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Leadership Team

john farrimond
president and ceo

John proudly joined the Institute as President & CEO in January 2013. Previously, he served as a vice president at The Help Group, a Los Angeles based nonprofit serving children, adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, and emotional problems. In this role, he is particularly proud of his efforts related to the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism & Related Disorders and the California Senate Select Committee on Autism and its regional task forces. The work of these groups and the voices of thousands of families led to comprehensive autism insurance reform in the state. In his formative years, his father was the director of special education and his mother was a speech pathologist. These early influences ultimately led him to a career dedicated to helping children – particularly children with special needs and their families. He earned his BFA from Missouri State University and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Jeaninne Houck
Vice President, Finance and Administration

Jeaninne manages all fiscal and accounting functions for the Institute. She began her career as an accountant with Hamilton County Government, and in 1998 she became the finance director for the Hamilton County Community Services Agency, serving on committees for the Department of Children's Services and working with grantors and private foundations in children's programs.


Julie Mickel
director, early learning center

Julie serves as director of the Early Learning Center. Julie has more than 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education, early intervention and special education. A 14-year veteran of the Institute, she provided outreach services to the community through professional and student training on early childhood special education. Recently she has taken the consulting lead with several Tennessee public school systems seeking to bring children with disabilities into an inclusive environment. Additionally, she has presented at numerous conferences both locally and nationally on inclusive practices. She began her career as a preschool special education teacher in Georgia. She has a bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. 




An accomplished triple board certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician, Regina is the medical director of the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics. She most recently served as the medical director at the Dennis Developmental Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia-Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also completed her pediatric residency and a neonatology fellowship. She completed a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship at Brown University School of Medicine in June 2005. She is a certified physician executive by the American College of Physician Executives, with a master of science in administrative medicine from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


Linda mcreynolds
director, development and communications

Linda manages the development and communications department of Siskin Children’s Institute. This department is responsible the annual fund, special event fundraisers, community relations and grant –related support. She comes to the Institute with over 40 years experience in community work in the field of early childhood education, community and fund development. She is active in the Association of Fundraising Executives, Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, Downtown Chamber of Commerce, Chattanooga Civitans, The Chattanooga Area Association for the Education of Young Children, Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Young Children. She is a graduate of the University of TN at Chattanooga.


Lois Kohrt, MBA
Director, Center for Developmental Pediatrics

Lois Kohrt is the Administrative Director with over 30 years experience in practice management in both private practice and hospital settings.  Lois received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Marywood College and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  Highlights of her long career in healthcare include:  seventeen years as an Administrator for a large, multi-site private pediatric group; eight years as a Director of Practice Management at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Operational Director for the Aflac Cancer Center and Emory Children’s Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and most recently as the Executive Director of Physician Services and then Corporate Health for Erlanger Health System.  Lois also has extensive training in leadership and service excellence;  completed six sigma green belt training and has worked with national organizations including the National Initiative for Child Health Quality (NICHQ) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Brandon Rodgers, PH.D.
Director, Behavioral health services

A Chattanooga native, Dr. Rodgers received his Ph.D. in human development with a specialty in marriage and family therapy from Virginia Tech. He is a licensed marital and family therapist by the Tennessee State Board of Professional Counselors, Marital and Family Therapists and Clinical Pastoral Therapists. In addition to being a certified psychological assistant by the Tennessee State Board of Examiners in Psychology, he is a nationally certified school psychologist. He has presented at numerous conferences and workshops around the country, including the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Annual Conference. Dr. Rodgers currently provides a range of individual, family, and group behavioral health services at the Center for Developmental Pediatrics. He has previously taught courses at Virginia Tech, Appalachian State University, and Western Carolina University and is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee - College of Medicine.


Amy Jenkins 

Director, Home & Community-based early intervention

Amy Jenkins has a Master’s Degree in Education and began working with children and their families in 1992. She is the director of the Home &Community-Based Early Intervention Program at Siskin Children’s Institute. She supervises the home visitors who serve more than 250 families at any one time, in the 10 counties of the Southeast District of Tennessee. Amy is a certified Routines-Based Interview trainer (2010), certified Routines-Based Home Visiting Trainer, has coordinated and presented during the Routines-Based Interview Certification Institute from 2012 through 2015, as well as the leads the Routines-Based Home Visiting Training Institute. She has presented at numerous conferences across Tennessee in Routines-Based Early Intervention and other Early Childhood and Early Intervention Topics.  She was selected by Governor Haslam to sit on the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Tennessee, in which she is Vice President, and is currently a member of several professional organizations and boards. Amy is the Vice President for the Southeast Tennessee Interagency Council. She also serves as director of Early Intervention Behavior Specialist Program for the Institute.