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Loyola College in Maryland and a Graduate Certification from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She has also obtained her CVA, Certification in Volunteer Administration. She has been employed with Brain Injury Services since 2002.
Bob Cerminaro (Vocational Specialist)
Robert Cerminaro is a Vocational Specialist in the Vocational Program at B.I.S. He received a Bachelors Of Science degree in Individual & Family Studies from Penn State University. Bob is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Belmont Bay, Virginia. In his leisure time, he enjoys watching 'Football', listening to 'Classic Rock' music, and walking his english bulldog 'Miles'.
Samuel Knight (Vocational Specialist)
Samuel Knight is a Vocational Specialist in the Vocational Program. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Tulane University. He has been employed at Brain Injury Services since October 2015.
Dyanna Citizen (Clubhouse Manager)
Dyanna Citizen, MA, LPC, CBIS is the Clubhouse Manager at the ADAPT Clubhouse. She received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Old Dominion University. Dyanna has a wealth of experience working with survivors of domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse, and brain injuries. Dyanna enjoys providing an encouraging and supportive environment to help survivors of brain injury thrive. Dyanna has been employed at Brain Injury Services since November 2015.
Kathy Bisetti (Unit Coordinator)
Kathy Bisetti is a Unit Coordinator at the ADAPT Clubhouse. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from George Mason University. Kathy has been employed by Brain Injury Services since June 2018.
Zachary Daniel (Program Manager)
Zachary Daniel, CBIS is the Manager of the Brain Injury Services of Fredericksburg office. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Mary Washington University. He has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 2008.
Markita Gilbert (Case Manager)
Markita Gilbert, MS, CBIS is the Fredericksburg area Case Manager. She has a Master of Science degree in Human Services with a Specialization in Counseling from Capella University. She has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 2007.
Pediatric Case Management
Taryn Goodman, MA, QMHP (Pediatric Case Manager)
Taryn received her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies with a focus on social justice issues from Chatham College for Women located in Pittsburgh, PA. Not feeling fully satisfied with her understanding of the human experience, she decided to return to Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her second Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Anthropology. Most recently, Taryn has completed her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Washington D.C. Taryn prides herself on her ability to assist individuals with finding their voice and promoting self-advocacy.
Lynda Allen (Community Coordinator- Fredricksburg Day Program)
Lynda Allen is the Community Coordinator for the Fredericksburg Day Program. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech in Communication Studies, and a Master of Arts from American University in Film and Video. Previously, Lynda was the Public Programs Coordinator for The James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg.
Jamie Michau, MA (Adult Case Manager)
Jamie Michau, MA is the Adult Case Manager with Brain Injury Services serving Loudoun County, Reston and Herndon residents. Jamie received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Longwood University and her Master’s in Forensic Psychology and Counseling from College of Saint Elizabeth.
Jamie has prior case management experience working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Jamie has been employed with Brain Injury Services since January 2019.
Prince William Office
Jennifer Ardis (Case Manager)
Jennifer Ardis, MSW, CBIS is an Adult Case Manager for Prince William and Fauquier counties and conducts intakes for both counties as well. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree for the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a Master’s of Social Work degree from George Mason University. She has been employed at Brain Injury Services since 2006.
James Parker (Case Manager)
James Parker, LCSW, CCM, CBIS is an Adult Case Manager at Brain Injury Services for Prince William County, as well as select areas in Fairfax County. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia and his Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from George Mason University. James has been employed with Brain Injury Services since 2015.
Amanda Holsinger-Jenkins (Case Manager)
Amanda Holsinger-Jenkins, MPA is an Adult Case Manager in Winchester. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Public Administration. She joined Brain Injury Services in 2016.