About

The Leading Provider of Live Online Speech Therapy Services

At PresenceLearning, we love to see children thrive, which is why we are making the promise of live online speech therapy (“telepractice”) come true.  With the ongoing shortage of SLPs and budget pressures in school districts reaching crisis proportions, innovative modes of delivery have become essential for giving children the speech therapy services they need.  A large and growing body of research, starting with a seminal study by the Mayo Clinic in 1997, demonstrates that telepractice is just as effective as face-to-face therapy.  Our mission is to make telepractice practical, affordable and convenient while providing an extraordinary therapy experience for each child.  The PresenceLearning solution includes access to our large and growing network of top-notch SLPs, the latest video-conferencing technology, the most engaging games and evidence-based activities, and time-saving collaboration and practice management tools.  Join the growing group of SLPs, educators and parents watching children blossom thanks to the telepractice online speech therapy revolution. Click here to contact us.

Management Team

Clay Whitehead, Co-Founder

Clay Whitehead is the co-founder, co-CEO, and chief student advocate at PresenceLearning.  He is also a member of the company’s board of directors. Clay leads the company’s school partnership efforts, driving its commitment to ensuring the best care possible for all students. Clay was inspired to found PresenceLearning in part by the role of technology in his own struggles with learning disabilities as a young child.  His background spans consulting, successful startups, and venture capital.  Clay holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Jack Lynch, Co-Founder

Jack has experienced the SLP shortage firsthand.  His cousin Rory, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, struggled to become verbal because he could not access the SLP services he needed as a child.  Inspired by Rory’s story, Jack is determined to expand access to high quality SLP services for children.  While Jack was working at Lumosity, a leading web-based cognitive games company, Jack and Clay conceived of the idea of a web platform for speech language pathologists that would integrate top-notch video conferencing technology with engaging games and activities.  Jack holds a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Melissa Jakubowitz M.A. CCC-SLP, Vice President of SLP Services

A SLP with over 20 years of clinical and managerial experience, Melissa is a Board Recognized Specialist in Child Language. She is the past-president of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which, with over 5,000 SLP members, is the largest SLP state association in the country. She is also active in ASHA, serving as a Legislative Counselor for 12 years. Melissa began her career working in the public schools. She has also operated a successful, multi-office private practice and is a past Director of the Scottish Rite Institute for Childhood Language Disorders in Stockton.

Katie Povejsil, Vice President of Marketing

Katie joined PresenceLearning in May 2011 with more than 20 years experience as a strategic marketing leader. Katie has worked in executive and management positions with technology companies such as Apple, Macromedia, Claris and most recently, iParadigms, largely focusing on the education sector. At iParadigms, she oversaw marketing for Turnitin, the world’s leading plagiarism prevention and writing improvement solution. She lead the company’s expansion into a successful direct-to-student business and helped the company expand internationally as well. In addition to her corporate positions, she was president of Catalyst Consultants for over a decade where she developed marketing strategies and programs for some of the most recognized companies in media and technology, including Adobe, Cisco, Gateway, Handspring (now Palm), HP, Panasonic and PBS. Katie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cornell University and received a master’s degree from Stanford University.

Reggie Smith, Vice President of Consulting

Joining PresenceLearning in May 2011, Reggie brings over twenty-five years of experience in consultative sales and professional development focused on education for companies such as Apple, Jostens Learning Company, Renaissance Learning and most recently PARS. Throughout his work with K-12 superintendents, Reggie used his entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to collaborate to find creative solutions to tough challenges facing educators. Reggie holds a Master of Education Administration Degree from the University of North Carolina. He served as Lecturer in the College of Education at the University, providing a clinical experience for students teachers in community-based programs such as Head Start Collaboration. Later, he established a K-12 consulting firm working with technology companies, strategic education consortia and large school districts to introduce and implement online tools for teaching and learning.

Aaron Skiles, Vice President of Operations 

Aaron joined PresenceLearning in September 2011, bringing more than 13 years of experience in operational leadership roles in retail, services, and the military.  Aaron oversees the Operations Team at PresenceLearning and is responsible for establishing world-class service for our schools, students, and therapists.  Aaron was previously the Chief Operating Officer of SwimOutlet.com, leading that company to establish itself as the world’s largest online swim shop.  He has also worked as a General Manager at The Home Depot, and a logistics officer in the United States Army.  Aaron holds a B.S. from The United States Military Academy, West Point, and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

 

Board of Advisors

Dr. Judith Montgomery
With 23 years of experience as an educator and administrator in both general and special education, Dr. Judith Montgomery Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a full professor at Chapman University, where she teaches at the credential and master’s level. Dr. Montgomery has written 12 books, 18 peer-reviewed articles, and over 50 other scholarly publications and currently serves as the Editor in Chief of Communication Disorders Quarterly. In addition to her research, Dr. Montgomery has held the position of president for four national professional organizations that address disabilities studies and two state organizations. She was the president of the 150,000-member American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) in 1995, and now serves as Chair of the Scientific and Professional Board of ASHA. In addition, Dr. Montgomery currently serves as the Global Clinical Coordinator for Special Olympics Healthy Hearing Program based in Washington DC; and she has been a fellow of Cambridge University Inclusive Educators Summer Program.

Dr. Barbara Moore
Dr. Barbara Moore Ed.D., CCC-SLP, is the Director of Special Youth Services at Anaheim Union High School in Anaheim, CA. Dr. Moore has worked in public education for 19 years, and has 13 years of administrative experience. Dr. Moore is an ASHA Legislative Councilor from California, a former member of the ASHA PAC Board, the former President of the Public School Caucus, and former President of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA). She is the 2002 Past-President of the Council of State Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSAP), a member of the ASHA Continuing Education Board (CEB), and the Chair of the Pupil Services and Special Education Committee for Region XV of ACSA (Association of California School Administrators). Dr. Moore is a CSHA Fellow and an ASHA Fellow. She is an adjunct faculty at the University of California, Riverside teaching courses in compliance and reading, and part-time faculty in communication disorders at California State University, Fullerton.

Dr. Larry B. Silver
Dr. Silver is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center and a former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Prior to his position at the National Institute of Mental Health he was Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Pediatrics, and Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine. For more than thirty years his primary areas of research, clinical, and teaching interest have focused on the psychological, social, and family impact of a group of related, neurologically-based disorders – Learning Disabilities, Language Disabilities, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He has more than 150 publications, including his popular book,The Misunderstood Child: A Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities now in its Third Edition. He is active with the Learning Disabilities Association of America and is a Past-President of this organization. In 1992 he received this Association’s highest award, The Learning Disability Association Award, for outstanding leadership in the field of Learning Disabilities. In 1996 he received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Berman Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the study and treatment of Learning Disabilities.

Dr. Shari Robertson
Dr. Shari Robertson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is Associate Dean, Graduate School and Research at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Robertson was formerly a President of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association and will be chairing the 2010 ASHA National Convention. Prior to obtaining her doctorate at UW-Madison, she was a school-based SLP and Special Education Director in West Bend, WI. Having presented more than 200 workshops and seminars over the past 5 years, she is dedicated to bridging the gap between researchers and practicing clinicians. Dr. Robertson is also the Associate Editor of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools.

Kristin Chmela
Kristin A. Chmela, M.A., CCC-SLP is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Northwestern and a Board Recognized Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She is an internationally recognized author, consultant, and lecturer, who serves as clinical supervisor for many universities across the country. She is founder and director of Central Speech and Language Clinic’s Chmela Fluency Center and has served as leader and participant on the Task Force for Fluency Services in the Schools through the Special Interest Division 4 of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. In addition, she provides training and consultation at Centro Medico di Foniatria in Padova, Italy.