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, Assistant Director, 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, Respite Care Coordinator, 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.
EMILY ABO, Child Care Specialist
I graduated from Regis University with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and have hopes of going back to school to become an occupational therapist. I was an intern this summer and fell in love with working with the kids and staff at Lil Friends! I am extremely grateful to be hired on as staff after my internship. I am a youth soccer coach and in the past, I have been a volunteer with the TOPS soccer program, a sports program for children and adults with intellectual, emotional, or physical disabilities. In my free time, I love working out and being outside! I am passionate about working with kids and I am excited to continue with Lil Friends!
ALMA GUZMAN, Child Care Specialist
I graduated with a bachelor's in health and exercise science from Regis University and am a first-generation student. I am planning to go back to school to get my master's in occupational therapy. I came to Lil’ Friends as an intern, but I fell in love with LF's mission as well as the kids, so I stayed as an employee! Previously, I worked with FRIENDS of Broomfield and Megan’s Place where I have had the privilege to work with people with disabilities. Megan’s place is where I discovered my passion to be working with children with disabilities. Fun fact about me: I love llamas! I am super happy and excited to be part of the Lil’ Friends Team!
ABRIANNA WINSHIP, Child Care Specialist
Currently, I am working on my bachelor's degree in Health & Exercises Science at Regis University. I am also a PT aide at a physical therapy clinic and I plan to continue on to PT school after graduation. I came to Lil' Friends because I wanted to not only learn more about working with kids but also learn more about disabilities while helping little ones overcome their everyday challenges and be able to do the things they love. I love working with kids because they are so loving and caring. The energy and positivity they bring every day is contagious. Children encourage me to use my imagination and find new creative ways to do things! I have two dogs; Ginger, a chocolate lab/pitbull mix, and Panda, a pitbull/boxer mix. In my free time, you'll find me watching sports.
MACIE BROWNE, Child Care Specialist
I recently graduated with a degree in Sports Medicine from Colorado State University. I am hoping to go back to school to become an Occupational Therapist. I have always wanted to become an OT after shadowing my aunt when I was about 10 years old. I just joined Lil’ Friends and have loved my experience so far. I love working with kids, they bring so much happiness to everyone around them. In my free time, I love to go check out new restaurants with friends. My favorite food is anything smothered in green chile!! I also love doing anything outside! I played soccer my whole life so I love anything sports related! I have one dog whose name is Leo, he is a Goldendoodle. Leo is definitely a character! I’m very lucky to be a part of the Lil’ Friends team, and I can’t wait for all the fun times to come!
DEMI RAINES, Child Care Specialist
My name is Demi Raines and I am finishing up my undergrad in Health and Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology at Regis University! I plan to attend OT school in the coming fall if all goes well. I was lucky enough to come to Lil' Friends for my internship and absolutely fell in love with kids, the people, and the environment. I have worked with kids with disabilities in the past doing Unified programs in my high school. I have also been coaching gymnastics for 7 years and am currently the head coach for the Xcel program at Gymnastics Unlimited! In my off time, you can catch me with my family and friends, or hanging out with my two dogs Doobie and Steevie.
SHELBY HARTER, OTR/L
Shelby graduated with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and worked as a preschool teacher in Oregon for several years prior to pursuing a career as a pediatric occupational therapist. Shelby has clinical experience serving both children and adults in a variety of settings including community-based programs, private schools and clinics, and a public hospital. She is experienced in working with children with a broad range of sensory, social-emotional, and developmental challenges in both group and individual settings. Shelby has a strong belief in the therapeutic benefits of play and strives to create fun and motivating treatment activities to help each child reach their fullest potential. She recently moved to Colorado and enjoys exploring the outdoors, hiking, reading, and playing with her dog Biggie.