2018 TOTA Slate of Candidates

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Position: State President Elect
Candidate: Robin V Clearman
Education: 1983 B.S. Occupational Therapy
TOTA Involvement:

  • District Vice-Chair
  • State Fundraising Chair
  • State Membership Chair
  • State Legislative
  • Political Affairs Chair

Position Statement: It has been three years since I last wrote my position statement to run as your President Elect. Reflecting back to 2015, much has been accomplished over the past three years. Some highlights include: Lobbying to keep our licensing board, TBOTE, for 12 more years; Selecting and hiring our new and effective Executive Director, Judi Joseph; Selecting and rolling out a new membership management company, MemberClicks, which included a new website. Along with these great accomplishments, TOTA also offered to you the largest attended Mountain Central Conference in its history. Our membership continues to grow through the TOTA Board’ss continued efforts to advocate and provide CE support for our members.

I am asking you to support and re-elect me as TOTA President for two additional years, in order to continue this momentum into 2020. As we move forward, we have three major agenda items: 1) We will continue to advocate, educate, and push for occupational therapy practitioners to be recognized as non-physician mental health professionals in Texas. 2) We must continue to work with Texas legislators and policy makers regarding Medicaid, and restoring rates and access to care for Texas residents. 3) TOTA will work closely with TBOTE in developing a comprehensive Continuing Education Program that effectively meets the needs of all licensed OT practitioners of Texas.

If elected, I promise to continue to dedicate my work in advocating for the interest of all OT practitioners in Texas. Thank you for your TOTA membership and your understanding of the importance of supporting your profession.

Robin Clearman is a native Texan and obtained his degree in occupational therapy at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He has been a TOTA member since 1983 and has served its members in various capacities from District Vice-Chair, State Fundraising Chair, State Membership Chair, and State Legislative and Political Affairs Chair. Robin was awarded TOTA’s Occupational Therapist of the Year award in 2015.

Robin’s professional career expands over 30 years in the Houston area, and he has advocated for the occupational therapy profession serving on various public and private committees and agencies to include TWCC, HCC, CARF, TDI, and HHSC.

Robin’s clinical experience extends from pediatric to geriatric, and he has worked as an OT in hospitals, SNFs, home health, and outpatient settings. Robin has held many management positions, including OT manager and Rehab Director at Memorial Herman NW Hospital, Rehab Director at Rosewood Hospital, Houston Regional Director at Texas Back Institute, and Executive Director at Cole Health. Robin has accumulated over 20 plus years as a business owner in private practice. Robin is currently co-owner of Wishing Pediatric Therapy and Wishing Well Adult Rehab, a multisite, outpatient occupational, physical, and speech therapy provider.



Position: State Treasurer
Candidate: Ping K Law

  • Master of Business Administration, May 1994, University of Houston, Houston, Texas.
  • BS (Honors) in Occupational Therapy, August 1987, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

TOTA Involvement:

  • 2011 - 2015  Vice President of Texas Occupational Therapy Assoc.
  • 2006 - 2010  Treasure of Texas Occupational Therapy Assoc.
  • 1999 - 2006   Treasurer of Gulf Coast East District, TOTA

Position Statement: It has always  been an honor to serve on the board of TOTA to advance the profession of occupational therapy and engage the professionals and members into the current issues.  With my past experience as treasurer at the district and state level, I will help and continue supporting and maintaining the financial stability of the organization.



Alamo South - District Chair

Candidate: Ricky Joseph

  • Ph.D.  Education, Higher Education Administration 2005
  • Diploma, U.S. Army Command & General Staff College 1993
  • Master of Arts Human Resource Management 1979
  • B.S.  Occupational Therapy 1976

TOTA Involvement:

  • Chair, Alamo South District
  • Member TOTA Executive Board

Position Statement: I am the current Chair of Alamo South District. I have had the honor of leading the district for the past four years.  We now have a full complement of district officers and have increased our outreach to our members in Alamo South.  I look forward to mentor the future leaders of the district, increase the benefits to our members, and the active participation of members in the South Alamo District.



Position: Alamo South - District Treasurer

Candidate: Marta E Dixon


  • St. Phillips college with a OTA license - September 2002.

TOTA Involvement:

  • Currently Alamo South TOTA treasured position. I have help this position for more than 7 years.

Position Statement: I would like to run for the Alamo South TOTA treasurer position, because this is a small way that I can contribute to TOTA. I was the treasurer when I was a student for OTA at ST. Phillips. I am presently the treasurer for the Alamo South TOTA. I am reliable, trustworthy and orderly/organized.



Position: Capital Centex - District Vice Chair



  • BS/MS Occupational Therapy, 2000

TOTA Involvement: I have not previously held a TOTA position.

Position Statement: For the past 17 years I've found myself thinking about how I could best serve my patients, their families, and my coworkers. Over this past year, I've been thinking about how I can best contribute to the betterment of the field of occupational therapy. To pursue this thought/effort I am nominating myself for consideration for the Capitol Centex District Vice Chair position. I am hopeful that my efforts can contribute to the advancement of our profession, to help elevate occupational therapists, the clients we serve, and the communities we live and work in.


Position:Capital Centex - Secretary

Candidate: Natalie Spencer

  • Associate Degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant, graduated 2016

TOTA Involvement: Student Representative-1 year

  • COTA Representative-current position

Position Statement: Natalie Spencer, COTA has been involved with TOTA since she was an Occupational Therapy Assistant Student at Austin Community College.  She was selected as the Student Representative for the Capital Centex District Board, and after graduation was asked to become the COTA Representative for the District Board.  She is currently still the COTA representative and is seeking a nomination for Secretary.  While in school, Natalie was the President for the Student OTA Club and organized two volunteer efforts for Ronald McDonald House, as well as organized a Wellness Fair on campus.  As COTA Representative, Natalie ushered in the first OTA Meet-Up at TOTA Mountain Central Conference 2017.  She hopes to continue these OTA Meet-Ups for future TOTA conferences.  Natalie is fulfilling her dream working in outpatient pediatrics at Line Leader Pediatric Therapy.


Position: Great Plains West - District Chair

Candidate: Matthew Alan Wymore

  • Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD), 2002 Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska
  • Bachelor of Science-Health Science, 1999, University of Nebraska-Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska

TOTA Involvement:

  • Past Great Plains district liaison
  • Current Great Plains district treasure

Position Statement:  I have been an occupational therapist for the past 16 years, and have served on three different state boards during my career.   I have served on the state board of Georgia as the employment chairman and on the Nebraska state board as the new member chairman.  As the current great plains west treasurer, I am proud to be serving with a board of colleagues who represent our profession and the state of Texas with class and professionalism. 

I have worked for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center for the past 9 years, and am currently the assistant director of adult therapy.  I would like the opportunity to serve the great plains district as district chair, and will look to my relationships with past chairs and my current mentors to do a job that will continue to see our district remain strong and relevant in the current state landscape with all of the changes and challenges that our profession face.

I would be honored to continue to work on the progress that our current president Dr. Sandra Whisner has made within our district, and continue to try and get more involvement from our members and provide them with a membership that provides great value.



Position: Gulf Coast East - District Secretary
Candidate: Seneca Wilson

  • Texas Woman's University MOT 2017
  • Texas State University  B.S. 2012

TOTA Involvement:

  • TOTA Emerging Leaders 2016
  • Volunteer as OT-Rex to help raise money for the TOTAPAC at 2016 Conference

Position Statement: I have a passion for our profession and my desire is to grow in leadership. I have previously held the positions of secretary, parliamentarian, and treasurer in a professional organization with over 500 members. My organizational skills and personal drive will contribute to the board and help move our organization forward.



Position: Great Plains West - District Treasurer
Candidate: Dustin Blackington

  • Graduated 2015 Husson University, Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Graduated 2014 Husson University, Bachelors of Science in Psychology

TOTA Involvement: I have been a member of TOTA for over 2 years and have participated in multiple con-ed courses through TOTA as well as presented on Kinesiotaping. Currently I have been working with another TOTA member to work on bringing an increase of participation from OT and COTAs alike in the San Angelo area.

Position Statement: I have been an Occupational Therapist for nearly three years now working for an amazing clinic in west Texas. I have had the opportunity to work with patients from all walks of life as well as be apart of a team that constantly pushes one another to be the best. Because of the opportunities I have had to this point, not only has patient care been the highest possible, personal growth has been tremendous. I have been a TOTA member for over 2 years and have participated in majority of the CE courses offered for TOTA. I have presented for TOTA and am signed up to present on current topics in our growing profession. I look forward to the opportunities that TOTA has to offer not only for clinicians, but for all the individuals in the State of Texas. I believe that I would be a good candidate for the treasurer position as I am tact, eager for growth and looking forward to working with all of the other great clinicians on the TOTA board to continue to grow our state programs.


Position:Gulf Coast East - District Secretary

Candidate: Erin Shirk


  • May 2012: BS in Nutritional Sciences, opt. Allied Health from Oklahoma State University
  • Dec. 2016: Master's of Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman's University

TOTA Involvement: In the past, my involvement with TOTA has been membership, regular meeting attendance, and attending conference. I look forward with hope and anticipation at the prospect in becoming more involved in my local TOTA district.

Position Statement: As I have become more acclimated in my role of "therapist/provider," and transitioned from "student," I have been looking for ways to be proactive and more involved in my OT community. Aside from being proficient in the usual traits that are necessary for a Secretary position, i.e. organization, time management, tracking/distributing information, and skilled communication, I am a new professional eager to participate in more ways that involves working more closely with my OT organization, as well as my colleagues/peers. My hope is that, should I be given this opportunity to work as Secretary, that it will serve as a "gateway" to future opportunities in TOTA.




Position: Gulf Coast East - District Vice Chair

Candidate: Diane M Collins

Education: Diane M. Collins, OT, PhD, is an innovative occupational therapist, researcher and clinician. Her research interests focus primarily on improving the quality of life for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and spina bifida through provision of assistive technology, environmental modification, and occupational therapy interventions. Dr. Collins's education includes a BS in OT from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, an MA in Management from Webster University, Myrtle Beach, SC, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

TOTA Involvement: I have been the Vice-Chair of the Gulf Coast East District of TOTA for the last two years. In this position, I have helped to arrange the monthly Megameeting presenters along with Anna Haertling and Catherine Graves. In addition, I have been a Mentor in the Texas Emerging Leaders Program, for the last two years. Further, I have been the continuing education liaison between the monthly TOTA Megameetings and the University of Texas Medical Branch. I have attended the MCC Conferences held by TOTA and presented my research as most of these conferences.

Position Statement: The reason I would like to stay in this position is that I would like to help keep the profession of occupational therapy moving forward. We are currently at a precipice in which the road ahead for our profession is controversial, at best, and the direction to take is unclear. I believe that education is necessary for keeping all options open for our OTs and OTAs. I have the desire to give back to my profession and am not afraid to follow my convictions to maintain our standing among healthcare providers.

I bring with me a wealth of resources and knowledge to help craft our road ahead. I have a desire to give back to the profession that provided a rich and wonderful life for me and my family. As I grow older, I see my education and career as a gift that I would like to give to others. We have a lot of work to do first to address the controversy we are facing. We need frank open discussion and education from and about both sides of the issue to resolve things and move ahead.

Position: Rio Grande - District Chair

Candidate: Dahlia Cavazos Castillo


  • 2016 OTD from Mount Mary University; 2002 MS from The University of Texas at El Paso; 1991 BSOT from Texas Tech  University Health Sciences Center

TOTA Involvement:

  • Current district chair and past secretary. 
  • I first became a member of TOTA in 1988 as an OT student.

Position Statement: With healthcare and education changing, as well as the mandate to move into an OTD for OTRs, and the possibility of movement to a Bachelor's degree for OTAs, it is important to be keenly aware of the issues we face.  As the district chair, I will continue to stay up to date and involved when it comes to advocating for our profession and the interests of every professional is this area.  I plan to continue to assure that all occupational therapy practitioners have a voice on every issue that affects their practice.


Position: Rio Grande - District Treasurer

Candidate: Ursel Lovett

Education: Masters Occupational Therapy, the University of Texas at El Paso, BS in Health Promotion-minor in Biology: University of Texas at El Paso.

TOTA Involvement: Rio Grande District Treasurer

TOTA Member Gold Seal

Position Statement: I Ursel H. Lovett, a TOTA member since 2008, would like to continue to serve TOTA in the capacity of treasurer for the Rio Grande District. I will be honest, collaborate with the other board members, and use my strengths to support the duty description of a treasurer with professionalism; and make an earnest effort to do my best for the advancement of TOTA and the occupational therapy profession.



Position: Trinity North - District Secretary

Candidate: Alissa Pettit


  • December 2017, Master of Occupational Therapy

TOTA Involvement:

  • Mentee in the Texas Occupational Therapy Emerging Leader program (2016-2017).

Position Statement: As a student, in the Texas Occupational Therapy Emerging Leader program, I was paired with the current Gulf Coast East district chair who mentored me and taught me the value of being involved with our professional organizations such as TOTA and AOTA. I had the privilege to sit in on many of the meetings both at a state and national level which gave me great insight on the logistics and leadership within both organizations. I believe it is essential for us to be involved, to stay informed and to stand up for our rights as a profession. As a new graduate, it would be an honor to serve the members of the Trinity North district in this capacity.




Position: Trinity North - District Vice Chair

Candidate: Shannon Levandowski


  • BA - Early Childhood Education, Clemson University, 1999
  • BS - Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2002
  • MS - Occupational Therapy, Boston University, 2007
  • OTD - Occupational Therapy, Boston University, 2009
  • EdD - Leadership & Innovation, St Thomas University, In Progress

TOTA Involvement:

  • Member - 2015 - Present
  • Presenter at Conference - 2015 - Present (yearly)

Position Statement: I presently serve as Texas Woman's University as the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for Dallas, Denton and Houston campuses. As an AFWC managing over 300 level 2 placements yearly, I have excellent project development, project management, organization and time management skills. I am often wearing multiple hats within my role and managing several projects simultaneously,  Within my teams and committees I am often known as the member that will tackle projects and complete them before given timelines so I can create opportunity to facilitate assistance to others or move on to my next project.  I am most comfortable when I can create efficient and organized plans and process to reach the desired goals.  Within the grate state of Texas, I balance my role between our educators, our students and the School.  Because my role is distinct in its nature, I have the ability to connect with many stakeholders in North Texas, particularly for recruitment and maintenance of one's interest and participation in TOTA.

As part of my role as AFWC for TWU, I have recently begun to integrate new technologies to integrate and disseminate information to students, educators and faculty. In particular, I have increased my student engagement through the use of social media and collaborative technologies such as Zoom and Google Drive.  I update School information, changes in requirements for students, reminders and content as part of my role.   I am very comfortable with exploring technologies to communicate to stakeholders.  As the Vice Chair in North Trinity, I see myself able to contribute to the team in advancing our use of media and technology to meet the needs of stakeholders and members.

As a member of TOTA , I encourage my students to engage and participate in meetings and TOTA based activities.  I look forward to having more of an impact on North Trinity's actions and plans for the area if elected into the Vice Chair position.  I thank you for your consideration.

 Emelie Klingman


Position: Trinity North - District Vice Chair

Candidate: Emilie S. Klingman


  • Master of Occupational Therapy, May 2010, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • Honors: Recipient of United States Department of Education Grant for Early Intervention and School Services Providers
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, May 2007, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Minor in Child Developmental Psychology
  • Honors: Magna Cum Laude

TOTA Involvement:

  • Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA) Member, 2010-2012, 2013-Present
  • TOTA Trinity North District Council on Development/Public Relations Position, September 2015-Current
  • Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA) Member, 2010-2012, 2013-Present
  • TOTA Trinity North District Council on Development/Public Relations Position, September 2015-Current

Position Statement: Hello, Trinity North District! My name is Emilie Klingman, formerly Emilie Lam. You may recognize my name from Facebook, Twitter, and district informational emails that I send through my current role as Council on Development/Public Relations for our district. I created this non-elected district position nearly 3 years ago, because I saw the opportunity to increase participation in our district and to promote state membership.  These job responsibilities have included coordinating a vendor for our district meetings and providing updates regarding district events on social media. I expanded the role with new ideas, which are still in their infancy, but include community service events (Coats for CASA) and district happy hours. In addition, I am currently collaborating with our District Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Representative regarding a membership drive. 

The entirety of my 8-year career as a registered occupational therapist (OTR) has been spent in Texas in a variety of practice settings, including primary settings of school-based, adult acute care, and pediatric outpatient services, and secondary settings of  pediatric acute care, adult inpatient rehab, and skilled nursing facility practice. I currently work in outpatient pediatrics at Children's Health, where I am the Lead OT for the Concussion Program, another role I created. This position includes advocating for the role of OT in concussion care across our system, collaborating with various healthcare professionals,  standardizing training and practices of OT concussion care in our system, and educating our OTs on current evidence and standards of practice, as well as educating students, schools, and parents on safe and evidence-based ways to return students to their daily occupations. My quest to provide up-to-date and evidence-based care to my patients blossomed into me wanting to share my knowledge with others by providing continuing education (CE) classes at our district meeting, state conference, and the Texas Woman's University's Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship.

As you can see, I am innovative, collaborative, evidence-based, passionate for advocating about OT, and a go-getter! These are qualities I will bring to the office of Trinity North District Vice Chair, as I assist our District Chair and continue my work on expanding membership and participation in our district. Thank you for your consideration of me, Emilie Klingman, for Trinity North District Vice Chair!