about us

Monica Chen, MA, BCBA

Monica obtained a Master's degree in Special Education with specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Columbia University Teachers College. She also maintains her credentials as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Monica spent most of her adult life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. While attending the University of Washington, she volunteered at the Experimental Education Unit (EEU). This was where Monica began learning the basics of classroom management. Inspired by the knowledgeable staff and mentors, Monica applied to become a home therapy tutor. With some luck, Monica landed her first job working with several families on the Eastside. It was love at first sight: The relationships with families were irreplaceable, and the science of behavior analysis fascinated Monica, leaving her eager to learn more about this field. Monica inevitably continued her post-graduate studies in the field of Behavior Analysis.

Upon gaining acceptance to one of the nation's leading Behavior Analysis programs, Monica studied under the tutelage of R. Douglas Greer in New York City. While at Columbia University, Monica taught at the renowned Fred S. Keller School in Westchester County. It was at the Keller School that theory met application. The analysis and application of verbal behavior became an everyday phenomenon. Never content to rest, Monica also worked on the weekends providing one-on-one home therapy services to children in Manhattan through YAI, a local non-profit agency.

Following graduation, Monica worked abroad in Hong Kong. Here, she helped start the first ABA school in Asia. In addition to managing the classroom, Monica hired, trained, and supervised all school staff. She also assessed all incoming students and created individualized intervention programs. The work was challenging, and the hours were long. Nevertheless, the experience she gained in Hong Kong proved to be invaluable foundation for what she is trying to build today. She took the steps that would bring her closer to Jigsaw Junction.

Monica returned to the States in 2005 and honed her skills as a Program Manager at Northwest Behavioral Associates (NBA). At NBA, Monica coordinated home therapy programs, directed monthly team meetings, trained tutors, wrote treatment plans, proposed IEP goals, attended IEP meetings, and conducted workshops. Her time at NBA provided experience for navigating the educational system in Washington State. With ideas on hand and much enthusiasm, Monica is excited to guide and direct the vision of Jigsaw Junction.

In July of 2008, Monica left her position at NBA to build Jigsaw. Three months later, doors opened to the first two students. There were bumps and setbacks in the first year, but such was expected from a new company. It is amazing to reflect on how ABA therapy in Washington state has changed over the years. In 2008, Monica had such a difficult time recruiting new clients because the idea of a center-based therapy clinic was so foreign to the region. Yet today, it is a common first question to be asked by a family inquiring into services.

Monica is grateful to have the unwavering support of her husband, who never questioned her crazy idea to leave behind a stable job in pursuit of building a clinic of her dreams. Monica is now a mother to two beautiful, young girls. In the unlikely event that she has spare time, Monica loves to cook, run, and spend time with her family.

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Mary Tinsley, MS, BCBA
Clinical Supervisor

Ms. Tinsley, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2004, has been working with children with autism and their families since 1998. In 2004 she graduated from Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts with a Master of Science

in applied behavior analysis. During her time at Northeastern, Ms. Tinsley worked full-time at the New England Center for Children (NECC), a world-renown behavior analytic school and residential treatment center for children and adolescents on the spectrum. While at NECC, Ms. Tinsley worked as a teacher, staff and parent trainer and research assistance for the early intervention program, the day school treatment program and residential programs. During her graduate employment, Ms. Tinsley gained extensive experience in developing behavior plans and functional assessments, implementing video modeling and task analysis procedures, collecting and analyzing various data collection methods as well as training parents and staff.

In 2005, Ms. Tinsley joined Northwest Behavioral Associates (NBA) and for 6 years, served as a program manager and later was promoted to program supervisor. While at NBA, Mary’s responsibilities included programming for and providing direct intervention to children and adolescents on the Spectrum as well as training and supervising other behavior analysts and therapist, parents and public and private school educators. Ms. Tinsley also served as the research coordinator and supervised and coordinated research projects and guest speaking lectures.

Prior to working at NBA, Ms. Tinsley served as the behavior analyst for the Autism Spectrum Treatment and Research Center (ASTAR) from 2004 to 2005. While at ASTAR, Mary provided direct intervention and consultation as well as parent and staff training for children on the spectrum and their families. She also had the opportunity to work closely with the medical and clinical staff at the center.

In 2000, Ms. Tinsley earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Experimental Analysis of Behavior from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. While at Baldwin-Wallace, Mary served as the laboratory assistant for the experimental animal laboratories. At this time, Ms. Tinsley also started working as a tutor in a home-based behavior analytic program.

From 2000 to 2001, Ms. Tinsley worked at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism as a curriculum and program specialist. While at the Cleveland Clinic, she has the opportunity to work in the early intensive home-based program as well as the day and preschool programs.

Ms. Tinsley has had extensive experience working with and developing programming across all areas and skill levels for individuals with autism and related disorders, ranging in ages from 15 months to 21 years of age. Ms. Tinsley has worked closely with other service providers and professionals as well as public and private school teams. She has conducted and presented behavior analytic research at numerous international conferences.

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Tracey Gerhardt, MS, BCBA
School District Consultant
Parent Educator

Tracey Gerhardt holds a Master’s Degree in Biology and worked in pharmaceutical research until the birth of her first child in 2000. She and her husband then moved to the Pacific Northwest

and decided that she would stay home full-time with their infant daughter.  While preparing for the birth of their second child in 2003, Tracey and her husband learned that their oldest daughter had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  This began their journey to learn more about ASD and how to best support their daughter and family.

Tracey’s first introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) was when her daughter began working with Monica in 2005.  Right away the principles of ABA appealed to Tracey’s scientific background, and the family began learning how to employ ABA techniques in their home.  Tracey and her husband firmly believe that ABA has helped them be better parents, not only for their daughter with autism, but for their other daughter as well.

Tracey returned to professional life in 2009 as a paraeducator.  In this role, she worked in small groups and one-on-one sessions with preschoolers with ASD.  Tracey was also heavily involved in her neighborhood school’s Special Needs Group PTSA and helped to organize some of the first Ability Awareness events in her school district. These were great experiences as they enabled her to interact with students impacted in a variety of ways and to learn more about how to support children and families with special needs. It was these experiences that motivated Tracey to return to school in 2012 and pursue training to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through Florida Institute of Technology. While in school, Tracey joined the staff of Jigsaw Junction.  Jigsaw provides the wonderful opportunity to learn from Mary and Monica’s wealth of knowledge and experience, and in 2014, Tracey earned the professional credential of BCBA. In November 2016, Tracey transitioned her role at Jigsaw from Program Manager to District Consultant for the extended day preschool program in the Lake Washington School District. In this position, she is responsible for student programming, staff training, and parent education contributions. While Tracey spends most of her time in the school district, she continues to present Jigsaw’s caregiver education workshops. Her enthusiasm for the field of behavior analysis is reflected in her professional philosophy:

“My philosophy is shaped by my scientific training, but most importantly by my experience as the parent of a child with ASD. I believe that the principles of behaviorism accurately account for how we learn, how we communicate with each other, and why we do the things we do. As a parent and a professional, I believe that it is my job to nurture and teach the children in my care to be as independent as possible. I believe that support of the entire family is paramount for a child’s success. I have a strong passion for teaching caregivers basic behavioral principles and techniques to help them manage their family life in a positive way.”

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Amy Hatten, MA, BCBA
Program Manager

Amy Hatten has been working with children on the spectrum and their families since 2007. Amy graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior

and received her Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Ball State University. Amy became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2015.

Amy first began working with children on the Autism spectrum while working as a paraeduator in a self-contained classroom within the Northshore School District. While Amy was researching different ways she could become involved with children on the autism spectrum she came across Jigsaw Junction. She fell in love with the principles of the program and its vision for the future and felt that it was a perfect fit for what she was looking for. Amy began as a Therapy Assistant with Jigsaw Junction in 2009 and was Jigsaw’s first employee! She is now a Program Manager and looks forward to continuing to strengthen her knowledge and skills through continuing education courses.

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Cynthia Nakamura
Cynthia (“Cyn”) Nakamura
Registered Behavior Technician

Cynthia is originally from Denver, Colorado where she worked at the Denver Art Museum and loved every minute of its very inspiring and creative environment.

She moved to Kirkland in 1999 to start a family and is a mother of two energetic, fun boys and a household of adopted pets.

She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hosting exchange students from other countries, gardening and going to the dog park with her two dogs. Her love of working with people and animals has always held a special interest in her heart.

Volunteering at hippo therapy ranches for children with autism and special needs was a perfect combination of working with kids and horses. When her boys were young, she enjoyed taking them to Reading with Rover which uses therapy dogs to have kids read to them to encourage the love of reading. She and her boys have volunteered at Aegis Assisted Living bringing smiles to the Bingo games.

Cynthia has been a member of the Jigsaw team since August 2010.

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Andrea Matsumura
Registered Behavior Technician

Andrea was born and raised in Hawaii. She began working with children during high school at a Dyslexia tutoring center. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, she moved up to Seattle in 2012 to further her education.

Andrea first became interested in working with children on the Autism spectrum while volunteering in an early intervention classroom. She studied social and communication disorders while attending the University of Washington where she pursued a degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Upon graduation, Andrea was eager to learn more about autism, and the treatments available for children on the spectrum. Jigsaw was the perfect fit! Andrea joined the Jigsaw team in September of 2013. Since then, she has begun pursuing her Master’s degree from Northeastern University and is anticipated to graduate in May 2017.

In her spare time, Andrea loves going on bike rides and exploring the city of Seattle. Even though she’s still getting used to the wet weather, she loves spending time outdoors. She is very excited to be a part Jigsaw and have the opportunity to work with Jigsaw’s kiddos and their families.

Andrea has been a member of the Jigsaw team since September 2013.

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Heather Smyth
Registered Behavior Technician

Heather Smyth was born and raised here in Washington State. She obtained her bachelor's degree in English literature from Montana State University in 2006 and upon graduation, moved to Illinois to broaden

her horizons and experience big city life. In 2011, she pursued her passion for working with young people and returned to school to earn her teaching license as well as a Master's degree in secondary education. She spent a few years teaching high school English in a small, military public school in the city of Chicago. Although she found her calling in the field of education, Heather felt that a high school environment was not quite the right fit. Before returning home to the beautiful state of Washington, she spent a year teaching four-year olds in an international school outside of Bangkok,Thailand. Heather found working with this age group to be extremely rewarding and was inspired by the connections that she was able to form by working with a smaller group of students.

Upon her move back to Washington, Heather was fortunate enough to come across Jigsaw Junction. She was intrigued by the concept of ABA and Jigsaw's mission to make a genuine difference in the lives of students and their families. After meeting with Monica and observing Jigsaw therapists at work, she knew that she had found something special. Since beginning work at Jigsaw, she finds each day to be a learning experience and relishes the opportunity to grow and develop right along with her students.

In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, camping, and reading.

Heather has been a member of the Jigsaw team since April 2016.

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Jennifer (Jenn) Dame
Registered Behavior Technician

Jenn was born and raised in Washington, residing her adolescent life in Mill creek until moving to Bellingham to pursue her undergraduate degree at Western Washington University. She obtained her Bachelors of Science

in Kinesiology/ Pre-Medicine as well as a minor in Psychology, hoping to pursue her career in a pediatric healthcare field. Throughout college, Jenn had the opportunity to investigate a few different healthcare domains, interning at several physical therapy and veterinary clinics in order to explore her numerous passions. She devoted three years to playing on the competitive collegiate club volleyball team and assistant coached her final year in college after an injury. A continual love for the sport encouraged her to begin coaching at an elite volleyball club for middle and high school aged girls throughout the rest of the year.

Upon graduating college in June 2015 and returning to the Seattle area, Jenn accepted the opportunity to become a new member of the Jigsaw team where she found her love for working with children on the autism spectrum. She enjoys every day, discovering the unique abilities of each amazing child and helping them to show the world everything they have to offer.

In her spare time Jenn loves playing piano, volleyball, dancing, cooking and spending time with her family and four dogs! Jigsaw has become an amazing home to learn more and more about the mysteries of Autism as well as to develop lasting relationships with some remarkable children and their families.

Jenn has been a member of the Jigsaw team since August 2015.

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Jordan Irish
Registered Behavior Technician

Jordan pursued her undergraduate education at the University of San Francisco while playing Division 1 volleyball for the San Francisco Dons. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Media Studies.

Jordan first became interested in working with children on the autism spectrum during the Spring of 2012 while volunteering at Lynwood High School's Life Skills department. During that short period of time, she quickly realized there was nothing in the world she would rather be doing with her time.

Jordan has been an active athlete for the majority of her life up until 2013. She now has more time to focus on the future and gain experience at Jigsaw. Jordan has been a member of the Jigsaw team since June 2013. She has had a blast so far working with these amazing children as well as getting to know their parents!

In her spare time, Jordan loves being outdoors, eating sushi, watching scary movies and spending time with friends and family.

Jordan has been a member of the Jigsaw team since June 2013.

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Katherine Wong
Behavior Technician

Katherine was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is fluent in both Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. After graduating from high school, she moved to Seattle in 2011 to attend the University of Washington. Katherine always wanted to work with children with

special needs, especially those with ASD. This eventually led her to a degree in speech and hearing sciences from University of Washington.

Katherine’s wish to work with children with ASD grew stronger over time after observing many sessions in the speech clinic. She became extremely interested in working directly with ASD children as a therapist. Upon graduation, she decided to investigate ABA therapy and discovered that Jigsaw has the perfect environment!

In her free time, Katherine loves to spend time with her cats and play piano. She is also interested in sewing and creating some art projects at home! She also enjoys spending time in the nature when the weather is good.

Katherine has been a member of the Jigsaw team since September 2016.

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Katie Longenecker
Katie Longenecker
Behavior Technician

Katie loves working with children and has been doing so most of her life. She started working at an in-home daycare and has been in private and public schools working with a wide age range of kids. Katie first became

engaged with the autism community while working at a summer camp with preschoolers. She found herself drawn to the students with behavioral and social difficulties and wanted to learn how she could be more involved in this community.

After graduating from Life Pacific College in California with her degree in Biblical Studies, she taught as a substitute teacher in the Federal Way Public School District. She was blessed to find herself in a special education classroom and while talking with other teachers, learned about ABA therapy. Katie was so excited to learn about Jigsaw Junction and finds joy doing ABA in the clinical setting.

In her spare time Katie loves to read anything she can get her hands on! She also enjoys writing spoken word poetry, spending time with her family at the beach, and going to church.

Katie has been a member of the Jigsaw team since July 2016.

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Kimberly (Kim) Rho
Kimberly (Kim) Rho
Behavior Technician

Kimberly grew up in a small town in Southern Oregon. She attended a Christian high school and graduated in 2009. Knowing that there was more in this world for her, she ventured off to Seattle to attend college.

After taking a year off to work, Kimberly began her studies at Shoreline Community College. She thought that she was going to get a degree as a Dental Hygienist. But after taking a couple psychology classes, she knew that was the major for her. After 2 years at SCC, Kimberly transferred to The University of Washington to finish her Bachelors degree. Kimberly always knew that she wanted to work with kids, as she was always babysitting throughout high school. However, it wasn’t until she took an Abnormal Child Behaviors class that she learned more about the Autism Spectrum. After learning about the impact that she could have on children with Autism, she knew this was the area of psychology that she wanted to work in.

After graduating from The University of Washington with a Bachelors degree in Psychology in 2014, she moved to Charlottesville, VA with her then boyfriend (now husband) while he attended Law school at the University of Virginia School of Law. While there, she looked for jobs working with kids with Autism, but ended up working at a Child Development Center instead. This job confirmed her belief that working with children was really what she wanted to do for a career.

Kimberly moved back to Seattle in June 2014 and began working at Jigsaw Junction. She has learned so much and has loved being a part of such a rewarding team. She is now working toward becoming a Registered Behavior Tech and is very interested in learning more about ABA.

In her spare time, she likes going to the movies, hiking, eating food, traveling and hanging out with her husband.

Kimberly has been a member of the Jigsaw team since May 2016.

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Ryan Green
Ryan Green
Registered Behavior Technician

Ryan is a Washington native and die-hard Husky fan. He graduated from Edmonds Woodway High in 2000. He grew up playing baseball and soccer. Ryan began working in the field in 2010 as a Behavior

Therapist for Behavior Management for Adults and Children (BMAC), a company contracted by Lake Washington School District. It was in the two years with this company that he found his true passion for working with kids with special needs. He started to learn some basics of ABA through his client’s BCBA, but he wanted to learn more. He was introduced to Monica through a Jigsaw client and accepted a part-time position. His enthusiasm for behavior analysis eventually led him to become a full-time behavior tech shortly thereafter. In the meantime, Ryan and a friend saw a need for kids with special needs to have more opportunities to socialize with their peers. In 2012 they started a social skills group called Basic Beginnings. Ryan was a Supervisor and oversaw a team of 15 interventionists. While Basic Beginnings was (and continues to be) a tremendous success, Ryan did some soul-searching and discovered that his true passion was in working directly with children. He chose to return to Jigsaw full-time as a Registered Behavior Technician in 2016, and he couldn't be happier.

If you have been to any Can Do 5ks, you will have witnessed his very large and supportive family. They show up every year to cheer on Ryan and the passion he has for the autism community. Ryan now lives in Lynnwood with his wife Jessica, son Ryder, and one of Jigsaw's resident dogs, Sierra. In his free time, Ryan enjoys attending all Husky home games. He stays active running in 5ks and also is not a stranger to Ragnar races. And even though Ryan is an Oakland Raiders fan, he participates in the Seahawks 12k with his brother Justin.

Ryan has been a member of the Jigsaw team since January 2012.

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Stephen Castillo
Stephen Castillo
Registered Behavior Technician

Stephen was born and raised in California. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development and has worked extensively with students from all backgrounds and ages. He began working

with children on the Autism spectrum during his Senior year of undergrad as an intern at the Associated Student's Children Center. It was there that he developed a passion to mentor and teach children with developmental needs. After he graduated from California State University, Northridge, Stephen moved to Beijing, China for a year to teach English. There, he experienced a unique culture and connected with his students through lessons that were taught throughout the day.

Stephen recently moved to the Seattle area from Los Angeles to further his education and is excited to be a part of Jigsaw Junction. He plans on obtaining his Master's in the near future to further his knowledge in child development.

In his spare time, Stephen enjoys hanging out with friends, eating pizza, and staying active. Stephen holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and hopes to obtain a black belt in a few years. He is also a huge Dallas Cowboys fan (sorry Seattle fans). He is excited to have the opportunity to work with children and their families and hopes to make a positive impact.

Stephen has been a member of the Jigsaw team since May 2016.

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Tal-Lim (TK) Kapelak
Registered Behavior Technician

T.K. has lived in Washington State his whole life. He was born in Ballard and moved up to Everett when he was eight. After graduating from Henry M. Jackson High School,

he decided to go to work in order to have as many experiences as possible and to find his passion. He discovered an interest and talent for working with children when he worked as a summer-camp counselor with the YMCA. Besides camp counseling, T.K. also volunteers with youth programs and teaches children’s martial arts classes and private tutoring. T.K. is pursuing his undergraduate degree at Everett Community College.

In his free time, T.K. enjoys Scrabble, rock climbing, martial arts, and getting into trouble with friends. He is a professed comic book nerd and has a collection of over 10,000 comics. He hopes to one day be able to travel the world like his father and cherishes experiences over all else. TK has been a member of the Jigsaw team since March 2015.

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Dori Requa
Dori Requa
Billing Manager

Dori has lived in Washington State since she was 7 years old and was born in Pasadena, CA. Dori graduated from Redmond High School and has lived in the Redmond and then Kirkland area since moving here from California.

Dori and her husband, Shawn, met in Seattle and recently celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary. They have a teenage daughter, Gracie, with Mitochondrial Disease and is currently an 8th Grader in the Lake Washington School District.

Before coming to Jigsaw Junction, Dori worked for a few General Contractors in the area as a Project Accountant and also performed tasks involving Payroll and negotiating with Medical and Liability Insurance contracts for her employers.

Dori enjoys cooking & grilling outdoors and is an avid “collector” of cookbooks. She also enjoys walking and hiking with her family. Another passion for Dori is working in her garden and yard.

One of Dori’s fondest memories from childhood is being at her grandparents’ house during the summer and working on jigsaw puzzles.  Puzzles are still a fun pastime, as long as they are 1000 pieces or more.

Dori has been a member of the Jigsaw team since May 2014.

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Aubrey Grinsell
Aubrey Grinsell
Sanitation Technician

Aubrey was born in Bellevue, WA on October 1st and lives in Bellevue with both her parents. She graduated from Interlake High School and the Bellevue Schools Transition Program. She arrives at work each day with a beautiful

smile and is ready to help support our Jigsaw staff. Aubrey helps keep our waiting room in tip-top shape, and she makes sure that our toys are clean and properly sanitized for Jigsaw’s rambunctious children.

In her spare time, Aubrey enjoys listening to music. She loves rock & roll, especially the Beatles or anything with a great beat. Aubrey also likes going to the movies or watching movies at home, and she really likes movies that have music or that make her laugh. Aubrey enjoys writing to friends and old classmates’ names in her notebook and on her iPad. She LOVES playing with her Groovy Girl Dolls. When she gets the chance, Aubrey loves visiting the beach, flying kites, splashing in the water and building sand castles!

Aubrey has been a member of the Jigsaw team since April 2013.

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