ABA Workshop Presenters - Achieve Beyond

Achieve Beyond Presenters

Workshop Presenters at Achieve Beyond

Tara Karen

M.S. Ed, BCBA, LBA, Director of Service Provision

Tara Karen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst (CT, MA, MD, TN, NY ) who has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education since 2009. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from SUNY Stony Brook, a Master’s degree in Childhood Education from Dowling College and completed her BCBA coursework at SUNY Stony Brook. Tara is a New York State certified teacher, holding multiple certificates in children with special needs.

Tara join the Achieve Beyond team in 2013, and has worked as a clinical supervisor, school consultant, CSE provider, EI supervisor, clinical director, operations director, and now has the honor of overseeing all the clinicians at Achieve Beyond. Guided by her love of ABA, she is passionate about teaching our clinicians, administrative staff, and families how ABA can help change the world.

Christina Feuge

MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD, Speech Clinical Director

Christina Feuge is a ASHA certified and NYS licensed Speech Language Pathologist. She received her Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Adelphi University in 2013. Since then, Christina has been dedicated to providing therapeutic treatments and evaluations at Achieve Beyond.   Christina also supervises clinical fellows and enjoys sharing her knowledge to ensure quality care for all clients. She has extensive experience in language development in children, behavioral and sensory based feeding disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, and the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She is passionate in providing the best support to clinicians to optimize therapeutic interventions.

Lori Estien

M.A., BCBA, ABA Clinical Director

Lori is a Board Certified and a New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis with individuals with special needs and abilities since 2010.  After completing her undergrad in psychology, Lori realized her interest and passion for ABA and pursued her Master’s of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis.  While completing her Master’s with Capella University, Lori worked in a public school setting as a 1:1 classroom behavioral support and home services technician to assist student’s with generalizing skills learned in the classroom to the home as well as help parents with their own skills in supporting their child’s progress and skill development.  Prior to Achieve Beyond, Lori worked as clinical BCBA/LBA supervisor and then Assistant Clinical Director for a non-profit agency where she provided in home treatment supervision, clinical support to the clinical supervisor, parent training and training development for staff.  In 2019 Lori began working with Achieve Beyond as a fee-for-service BCBA/LBA clinical supervisor.  Lori quickly learned that Achieve Beyond’s core values and dedication to clients matched her own and she came on board as a full time clinical supervisor.  This allowed Lori work with many great families in Suffolk County and help them create meaningful and significant change in their child’s life. 

Lori has always been passionate about working closely with the families of her clients so that she can ensure the treatment approach and goals are individualized and socially significant to their child's unique needs as well as the family's values.  Additionally Lori is also dedicated to collaborating and assisting fellow colleagues in her field. As Achieve Beyond's ABA Fieldwork Supervision Coordinator, Lori worked closely with others to develop a comprehensive and immersive program that provides future behavior analysts with supervision while completing their fieldwork.  In January of 2021, Lori stepped into the role of Assistant Clinical Director for the Melville location where she works closely with the Regional Operations Director in providing clinical support to staff, conducting assessments, overseeing program changes, as well as continues to ensure clients are receiving effective and evidence based- treatment approaches in a fun and supportive environment. 

Gina Ballone

MS, BCBA, LBA, ABA Clinical Director

Gina Ballone has been working in the field of ABA since 1998. She first gained experience in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder during her undergraduate studies at Florida State University. Upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she decided to pursue her Master’s degree in Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis, having the privilege of learning under Dr. Jon Bailey and Dr. Al Murphy. During her graduate studies she co-founded an organization that provided ABA services to children, which is currently a practicum and assistantship opportunity for graduate students at FSU.

After completion of her graduate degree in 2002, Gina was offered a position at Behavior Analysis Inc, a leading ABA company in South Florida. During her work there, she supervised a team of behavior therapists, as well as developed verbal behavior programs, precision teaching, and behavior reduction programs. She conducted parent trainings/workshops and presented at state conferences. The company appointed her to be the Behavior Analyst to consult at the Miami Children’s Hospital, Dan Marino Center. She oversaw all ABA programs as well as conducted consultations to non-behavioral staff. In doing this, she had the opportunity to consult with Speech, Occupational and Physical therapists as well as provide training at the Dan Marino Summer Camps.

Gina has attended numerous workshops in Verbal Behavior, as well as advanced consultation workshops at the Carbone Clinic. She has presented at FABA (Florida Association for Behavior Analysis) as well as other conferences throughout the years. She was the Clinical Director of an ABA therapy clinic in Destin, Florida for 8 ½ years, where she also served as the practicum supervisor for the graduate students in the FSU-PC Master’s ABA program.

Gina became the Clinical Director of ABA Services at Achieve Beyond in the Virginia/DC Metro in 2012. She is passionate about using Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior to teach language and communication skills to individuals.

Brittany Beaver

MA, BCBA, LBA, ABA Clinical Supervisor

Brittany Beaver has been a clinical supervisor for our Hudson Valley programs at Achieve Beyond since 2016.  She supervises services for clients aged birth to 21.  In 2015, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University.  She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst in the states of New York and Connecticut.  She is currently working towards a PhD at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  In her spare time, Brittany enjoys running, reading, and baking.  

Melanie Bren

M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, ABA Clinical Supervisor

Melanie has been in the field of ABA since 2017 when she started with Achieve Beyond as a behavior therapist. While working as a behavior therapist, Melanie obtained her Masters of Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, earned her RBT credential and began obtaining her clinical fieldwork experience hours in order to become a BCBA. After Melanie completed her experience hours and passed her BCBA exam in November 2019, she began the process of transitioning to a Clinical Supervisor role with Achieve Beyond. Since then, Melanie has been a Clinical Supervisor with clients in our Virginia location and location as a telehealth supervisor for the past year. In her free time, Melanie loves spending time with her husband and son, camping, reading and generally anything outdoors! 

Melissa Renga

MA, BCBA, LBA, ABA Clinical Supervisor

Melissa Renga is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and sociology from St. John’s University, a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University, and completed her BCBA coursework at Daemen College. Melissa began working in the field in 2013 and greatly values the learning that has occurred as a result of these enriching experiences. Before receiving her certification, Melissa worked as a Registered Behavior Technician with Achieve Beyond since 2016 and is so glad to take the next step of her journey as a BCBA.

Jennifer Jevic

M.S., BCBA, ABA Clinical Supervisor

Jennifer Jevic is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2013. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Education from Rutgers University and Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Simmons University in Boston, MA. Before joining Achieve Beyond, Jennifer has worked at private schools for individuals with autism as well as providing both clinic and home-based ABA Services. Jennifer has recently started working at Achieve Beyond in Fall 2021. Jennifer’s passion for learning and teaching continues to grow as well as her passion for the field of ABA. Jennifer always strides to provide the highest quality of services and aims to make a difference for the individuals she works with. She always wants to ensure that she provides the upmost care and creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all of her clients, families and behavior therapists.

Michelle Altamura

M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD, S, Speech Language Pathologist and Supervisor

Michelle Sisto is a New York State Licensed and ASHA Certified Speech Language Pathologist who has worked in the field of Special Education and Speech and Language Pathology since 2017. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Saint John’s University and a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Molloy College. Michelle also holds her teaching license from coursework taken at Molloy College.  After completing her education, Michelle completed her Clinical Fellowship Year in a special education preschool setting. She has worked in a variety of settings, including home-based, preschool, and high schools, serving a variety of different populations with varying levels of support needs. 

Michelle has worked for Achieve Beyond, since 2018, where she began as a special instructor before transitioning to the role of speech language pathologist, when she obtained her license. This year, Michelle has taken on the new role of Clinical Supervisor at Achieve Beyond, mentoring and supporting clinical fellowship therapists. Michelle’s drive comes from the mindset that every individual deserves a voice and has the right to access functional communication. She utilizes evidence-based practices to ensure the highest level of care and professionalism for all she work with. Michelle has a passion for learning and teaching to increase awareness around complex and important issues within the area of speech language pathology.

Michelle loves being a part of the Achieve Beyond family and thoroughly enjoys all of the individuals she was the pleasure of working with. She believes she has just as much to learn from her clients, as they have to learn from her!

Ellen Kim

MA, ABA Clinical Supervisor

Ellen Kim started her career working with children with disabilities, in Early Intervention, while completing her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Queens College. She found a great passion working with this population during her time, leading her to pursue a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. During her program, she became dual certified in both Early education and Childhood education. She broadened her experiences by working with children ages 2-7 as a Special Education teacher. 

Continuing her passion, she is now pursuing her BCBA while working as an ABA Instructor and Supervisor. In her free time, Ellen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and reading.

Marissa Tavella

LMSW, LBA/BCBA Candidate

Marissa is Licensed Master Social Worker and has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2018. After completing her Masters in Social Work from the University of South Florida in 2017, she took an interest in ABA therapy and decided to pursue a career in the field. She first gained her experience working throughout Manhattan and has since branched out to Long Island providing in home Special Education and ABA therapy services. In 2019, Marissa began working for Achieve Beyond as a fee-for-service provider and has since taken on full-time roles such as becoming a Lead Teacher on ABA cases, providing Portia ABA Clinic Software training, and providing the Tier 2 Exam training for other ABA providers. In 2022, Marissa graduated from St. Joseph’s University and is currently working towards her LBA/BCBA certification. She looks forward to expanding on her newfound skills and working with individuals both in and outside of Early Intervention. Marissa believes that anyone can make a difference in an individual’s life, but it takes a special person to build on that individual’s strengths and qualities that makes them uniquely them.

In her free time Marissa volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks, spends time with family and friends, and explores all that nature has to offer.

Alejandra Pena


My name is Alejandra Pena. I have been in the field of ABA since 2018. After I received my B.S. in Communication Disorders at James Madison University in 2017, I started with Achieve Beyond as a behavior therapist. I have put my enthusiasm in compassionate care and created rapport with families and dedication to the clients I worked with in ABA. I became so passionate about the clients I provided services for, that I decided to obtain my Master of Education with an emphasis of Applied Behavior Analysis at George Mason University.  I completed my hours of clinical fieldwork experience at Achieve Beyond with the immense help of the clinical director and passed my exam in December of 2021! I transitioned to becoming a clinical supervisor in the Virginia location and feel grateful for making meaningful and positive impacts to families since then. I also would like to add that my family and I immigrated from Peru to the U.S in 2006. This is a reason I love to share my culture with many around me and relate to families I work with from various backgrounds. During my free time, I love to hike, travel anywhere, and of course enjoy cooking Peruvian food with my family.