Board of Directors

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Board of Directors



Heidi Turchan, M.Ed., CALP, CDP

Heidi Turchan is a literacy specialist for Battle Creek Public Schools, has a Masters Degree in Reading/Literacy; is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner, a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner, a structured literacy instructor and the parent of two children with dyslexia.  She is passionate about teaching reading to individuals with learning challenges and  educating teachers, tutors and community members about learning disabilities/dyslexia and the learning challenges of at-risk students.

WilliamsNancy Williams

Nancy Williams is the Center Director of Children’s Dyslexia Centers, Inc. of Bay City. She holds a graduate degree in Reading Specialty and an undergraduate degree in Special Education. Nancy is a trainer of the Orton Gillingham method of reading instruction. She has worked individually with dyslexic students for nine years and is the mother of a dyslexic child. Her desire is to increase awareness of the struggles facing students with dyslexia and training as many individuals as possible with the tools to help those students.


Randy Meyer

Randy Meyer is currently serving as the interim Manager of the Service Management and Quality Analyst team at the Shared Service Center at the University of Michigan. Until recently, he was the Business Manager for the University Center for Language & Literacy (UCLL) at UM. He started at UCLL in 2006 where he and Dr. Pierson worked together. Before coming to UCLL, Randy brought several years of financial management experience to UCLL. As the Business Manager, Randy’s responsibilities were to ensure that all business transactions adhere to Federal, State, and University guidelines.

His primary areas of responsibility included management of the administrative activities (including financial, human resources and Facility management) within UCLL, coordination of the preparation of annual and monthly budgets and financial reporting for UCLL, and monitoring and ensuring the accuracy of the clinical management system for UCLL. Randy has a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan. He has extensive experience in bookkeeping, auditing, and treasurer functions for nonprofit and religious organizations.

David J. Tarrien, Assistant Professor, Auxiliary Dean

David Tarrien

Professor Tarrien joined the full-time faculty at WMU-Cooley Law School in 2013. He previously served as a visiting professor and Academic Resource Center (ARC) faculty supervisor at WMU-Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus since 2011. Professor Tarrien also served as a coordinator of the ARC in Grand Rapids 2003-2010 and as coordinator of the Michaelmas Professional Exploration Program.

Professor Tarrien is active in community service. He is WMU-Cooley’s representative on the West Michigan Presidents Compact Committee and has been a member of the boards of directors for both the Dyslexia Center of West Michigan and Arts in Motion. He is the founder and current board president of Friends of Dyslexia Education for West Michigan Children, which raises funds for area reading programs. He has put together panel discussions of attorneys practicing in special education law, initiated an Individualized Education Program pro bono project, and started an elementary/middle school student court program with WMU-Cooley students. He previously served as vice president of the school board for St. Andrew’s School in Grand Rapids, and as a volunteer researcher for the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition in East Lansing.


PiersonJoanne Marttila Pierson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Immediate Past-President

Joanne is a founding partner of the Literacy, Language, and Learning Institute (3LI) where she provides diagnostic assessment and intervention in language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia. In addition, Dr. Pierson developed and continues to manage the University of Michigan (UM) DyslexiaHelp website, a curriculum and resource center offered free via the web to anyone with an interest in dyslexia.

Dr. Pierson received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in speech-language pathology from Western Michigan University and UM, respectively, and her doctorate is from UM in Education with an emphasis in Literacy, Language, and Learning Disabilities.

Dr. Pierson joined the MIB-IDA board in 2012 and became board president in 2015.

Anne KlothKloth small

Anne Kloth is co-owner of Reading Success Plus where she is a Certified Dyslexia Consultant and Screener.  She is trained in Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LIPS) and is a Barton Reading and Spelling tutor. Anne is a Founding Member of Decoding Dyslexia-Michigan, a grassroots advocacy and parent support group.

She received her B.S. in finance and business administration from Chapman University. After an eleven-year career with Merrill Lynch, Anne made the decision to stay at home and advocate for her severely dyslexic son.

Anne joined the Michigan Branch board in 2015.

Molly Reno


MOLLY RENO grew up in Grosse Ile, Mich., just outside Detroit. Her struggles with dyslexia and scoliosis did not stop her from excelling in swimming, skiing, and playing golf at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  Molly majored in set design which helped land her a job in Los Angeles working on the set for NBC’s hit show “Will & Grace” after graduation.

Molly currently resides in Detroit where she works as a fashion stylist for Willhelimina Models. Follow her at

Shannon Koenen, M.Ed

Shannon is a former middle school teacher with a passion for teaching dyslexic students. When her son was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, she switched her focus to dyslexia and founded Bright Minds Tutoring. She feels privileged to educate families about dyslexia while teaching her students to read, write, and spell.

Shannon received her BA in Education from Smith College and her M.Ed in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington.

Brandy Nelson


Brandy Nelson currently serves as the Director of Operation for the Michigan Dyslexia Institute.  Brandy studied at Lansing Community College, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Baker College of Owosso.  Brandy found herself drawn to organizational management and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  She’s a lifelong learner (nerd) and enjoys taking classes, attending seminars, and collaborating with others for the purpose of gaining understanding and new perspectives.
Brandy is passionate about helping those with dyslexia and their families.  She understands the struggles associated with dyslexia and is committed to working alongside others to make an impact.  She is grateful to work with such an amazing team of talented and dedicated individuals at the Michigan Dyslexia Institute and is honored to now serve on the IDA board of directors.
When not at MDI, Brandy enjoys her time with her husband of 15 years, 13-year-old son, dog, and cat, as well as her family and close friends.

Denise Henderson M.S., CCC-SLP
Denise is a licensed speech-language pathologist who has worked in schools and private practice in the U.S. and the Middle East for over 25 years.  She received a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Science from SUNY at Buffalo and a Master of Science In Education: Speech-Language Pathology at Buffalo State College.  In her private practice, she provides resources and interventions for children with dyslexia and other language-based reading differences.

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