Allyson Vaccaro - Pelton M.A., CCC-SLP
Clinical Director and COO
Allyson received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA in May 2011. She received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Hampton University in Hampton, VA in May 2013. Since receiving her degree, Allyson has worked in a variety of pediatric settings including home health, preschools, public elementary schools, pediatric hospitals, and outpatient clinics. Her experience is vast including working with children with a variety of speech and language disorders such as articulation/phonological disorders, language disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, stuttering and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Allyson’s passion lies in helping early language learners from age 12 months-5 years find their voice and their means to communicate as well as working with children with pediatric feeding difficulties. Allyson also prides herself in educating, mentoring, and empowering the next generation of speech therapy clinicians. She has extensive experience supervising graduate students, clinical fellows, and speech language pathologist assistants.
Allyson moved to the PNW in September 2019. She LOVES being near both the water AND the mountains. In her spare time, Allyson enjoys running and hiking as well as spending time with her husband and dog.
She feels honored to be able to lead a strong team here at Harbor Speech!
Kira Lowrance, M.S., CCC-SLP
Adult Lead SLP
Kira is a speech-language pathologist that is licensed by the state of Washington and certified by the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. Kira received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at University of Oregon and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Pacific University.
Kira has experience working with children and adults with a variety of communication and cognitive impairments and has pursued additional training or experiences in transgender voice modification, the SPEAK OUT! voice program, suicide intervention strategies, teaching English as a foreign language, HIPPA compliance, and autism spectrum disorders. She currently treats clients of all ages at our Gig Harbor clinic.
Laura Schmidtberger, B.A., SLPA
Laura is a Washington State Certified Speech-Language Pathology Assistant that received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language-Hearing from the University of Kansas. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree with a specialty in bilingual speech therapy. Laura completed her practicum experience working with students on the autism spectrum as well as children with articulation errors.
Laura is passionate about pediatric speech and language development as well as augmentative communication services and frequently pursues additional training in these areas. She currently treats patients of all ages, with various speech, language, and feeding deficits, at our Silverdale clinic.
Shay Sullivan, M.S., CCC-SLP
Shay is a speech-language pathologist that is licensed by the state of Washington and currently completing her fellowship in pursuit of certification by the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Washington State University with a minor in Psychology.
Shay has pursued additional training or experience in MBSImP, aural rehabilitation, school based-speech therapy, hospital based speech therapy, autism spectrum disorders, stuttering management, teletherapy, and pediatric feeding treatment. Shay currently evaluates and treats patients of all ages with a variety of speech and swallowing impairments in our Silverdale clinic.
Tamara Ropp B.A., SLPA
Tamara has been serving children and families as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant since 2016. She received her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon and her Bachelors of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Portland State University in Portland Oregon.
Her passion for working with children and families began as a teenager and has involved teaching preschool, various school substitute positions, volunteering in various family focused service events in schools and communities, and providing childcare in her home.
Tamara has experience in a variety of speech and language disorders including
articulation/phonology, fluency/stuttering, apraxia, AAC and early language skills in people ages 2-21. She has worked in both school and clinical settings.
Given her vast experience with children, including raising two of her own, she prides herself on understanding the importance of empowering parents to become an integral part of the success of their children’s speech and communication journey. (She also understands the importance of play and thinks it is the best part of working with children)!
In her free time, Tamara enjoys traveling to visit her children and other family members as often as she can. She also enjoys exploring all the beautiful beaches, mountains and history the PNW has to offer. She believes that effective communication is the key to quality of life and it is a privilege to have a small part in making a difference in the lives of the children and their families that she works with.
Channa Beckman, M.A., CCC-SLP, CBIS
Channa, Harbor Speech Pathology's founder and CEO, is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and a Speech-Language Pathologist that is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and licensed in multiple states. She received her Master of Arts in Speech- Language Pathology from Florida State University.
Channa is dedicated to improving the lives of brain-injury survivors. She is a competent and versatile speech-language pathologist with more than 34 years experience; twenty-seven of which have been devoted to the treatment of acquired brain injury. Channa founded Harbor Speech Pathology, started the Gig Harbor Brain Injury Networking Group and has served on the board for the Washington State Speech-Language and Hearing Association. She is known as a professional resource for cognitive rehabilitation and brain injury throughout the Puget Sound region.
Channa’s areas of expertise include: brain injury, neurologic disorders, swallowing dysfunction, adult speech and language disorders, LSVT, DriveABLE, and Vital Stim. She is dedicated to advocating and providing quality care for all patients across the life span.
Aviana CoCo, M.S., CF-SLP
Aviana earned her Bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Maine with minors in disability studies and gender studies. She went on to complete her Master's in communication sciences and disorders at the University of New Hampshire. During her clinical education, Aviana gained experience treating individuals across the lifespan in post-acute rehab, inpatient hospital, and outpatient hospital settings.
Aviana has completed additional training including Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) certification, Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSimP) training, and completion of the New Hampshire Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other Disabilities (NH-LEND) program.
Aviana moved to Washington in August of 2022 to experience the beauty and culture that the PNW has to offer, as well as to join Harbor Speech! She is excited to join our Silverdale location as a clinical fellow while she pursues certification from the American Speech-language Hearing Association.
Destiny Cabrera-Thompson, M.S., CF-SLP
Destiny is a Speech-Language Pathologist who is licensed by the state of Washington and currently completing her fellowship in pursuit of certification by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Destiny received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Massachusetts.
Destiny has experience working with children and adults with a variety of communication and cognitive impairments and has pursued additional training or experiences in LSVT LOUD, MBSImP, aphasia treatment, cognitive communication, autism spectrum disorders, and pediatric speech therapy.
Destiny fell in love with Washington state from a young age when she read about Forks, WA in the Twilight Saga books. Thankfully, while in grad school, she met her husband who is a Washington native and she is so happy to now live in the PNW and can’t wait to explore all that this state has to offer!
Grace Hiegel-Whitman M.A., CCC-SLP
Grace is a Speech-Language Pathologist licensed by the state of Washington and certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Western Washington University, where she remained to complete her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 2019.
Grace’s passion is in helping individuals find or recover their ability to communicate across the age spectrum, as well as supporting other therapists in refining their clinical skills. She has a wide range of experience working with children and adults with communication and cognitive impairments in the clinic setting, and extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum and with sensory processing disorder.
Grace was born and raised in western Washington and loves exploring the PNW scenery with her dog and the culinary scene with her husband.