About Us

We know that raising children in today’s world
can be difficult. 

IBT is a group of caring individuals whose goal is to provide these children and their families with the services they need to succeed. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that serves children across the State of Kansas. While we primarily work with children and families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we also work with various other children and populations to provide equal access to effective learning environments regardless of income and disability status.

We know that raising children in today’s world
can be difficult. 

IBT is a group of caring individuals whose goal is to provide these children and their families with the services they need to succeed. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that serves children across the State of Kansas. While we primarily work with children and families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we also work with various other children and populations to provide equal access to effective learning environments regardless of income and disability status.

Our Team

Consultants

Kimberly Becker, IBT; BCBA, LBA
Dr. Paige Boydston, Pittsburg/Parsons; BCBA-D, LBA
Ashley Bennett, Northeast KS/Emporia; BCBA, LBA
Taylor Miller; Southwest KS; BCBA, LBA
Ellen Carlson, Central KS; BCBA, LBA
Grant LaForge, Southeast KS; BCBA/Autism Specialist
Dakotah Noble, Southeast KS; Autism Specialist
Carley Overbay-Sarno, Northeast KS; Autism Specialist
Kris Gunia, Manhattan/Junction City; BCBA, LBA
Stephanie Simmons, Southeast KS Clinic; Autism Specialist
Danielle Parrott, Pittsburg/Parsons; BCBA, LBA
Brianna Anschutz, Northeast KS; BCBA, LBA
Lee Koch, Southwest KS; Autism Specialist
Jessica Alves, Southeast KS; Autism Specialist
Lacy Jarman, Central KS; BCBA, LBA
Jayden Cornejo, Central KS; Autism Specialist
Traci Vaccaro, Southeast KS; BCaBA

Psychologists

Haley Robarts, EdS/MS/LCP/NCSP
Denise Nunemaker, MS/LMLP

Administrative Staff

Clinical Director and Regional Manager – Kim Becker

Kimberly Becker is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst.  Kimberly has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Emporia State University and received a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Kimberly began her career dedicated to individuals with special needs in 1995 as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher.  Through the years, Kimberly gained experience and knowledge in various teaching and leadership positions including directing and coordinating programs for visual impairment, hearing impaired, behavioral health and outpatient therapies.

Kimberly enjoys the outdoors with her family camping, kayaking and traveling to lakes around the state.  She also enjoys reading, and growing plants and flowers.

Development Director – Jon Durney

Jon is a 14-year not-for-profit professional who has worked across four states.  He has experience in the development and implementation of programs and comes to IBT from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, where he served as a Development Director, Area Director, and Executive Director throughout his time.  

With a personal connection to autism in his family, Jon looks forward to the successful growth of the IBT brand and creating great sponsor/donor relationships throughout the State of Kansas. 

 

Assistant Development Director/Grant Coordinator – Aaron Powell

Aaron has been a part of the IBT family since 2012, providing home and center based intervention services to children with developmental disabilities. In 2015, he began working at the K.I.D.S Place, bringing the skills he learned as a DSP to his early childhood classrooms. During this time, he effectively developed and implemented lesson plans that targeted each of his student’s unique developmental needs. In 2017, he attended and completed the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training program (KCART), and began taking courses to complete his Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification, finishing in May of 2018. In July of 2018, Aaron was awarded his director’s license through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) Child Care Licensing and Registration Program and officially took over as the Program Director for the K.I.D.S. Place, a position he held until assuming his new role with IBT in January of 2024.

 

Administrative Assistant – Misty Huber

Misty has been on IBT’s administrative team since 2015 and her IBT experience and knowledge cannot be replaced. Misty is responsible for onboarding every employee and getting every one of IBT’s providers credentialed with the various insurance companies we contract with, amongst other administrative duties. Misty is the glue of the IBT’s front office and her work ethic is unmatched.

Chief Financial Officer – Christopher Powell

Christopher graduated from Kansas State University with a B.A. in History and Political Science before joining IBT almost 15 years ago in the lowliest position of all: part-time data entry.  Through a combination of sheer cunning, the force of will, and being generally present, he has advanced to managing the financial accounts, payroll, taxes, IT troubleshooting, and other assorted vital company duties too incomprehensible to go into here. 

In his free time, Christopher is either “completing” a home improvement project, “writing” a novel, “recording” a podcast, or “filming” a short movie. He prefers breathing air over water and California over Texas.

Southeast KS Clinic Director – Stephanie Simmons

Stephanie is an Autism Specialist that comes with 15 years of experience in a variety of settings.  Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Autism Spectrum Disorder from the University of Kansas.  She received her undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University. 

Stephanie began her career dedicated to individuals with special needs in 2013 as a behavior interventionist.  Throughout the years, Stephanie gained experience and knowledge in various settings including school-based programming, consultation, self-contained teacher, early interventions through HCBS, clinic as well as gathering data for a variety of studies through the University of Kansas.  In her free time, she has volunteered with Autism on the Seas, helping to support families in all settings.

Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family swimming, watching her kids’ extracurricular activities and traveling while making memories.  She thrives to make a positive impact in all families that she meets.

Office Manager – Kaela Stephens

After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts dual degrees in International Business and Spanish as a 4-year collegiate athlete in 2011, Kaela pursued her Masters of Business Administration. She finished in 2013 from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. 

Kaela has been with IBT since 2020 and came to IBT with 8 years of experience in a Corporate setting where she brings administrative efficiency, processing, and organization as the Office Manager. Her ability to create policies, make processes more efficient and manage the inner workings of IBT’s front office is vital to IBT as an organization and team. Outside of work, Kaela likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters being active around the Kansas City metro area.

Authorizations and Billing Manager – Victoria Blacksher

Victoria has 13 years of medical billing experience and is a key piece to the IBT team as our Billing and Authorizations Assistant. She supports staff and families with billing-related items and interfaces with our insurance companies to maintain accurate authorizations records and all other necessary information. Victoria’s unique ability to interact with clients, families, and the different insurance companies and her extensive experience in claims, payments, billing, and much more are very valuable to IBT.

Human Resources Assistant – Gabrielle Nelson

Dynamic, hard-working, and versatile are just a few of the words that describe Gabrielle as IBT’s HR assistant.  She leverages almost a decade of experience and expertise in the administrative world including the medical field and other various fields similar to IBT.  Gabby is responsible for employee applications/resumes, employment offers, IBT Training, and payroll.  We are grateful to have Gabby join the team in 2023 and her positive impact has been nothing short of amazing.

Childcare Administration

Center Director – Alysia Gonzales

Alysia joined The K.I.D.S. Place team in the spring of 2019, starting out as the Assistant Director. In this position, she helped establish the foundations that support staff and families from within our community and beyond.  Her focus is committed to fostering open communication, collaboration, and consistency in care.  In addition to her Associates Degree in Graphic Arts, Alysia furthered her education journey to obtain her Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification in 2023.  In January of 2024, she transitioned to the role of Program Director for The K.I.D.S. Place, continuing to serve the community she had come to know and love.

 

Assistant Center Director – Mariana Seifert 
Mariana Seifert works as the Assistant Director at The K.I.D.S Place. She is from Brazil, and a professional with 10+ years of Teaching, Research, and Curatorship experience driving initiatives to build genuine connections with students and museum donors, researching and teaching history and culture, and supervising daily administrative tasks. She is a big fan of working leadership, teamwork, time management, problem-solving, interpersonal, and communication skills. Mariana has a Master degree in Social Science and right now has been working on finishing her MBA in Public Management and postgraduate in School Management. She is fluent in Portuguese and loves volunteering. She was issued with a Bill Baumgartner Award for her services to the Rotaract Club, and was issued with a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition Medallion by the Rotary International for her volunteer work with the Rotary International. 

Board of Directors

Dr. Linda Heitzman-Powell

Dr. Heitzman-Powell, IBT’s founder and Executive Director, has worked for the last 25 years with children with behavioral challenges, specifically during the last 8 years with children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

She received four years of supervised training at the University of Kansas Medical Center in the Child Development Unit. As a result, she gained substantial experience in the assessment and diagnosis of autism and other disabilities. In addition, she has extensive experience working with children with other forms of challenging behaviors such as ADHD, Disruptive Behavior Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Eating Disorders. In addition to her role as IBT’s Executive Director and President of the Board, Dr. Linda serves as a behavioral consultant for several children served by IBT and holds an appointment at the University of Kansas Medical Center as the Director of Community Research of The Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training.

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson is the co-founder of the Kansas City Autism Training Center with Dr. Linda Heitzman-Powell.  He continues to serve on the board of IBT to help promote access in rural and home and community-based settings.

The Gardner, Kansas resident, serves as the Executive Director of the Center and was instrumental in creating the Center to provide professional, research-based interventions and training for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

Dr. Jay Buzhardt

Dr. Buzhardt’s interests focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of technology-based instruction and assessment.

He has directed and co-directed several federally and locally funded projects that integrate web-based instruction with traditional face-to-face and classroom training. He is also the co-director of a project aimed at developing and experimentally evaluating the use of early childhood developmental assessments with web-based support and customized intervention advice.

Jeff Blackwood

Jeff Blackwood is the co-founder, CEO, and President of ABPathfinder, a company dedicated to using technology solutions to improve the lives of therapists and individuals with autism.

Jeff’s passion for helping children combined with his management skills drove him to be a founder of ABPathfinder, allowing him to positively affect the lives of children on the Autism spectrum. In addition to IBT, Jeff serves on the board of the Autism Society – the Heartland.

Sean Swindler

Sean Swindler is the Director of Community Program Development for the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training at KU.  Since 2008, Sean has ran the Autism Resource Center and has worked with Autism community partners including self-advocates and families to include them in outreach and research efforts.  Mr. Swindler is also the parent of a 20 year old with Autism.

Jeff Sutton

Jeffery A. Sutton of Sutton Law Office LLC is an attorney in Basehor. He has substantial litigation experience and provides a broad range of legal services to individuals and business entities.

He is a member of Leavenworth County, Wyandotte County, Johnson County, and the Kansas and Missouri Bar Associations. Jeff is licensed to practice in Kansas & Missouri and routinely handles matters in courts for all the metropolitan areas. In addition, Jeff has served on the board of directors for many local entities, including the Basehor Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors for the Leavenworth County Bar Association, the Leavenworth County Law Library and the Kansas City Autism Training Center, a not-for-profit organization that operates a private school to provide professional, research-based intervention and training for children and families with autism.
Jeff is a lifelong resident of Kansas and received his undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pittsburg State University in 1986. He then attended Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, graduating in 1989, during which he participated in an externship program working in civil litigation. As a public servant, Mr. Sutton has served as either an elected county attorney/county counselor or an assistant county attorney for over ten years. Jeff is proud to be a member of the Basehor community and meet the needs of its citizens.

G.R. Underwood

G.R. Underwood is the co-founder and CEO of Intellicess, Inc., a software company commercializing data analytics and drilling advisory applications for the Oil & Gas industry from technology originally developed within the Robotics Department at the University of Texas-Austin.

Now, Intellicess and its software platform allow Oil & Gas companies to drill for resources more efficiently, affordably, safely, and ecologically. Before joining Intellicess full-time in 2021, G.R. was President of the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas (BTBC). BTBC is an independent economic development organization focused on creating, recruiting, growing, and retaining high-tech and life science companies in and to the Lawrence-Kansas City area.

Adam Courtney

Adam Courtney is the EVP of Finance at the BTBC (Bioscience & Technology Business Center) of KU. He oversees and manages the financial and accounting operations of BTBC, the organization’s capital structure and partners, and its physical plant assets.

Ashton Stephens

Ashton is a Vice President at Bank of Labor where he is responsible for managing and developing a portfolio of small business clients throughout the Kansas City Metro. With more than 11 years of experience in the Banking Industry, Ashton leverages his vast knowledge of products and services to help businesses and business owners succeed. Ashton is the President of IBT’s recently acquired not-for-profit, Autism Hope For Families, Inc.

Ashton was voted team captain and earned All-American honors as a football player at Benedictine College where he graduated with a degree in Finance and Economics in 2013.

Ashton has a wife and two young daughters that he enjoys chasing around.

Our Funders

A huge thank you goes out to all of our funders, big and small.  Without your support, IBT would not fulfill its mission of providing equal access to evidence-based services to all children and families.

Current Donors

Frederick & Constance Desieghardt Foundation

Past Donors

John & Effie Speas Memorial Trust

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