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Our     taff

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Yrenka Sunderlin, MS, BCBA, LBA

Founder & CEO

     Yrenka is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with an extensive background working with individuals with special needs. Her path to a career in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) started with working in a residential facility (Level 12) 28 years ago. While there, she learned to identify a myriad of challenging behaviors, but observed that the treatment of choice at the facility was not effective in achieving lasting, positive behavior change. She knew that she wanted to make a difference, and that using evidence-based practices, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), was most likely going to make this a reality. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of La Verne, she then attended California State University, Los Angeles to complete her Master's Degree in ABA under the mentor-ship of Dr. Randy Campbell, Dr. Michele Wallace, and Dr. Henry D. Schlinger, Jr. During this time, she began receiving extensive formal training by Kari Berquist, Ph.D. BCBA-D in ABA methodologies, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Discrete Trial Training, Picture Exchange Communication System, Pivotal Response Treatment, Verbal Behavior, Positive Behavior Support, Functional Communication Training, Functional Behavior Assessments, completed the Autism Certification Program and UCLA PEERS® certification program.  She is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and the California Association for Applied Behavior Analysis. She subscribes to scholarly journals, participates in continuing education opportunities and maintains close ties with a network of professionals in the field.

In addition to being a respected Behavior Analyst, she has been an adjunct faculty member at National University (Camarillo), teaching BCBA course sequence for 3 years. She has served as an Advisory Board Member for Reid's Gift, in Ventura County Ca., is currently a Board Member for the Autism Society of Treasure Valley, ID. and a Ambassador for the Boise Chamber of Commerce.

 

In an effort to reach out to the under-served Spanish speaking community, Yrenka provides parent education work shops across, Portland, Los Angeles, and Boise. 

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Brian Sunderlin

Owner & CFO

     Brian has been quite busy, diligently working to keep all operations up and running smoothly here at SBI. As soon as he has a moment, he will write his bio...

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Mikaela Bercow, BA

Director of Operations

Mikaela began her journey with Sunderlin LA in June of 2018, as a Behavior Therapist. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, with minors in Art and Psychology, from California Lutheran University. Currently, she works with staff across states on a variety of tasks, including intake of new clients and reviewing assessment reports. Mikaela works to ensure that clients receive the guidance they need in a timely manner. In addition, you will often find her cheerful voice on the other end of the phone when you call the office.

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Taylor Thornton, MS, BCBA, LBA

Clinical Supervisor

Taylor earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa before gaining several years experience working as a registered behavior technician. She then pursued her masters degree at Capella University to work towards her dream of becoming a BCBA. She is now a BCBA and branching out in life on her new move from North Carolina to Portland, Oregon!

Taylor enjoys providing behavior therapy services to her clients and their families. One of her greatest passions is helping and guiding others through life’s obstacles, so providing behavior therapy services brings her tremendous purpose and happiness.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, going to concerts, buying new plants, listening to music, drinking coffee, and spending quality time with her friends and family.

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Julianna Tan, MS, BCBA, LBA

Clinical Supervisor 

Julianna is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who joined the Portland team in February 2023. Once finishing a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from University of Washington, she began working as a Registered Behavior Technician in 2020. While working as a Registered Behavior Technician, she supported children between the ages 3-16 and focused on functional communication training across modalities throughout this time. After finishing a master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis in spring of 2022, Julianna obtained her BCBA certification in the winter of 2022. Julianna has worked with children in both in-home and center-based settings. She is eager to grow as a supervisor and help support her clients and their families meet their goals. 

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Meghan Pickens, MA, BCBA

Case Supervisor 

     Bio in progress...

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Patricia Wilson, MA, MS, RBT

Case Supervisor

Patrica Wilson was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at Tuskegee University in Alabama, M.A. in Community Psychology, and recently, M.S. in Special Education with a concentration in ABA.  After working for 10 years in the health insurance field, she started her career journey in ABA in 2019, and is on her way to becoming a BCBA. Providing quality ABA services to families is her top priority. Using evidence-based ABA principles and trauma informed care techniques is a large part of her practice.  

 

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, international traveling, and attending concerts. She is excited to be part of the Sunderlin team in Portland and looks forward to working with the families.

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Shea Gowdy, RBT

Quality Assurance / Office Coordinator

     Prior to working as Sunderlin, Shea spent several years leading wilderness expeditions with at-risk youth, as well as working seasonally as a scuba dive instructor. Outdoor instruction not only taught her adaptability and reliability, but also cultivated her passion for helping others overcome challenges. Shea began working at Sunderlin’s Portland location in June of 2020 as an RBT and quickly progressed to become Lead Therapist in 2021. Later that year, Shea decided to move back to her homeland of Idaho and was transferred to assist in the opening of the Boise clinic as the Quality AssuranceOffice Coordinator. In Idaho, Shea oversees the day-to-day activities of the clinic, works alongside the admin team, trains new staff and provides ABA services. She carries these attributes into her current position at Sunderlin and absolutely loves helping each client grow and succeed.  

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Edward Tate

Billing Manager

    Edward is a Billing and revenue collections specialist who began his journey in the field in 2016 as a collection’s specialist for Applied behavioral analysis claims.  After working on collections, secondary insurance billing, appeals, and audit projects for many years in the same company he was ready to move on and learn new skills.  Edward began working with Sunderlin Behavioral in April 2022 and his current role entails reviewing billing, submitting claims, performing various accounts receivable functions, talking directly to insurance companies, billing patient responsibility, refunds, and talking directly to families about their accounts.  Edward seeks challenging assignments in the organization that will utilize his knowledge and experience to contribute to the objective of Sunderlin Behavioral and to grow with it.  Edward gets self-satisfaction from getting his job assignments completed and knowing that he is helping children and families in need.   

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Kyra Klimes, BBA

Intake Coordinator/Scheduler

Kyra graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from Boise State University. She then immediately dove in at Sunderlin Behavioral as intake coordinator after graduating. Her goal is to have a permanent career and to never stop learning. Before starting at Sunderlin she worked for the local humane society and still frequently visits as a volunteer. Kyra was born and raised in Idaho and has her heart in Boise. She has a passion for helping others behind the scenes which is what lead her to the position she is in today. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, drinking coffee, and endlessly reading books.

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Chelsey Nicholas

HR/Payroll Specialist

Chelsea is a dedicated professional with over ten years of experience in payroll and HR in the Treasure Valley. She’s thrilled to be a part of the Sunderlin team, where she can continue making a positive impact in this field.

Outside of work, her biggest joy comes from spending time with her wonderful family. She has two amazing boys and a very supportive life partner who keep her on my toes. You can find her exploring the great outdoors, whether it's riding bikes, hiking, or walking along the beautiful Greenbelt. She also loves to paddleboard, which allows her to connect with nature and find peace on the water.

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