Board of Directors

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Board of Directors


Joanne Marttila Pierson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

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.

PiersonHeidi Turchan, M.Ed., CALP, CDP
Vice President/President-Elect

Heidi is passionate about teaching reading to individuals with learning challenges because two of her three children have dyslexia and because, for the past 20 years, she has worked with struggling readers from age 5 to adult at SLD Read in West Michigan. She is the Curriculum and Instruction Director for SLD Read, is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner and a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner. Her favorite part of the work is educating teachers, tutors and community members about learning disabilities/dyslexia and the learning challenges of at-risk 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 with bookkeeping, auditing, and treasurer functions for nonprofit and religious organizations.

Melanie Simms


WintersDavid C. Winters, Ph.D.

David C. Winters, Ph.D.; Fellow/AOGPE, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He has been a classroom teacher, tutor, diagnostician, administrator, and tutor/teacher trainer for over 35 years. A member of the IDA Orton Oaks, he has served as president of the IDA Illinois and Upper Midwest Branches and is currently a board member of the Michigan Branch. His service on IDA committees includes three IDA review committees evaluating programs for IDA recognition and his current membership on the IDA Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction  (CEERI) Committee.

Most recently, he has focused on instructional and assistive technology and is the author of the quarterly “Dr. Dave’s AT Lab” column in IDA’s The Examiner. He has contributed to IDA’s Perspectives on Language and Literacy and several book chapters.  Previously, he directed the clinical program for the Children’s Dyslexia Centers where he helped develop their structured literacy curriculum and tutor training at centers in 15 states.

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.


Katie E. Squires, Ph.D.,CCC-SLP

Dr. Katie Squires is a former elementary teacher and school-based speech-language pathologist who is currently an assistant professor at Central Michigan University instructing and researching in the areas of child language and literacy. Dr. Squires is the proud mother of two children, one of whom has dyslexia.


Autumn Templeton

Autumn Templeton, CALP received her B.A. in Linguistics from Oakland University, specializing in phonology, and is currently directing three Brainspring Learning Centers located in Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield and Ann Arbor.  A strong advocate of multisensory academic remediation, she educates parents and educators of dyslexics in the importance of structured and explicit instruction.  Her professional interests focus on cumulative and sequential approaches to literacy teaching, thematic planning and dynamic one-on-one learning.  Autumn holds a certification in Phonics First®, a literacy program accredited by the International Dyslexia Association and the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).  She is also a registered Language Practitioner through the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA). In her free time, Autumn is an aspiring explorer, traveling the world whenever she can.


Nancy 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.

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.

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