Jennifer Larson is the mother of a young man with regressive autism. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in marketing, psychology and speech communication and a graduate of the OPM program of Harvard Business School. Jennifer is the owner and CEO of Vibrant Technologies, incorporated 1998. She is also the owner, founder and CEO of the Holland Autism Center and Clinic, the Founding Board Chair of the non-profit Children with Autism Deserve Education (CADE), and Director and founder of the non-profit Health Choice. Jennifer has been honored with several business and media awards during her career including the Minneapolis Business Journal’s 2007, Forty under Forty award and 2008 Women to Watch award. She has been interviewed by Brent Bowers of the New York Times (“Out of Adversity an Opportunity“, “Entrepreneurs Press On, and Obstacles Fall“), and wrote “Is He High Functioning” on the Age of Autism.
Mark Blaxill is the CFO of Vibrant Technologies Inc and the Holland Center. In addition, he is co-founder and Executive Director of XLP Capital, a firm founded in 2015 and focused on technology strategy development, advanced data analytics and technology-based investments. Before starting XLP, Mr. Blaxill was a co-Founder and Managing Partner of 3LP Advisors, a firm focused on IP strategy development, patent transactions and IP-based investments. Previous to the launch of 3LP in 2008, he was a 25-year veteran of The Boston Consulting Group, where as senior vice president and partner, he headed the firm’s Strategy Practice. He is the co-author of The Invisible Edge: Taking Your Strategy to the Next Level Using Intellectual Property (Portfolio, 2009), which was named Best Strategy Book in 2009 by a leading business journal. He has been named one of “The World’s Leading IP Strategists” by IAM Magazine.
Mark is also the father of a daughter diagnosed with autism. He has published numerous scientific articles and co-authored three books on autism with Dan Olmsted: The Age of Autism (Thomas Dunne, September 2010), and Vaccines 2.0 (Skyhorse Publishing, February 2015) and most recently Denial: How Refusing to Face the Facts About Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families—and our Future (Skyhorse, 2017).
Mr. Blaxill earned an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School and an A.B. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Brittany Fink, MOT, OTR/L Holland Connections Division Director Occupational Therapist Minnetonka / Mendota Heights / Holland Life
Brittany Fink MOT, OTR/L
Brittany attended the University of Minnesota, where she received her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education. She has provided Occupational Therapy services for children who have a diagnosis of Autism for seven years. Brittany’s areas of special interest include Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI), sensory integration, and feeding therapy. Brittany is passionate about helping her clients to achieve their highest level of functional independence while having fun along the way.
Sophie Wilmshurst, COTA/L Team Lead – Mendota Heights
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
Sophie attended the Health Science Institute in Kansas City, where she received her Associate’s degree to become a COTA. Before that, she attended the University of Kansas, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Community Health. Sophie has 4 years of experience working with the pediatric special needs population, with diagnoses including Traumatic Brain Injuries, Strokes, and Autism. She started at Holland Center as a student during one of her clinical rotations and continued on to become an employee. Sophie loves being creative to find a fun way for client’s to learn and participate in meaningful activities.
Kaitlyn Hirvela, M.S., CCC-SLP Team Lead – Minnetonka Speech-Language Pathologist
Kaitlyn Hirvela M.S. CCC-SLP
Kaitlyn attended the University of North Dakota, where she received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She also has minors in Special Education and Psychology. Specific areas of interest include articulation and phonological disorders, as well as feeding therapy. Kaitlyn is certified in the Beckman Oral Motor assessment and intervention protocol, which focuses on mechanical muscle responses to increase oral motor function. She enjoys working with children and teaching them to communicate their wants and needs and having fun while doing so.
Keri Derauf, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathology Trainer Speech-Language Pathologist Minnetonka / Mendota Heights / Holland Life
Keri Derauf M.S., CCC-SLP
Keri attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she received her Master’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has provided Speech Therapy services to children diagnosed with Autism for seven years. Keri’s interests include Augmentative and Alternative Communication and early language development. She is certified in the Beckman Oral Motor assessment and intervention protocol, which focuses on mechanical muscle responses to increase oral motor function. She loves working with children and helping them communicate their wants and needs for everyday life.
Jenna Neis, MOT, OTR/L Occupational Therapy Trainer Occupational Therapist Minnetonka / Mendota Heights / Holland Life
Jenna attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Child Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Psychology. She then attended the University of Minnesota, where she received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Jenna enjoys working with the wonderful multidisciplinary team, clients and families at Holland Center!
Abby Ihli, MOT, OTR/L Team Lead – Holland Life Occupational Therapist Minnetonka / Mendota Heights / Holland Life
Abby attended the College of St. Scholastica where she received a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Before that, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and a minor in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Abby has had 8 years of experience working with children with special needs of all ages in outpatient, home and school settings. She loves to encourage clients and help them achieve their goals using play.
Sara Folk, M.A., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist Minnetonka / Mendota Heights / Holland Life
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Sara attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She then attended the University of South Dakota where she received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. She has previous experience working with adults and the geriatric population with traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and various neurological diagnoses. Her areas of interest include early language learning, adolescence, and adults, augmentative and alternative communication, and swallowing disorders.
Mackenzie attended Minnesota State University-Mankato, where she received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with an emphasis in American Sign Language. Her areas of interest include early language learning, alternative and augmentative communication, and swallowing disorders. Mackenzie enjoys working with children of all learning levels, especially seeing the growth made by early learners.
Bailey received her Master’s degree from the University of North Dakota in Speech Language Pathology and her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences. Her areas of interest include augmentative and alternative communication, early language learning, and feeding therapy. Bailey enjoys helping children communicate their wants and needs, because everyone deserves a voice!
Rylie received her Master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Speech Language Pathology after completing her Bachelor’s of Science degree at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her interests in this field include augmentative and alternative communication, early language intervention, and social skills. Rylie loves finding new ways to incorporate language into play, and helping her clients express themselves so everyone can see what they have to offer!
Briana attended the University of Minnesota, where she received a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Additionally, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in cognitive psychology from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master’s degree in Education from the Universidad de Alcala in Madrid, Spain. Briana has over 7 years of experience working with children of all ages in home, school and outpatient clinic settings. Before entering the field of occupational therapy, she primarily worked with children with an ASD diagnosis while conducting ABA therapy and collaborating with families to integrate therapy within the home. She is dedicated to working with the pediatric population, using play as a means to help children reach their goals.
Rachel attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in health and wellness, with a focus in cognitive psychology, and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Rachel offers over seven years of experience servicing clients with disabilities, including ASD, chromosomal abnormalities, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, brain injury, sensory processing and motor delays, and other developmental disorders. She is deeply passionate about helping children develop the functional skills they need to participate in play, school performance, and daily life activities and loves finding fun and meaningful ways to help her clients achieve their unique goals.
Tyler attended Colorado State University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a focus in Mind, Brain, and Behavior. He then attended Clarkson University, where he received his Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Tyler is a Veteran of the United States Air Force and has previous experience as a Pre-school Teacher. He enjoys working with individuals of all abilities and is passionate about helping his clients to achieve their goals.
Marina has been working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant for 2 years after earning an Associates degree from St. Catherine’s University. Her areas of special interests are cognitive and visual impairments. Marina is passionate about discovering her clients personalities and watching them gain confidence through their independence.
Kari Luedtke, COTA/L Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
Kari attended the Anoka Technical College, where she received her Associates degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She has been providing Occupational Therapy services for children who have a diagnosis of Autism for six months. She is excited to expand her knowledge in OT as she continues to learn new techniques and unique way to teach her clients. Kari enjoys seeings kids learn through play, and celebrating each client’s success no matter how big or small.
Kenzie graduated from Western Tech located in La Crosse, WI with an Associates Degree in Applied Science. Prior to becoming a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, she worked with adults 18 and older within a group home setting. There, she focused on enhancing everyday activities of daily living to provide meaningful services and care to clients of all abilities. She looks forward to starting a new chapter in her life, working with children at Holland Connections to help them achieve their goals and increase independence within all desired activities within a fun and safe environment!
Bailey has been working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant for two years after earning an Associates of Applied Science Degree from Western Technical College. She has been working with pediatric clients with a diagnosis of ASD for a year and a half. She loves learning the individual minds of all the clients and finding fun, unique ways to progress their skills and independence. She has previous experience working with clients of all ages, of varying diagnoses, including developmental delays, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, strokes, spinal cord injuries, and moebius syndrome. She is very dedicated to both her clients and the workplace, trying to bring positivity and fun with her wherever she goes!
Our mission at Holland Connections is to help individuals across the lifespan gain or regain functional independence within meaningful activities in order to live life to the fullest. Whether it is teaching a child with a diagnosis of autism to speak their first words or helping an adult who experienced a traumatic brain injury regain skills to return to work, our team of passionate Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists is committed to facilitating life-long learning in a safe and supportive environment. The members of the multidisciplinary team at Holland Connections specialize in the development of client-centered programming and implementation of evidence-based interventions to assist individuals with reaching their greatest potential while having fun along the way.
West Location (housed within Holland Center):
10273 Yellow Circle Dr. Minnetonka, MN 55343
East Location (housed within Holland Center):
1160 Centre Pointe Drive Mendota Heights, MN 55120
Eden Prairie Location (housed within Holland Life): 6533 Flying Cloud Drive Suite 200 Eden Prairie MN 55344