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Meet our Team

Beth Manzanares, Founder & Executive Director

Beth Manzanares, MS, CCC-SLP is the Executive Director of Gather and Grow Therapy Services and our sister organization, Inclusion on Purpose. She has been working in service of people with neurodevelopmental disabilities since 2009. As a neurodivergent therapist and sibling to an autistic brother, Beth has intentionally cultivated expertise in neurodivergence, trauma-assumed practice, and self-determination. Her passion is teaming with and empowering people across the spectrum. 


As a speech-language pathologist, Beth understands the intricately woven relationship that binds communication, emotional regulation, sensory processing, and human behavior. She uses systematic analysis and continuous assessment to uncover unique learning style and meet people where they're at.


Beth founded Gather and Grow Therapy Services as a passion project stemming from a gap in high-quality service delivery across the age span. Beth currently spends most of her time in operations, but most enjoys program development, adventure-based therapy, and providing education on topics of neurodivergence and the intersection of language processing and emotional regulation.  

As an avid outdoors enthusiast, Beth and her husband, Dillon, spend as much time in the mountains as possible. Beth finds that nature and movement are some of the best teachers and particularly enjoys the challenge and lessons taught by rock climbing and yoga. She also loves relaxing with her family, snuggling her pup, Winnie, and carving out time for play and laughter.

Experience and Training
  • Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, RYT-200

  • Expertise in unique adolescent through adult issues with experience in middle, high school, and transition programs​

  • Specialized AAC training through the Children's Hospital of Colorado'sTalking with Technology program

  • Project ASSET federal grant recipient with training in FGRBI

Jonna Arp, Clinical Operations Manager

Jonna was born and raised on Maui, Hawai'i, then moved to California where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Redlands. While working professionally as a singer with a renowned Convention Band across Hawai’i, she also began working in and learning the ins and outs of the medical and behavioral health industry.


Jonna has worked in multiple specialty practices including Podiatry, Audiology and Balance, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Her passion has always been in supporting people with unique learning styles and found her home working in the ASD and Neurodiversity space.


Jonna provides much of the "behind the scenes" support that keeps Gather+Grow running on a day-to-day basis. You may hear from Jonna when working with insurance or funding, to clarify or implement important policies and procedures, and to check in regarding your experience working with us.

As a mother of a 4- and 6-year-old she keeps very busy, but in her “spare” time, she enjoys singing, dancing, roller skating, hiking, and exploring. She also loves to surf, but since moving to Colorado, has traded in her surfboard for a snowboard!

Jessie Gortsema, M.S., CCC-SLP


Before becoming an SLP, I worked at a group home for neurodiverse adults with complex communication needs. It was there that I developed a passion for supporting individuals in becoming more independent by being able to advocate for themselves, express their needs, and actively participate in their community.


At Florida State University, I studied under a federal grant geared toward research and training in autism and related diagnoses. My experience there led me to working with children and families in the community, volunteering at local transition programs, and working alongside job coaches to promote language and regulation skills in workplace settings.

The past two years, I have worked in Utah as an SLP at a K-12 school designed to support neurodiverse students. I served on the Utah Assistive Technology Team, where I helped to support students using communication systems and a variety of assistive technology. I am passionate about making therapy functional and using client strengths to help individuals reach their fullest potential. 

In my free time, I can likely be found reading a book, watching Harry Potter, or taking my dog hiking and camping with me throughout Colorado.

Molly Anderson, M.S., OTR/L

As an Occupational Therapist (OT) and disability advocate, I want individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be able to (if they choose/desire to) attend college, be employed, increase independence, socialize and network with others, gain life skills, and most importantly feel like they aren’t limited because of their disability. 

I am passionate about collaborating with these individuals to determine ways to create opportunities to participate in meaningful occupations. 

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At the University of Missouri, I was a graduate assistant at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. There, I was a member of a clinical assessment team that provided recommendations for families and determined low risk signs of autism in children and adolescents. I also assisted with a life skills group, picky eaters as well as individual treatments for children with various diagnoses. I began to realize that there was a gap in services provided during post secondary transition. I quickly became passionate about figuring out ways to bridge that gap and change how society views these individuals through creativity, collaboration, and advocacy. 

I was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago but my love for the outdoors and photography brought me to Colorado. In my free time you can find me outside whether that’s skiing, hiking, boating, walking my dog, playing games or traveling. 

Laurie Finnegan, MSW, LCSW

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Laurie believes that safety, abundance, authentic expression, and belonging are foundational to mental wellness. Laurie partners with clients to harness their inherent wisdom and power to lead a fulfilling life that is aligned with their values. 


In addition to personal experience as a neurodivergent individual, Laurie has over 10 years of professional experience supporting members of the neurodiverse community, ranging from job coaching and training to school social work. Laurie earned her Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees from Loyola University Chicago, with a specialization in Leadership Development and Nonprofit Management. Laurie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and School Social Worker. In her free time, Laurie enjoys spending time in nature with friends and family, including her dog Buddy and cat Zora, and playing games and guitar. Read more about Laurie’s therapeutic perspectives below:

As a Neurodiversity-Affirming provider, Laurie maintains that thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behaviors are natural adaptive responses to an individual’s environment or social context, rather than disorders resulting from internal deficits or chemical imbalances. Following a non-pathologizing, strengths-based approach, Laurie challenges the traditional medical model that views client issues as deficits that require intensive intervention, and instead views them as unique differences to be celebrated or survival responses to be accommodated. Laurie values the importance of a holistic approach, pairing modification of the social context and environment with therapeutic and behavioral intervention. 


As a Social Worker, Laurie utilizes a systems perspective to carefully analyze the impacts of the social context at all levels of influence, and collaborates with clients to identify and address barriers to meaningful accessibility and inclusion. She partners with clients to explore impacts of power, privilege, oppression, scarcity, and ableism using a disability justice lens. 


As a Trauma-Informed therapist, Laurie believes that unaddressed trauma and a lack of nervous system attunement can perpetuate illness and unease. After studying the various ways in which trauma affects the body and nervous system, Laurie partners with clients to discover and attend to their bodies’ unique needs, and lessen the impacts of trauma, scarcity, and the cycle of harm.

Julia Zielenski, M.S., CF-SLP

Julia specializes in supporting children from early childhood through middle school in the areas of language, literacy, social communication, feeding, and articulation. She values holistic, strengths-based interventions.


During her free time, Julia enjoys spending time with her husband and son, playing with her Bernese Mountain Dog, hiking, and singing. She is a Colorado native and can be found most days enjoying all this beautiful state has to offer.

As a former speech-language pathology assistant (SLP-A), Julia brings 7 years specialized experience in literacy-based interventions, phonological processing, and executive functioning support. As an SLP-A, Julia worked at an intensive private school for children with learning and language disabilities, where she participated in teaming with professionals in the fields of neuropsychology, pediatric behavioral neurology, occupational and recreational therapy.

Julia came to Gather+Grow in 2021 as a graduate student intern, which cultivated her passion for neurodivergent individuals. After obtaining her master’s degree in speech pathology from Emerson College, Julia returned to Gather+Grow as a graduate-level therapist. She has since completed training in SCERTS and Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing.

Katherine Wathen, MA, CF-SLP

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Before becoming a speech-language pathologist, Katherine walked alongside a close family member in the process of understanding and celebrating his son’s neurodivergence. This experience taught her the value of neurological differences in her own family, as well as our society at large.


Katherine received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Iowa before moving to Colorado to pursue her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology at CU-Boulder. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, she worked in a variety of settings including outpatient pediatric clinics, schools and university clinics. Her areas of interest include early intervention, fluency and counseling related to communication difficulties. Katherine also has experience implementing visual phonics, AAC, and SALT language sampling. 

As an early intervention (birth to three) speech-language pathologist, Katherine believes a child’s growth begins by empowering caregivers. She uses FGRBI coaching strategies and routines-based intervention to build caregiver confidence so THEY can help support their child’s communication.

Katherine moved to Colorado in 2021 from Des Moines, Iowa and shortly after met her now husband. In her free time, she enjoys reading, serving at church, long walks, baking cookies, traveling and trying new restaurants with her husband!

Nathan Mutchnick, M.S., CCC-SLP

My interest in speech-language pathology began when I was a child. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia at a young age and realized I did not learn along the same lines as my peers. Written information seemed to elude me, and I quickly felt isolated and “different”. I worked with an SLP who helped me use my strengths in creativity and problem solving to support my reading and writing challenges. It amazed me how this person was able to explain things in such a way that I would understand and then structure a task I could complete that enhanced my literacy abilities. I wanted to do the same for other individuals who diverge from the instructional
paradigm in schools.


I graduated from Florida State University in 2014 with my M.S. in speech-language pathology. I began working with neurogenic communication and swallowing disorders in the inpatient and home health settings but realized my true passion was working with kids. I obtained a position in Detroit Public Schools and was employed from 2017-2022. My caseload consisted of children 1-26 years old who were neurodivergent or cognitively impaired. I had the privilege of supporting individuals and their families from the first years of life through graduating high school and attending a transition center focused on vocational instruction. There, we worked
closely with companies in the area to provide internships, on the job training and skills necessary to achieve their goals.

I have training and experience in FGRBI, early intervention, ASD, stuttering, play-based therapy and learning disabilities. I have a passion for knowledge and continued growth. I moved to Colorado in February of 2022 with my wife and two young children. We love being outdoors and hiking as much as we can. When I have some free time, I enjoy trail running, playing with my kids, and backpacking.


Winnie, Professional Smile-Giver

Winnie is Beth's sweet, snuggly old pup who often accompanies her to the office.


She is a 10 years old Beagle-Whippet mix, loves pets and treats, squeaks when she has dreams, and knows a few tricks. She loves to show off! Give her a biscuit and ask her to spin. She'll be your best friend.


Hiking and hanging out at the crag while Beth and Dillon climb are her favorite activities, but she also loves anything outdoors. 

At the office, Winnie can most often be found cuddling with whoever she can!

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