SHELLY COX, Owner, Executive Director, OTR/L
Shelly has worked as an Occupational Therapist for the past 27 years. Shelly’s previous experience has included Pediatrics, Rehabilitation (Craig Hospital and Swedish Hospital Trauma Unit), Warm Water/Pool Therapy and School Based Occupational Therapy. Shelly worked as a pediatric OTR for Adams 12 Five Star Schools for 14 years and was most recently a member of the Bal Swan Preschool Team providing warm water and "land" 1:1 therapy sessions as well as group therapy sessions in 2017-2018. She is again on staff at Bal Swan Children's center providing OT services as well as owning/operating Lil' Friends, LLC.
ANGE SHORES, Co-Founder, Development Director, ECT, CNA
Ange has a BA in Communication Studies and a BA in Theater. Ange is also a CNA (Certified Nurses Aide for her daughter) and a full time mom to 3 daughters, one of whom is physically and developmentally disabled. She has many years of experience with fundraising and volunteering in the Broomfield area.
MARLENE EVANS, BSN, Registered Nurse/CCHC
Marlene is a Registered Nurse in the state of Colorado. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1987. She has been a pediatric nurse for over 20 years. Her experience includes Pediatric Intensive Care Nursing for 14 years as well as Post Anesthesia Care for 4 years at The Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado. She has been Pediatric Advanced Life Support certified for 19 years. She worked as a nurse for Adams 12 School District for 2 years, during which time she serviced 5,700 students. Marlene has owned her own successful nursing business since 2008 and in July 2014 became one of the founders of Child Care Health Consultants of Colorado (CCHC). Marlene has a passion for all aspects of caring for children and believes all little people deserve a voice. She is happy to have the opportunity to work in the childcare and education areas, along with the team of child care providers, parents and staff.
ANDREA GRAY, COTA/L
Andrea has a B.A. in English Literature and recently graduated from Pima Medical Institute in March 2019 to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She served on the board of OTAC, Colorado’s Occupational Therapy Association, as the student representative for her school. Andrea helped to create a sensory-friendly environment and sensory break room for Pizzability in Cherry Creek, a restaurant that welcomes and employs people with disabilities. At FRIENDs of Broomfield, she renovated their sensory room and is currently working to create a sensory-friendly curriculum for their program. Andrea is passionate about enriching people’s lives in any way she can and is so excited to be an integral part the Lil’ Friends team!
KATIE FREEMAN, COTA/L
I started at LilFriends in 2020. I love working with kids and have a passion for figuring out what motivates each one. I have been in pediatrics my whole career from early childhood education to therapy. My spouse and I have raised two children ages 22 and 17. My youngest was born with Down Syndrome and autism. I graduated from Pima Medical Institute in Denver to become a COTA and currently am doing land and warm water therapies. What I love about OT is how it helps people improve in meaningful ways in all areas of their lives.
SHANNON LEWIS, C–SLPA
Shannon is currently a graduate student at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s master’s program in Speech Language Pathology with specialization in bilingual service provision. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences from Metropolitan State University of Denver, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Journalism: Strategic Communications from University of Kansas. After spending a year teaching English abroad to local children in a rural village in Thailand, Shannon discovered her love for language and passion for working with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Shannon’s clinical experiences include working with children ages 2-20 in a variety of different settings (private practice, home-based, school-based) and populations (bilingual, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, neurological disorders, and genetic disorders). She performs treatment for receptive/expressive language disorders, articulation, social communication, fluency, auditory processing and literacy skills. Shannon believes in a holistic therapy approach – building on strengths, encouraging creative expression and empowering independence through communication can help foster meaningful relationships and enhance learning opportunities for her clients.
ZOE BOSSLER, PT, DPT
Zoe graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Youngstown State University in 2017, and recently graduated from the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in 2021, also from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. Zoe has worn many “hats” in her journey to becoming a PT, including group fitness instructor (both on land and in the water), personal trainer, and gymnastics coach. It is at gymnastics where Zoe realized her passion for working with children, and how fulfilling it was to see children learn, grow, and progress. Now Zoe is excited to work with families at Lil’ Friends to encourage those same goals in children within her newfound community.
VINITA KOKATNER-LEMECIER, SLP
Vinita's work settings include hospitals, private clinics, schools, childfind, homehealth, and her own private practice. She has been practicing for the past 25 years. Clinical experiences include articulation disorders, stuttering, expressive and receptive language disorders, language-cognitive delays, aphasia, apraxia, and dysphagia. She has also assessed and treated a variety of age groups with MTBI, multilingual individuals, and autism. Vinita is fluent in three languages and has always been an avid traveler which allows her to utilize a worldly approach with all of her clients. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three sons.
CARINA LANGENBACH, OTD, OTR/L
Carina immigrated from Germany in 2006, where she began her education in the field of occupational therapy. Since then, she has been working with various patient populations and diagnoses ranging from pediatric to the aging adult.
She specializes in the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration MNRI® Method and undergoes continuous training to advance her practice. She has a passion for combining her clinical practice and research, she is currently the chair of the Masgutova Foundation Research Committee and has published case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the MNRI technique on individuals with an acquired brain injury and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Carina has completed her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University and holds a faculty position educating future occupational therapy assistants.
SARAH HOOPER, PT
I am currently finishing my last semester at Regis University where I will graduate with a B.S. in Health and Exercise Science. I completed my internship at Lil’ Friends and was fortunate enough to be hired on. My passion for working with children with disabilities began at a young age due to my family’s involvement with a non-profit that raises money to buy adaptive equipment for kids with special needs. I have wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist since I was 11 so I am super excited to be attending PT school at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. Working at Lil’ Friends has not only given me the opportunity to form meaningful connections with the kids whom I adore, but it has also allowed me to advance my education in and understanding of pediatric physical therapy. I am grateful for every day I get to spend at Lil’ Friends.
LILY EDDY, COTA/L
Lily is a recent graduate from Pima Medical Institute and has a B.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in early childhood development. Her love for Occupational Therapy stems from her grandmother who was part of the first female class to graduate from an Occupational Therapy Doctorates program in the 60’s. She began as a volunteer at Lil’ Friends in the beginning of 2021 due to her love for children, especially those with disabilities. She was then fortunate enough to be hired as part of the therapy team after passing her national boards in January of 2022. Outside of work, her hobbies include outdoor activities, competing horses, and hanging out with her dog, Remi. She is passionate about the work that she does and looks forward to growing her knowledge to better allocate for the population she loves dearly.
RILEY BERNHARDT, REGIS UNIVERSITY INTERN
I am currently a senior at Regis University studying health and exercise science. My dream is to become a pediatric occupational therapist and open my own clinic very similar to Lil' friends. I love to have fun and try new things. In my off time I can often be found in the kitchen cooking because I love to eat!