Meet the Staff

​All staff of Shine Therapy Services are all Early Intervention specialists credentialed through the Early Intervention Program in Illinois. Speech-language pathologists are credentialed with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensed by the State of Illinois. Occupational therapists are certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and licensed by the State of Illinois.

Sarah K Ziemba
Speech-Language Pathologist/Owner

Sarah founded Shine Therapy Services in 2011, after having worked in a variety of settings.  She has been a provider of speech therapy services in the Early Intervention system since 1999.  She was trained at Northern Illinois University as part of a grant through Early Intervention and graduated with her Masters in 2000.  She was then employed in a clinic setting where she worked with speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists.  Sarah provided speech therapy in this setting until 2004, when she began seeing clients through Early Intervention in their natural environments.  Sarah was also employed part-time in the Early Childhood (3-5 year old) Program in the Peoria Public Schools from 2004-2006, which gave her a unique perspective into the transition process for Early Intervention.  Since 2006 she has worked fulltime providing speech assessments and therapy to children primarily in the Early Intervention System, as well as a caseload of children age 3-10 which are seen as insurance-pay/private pay clients. Sarah treats a variety of children with disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders, Expressive Language Disorder, Phonological Disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Stuttering/Fluency Disorder, among others.  She enjoys working with families/caregivers as well as other professionals to enhance therapies and improve a child’s skills.  Sarah is the mother of three wonderful kids age 16, 14 and 12, who keep her busy outside of work.  She enjoys reading, home improvement projects and traveling with her family.  You can email Sarah directly at

Kristin M Faulkner
SLP/Co-owner, Director of Feeding Program

 Kristin Faulkner, M.S., CCC-SLP, is  a certified speech language pathologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children with feeding disorders.  Using strategies developed during the past 16 years of practice, Kristin works closely with families as well as a team of providers including occupational therapists, physical therapists, and dietitians to promote safe feedings for the child and enjoyable mealtimes for the entire family.  Kristin's experiences include working at the Children's Hospital of Illinois, developing the current feeding program at Easter Seals, and visiting homes and schools to promote successful feeding for children.   Kristin's experience has included working with a wide variety of children including children transitioning from g-tube feedings to oral feedings, children on the autism spectrum, as well as "picky eaters.” Kristin has had the opportunity to publicly speak regarding pediatric feeding at the local level as well as through Illinois State University.  Kristin is currently involved and has held past board positions through the Peoria Area Speech and Hearing Association (PASHA). You can email Kristin at

Michelle Lindee
Child Development Specialist
Developmental Therapist, Director of Developmental Therapy

Michelle Lindee received a bachelors degree in Art and a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education, with an endorsement in special education, May 1995, from Bradley University in Peoria.  While attending college, she worked in local daycares and aftercare school programs to learn more about children.  After graduation, she received training from the Peoria County Bright Futures Pre-K program and taught two years of Early Childhood with the Woodford County Bright Beginnings program.  Michelle's classrooms were made up of children with autism, behavior disorders, developmental delays and communication difficulties. Illinois designed Child & Family Connections in 1998 as the new system-point-of-entry for Early Intervention--Michelle was the first Program Manager for our area (Henry, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties).  She missed working directly with children so began ROCK and WIND Early Learning in 1999, offering a variety of developmental therapy playgroups for children birth to five and support for their families as a credentialed Child Development Specialist.  She joined the Shine Therapy team in June 2012 and currently offers assessments and developmental therapy in homes and community settings in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties, specializing in positive behavior management.  In 2016, Michelle attended a week long course at the Autism Treatment Center of America: Son RIse Program in Massachusetts.  Michelle is the mother of two fun sons that she very much enjoys spending her time with.  She is also a ZUMBA fitness instructor, runs a ZUMBINI group, facepainter, gypsy folk dancer, henna artist and wall muralist. Email Michelle directly at

Monica Stewart
Physical Therapist

Monica has been working as a pediatric physical therapist since 2008, after receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Bradley University.  She has experience working with a variety of aged children in both the hospital and clinic setting while at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. While in this setting, Monica worked closely as a multi-disciplinary team member with Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and physicians.  Monica has been credentialed as an EI therapist for 9 years.  Her areas of interest and expertise include torticollis, neurological impairments, hypotonia, toe walking and children with complex medical histories.  Monica enjoys connecting with families and working closely with them to develop fun and creative strategies that they can use with their children at home to help them develop to their full potential.  Monica lives with her husband and two children in Chillicothe, IL. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children, cooking and exercising.  

Abbey Cook
Speech Language Pathologist

Abbey is a Speech Language Pathologist who received her Master’s in Speech and Language Pathology at Gallaudet University in 2004.  Abbey has worked in school settings, and worked at Illinois State University, supervising graduate students and teaching various courses.  Abbey has a passion for signing, and is a Master Signing Time Academy Instructor, affiliated with the Emmy nominated children’s series, Signing Time.  Abbey has two young children who began using American Sign Language at a young age. At five months old her youngest son began signing milk and by age 1 both boys had signing vocabularies of 20+ words. She has seen first-hand how learning sign language at a preverbal stage has helped her children to communicate their wants and needs, leading to less frustration and tantrums, as well as enhancing school readiness skills.  Abbey is the owner of Communication Junction.  She provides Early Intervention Services to clients through Shine Therapy Services, offering group speech therapy through her Sign and Play Classes.  More information about these classes can be found at   

Sarah Oyer
Speech Language Pathologist/Feeding Therapist

Sarah Oyer graduated with a master in science at Midwestern University in 2016. Since beginning graduate school, Sarah knew that she was passionate about the pediatric population. Sarah was fortunate to have a career opportunity in early intervention after graduating, specializing in feeding and early language development. Sarah has extensive training in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, expressive and receptive language difficulties, language processing, and speech sound production disorders. Sarah enjoys working with children and providing support to families in their natural environment, so that they can help their children progress and be successful in feeding or communication. In Sarah’s spare time, she enjoys singing, teaching piano, being around friends and family, and being outdoors. 

Erin C George
Speech Language Pathologist

Erin graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Science in speech language pathology from EIU in 1998.  She has been working with children and families for the last 15 years in both hospital and outpatient settings. Working with pediatrics is a great joy for her and she works carefully to foster trusting and productive relationships with the families, other therapists and physicians with which she works.  She is passionate about providing families with the knowedge and resources to improve their child's skills. Erin has 6 years credentialed as an EI therapist. She has experience with pediatric speech, language and feeding disorders, including newborn feeding and swallowing disorders. She has one very energetic 8 year old son who loves all things Lego and who amazes her daily with each new creation he designs. She loves big dogs and counts her own two as extensions of her family.  In her spare time, Erin enjoys swimming, getting lost in a good book and shoe shopping. 

Liz Ryan
Speech Language Pathologist

Liz has been providing speech and language therapy services for nearly 30 years, specializing in autism, language processing, learning disabilities, cognitive recall issues, processing issues with organizational difficulties, executive functioning difficulties, augmentative alternatives and phonological disorders. Creating a functional communication system for a child to be successful with family, peers, and friends within the school environment has been the main focus of her therapy. “Every child has the ability to communicate when we increase their weakness and utilize their strengths to give them the tools to be successful,” Ryan says.  Liz has provided direct therapy services within the school setting, clinic setting and medical setting. She prides herself in her ability to think outside the box, to pull information from other fields, and to consult with professionals to create learning strategies or set of communication goals that will work for each and every child.  Liz is currently working fuilltime with the Pekin School District.  She is excited to join the Shine Therapy staff on a part-time basis, to provide much-needed after school therapy services!  A four-year starter on the softball team at Western Illinois University, Liz earned her Master of Science in speech and language pathology from the school in 1986 and continues to mentor the young SLPs as they complete their degrees. Liz is also certified as a Reading Recovery Specialist and she and her husband of 29 years, Bo, have been blessed with four wonderful daughters and recently a healthy grandson. When she is not working or watching her children participate in sports or the arts, you will find her reading her newest favorite book. Liz is also an early bird at the gym and enjoys staying as healthy as you can. 

Paula Johnson
Speech Language Pathologist

Paula has been working as a speech-language pathologist since 2010, after receiving her M.S. in speech-language pathology from Nova Southeastern University. Although the majority of her clients have been young children, she has experience working with clients across the lifespan, from infancy to geriatrics. She has experience providing speech therapy in the school setting as well. She has been credentialed to provide speech therapy in Early Intervention since 2013 and is also a credentialed evaluator. Paula has a unique perspective on the Early Intervention system as both a professional and a parent, after having her extremely premature twins receive many services through EI for their first three years of life. Paula lives in Washington with her husband and four children, two of whom have special needs (one with autism spectrum disorder, and one with both autism spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy). Her areas of interest and expertise include autism spectrum disorder, receptive and expressive language delays/disorders, and speech sound production disorders. Paula is Hanen certified in "It Takes Two to Talk" and is passionate about providing parents with strategies to help their children communicate better. She provides home-based services to maximize the progress of young children by working with their families in their natural environment. Email Paula directly at



Amy Beck
Speech Language Pathologist/Feeding Therapist

Amy has been providing speech therapy services in the Peoria area since 2002, after graduating with her Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Illinois State University. Her career began in a pediatric clinic setting working alongside therapists from other disciplines and obtaining Early Intervention credentials in 2003.  Amy has also worked for a local school district, evaluating and treating speech and language disorders for preschool to high school aged students.  Her work experience includes working with geriatric populations, providing speech, language, cognitive, and feeding therapy.  Amy’s more recent pediatric experiences include evaluating and treating receptive and expressive language disorders, apraxia of speech, and phonological disorders.  She has specific interest in the area of pediatric feeding disorders.  Amy has completed extensive training for childhood feeding and swallowing disorders, including Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) strategies.  She enjoys working with children and families, along with other professionals, to enhance a child’s skills and watch them succeed in everyday activities.  Outside of work, Amy loves spending time with family and friends, especially her husband and 3 children. Email Amy directly at

Kristy Gillham
Occupational Therapist

Kristy has been working as an occupational therapist since 1998, after receiving her Occupational Therapy Degree through St. Ambrose University.  She worked for 3 years at Easter Seals in Joliet, where she worked alongside a team of occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, developmental therapists, and physical therapists.  Kristy evaluated and treated early intervention children as well as children over 3 years old in the clinic setting and also provided services to children in the schools in the Will/Grundy County area.  She also worked for several years with adults in the industrial rehabilitation setting in the Peoria area.  Kristy worked for 1 year traveling to various schools in the Peoria County area providing evaluations and treatments to children grades early childhood through high school, as well as providing consultation to teachers.  Kristy has received specific training in Sensory Defensiveness and Handwriting Without Tears programming.  She has experience working with a variety of children, including children with sensory processing difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, ADHD, fine motor and handwriting difficulties.  Kristy enjoys helping children as well providing support to their families to reach their goals.  She is the mother of a very active toddler.  Kristy enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.  She also enjoys watching movies and traveling, especially to Florida in the winter. 

Heather J Wessels
Speech-Language Pathologist

Heather began providing speech therapy services in 1994, after earning her Masters degree in Speech - Language Pathology at the University of Illinois that same year.  She began her career working for a private practice in the Peoria area.  She worked with a variety of ages, ranging from very young children to geriatrics. In 1999 she obtained her Early Intervention credential for speech therapy. Heather provided diagnostic and therapy services in the clinic and daycare settings. In 2004, Heather took time away from her career to spend with her own children and family.  She returned to Early Intervention as a speech therapy service provider in 2012. Currently, she provides home-based speech-language services, allowing the clients to be seen in their natural environments.  She works part-time primarily in Early Intervention system, but also has a small caseload of children over three years of age.  Heather has treated children with a variety of disorders including Apraxia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Phonological Disorder, Articulation Disorder, Fluency Disorder, and Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders.  Heather enjoys working with children and their families/caregivers in their natural environments, which enables her to provide more individualized therapy to best serve the client and family.  She is a member of the American Speech Language-Hearing Association, Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Peoria Area Speech-Language-Hearing Association, where she has served on the board and as a committee chairperson.  In her spare time, Heather enjoys traveling with her husband and children, helping with events at her children’s school, and watching her children participate in their various activities. Email heather directly at

Liz Groeper
Speech Language Pathologist

Liz Groeper received her Master’s in Science from Illinois State University in 2017. She has a passion for working with children and loves helping them reach their maximum potential. Liz treats a variety of children with disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and Phonological Disorders. She enjoys collaborating with families and caregivers to create individualized therapy plans to improve a child’s skills. In her free time, Liz enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, and shopping. You can email Liz directly at

Allie Zuercher
Speech-Language Pathologist

Allie received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Illinois State University in 2015. She began her career in speech pathology servicing a variety of schools in the Chicago suburbs. Allie then started working for a multidisciplinary clinic where she got to collaborate and work alongside occupational and physical therapists.  She has experience in the areas of Autism spectrum disorder, receptive/expressive language disorders, auditory processing disorders, phonological/articulation disorders, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. In 2018, Allie decided to escape the Chicago traffic and specialize further in her favorite age group of pediatrics. Later that summer, she moved back to Central Illinois and got her Early Intervention certification.  She enjoys working with the toddlers and empowering families to support their children’s communication needs. When she’s not playing with kids, you can find Allie reading, doing yoga, listening to a podcast, spending time outdoors, or with family and friends. 

Meghan O'Malley
Speech Language Pathologist

Meghan received her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science from the University of Iowa and her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Being the oldest of four children and spending many summers coaching young children in swimming at the local country club, Meghan has always loved working with little ones and their families. She enjoys that Early Intervention allows her to work closely with children and their families in their most natural environments. Meghan treats speech and language disorders in children with a variety of diagnoses. She has a particularly strong passion for working with children with hearing loss. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Kaylyn Maynard
BA, Elementary Education
Developmental Therapist

Kaylyn graduated from Eureka College in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, specializing in social science and language arts. While attending college, she worked at a daycare providing care for children 0-5 years of age. After graduating, Kaylyn worked as a Title-1 reading intervention teacher, cheerleading coach and tutor for 3 kids with different challenges. After a year in public school, Kaylyn and her husband relocated to Ohio and she returned to the early childhood/daycare setting. She has always been passionate about working with young children, and her 10 years of experience in daycare has exposed her to the stages of development throughout 0-3 years of age. Kaylyn has worked with children with ASD, behavior disorders and developmental delays. Kaylyn was led to Early Intervention by the opportunity to work one on one with children and work closely with their families. Her passion is building positive relationships with her children and their families so that together they can meet their child’s developmental needs. In her free time, Kaylyn enjoys spending time with her husband and son, singing, family events and anything that involves getting crafty and creative!

Evelyn Denny
BA, Elementary Education & BA, Spanish
Certified Bilingual Medical Interpretator/Translator

Evelyn completed studies in Spanish and Elementary Education. She holds certification in Bilingual Medical Interpretation/Translation from the National Center for Interpretation at the University of Arizona. She has worked with culturally and linguistically diverse populations for several years, including through the Early Head Start Program, where she worked with children from birth to five (5) who are dual language learners. Evelyn has worked in Early Intervention for several years and holds Interpretation and Translation certification from the State of Illinois.  She has taught ESL to children and adults.  During the school year Evelyn volunteers her time as a language arts and reading tutor for elementary and middle school children. She is an avid reader and gardener but will drop her book or trowel at the opportunity to travel!

Rachel Yontz
Speech Language Pathologist

Rachel began providing speech therapy to the pediatric population after graduating with a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2001.  She served mostly children birth to three in a clinic setting while doing occasional in-home therapy. Rachel also did evaluations, pediatric feeding and therapy for children over 3 years old and students in the school setting.  In 2005, Rachel took time to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. While parenting she had a new role as the mom to children requiring early intervention services. Rachel gained much insight into the Early Intervention system through the eyes of the family.  She will be providing services to children primarily in Tazewell County and looks forward to working with families in their home environment!

Ally Cole

Ally is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who has spent most of her career focusing on pediatric nutrition, ensuring children are adequately meeting their nutrient needs to best grow and develop. Ally has been a practicing dietitian since 2012.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois, her didactic program in dietetics from Bradley University and completed her clinical internship at Ingalls Memorial Hospital. Ally’s experience has included working at University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital in the arenas of pediatric cancer, intensive care, food allergies, weight management, g-tube and j-tube feedings, advancements in oral feeds, oral aversions, and childhood disease management and education. Ally enjoys cooking, practicing yoga and spending quality time with her two beautiful kids, family and friends.

Lisa Howard
Office Manager

Lisa Howard's experience in pediatric therapy/Early Intervention began with working at Easter Seals in 2008 as the scheduler. She worked with therapists to maintain their daily schedules and helped them with the transition to centralized scheduling. She also worked closely with families and service coordinators to schedule ongoing pediatric therapy and evaluations. Lisa joins Shine Therapy as the office manager assisting in the coordination of services by working with insurance providers, service coordinators, families, doctors and therapists to ensure adequate documentation is maintained. She provides prompt follow up to her co-workers and families and is well organized. Lisa is a mother of three beautiful children and a grandmother of five. In her spare time she loves spending time with family and friends and enjoys card making, scrapbooking and baking.  Email Lisa directly at

Gabrielle Edwards
BA, Design
Office Offsite Support

Gabrielle has her BA in Design and worked in the field until taking a break to spend more time with her family. She worked as a substitute teacher for several years and now loves being a part of the Shine team. Gabrielle has several responsibilities to support the therapists in their work. In her free time she enjoys walking her dogs and watching her four children play a variety of sports and musical instruments.

Hilary Goff
BA, Business Management
Office Administrative Assistant

Hilary received her BA in Business Management in 1998 and worked in administrative support, office management, and project management prior to taking time off to spend more time with her children. Hilary has enjoyed leadership roles in a variety of advocacy groups and non-profits—many of which focused on the pediatric population. This included being active in the parenting community working as a Doula and Childbirth Educator and doing advocacy work through her role as board member of the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery. In addition to her volunteer work, Hilary is a John Maxwell Team Independent Certified Coach, Trainer, & Speaker. She joins the Shine Therapy team to support the office manager with her copious duties. Hilary is a mother to three inspiring children who have been some of her greatest teachers in life. She loves singing, art, travel, learning about neuropsychology & holistic health modalities, quality time with her family, and any data that can be put in a spreadsheet.