Staff

Blair Sears, OTR/L

Blair Sears is the first Occupational Therapist to join our Therapy Tree family. Blair obtained a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2016. Since that time she has worked in home health and our school systems before joining our team. Blair is passionate about spreading awareness for pediatric occupational therapy in Coffee County. She is married and the loving mother of a beautiful little girl that she loves to doll-up in her free time.

Allison Bonanni, M.Ed., CCC-SLP 

Allison Bonanni is a graduate of Valdosta State University where she received her Bachelors of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May of 2016, and a Masters of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2018. Allison obtained her Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in July 2019. She has experience working with pediatric clients targeting language, articulation, cognition, and executive functioning skills in the school and clinical settings. In addition to extensive speech and language treatments, Allison has a experience in working with individuals diagnosed with Autism, Down’s syndrome, and various intellectual disabilities. Allison emphasizes increasing functional communication at home, school, and the community through individualized treatment plans tailored to each client. She is an advocate for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices to increase communication skills among patients with limited expressive language skills. When she isn’t helping children find their voice, she enjoys time with her family and friends. You can find her at a simple backyard barbecue or a peaceful weekend at the beach!   

Arden Osborne, M.Ed., CF-SLP

Arden Osborne obtained a Master's degree from Valdosta State University in 2020. Originally from Gwinnett County, she moved down to Valdosta for school in 2014 and loved the south so much that she decided to make it her home. She is currently in her clinical fellowship year to obtain her Certificate of Clinical Competence. Having gone through speech therapy as a child herself, she has found a love in children and helping them in all areas of speech and language. She has always had a passion for children, as she was a junior swim coach for her local neighborhood swim team, babysat for her community, and worked in daycares for over 6 years. When not cuddling on the couch with her two cat fur babies or binge watching her favorite Netflix shows, you can find her crafting, reading, and riding dirt roads. She loves spending time with her friends and family, but also enjoys time to herself with quiet nights at home. Arden has a passion for Christ and doing the Lord's work through speech therapy.

Katy Bailey, M.Ed., CF-SLP

Katy Bailey recently graduated from Valdosta State University with a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is completing her Clinical Fellowship to obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Prior to obtaining her masters degree, Katy attended the University of Georgia where she received her undergraduate degree - Go Dawgs! Katy has a passion for helping people and loves being outdoors. She is excited to be a part of The Therapy Tree Family and is currently working in the Fitzgerald office. She is looking forward to using the knowledge she has gained to help children increase their speech and language skills!

Tara Harden, RBT, Director of Marketing & Program Development

Tara is a 2012 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Business Administration. She is currently in graduate school pursuing her Master’s of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis. As a member of The Therapy Tree for nearly 6 years now, she has worn the following hats: HR, Operations, Marketing, and most currently Director of Program development. In the past year Tara has expanded Occupational Therapy and ABA therapy programs at The Therapy Tree. She enjoys working hands on as an RBT with children on autism spectrum helping her clients achieve socially acceptable behaviors in as many environments as possible. She thrives on helping clients live independent lives. She is a single mother to a 16 year son, Gatlin. He is her world. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and primitive camping in her spare time.

Julie Tapp, M.Ed., CF-SLP

Julie Tapp is a Georgia native, born and raised in Ocilla, Georgia. She is a proud graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  She graduated in the Spring of 2020. She is serving in the South Georgia area to give back to the community she calls home. She is currently completing her certificate of clinical competence as a clinical fellow. Julie Tapp enjoys studying all things Autism and how it impacts language and social skills in children. She believes all people deserve a voice. Julie has two fur babies whom she loves and cherishes with all of her heart. Family is  important to her as well. She has a loving fiancée who is supportive of all of her endeavors and enjoys taking frequent adventures with her in their free time. Julie, when not in therapy, enjoys playing board games, creating art, and cheering for her Georgia DAWGS!

Sabrina Ayala, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Sabrina Ayala obtained a Master’s degree from Valdosta State University in 2018. She is a devoted military spouse with a passion for encouraging families to foster a language-rich environment and face-to-face communication; so you won’t find her on social media. Instead, she enjoys sewing, cooking, and going on adventures with her husband and wrinkly bulldog. Sabrina has received her certificate of clinical competence from ASHA and is licensed in the state of Georgia. She aspires to help her patients live their fullest life by learning the skills necessary to communicate in the most functional way.

Hayley Hughston, M.Ed., CF/SLP

Born and raised in Vidalia, Ga, Hayley is a 2018 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. While proudly serving in her hometown, she is completing her clinical fellowship to obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Hayley is a strong advocate for family involvement and how it affects a child’s language development both inside and outside of the therapy sessions. She has an interest and passion for finding a voice for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, whether it is verbal or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Hayley’s hobbies include painting, drawing, and attempting to play the violin. When she is not providing therapy, she is traveling with her husband, Kyle, of two years, spending time with family, or snuggling her two fur babies.

Ingrid Mercado, SLPA, RBT

A first generation immigrant of Mexican descent, Ingrid is a resident of Pearson, Ga with a zest for life. She recently attained her associate’s degree in education for speech pathology from South Georgia State College in pursuit of her master’s in communication sciences and disorders. She is currently working towards her state certification as a Registered Behavioral Therapist. Ingrid is fluent in both English and Spanish and enjoys teaching the staff at The Therapy Tree of her heritage and native language. She is currently seeing patients in our Douglas, Ga. clinic with a focus on early articulation delays. Ingrid lends herself to our play to learn approach to therapy. Ingrid loves crocheting gifts for friends and family; as well as spending time with her large family. She spends her Sundays teaching Sunday school at The Sanctuary where she continues to teach children.

Tiffany Waters, M.Ed. CCC-SLP, Director of Speech Pathology

A resident of Baxley, Ga. Tiffany is a 2013 Valdosta State University graduate with a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Since her graduation, Tiffany has acquired her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), as well as her certification in Vital Stim therapy and is licensed in the state of Georgia. Tiffany leads our therapy services in our Hazlehurst office and services the Jeff Davis community. She enjoys sponsoring and assisting with missions through her church in an effort to spread God’s word to underprivileged areas. Outside of therapy , she can be found at the nearest CrossFit gym working on strengthening her mind and body. Tiffany is passionate about advocating for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Lisa Williams. M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Considered the soft-spoken therapist, Lisa can be found in private schools and head start programs in Coffee County. She brings her skill and technique directly to the children in their natural habitat. When she’s not traveling in the area providing therapy; she can be found taking family trips with her 10 year old daughter and 12 year old son and her husband of 17 years. She also enjoys decorating her home for the holidays, cooking with her family, and reading. Lisa is a 2004 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s in Education in Communication Science and Disorders. She is licensed in the state of Georgia and a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She is passionate about reaching children exactly where they are in life and empowering them to reach their communication goals.

Jodi Williams, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Considered our angel in disguise, Jodi has led our team of therapists for 8 years before transitioning into her role as Chief Executive Officer at The Therapy Tree. Married since 2016, she is a new mother to a beautiful baby boy and embodies the characteristics that our team aspires to achieve on a personal and professional basis. Jodi’s clinical experience in the areas of aphasia, dysphagia and apraxia lends itself to the many different patients that receive services in our clinics. Her knowledge of pediatric speech, language, voice and swallowing deficits allows her to assist in the development of goals for patients. More specifically, her knowledge in the area of autism and sensory processing disorders allows for a greater understanding of underlying communication developmental delays. Jodi is a graduate of Valdosta State University and holds a Master’s degree in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorder and is licensed in the state of Georgia as a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). When she’s not working diligently, she can be found baking cookies at home with her husband and son or mothering her therapy dog, Maggie Williams. Jodi is dedicated to the early detection and treatment of dyslexia as well as patients of traumatic brain injury.

Teresa McElroy, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, Founder, Owner

As the founder of The Speech and Swallowing Clinic, LLC DBA The Therapy Tree, Teresa has worked as a speech-language pathologist for over 20 years. She earned a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Valdosta State University in 1998, where she conducted research in language and literacy, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Her experience includes a vast variety of disorders stemming from working in home health care, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers with children and adults. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed in the state of Georgia. Teresa lives in Nicholls, Ga. with her husband of 37 years; she enjoys spending time with family, friends and many, many animals that occupy her homestead. Teresa is the proud grandmother of six grandchildren and lives to make them happy. She is a lover of food and travel and laughter. Teresa is passionate about raising awareness in the areas of Parkinson’s disease. She also advocates for substance abuse awareness in Coffee County.