2020 TOTA Slate of Candidates

The election has ended. Election results will be announced to the membership on July 5th.

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.  

2020 Positions Up for Election
State Board: District Positions:
  Alamo South Capital Centex Great Plains West Gulf Coast East Rio Grande Trinity North

Treasurer

Chair
Treasurer
Vice Chair
Secretary 
Chair
Treasurer
Vice Chair
Secretary 
Chair
Treasurer

Vice Chair
Secretary 

 


 Click on a link to jump to specific list of candidate profiles. 


 


Candidates for the Office of TOTA State Treasurer: 


Robin ClearmanRobin Clearman, OTR, CLT -- Candidate for the office of TOTA State Treasurer, is a 1983 graduate of UTMB Galveston, and is the founder and owner of Wishing Well Adult Rehabilitation and Wishing Well Pediatric Therapy. Robin has been a member of TOTA since 2000 and currently serves as President. He has also previously served as Membership Chair and Legislative & Political Affairs Chair. During his time as TOTA President, Robin has led the association through many pivotal changes. He feels that his experience in management and entrepreneurship, as well as in TOTA leadership make him the best candidate for State Treasurer.

Position Statement: I am requesting your support to serve as TOTA Treasurer. I am passionate about the profession of Occupational Therapy, and I am proud to be a native Texan. I feel strongly I am your best candidate to serve as TOTA Treasurer, given my experience with TOTA in various volunteer leadership capacities (President, Chair of Legislative & Political Affairs, Chair of Membership), along with over 35 years in management and 30 years as an entrepreneur providing multidisciplinary rehabilitative services in Texas. I am currently completing the final year of my second term as your TOTA President. Under my leadership over the past 3.5 years, TOTA has undergone substantial and pivotal changes: Selection and hiring of a new Executive Director; Implementation of a new membership management system (MemberClicks); New website; Increased membership; Record-breaking attendance at conference; Addition of new accounting firm and employment of a bookkeeper; Revision and streamlining of financial chart of accounts. During my tenure as President, through changes that I have led the charge on, TOTA has become a more viable and sustainable as a membership organization; we currently have over a half a million dollars in assets. As Treasurer, I will provide the TOTA membership with timely budgets and transparent financial reports that support TOTA’s strategic plan. TOTA’s ultimate charge is to serve it members of Texas, and I will ensure that we will reinvest your membership dollars to better serve you.


Shari FeltonShari Felton, OTR, MOT --
 Candidate for the office of TOTA State Treasurer graduated in 2005 with her Masters in Occupational Therapy. She has worked in Inpatient Rehabilitation for the past 9 years at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. She has been a member of TOTA since 2005 and previously served as Treasurer of the Trinity North District, as well as State Treasurer. Shari believes that her previous career as a certified public accountant with a specialization in non-profit accounting, as well as her past experience in the position, makes her the best candidate for State Treasurer.

Position Statement: I am running for the position of state treasurer. In my previous career I had been a certified public accountant for over 15 years with a later specialization in nonprofit accounting. Blending my understanding of business and years as a therapist I can be a good resource to our executive director. I have held state office before and understand the commitment our organization needs. I feel that I would be the best candidate for the position because of my desire to see our professional organization to be on good financial footing to allow it to operate as the advocate of our profession.


Alamo South District


Candidate for Alamo South District Chair

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Candidate for Alamo South District Treasurer


Marta DixonMarta Dixon, COTA  Candidate for Alamo South District Treasurer, graduated from St. Phillips College in 2002, and has worked in the public-school system for the past 18 years. She has been a member of TOTA since 2001 and has served as Treasurer for the Alamo South District since 2013. Marta believes she is the best candidate for the Treasurer position in this statement and will continue to do the best she can as a member of the TOTA.

Position Statement: I have been very reliable and trustworthy during my time as treasure for Alamo South TOTA. I would continue to do the best I can as a member of TOTA.

 

Capital Centex District


Candidate for Capital Centex District Vice Chair


Carol ZaricorAnita "Carol" Zaricor, OTR, OTD – Candidate for the office of Capital Centex District Vice Chair, has previously served as area liaison and regularly attends meetings in the Capital-Centex District. With 35 years of occupational therapy experience, Carol has served a range of populations in various practice settings. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor and Academic Fieldwork Educator at McLennan Community College. Carol graduated from the University of Saint Augustine in 2019 with her Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, after previously obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. As Vice-Chair of the Capital-Centex District she feels that she will have the opportunity to demonstrate her pride in occupational therapy and the importance of TOTA membership.

Position Statement: Occupational therapy is a discipline like no other. I take pride in my title of Occupational Therapist, not to boast, but to acknowledge the value occupational therapy brings to the individual, group, community, and world. As Vice-Chair of the Capital Centex district, I will have the opportunity to share this pride and demonstrate the importance of membership in TOTA. With my management experience, I have the skills to work with a team, setting goals, developing programs, sharing information, and furthering the mission of TOTA. Education is vital to our members at the district, state, and national levels. I am an experienced educator with technical skills and educational resources to support the needs of the district. I am active in AOTA and available, willing to attend, and actively participate on committees, as necessary. After 35 years as an occupational therapist, I am ready to serve and support this organization as the Vice-Chair for the Capital Centex District.


Candidate for Capital Centex District Secretary

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Great Plains West


Candidate for Great Plains West District District Chair


Matt WymoreMatt Wymore, OTR, OTD, CHT, COMT – Candidate for the office of Great Plains West District Chair, is the Assistant Director of Therapy at West Texas Rehab in San Angelo and works primarily in outpatient upper extremity. Matt is a certified hand therapist (CHT) and a certified orthopedic manual therapist (COMT). Matt is a 2002 graduate of Creighton University where he obtained his Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy. Matt has previously served as District Treasurer, and currently serves as the Chair of the Great Plains West District. During his tenure as District Chair he headed The First Annual Bubba Klosterman Symposium and is planning future symposiums as well as implementing webinar based monthly meetings.

Position Statement: The last two years of serving our district have been a lot of fun and full of challenges representing the Great Plains West district as the current district chair. Our district is large, strong and in good shape to move forward in the current healthcare climate. In addition to serving as the current district chair, I am still an occupational therapist in San Angelo Texas and work at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center. I am the assistant director of adult therapy, and work primarily in outpatient upper extremity orthopedics. I am a certified hand therapist (CHT) and a certified orthopedic manual therapist (COMT). In addition to serving in the great state of Texas, I have had the opportunity to serve on the occupational therapy state board of Georgia as the employment chairman and on the Nebraska occupational therapy state board as the new member chairman. I look forward to continuing our work in the district, as we are now offering a day long CEU course in the summer and are rolling out our webinar based monthly meetings starting in April 2020 over zoom. I would appreciate your vote and would be honored to serve for a final two years for our district.


Candidate for Great Plains District Treasurer


No ImageChris Lasek, OTR
– C
andidate for the office of Great Plains West District Treasurer, is a 2016 graduate of Texas Tech University with a Master of Occupational Therapy and a 2003 graduate of the University of Colorado with his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He currently works at Caraday Healthcare Skilled Nursing Facility in San Angelo, Tx. Chris has been a TOTA member since 2015 and is currently Treasurer of the Great Plains West District, for which he is seeking reelection. Chris believes that TOTA has exciting opportunities for growth and would be honored to continue serving as your District Treasurer.

Position Statement: I am currently serving as the Great Plains West District Treasurer and would like to run for this position again for the 2020 election cycle. I have enjoyed serving the GPW district in this capacity and being a more active member of TOTA. I am detail-oriented and responsible and managing and keeping track of finances comes easy for me. I believe TOTA has a lot to offer its members and has exciting opportunities for growth and I would like to be a part of this. I would be honored to continue to serve as your GPW District Treasurer. Thank you for your votes!

 
Gulf Coast East


Candidate for Gulf Coast East District Vice Chair


Kira BealKira Beal, OTR, OTD, CLT – Candidate for the office of Gulf Coast East District Vice Chair, Kira is currently employed as the Department Chair of the Health Sciences Program and the Director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at San Jacinto College, where she has served for the past 3 and a half years. She has been a member of TOTA since 2003 and previously served as the Membership Chair. Kira would like to take on a more active role within her district and believes that her experience and knowledge would be beneficial in the position of Vice Chair for the Gulf Coast East District. Kira feels that she could help broaden awareness of the importance of being involved in district, state, and national OT associations.

Position Statement: As a candidate for Vice Chair of the Gulf Coast East District, I am passionate about our OT profession and remaining visible to all other health professions. This position would allow me the opportunity to have a more active role in TOTA and especially within my district as there are a lot of challenges within our profession currently. I believe that my representation on the board will be beneficial to the district from my academic and clinical background within the profession. As Vice Chair, I would work closely with the Chair of the Gulf Coast District to provide opportunities as well as broaden awareness of the importance of being involved in district, state, and national OT associations.


Candidates for Gulf Coast East District Secretary


Vicki ThomasVicki Thomas, COTA – Candidate for the office of Gulf Coast East District Secretary, Vicki, received her Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assisting from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1990, and her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Marketing and Management in 2019. She is employed as a home health therapist, as well as a part time instructor for the OTA program at San Jacinto College. She has previously held the position of OTA Representative, District Co-Chair and Membership Co-Chair for the Louisiana Occupational Therapy Association. Vickie believes that being an active member of her association allows her to give back to a profession that has given her so much.

Position Statement: Healthcare is constantly changing. Recently, we've dealt with significant changes in our ability to provide services thanks to PDPM, PDGM, and even COVID. This "alphabet soup" of change has impaired practitioners to effectively practice in their settings. We need leaders who are dedicated to staying abreast of these changes and are doing everything possible to ensure these changes do not negatively impact our ability to provide quality services. We need leaders who believe our profession should always have a seat at the table of those who attempt to make decisions on our behalf whether for reimbursement or the amount of services our clients need. We need leaders who keep in mind what's in the best interest of their clients. I believe I can be that type of leader and that is why I believe I'm the best candidate for this position. 


Helen WanHelen Wan, OTR, MOT  Candidate for the office of Gulf Coast East District Secretary, graduated from Texas Women’s University in Houston in 2016. She has worked in Inpatient Rehab and Acute Care at HCA Houston Healthcare for the past 3 years and has been a member of TOTA since 2014. Prior to her career as an OTR, Helen worked in marketing and advertising and feels that she would be the perfect fit as Secretary of the Gulf Coast East District. She is passionate about occupational therapy and eager to collaborate with other leaders in our profession.

Position Statement: I would be ecstatic to fulfill the Gulf Coast East District Secretary role. Prior to becoming an OT, I worked in marketing and advertising for 7 years, where I gained significant experience documenting daily meetings with clients in order to formally recap pertinent information that was discussed and make an assessment of action items to disseminate. With experience in working in a fast-paced business environment, combined with attention-to-detail, I can accurately record and document meetings efficiently and concisely. I am dedicated and extremely passionate about occupational therapy, and I am eager to collaborate with leaders of our inspiring profession to organize meetings, improve organization of files, track and document meeting minutes, develop meaningful ways to engage and communicate with our members, and represent our profession proudly.


Rio Grande District


Candidate for Rio Grande District Chair

 
Kaleigh StevensKaleigh Stevens, OTR, OTD – Candidate for the office of Rio Grande District Chair, has been a member of TOTA since 2015. She previously served as Secretary of the Great Plains District and is currently serving as Secretary for the Rio Grande District. She holds a Doctor of Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University and is employed with Neuro-Restorative in El Paso, Texas. Kaleigh appreciates every opportunity that TOTA has offered her to learn and grow with other professionals in the field as both a member and an officer. She hopes to continue to develop her relationship with the organization further as Rio Grande District Chair, while also helping to foster a greater sense of community among practitioners in the Rio Grande district.

Position Statement: I am very excited to be running for chair of the TOTA Rio Grande district. I have been involved in TOTA since moving back to Texas in 2015 and have appreciated every opportunity that the organization has offered me to learn and grow with other professionals in the field as both a member and an officer. I hope to continue to develop my relationship with the organization further as District Chair, while also helping to foster a greater sense of community among practitioners in the Rio Grande district.

 
Candidate for Rio Grande District Treasurer

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Trinity North District


Candidates for Trinity North District Vice Chair


Emilie KlingmanEmilie Klingman, OTR, MOT – Candidate for the office of Trinity North District Vice Chair, is a 2010 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education Grant for Early Intervention and School Services Providers. She is currently employed with the Children’s Health System of Texas, where she leads the Children’s Health Concussion Program. She is a member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association and a founding member of the Children’s Health Rehabilitation and Therapy Services Concussion Committee. Emilie has been a member of the TOTA since 2010 and has served as the Trinity North District Vice Chair since November of 2018.

Position Statement: My name is Emilie Klingman. I am honored to have served as your Vice Chair for the past 2 years. Contributions I have made to our district include developing newsletters, scheduling continuing education (CE) presenters, and collaborating with other board members to increase membership. My diverse 10-year career as an OTR has been spent in school, acute care, and outpatient practice, with additional involvement in presenting CEs and program building. My combination of work experience and leadership roles enables me to fulfill the variety of duties related to the office of Vice Chair.


JamieJamie Vozenilek, OTR – Candidate for the office of Trinity North District Vice Chair, is a 1996 graduate of Texas Women’s University and currently works for the Cooke County Special Education SSA. She has previously served as Chair and Secretary of the Trinity North District and has presented at the Mountain Central Conference. Jamie has experience in the VA, SNF, hospital, home health, and school settings. She is interested in returning to a leadership role as Vice Chair of the Trinity North District in order to better promote our profession, and strongly believes that we must define and promote our services in order to remain viable in today’s telehealth climate.

Position Statement: I have worked as an occupational therapist at the Dallas VA Medical Center (hand therapy, acute care, pain clinic, SCI and Mental Health), in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, home health, pediatric home health and now school systems. At this time, I am exploring ways to expand my practice (including consultation and provision of continuing education). I have worked with COTAs and value their contributions to the field. I strongly believe that we must define and promote our services in order to remain viable, especially in our current situation with emphasis on telemedicine. Building our professional organizations and increasing member participation is vital. I am interested in returning to leadership in TOTA in order to better promote our profession.  


Candidates for Trinity North District Secretary


Brynn NealonBrynn Nealon, OTR, MOT  Candidate for the office of Trinity North District Secretary, is a 2011 graduate of Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She recently moved to Dallas, where she works in pediatrics for the Children’s Health System. Brynn also has experience working in adult rehab through the Baylor Institute and the Select Medical system. She has been a member of TOTA since 2019 and is looking forward to taking on a more active role within the association. Brynn feels that her experience and knowledge make her the best candidate for Secretary of the Trinity North District.

Position Statement: As an occupational therapist for the past nine years, I have pursued continual learning opportunities and mentorship experiences to enhance my knowledge in the field. With this foundation, my professional goal to become an emerging leader in this community. The secretary role of the Trinity North District of TOTA is an exciting way that I can become involved within the occupational therapy community. 


Alyssa PettitAlissa Pettit, OTR, MOT – Candidate for the office of Trinity North District Secretary, is a 2017 graduate of Texas Women’s University and currently works in acute care with the Methodist Health System. She has been a member of TOTA since 2015, has served as Secretary of the Trinity North District since 2018, and participated in the Texas Occupational Therapy Emerging Leader Program. Alissa has been honored to serve in this capacity and would love to continue in this role. Her vision and goal, should she remain in the position, is to expand membership, maintain organization of new CEU virtual sites, and increase attendance and breadth of CEU meetings.

Position Statement: Serving as the Trinity North district secretary for the past 2 years has been an honor and I'd love to continue to serve in this role. These past couple years I have developed and organized new ways of outreaching to district members in order to keep them informed of CE meetings, service events, and other important information regarding the profession in our district. I have also assisted in developing and executing service events directing serve our community. In the coming term, my vision and goal is to further assist in expanding membership, maintain organization of new CEU virtual sites, and increase our attendance and breadth of our CEU meetings.