2019 TOTA New State and District Board Members

Here are your 2019 elected members.  They will be sworn in at the 2019 TOTA Annual Business Meeting on Nov. 2, 2019 and take office at the end of the meeting.

President Elect: Jason Stark 
State Vice President: Laurie Stelter 
State Secretary: Adele Brunson 
Trinity North District Chair: Keegan McKay 
Trinity North Treasurer: William Sit 
Gulf Coast East District Chair: Diane Collins 
Gulf Coast East Treasurer: Esmeralda Lizcano 
Great Plains West Vice Chair: Whitney Jo Weindorf 
Great Plains West Secretary: Beth Owens 
Rio Grande Vice Chair: Carolyn Pena 
Rio Grande Secretary: Kaleigh Stevens 
Capital Centex District Chair: Giuli Krug 
Capital Centex Treasurer: Katelyn Halby 
Alamo South Vice Chair: Monica Clark 
Alamo South Secretary: Alyssa Laurel


 

Elections are open to all current members of TOTA. All members are encouraged to vote for State Board positions and for the candidates within their district. Click on a link to jump to specific list of candidate profiles.  



State Board


State President Elect

Candidate:
 Jason Lynn Stark

Education: 

  • Master of Healthcare Administration, Texas Women’s University (currently enrolled)
  • B.S. in Occupational Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Science Center

TOTA Involvement:

  • Vice President (Current)
  • Gulf Coast East District Chair (2013-2015)
  • Gulf Coast East District Development Chair (2012-2013)

Position Statement: As a candidate for President Elect of TOTA, I plan to focus on growth, diversification, innovation, and serving membership. I look forward to continuing to bring awareness to the community, support students and professionals, and continue to strengthen the brand of Occupational Therapy. I am committed to put in the work to take the organization to the next level. I have over 15 years of management experience with a strong focus on relationships, coaching, growth and ongoing process improvement. I would be honored and excited to represent Texas as President Elect TOTA. 


State Vice President

Candidate:
 Laurie Stelter

Education: 

  • PhD in Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University
  • M.A. in Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University
  • B.S. in Occupational Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

TOTA Involvement:

  • Great Plains West District Education Coordinator (2015-present)
  • TOTA Member for approximately 20 years!

Position Statement: I am passionate about the role of TOTA in strengthening the profession of occupational therapy in our state and nation. As the education coordinator for my district, I have successfully facilitated over 20 continuing education opportunities. I have also had the opportunity to pursue other leadership roles over my career. Most recently this includes being co-chair of the Texas Experiential Education Council, academic advisor for the TTUHSC SOTA, and member of the AOTA Academic Leadership Council Fieldwork Annual Report AdHoc Committee. I am excited about serving our profession as State VP.


State Secretary

Candidate: April Arnold

Education: A.A.S. as an OTA, Houston Community College - Coleman College for Health Sciences 

TOTA Involvement: Student Representative (2011-2012)

Position Statement: I have a passion for OT and feel that it is important to give back to the profession. I have extensive experience in the skilled nursing setting, as well as a grandson with Spina Bifida, which has allowed me to experience occupational therapy across the life span. Our profession is facing so many uncertainties with regulatory changes, access to care concerns, changes in educational requirements, etc, and I feel that it is important to get involved where we can, and be a voice for those who can't.


State Secretary

Candidate: Adele Brunson

Education: 

  • M.O.T, Texas Woman’s University, Houston Campus
  • B.S. in Kinesiology, Minor in Psychology, Texas A&M University

TOTA Involvement:

  • TOTA State Secretary (2017-Present)
  • TOTEL Program Co-Developer (2015-Present)
  • Gulf Coast East District Secretary (2016-2017)
  • TWU TOTA Student Representative (2014)
  • MCC Volunteer (2014)

Position Statement: I am a passionate leader who values integrity, character, communication, organization, and hard work. I love occupational therapy and I cherish every opportunity to give back to the profession. As a candidate for the Secretary of TOTA, it would be an honor to continue serving all practitioners and students and to continue improving the state association’s communication platform in innovative new ways. It is my goal to increase the interconnection and synergy with our members in a way that they can feel especially informed as our profession and association soars to new heights.



Alamo South District


District Vice Chair

Candidate: Monica Starkovich Clark

Education: 

  • O.T.D
  • M.O.T  
  • B.S. in Psychology

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Alamo South District Vice Chair (2017-present)
  • Alamo South District Development Chair (2017-2018)
  • Alamo South District Education Chair (2016-2017)

Position Statement: I am committed to the successful future of our profession, including visibility, sustainability, and quality, on a local, national, and global level. Through service as an officer in TOTA, I can direct this passion to where it is most needed and impactful.


District Secretary
Candidate: Alyssa Laurel

Education: 

  • M.O.T., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Texas at San Antonio

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Alamo South District Secretary (current)

Position Statement: As the current ASD secretary, I have provided diligent documentation of all officer and general membership meetings. I have also ensured appropriate commendation for our guest speakers for their willingness to share their passion for OT with fellow district members. If elected again, I intend to serve to the best of my capabilities.

 

Capital Centex District


District Chair

Candidate: Giuli Krug

Education:
 

  • PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • M.A. in Higher and Continuing Education, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • B.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

TOTA Involvement: 

  • TOTA Workshop and CE Presenter

Position Statement: I have had the opportunity to share ideas with Judi Joseph , TOTA Executive Director, Robin Clearman, TOTA President and Leslie Smart, CenTex District Chair. I share their passion for this amazing profession and am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of Texas into the model for communication, collaboration, and advocacy in the US. I hope to build bridges between practitioners and educators so that we can work together to influence both education and practice in ways that ultimately benefit those we work with every day. Simply put: I love OT and want us to thrive!

 
District Treasurer
Candidate: Katelyn Halby

Education: 

  • A.A.S. as an OTAAustin Community College 
  • B.A. in Psychology, Texas State University

TOTA Involvement: Treasurer (current)

Position Statement: I hope to continue to represent and advocate for occupational therapy in Texas by serving on the board for the Capital Centex district of TOTA. I strive to be a part of the growth and adaptation of our district with smart and accurate financial management.

 

Great Plains West District


District Vice Chair

Candidate: Whitney Jo Weindorf

Education: 

  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Texas at Austin 
  • B.S.O.T, Texas Tech University Health Science Center

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Great Plains West District Vice Chair (present) 

Position Statement: It would be my honor to continue to serve TOTA and the wonderful membership of the Great Plains West District as Vice Chair. I will seek to continue our district's recruitment in support of broader and grander membership, enhanced educational opportunities, all combined with new and innovative approaches to the larger TOTA mission that will clearly distinguish our district from others throughout the state. I stand committed to guiding our district toward statewide prominence, for the benefit of our profession, its practitioners, and the entire discipline of occupational therapy.

 
District Secretary
Candidate: Beth Owens

Education: 

  • M.O.T., Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • B.S. in Education, Angelo State University 

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Great Plains District Development Chair 

Position Statement: I am committed to doing a job completely and will take full responsibility for my role as secretary of the Great Plains West District. I have been an active member of the Great Plains West District since 2012 and have participated consistently in our district meetings and continuing education events. I recently attended TOTA Day at the Capitol and my passion for advocacy for our Occupational Therapy profession was reignited. I am eager to serve our district and do so with intention and precision.

 

Gulf Coast East District


District Chair

Candidate: Diane M. Collins

Education: 

  • PhD in Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh
  • M.A. in Managemet, Webster University
  • B.S. in Occupational Therapy, Wayne State University

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Interim chair of the Gulf Coast East District (present)

Position Statement: I have been the interim chair of the Gulf Coast East District since November. I have acquired a wonderful group of OTs and OTAs and students to fill positions on the board. Together, we have made great plans for this coming year, including Continuing Education Offerings, and advocating for OT Month in April. I would like to fulfill the plans made by the board and to serve and advocate for our members. The Texas Occupational Therapy Association is a great organization and we need to recruit new members so together, we can make our voices heard at the Capital and in our daily working lives.


District Treasurer

Candidate: Esmeralda Lizcano

Education: M.O.T., TWU Houston

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Nominating Committee Member (2018-present)

Position Statement: I believe I am qualified for the treasurer position because I am organized, detail oriented, and take great interest in assisting with the progression of TOTA. I’m familiar with working in an organization as I have been the social chair for TWU’s Student Occupational Therapy Association program. As social chair, I organized outings with our SOTA group, volunteer projects, and managed a small budget for events. I have a few ideas that may assist in creating more funds for our organization including community outreach.  I look forward to serving TOTA.


District Treasurer
Candidate: Theresa Smith

Education: 

  • PhD in Occupational Therapy, Nova Southeastern University
  • M.H.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
  • B.H.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Florida

TOTA Involvement: 

  • TOTF Member
  • MCC proposal reviewer (2017)

Position Statement: I would like to engage in professional service for the profession of occupational therapy at the state level. I have taught management for 10 years and believe I have the skills to perform the duties of the Treasurer.



Rio Grande District


District Vice Chair
Candidate: Carolyn Marie Pena

Education:
 

  • B.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Texas at El Paso
  • B.S. in Kinesiology, University of Texas at San Antonio

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Rio Grande District Vice-Chair (current)
  • Rio Grande District Secretary
  • Rio Grande District Treasurer
  • Rio Grande District Education Committee Chair
  • Rio Grande District Student Representative

Position Statement: I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you as your Vice-Chair for the Rio Grande District of TOTA for the past five consecutive terms and would be honored to continue serving you in this capacity. I will gladly continue to assist the chairperson in any capacity, to include organizing local continuing education opportunities and serving on designated committees.  I believe that my commitment to the profession of Occupational Therapy and extensive involvement with TOTA qualify me to represent my fellow therapists and fulfill the requirements of this position.


District Secretary

Candidate: Kaleigh Stevens

Education: 

  • M.O.T., Texas Tech University
  • B.A. in Psychology, Texas Tech University

TOTA Involvement: Great Plains West District Secretary (2016-2017)

Position Statement: My experience as secretary for the Great Plains West District was rewarding and offered many opportunities for professional growth. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of a group of professionals dedicated to growing the field of OT and bringing together the community in the Great Plains. As secretary, I helped to organize meetings, keep track of official documents, and assisted with the development of an on-line drive where officers could quickly access district forms and information. I hope to continue my involvement with TOTA and to lend my skills to the Rio Grande District.



Trinity North District


District Chair

Candidate: Keegan McKay

Education: 

  • O.T.D., Texas Woman's University 
  • M.O.T., Texas Woman's University
  • B.A. in Psychology and English, University of South Africa

TOTA Involvement: 

  • Trinity North District Treasurer (2017-present)

Position Statement: I believe in a strengths-based approach to leadership. In combination with this approach, I feel I have the energy, positivity, and organization that it takes to be successful in the role of District Chair. With nearly seven years of management experience, and several years teaching OT and OTA students, I have the necessary skills and feel ready to take on this important role. Having spent the last two years as the Trinity North District Treasurer, I am well equipped to transition to this new role and continue working closely with my colleagues, fellow committee members, and TOTA members.