– Staff

– Staff2021-09-26T23:18:42-04:00

Michelle Robinson

President / Owner

As a former manager at Northrop Grumman, Ms. Robinson learned all of the various aspects of business during her 12 years of employment.  She left the company to start Summit Therapy Animal Services, LLC (SummitTAS) out of a desire to use animals to help people.  She has been training her own German Shepherd Dogs for over 30 years and has been teaching group / private classes for the past 5 years. Over the last 3 years, Ms. Robinson has been serving as a part-time Service Dog Handler for a seizure alert dog assigned to a young girl who has intellectual challenges. Additionally, Ms. Robinson regularly mentors therapy animal teams and visits facilities with her registered therapy dogs, Gideon & Chip.

Kris Campesi

Director of Animal Assisted Intervention

Mrs. Campesi is a licensed teacher who has 20+ years of educational experience and 10 years of Therapy Dog experience. Her passion is to work with children with special needs and has set up Therapy Dog Programs at various schools, including the Matthews Center and Battlefield High School. Mrs. Campesi is a Pet Partners Evaluator and mentors teams interested in serving as Therapy Dog Teams. Among her many qualifications, she regularly works at Potomac Sentara Hospital, Manassas Park Schools, Illif, Key Center and Jill’s House. Mrs. Campesi has earned a Level 1 Certificate in Animal Assisted Play Therapy, attended workshops through Human Animal Bond Research Institute, and a certificate in the University of Denver’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

Melanie P. Friedman, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA, CTDI

Director Service Dog Training

As a former property manager for Liberty Property Trust, Mrs. Friedman learned the various aspects of business and administration. During her free time, she attended classes and workshops for dog behavior and training.  After years of preparation, she followed her passion for training dogs and turned her hobby into a career. Mrs. Friedman excels as a dog trainer and was hired by iK9 in Auburn, AL to train Service Dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD.  She has moved back to her home in WV to use her valuable experience to teach classes and train Service Dogs for Summit Therapy Animal Services. Her expertise will help place Service Dogs and In-Home Assistance Dogs with individuals who have special needs, to include those affected by autism, and veterans suffering from PTSD.

Lauri Chuba, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Laurie Chuba is a graduate of University of Illinois Medical Center with a specialty in pediatrics. She has been practicing occupational therapy for over 20 years. She is certified through the National Board of Occupational Therapy. Laurie has worked in hospital, outpatient clinic, and school based treatment settings. Prior to  moving to Virginia, Laurie was the Director of Occupational Therapy at Illinois State University Laboratory School where she provided evaluation and treatment of children in early childhood through high school programs, as well as supervising OT and special education clinical work for university students. Upon moving to Virginia, she worked in an outpatient clinic before starting a private pediatric occupational therapy practice called Learning Integrations. Laurie is certified in The Alert Program for self regulation, The Listening Program,  Moyers Learning Ears  and Handwriting Without Tears.  She has trained extensively in the areas of sensory integration, educational support , and social skills.  She uses a strength based, family centered approach to treatment, addressing functional skills.   The primary focus is helping children develop the skills necessary to live full, happy, and productive lives.

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