Meet Our Team
Cheryl Reiser – President
I was born and raised in outside the city of Detroit. I did not begin working with Developmental Disabilities until I participated in an internship through my undergraduate university in Ann Arbor. I was so scared yet excited at the same time. At the time there were no programs for Applied Behavior Analysis only something called Behavior Modification or Behavior “Mod”. This sounded cool for a 20-year-old growing up in the 60's and 70's. By the time the internship was over, I knew then that I wanted to work not only with people with disabilities but people with challenging behavior problems as well. I moved to Florida and worked about one year through the closing of Sunland Orlando. Sunland Orlando was filled with scary hallways, tunnels, and basements. Sunland was one of Florida's Institutions for adults and even children with developmental disabilities. Patient's beds lined up alongside of each wall. There were 20-30 beds one right after another. The clients had no privacy, no choices and certainly no rights. I honestly believe that I cried everyday over something I saw, smelled, or heard. My family said, “come home”. I thought about if for about a minute and said, no I want to make sure that every patient here is placed somewhere better than Sunland. Even though the building had a scheduled closing date, I continued (along with about 5 other Behavior Program Specialists, as we were called) running 15-minute trials throughout the day with my case load of 8-10. We worked on "eye gouging”, “projectile vomiting”, “feces eating and smearing" and "headbanging" that was so intense the tile floor would crack. We worked on the most intense behaviors imaginable, but I found, with these problem behaviors, I was in my element. It was so heartbreaking, but I felt I could make a difference. The hospital successfully closed, moving all the patients to group homes called "clusters”. Years later the facility was condemned for their unethical practices of housing individuals with disabilities with reports of rape, abuse, and ongoing neglect. I returned to school to obtain my master's degree in human services administration from Nova Southeastern University in the 1980s. Nova was not offering degrees in ABA at that time. I worked on my master's degree while I worked with a Behavioral Agency located in Stuart Florida. This was a return to an environment of challenging behaviors in a Day Program setting. It was here where I was asked if I wanted to go through the CBA Coursework and sit for a State Exam for the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis. I agreed and was the only one who passed in my group of 6 who took the coursework and exam together. ABA had already become my passion. I began working for Dr. Sherrie Titus, BCBA-D, one of my favorite people and mentor. She taught me so much more about Behavior Analysis and even encouraged me to open my own practice. I wanted to become more skilled in Behavior Analysis, at this time Dr. Martinez at FIT was offering coursework for what was now called the BCBA Exam. I was interested in all the above. I took the coursework through FIT on site with Dr. Martinez, who was an incredible instructor. I opened Strategies, Inc. in January of 2000. I opened the office in a building less than 500 square feet and started with one client. Once I hit 10 clients, I knew I needed more help. I began hiring one person at a time. Today we are located in a beautiful building located in Port Orange Florida, employing/contracting with approximately 90 staff consisting of BCBAs, BCaBAs, RBTS, Clinical Leads, and our terrific Office Staff. We continued to grow and in January of 2019 we expanded our services to the kids of Baltimore, Maryland. Today we see families and kids all over the state of Maryland and Central to North Florida.
Christine Tucker – Vice President
Hi! I am Christine Tucker, MS, BCBA, the Vice President for Strategies, Inc. ABA. I have worked in the ABA field since 1996 in a variety of capacities, but always in a position of service to others. I earned my BA in English from Kent State University, my MS in Family Studies from Amberton University, and completed the ABA courses with Florida Atlantic University. I have been blessed to make significant behavioral change with a plethora of people and families over the years. Strongly rooted in a team leadership style, I thrive when training and supporting my peers to excel in service provision. My professional goals include ongoing dissemination of ABA and growing Strategies, Inc. to serve more people. A personal goal in progress is to help myself and others to practice work life balance, thus my personal time activities include yoga, self-defense practices, swimming, family and friend time, and cruising in my '57 Chevy.
Cindy Peggs – Billing & Payroll Coordinator
Meet Cindy Peggs our Finance Coordinator. Cindy is a native of Northeast Ohio, who moved to the sunshine state in 2009. She began her career with Strategies, Inc in 2010 as an administrative assistant and she is now the Finance Coordinator handling all aspects of billing and payroll. When she is not working, she enjoys boating, sitting by the pool with friends and spending time with her two granddaughters Raelyn and Ryla and her dog, Bentley.
Melissa Theodore – Lead Clinical Supervisor - Maryland
Melissa Theodore earned her master’s degree in education in 2017 and is currently earning her doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis at the Van Loan School of Behavior Studies. Melissa spent a number of years at the May Institute in Randolph, MA and most recently was a Clinical Specialist on the Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is a board certified behavior analysts and licensed behavior analyst in Maryland. Prior to becoming a behavior analyst, Melissa earned her Juris Doctorate degree from New England Law Boston where she focused on special education law and mediation. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, the dissemination of evidenced-based clinical interventions, and verbal behavior.
Dr. Jada Tucker – Lead Clinical Director - Maryland
Dr. Jada Tucker is from Baltimore, MD and is one of clinical lead directors at Strategies Inc. ABA . She has 13 years of experience in the field of ABA and began her journey working and assisting in research on the Neurobehavioral Unit at Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2009 while pursuing her undergraduate degree. Dr. Tucker became a BCBA in 2015 and obtained her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in May of 2020. During her PhD studies, Dr. Tucker had the opportunity to study abroad in South Africa where she used ABA principles to promote justice reform and eradicate racism present within social structures across the country. Since then, she has had the opportunity to create cultural competence platforms at 2 different agencies where she has held group meetings and CEU presentations educating those on how to create behavior change to promote change at a systemic level. Dr. Tucker has a wide range of experience across several domains of ABA but is most passionate about providing quality ABA therapeutic services and autism awareness resources to minority youth and their families. She is also very passionate about uplifting and mentoring members of her ABA community including those aspiring to obtain their BCBA or Ph.D. She is a co-founder of the Instagram support group @blackgirlsinaba, a community that means so much to her, and she is dedicated to highlighting and celebrating the work and accomplishments of black women in the field that may sometimes go overlooked or unnoticed (because representation matters). Through the promotion of community outreach and research, she hopes to improve the in-home model of ABA in underserved environments.
Tammy Negri – Chief Behavioral Officer - Medwaiver & FUMCH
Tammy Negri is a native Floridian who received her Master of Science degree in Psychology from Stetson University in 1993. She completed her coursework through Florida Institute of Technology where she received her BCaBA credentials in 2003. She went back in 2009 and further completed coursework at FIT and received her BCBA credential in 2011. She has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities for approximately 25 years, both children and adults. She has lengthy experience working with adults with high intensity behaviors, both in group home and family home settings. She became a Strategizer in 2012 and is currently the Chief Behavioral Officer overseeing the Medicaid Waiver program. Tammy has a son, Justin, and a mastiff named Abbey. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling, home decor projects, and spending time with her family. She is an avid runner and also spends some of her time coaching at a local Crossfit box in DeLand. The beach is her favorite place to visit and practice self-care.
Stacey Dietrich – Lead Clinical Supervisor
Hello. I am Stacey Dietrich, MA, LMHC, BCBA, Lead Clinical Analyst – West Volusia. I received my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2010. I worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) for several years, working with adults and children in various settings, including residential substance abuse facilities, group homes providing care for children in foster care as well as children with severe mental health and/or behavioral diagnoses, and family homes. I became a Strategizer in 2015 and returned to school to complete coursework and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2017. I have worked with both children and adults with developmental disabilities and/or severe behavioral diagnoses. I enjoy working with younger children and their families the most, as it is a joy to see the progress made as these little ones meet milestones many parents feared they would never reach, such as engaging in appropriate play with others and potty training. I firmly believe that it is the caregivers who deserve the recognition for these milestones, as the BCBA simply provides the tools (behavioral strategies and interventions) needed for the caregivers to implement and build upon. In my spare time, I enjoy attending rock concerts (front row, of course), spending time with my friends and family, and relaxing at home with my “baby” Jani (Golden Retriever).
Derek Schicker – Lead Clinical Supervisor
Meet Derek Schicker, MS, BCBA, Lead Clinical Analyst for North Florida. He was born and raised in Deltona, Florida and currently resides in Jacksonville. He completed his Bachelor of Science in psychology from Georgia Southwestern State University. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master of Sciences in Developmental Disabilities with a Concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis in 2017. He has been in the field for 10 years where he has had the opportunity to work with clients from infancy to adulthood with varying disabilities. He has experience in several different settings including clinic, home, school, work programs, and the community. He enjoys writing and implementing interventions focusing on parent training, problem behavior reduction, increasing replacement behaviors, and providing supervision to his team members. Derek has a lot of intensive early intervention experience and his areas of expertise include addressing food selectivity, functional communication training, toilet training, and problem behavior reduction. He has been a Strategizer since February 2018.
Tara Laxton – Clinical Coordinator - Easter Seals
Hi! I am Tara Laxton, MA, BCBA, Clinical Coordinator for the Easterseals contract. I became a Strategizer in 2014 when my family relocated from New Jersey to New Smyrna Beach, FL. I have been working in the field of ABA for over 15 years primarily with children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other intellectual disabilities. I have worked in a variety of settings, including in-home, schools, and group homes. I received my Master of Arts degree with a specialization in Psychology in 2011 and became a BCBA in 2014, after completing ABA coursework at Florida Institute of Technology. I am passionate about all areas of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, but particularly enjoy providing training and supervision to other clinicians and RBT’s, parent training and making a meaningful difference in children’s lives. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children going to theme parks, the beach, and spending time with friends.