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Our Team

meet our team

the people behind RCG

Sherman Adkins

Founder and Managing Director

Sherman is the Founder and Managing Director of RCG. He is passionate about supporting at-risk and special needs youth. This spark occurred 15 years ago after volunteering with the Virginia Department of Social Services. In 2005, this newfound passion led to the co-founding of EMS Ventures, an organization focused on providing mental health services to both children and adults. While leading EMS, Sherman identified that Central Virginia was in dire need of quality programming to serve the Autism community.

In 2012, the company was formed and has been dedicated to the following: Provide Excellent Services to Clients and Families • Support other Team’s Member’s Excellence and Happiness • Be an agent of Change and Growth • Care about our Community.

Sherman graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University. He enjoys reading, studying history and spending quality time with his wife, Tarsha and his daughters, Jordyn and Gabby. He is an active member of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Council of CEOs.

Tarsha Adkins

Human Resources Director

Tarsha Adkins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University and also holds Six Sigma Green Belt and Change Management certifications. She has over 20 years of experience in automation, innovation, process improvements, and strategic planning. Tarsha held several roles in HR, Payroll Systems, and Statistics systems within some of the top companies in RVA.

Tarsha serves as the co-Chair of Steward’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a trustee of the Steward School’s board. Tarsha is the wife of Sherman Adkins (RCG’s) founder and mother of two precious girls (Jordyn and Gabby). She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, leading both daughter’s Girl Scout troops, and watching her daughters dance on stage.

Tiffanie Johnson

Clinical Director

Tiffanie is the Clinical Director at Recognizing Children’s Gifts and oversees various programs including in-home ABA therapy, school preparatory program, life prep program, afterschool and behavior consultation services. Tiffanie started working with children with autism in 2002 and instantly fell in love with this population and the world of Behavior Analysis.

Prior to this position, she worked in Richmond Public Schools providing technical assistance, coaching and mentoring to students, teachers and staff based on evidence based practices for 6 years and also worked at The Faison Center for 6 years prior to that. She holds a master’s degree in Special Education with a specialization in Intellectual Disabilities and a postgraduate degree as a Reading Specialist from Virginia Commonwealth University. Tiffanie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed behavior analyst in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Tiffanie is also a member of the Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis and the Association Of Professional Behavioral Analysts.

She brings a wide range of experience, rapport with peers, families, and educators in the field, and a broad awareness of the issues and concerns affecting many different parts of the autism community.  She is a passionate advocate for all individuals and believes that everyone can and should have access to the things they love and enjoy. She thrives on providing support and developing paths and programs for individuals, families and community members to help obtain these goals.

Eric Townsend

Director of Operations

Eric joined RCG in November 2016. Prior to joining RCG, Eric worked for 14 years at another human services agency in the Metro Richmond area. His most recent role at the agency was the Director of Therapeutic Day Treatment & Day Support. He also served as the Director of the Youth Emergency Shelter at that agency. Eric is married to Michelle Townsend and is the father of 4 children, Ashia, Jalah, Eric II and Grace. Eric enjoys spending time with his family. Eric is very involved in the community and has also coached youth sports for more than 10 years. Eric says joining RCG was the best career decision he ever made. At RCG, Eric lives by the motto “We will make it happen!”

LaDonna Branson

Director of Strategic Planning and Business Operations

LaDonna comes to RCG with an extensive background in Human Resource and administrative tasks. She is a Virginia native hailing from the Tidewater area where she lived out her childhood years before serving 8 selfless years in the United States Army. Her job took her all over the world from Hawaii to Afghanistan. Upon her honorable discharge from the military, she continued to serve our country as a civilian for almost a decade as a Government Service employee. LaDonna has a true passion for people and invest much of her time leading, coaching, collaborating, and developing others.

LaDonna is married and has three children. She is an active member of the storied Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she serves on various committees. She is also the co-founder the local nonprofit, Pediatric Research and Advocacy Initiative (PRAI) which lobbies and advocates on behalf of children in Virginia, who are diagnosed with a specific autoimmune disorder called PANS/PANDAS. Her duty and commitment to her community is unmatched. LaDonna earned her MBA from Trident University and plans to pursue a Doctorate of Business. Outside of work, LaDonna enjoys spending time traveling with her husband and children and serving in her local church.

Aaron Kendrick

HR Technology and Analytics Manager

Aaron is the HR Technology and Analytics Manager for RCG. Prior to joining the team, he worked for over ten years in the public sector, first at Virginia Commonwealth University, and more recently at Chesterfield County. With a strong background in Accounting, Budget Analysis, and Information Systems, Aaron is a dedicated administrative professional with a passion for creative problem solving.

In his personal life Aaron enjoys film and television, video games, and spending time with his beautiful wife Amanda, and their adorable cat Catherine.

Mari Loving

A/R & Billing Supervisor

Mari is the A/R & Billing Supervisor for RCG. Prior to her billing career, Mari worked as a behavior therapist for 7 years. This, along with her billing experience has provided her a unique perspective on ABA service delivery. She enjoys working closely with dedicated fellow team members to ensure that our clients remain at the forefront of all that we do, and RCG’s mission is upheld in our billing practices.

In her personal time, Mari enjoys her very busy household. Spending time with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and her cat is the highlight of her day. Together, they enjoy spending time at Lake Gaston. listening to music, watching movies, and playing outside.

Anu Upadhyaya

School Support Services Program Director

Anu is the director of school support services at RCG. He has a vast array of experience from both private and public schools as a special education teacher and building level administrator. He has a passion for helping students with disabilities be successful. When he worked for Virginia Department of Education as a data analyst and monitoring specialist he had the opportunity to visit 70 school divisions in the state of Virginia to evaluate the special education program for effectiveness. He loves to dig into the data and connect the dots to see the big picture. Solving puzzles is a challenge he is always ready to tackle. Anu finds relaxation when kayaking or stand up paddle boarding on the lake. He enjoys long nature hikes with his lovely wife and three children Ajai, Anya and Anjali.

Sarah Shreckhise

Lead Speech-Language Pathologist

Sarah serves as our Lead Speech-Language Pathologist. In addition to certification in speech-language pathology, Sarah is also a BCBA, LBA. She has been working with children and families to develop and improve communication skills for the past 15 years. She has worked in a variety of settings that include schools, clinics and home-based settings.

Sarah has had a wide range of clinical experiences that include working with clients who have hearing and/or vision differences, as well as individuals with a variety of developmental differences. She is fluent in American Sign Language and has used many other forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). She earned her MS in speech-language pathology at James Madison University and completed her BCBA coursework through the Florida Institute of Technology. Sarah enjoys learning new skills and strategies in order to grow as a clinician. She is inspired by the moments of growth that she has gotten to witness from all of her clients along the way.

Jamie Bass

Life Prep Clinical Manager

Jamie is the Life Prep Senior Clinical Supervisor and has been working in the field of ABA since 2008. She received her Masters in Special Education with a focus on Severe Disabilities from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2014. Jamie’s passion lies in working with teens and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities. She enjoys helping them identify what a “good life” means to them and teaching skills needed to hit milestones and achieve goals which move them closer to the life they want. Jamie strongly feels that inclusivity should be the norm, and is active in her community to promote this. She is on the Junior Board of the Autism Society of Central Virginia and also teaches with SPARC’s Live Art program, an inclusive arts program in the Richmond area. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga and spending time with her wonderful husband and children.

Tara Lamm

Clinical Supervisor II

Tara currently serves as a Life Prep Clinical Supervisor. Tara began working in the ABA field in 2012, when she graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Tara began working at RCG in 2016, where she realized her true passion is working with teens and young adults with Autism or other developmental disabilities. Tara received her BCaBA and LABA in 2018.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her spouse and three dogs.

Hannah Buchanan

Regional Clinical Manager

Hannah Buchanan started working at Recognizing Children’s Gifts in 2015 and is currently a Clinical Supervisor. Prior to joining the RCG team, Hannah received her B.A. in Psychology and Child Development from Peace College in 2010. She started her career in the field of ABA in 2011 when she started working for the Mariposa School for Children with Autism in North Carolina. Since then Hannah has provided ABA services to individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities in a variety of clinic, school, and home settings. She received her certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) in 2016 after completing required courses and training from Florida Institute of Technology. In 2018, Hannah completed her Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology and is now a Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Hannah has a passion for helping individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities and their families. In her role as Clinical Supervisor, Hannah provides training, oversight and support to those implementing individualized programming and hopes to continue to use her extensive knowledge of ABA and experience to empower and help individuals meet their goals.

Erin Jones

Regional Clinical Manager

Erin serves as a Regional Clinical Manager and has worked in a classroom setting with 2 to 6-year-olds who had severe emotional disturbances for 4 years before getting into the field of ABA. She worked with children with autism as a behavior technician for 6 years before becoming a clinical trainer and then a BCBA. Erin has obtained her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LBA. She loves baking, hiking, and playing with her 2 wonderful children!

Eleni Meister

Clinical Supervisor II

Eleni shares her love for children, especially those with Special Needs, whom she says have had a piece of her heart her whole life. She began working with children of various developmental disabilities as a teenager and fell in love from that point on! During her undergraduate years, she began by pursuing Occupational Therapy while working as a full time Respite Provider for children. From that pursuit, she was introduced to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis specializing in Autism Treatment. Eleni has worked in the field as a full time Therapist, Training & Service Coordinator, and now Clinical Supervisor for the past 6 years. She couldn’t imagine a job without kids surrounding her!

Eleni has her B.S. in Psychology; M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LBA.

Rebekah Brown

Senior Clinical Supervisor

Rebekah is a Clinical Supervisor who loves kids. In college, she worked as a paraprofessional assisting with job coaching for individuals with disabilities. After graduating from college she worked for 4 years at the Faison Center as both a teaching assistant, and then team leader. Her experience at Faison her to seek further education in behavior analysis and her BCaBA certification.

She graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a minor in Therapeutic Recreation. After moving to Richmond, Rebekah went through coursework for her BCaBA certification.

She enjoys spending time outside with her husband and twin boys outside of work!

Kristen Keys

Clinical Supervisor II

Kristen serves as a Clinical Supervisor and has been working in the ABA field since 2011, when she graduated from VCU with a B.S. in Psychology. In 2017 she decided to go back to school and pursue a BCaBA from FIT. Kristen is now a BCaBA, LABA and is a junior board member for the Central Virginia Autism Society.

Kevin Loving

Clinical Supervisor II

Kevin joined the RCG team in 2019 and  serves as a Clinical Supervisor. He has been working with individuals diagnosed with Autism since 2011. He served as a teaching assistant and team lead at The Faison School for Autism for 4 years before teaching as a Functional Integrated Classroom Teacher in the public school system.  Kevin earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology  and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University. Kevin is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed behavior analyst in Virginia. He is passionate about working on communication skills with individuals and school readiness.

He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters outside of work. He will often spend time at the lake with his family, playing video games with his youngest daughter, or watching scary movies with his oldest daughter.

Brittany Dugas

Clinical Supervisor

Brittany joined the RCG team in 2017 and now serves as a Clinical Supervisor. She has been working with school age learners with autism since 2008. She served as a teaching assistant and team lead at The Faison School for Autism for 6 years.  Brittany earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from George Mason University. Brittany is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed behavior analyst in Virginia. She is passionate leading group instruction, promoting social skills in children, and finding creative ways to teach and generalize new skills!

She loves sci-fi (especially Star Trek), anything mid century, and adding to her huge houseplant collection. You can usually find her laughing with her clients, shopping at thrift stores for vintage goods, or spending time with her husband and the best dog in the world, Gretel.

Jamilya Brown

Family Engagement Coordinator
Jamilya serves as our Family Engagement Coordinator.  She provides families with resources related to advocacy, goal setting, and general support. She also encourages enhanced parental involvement to RCG clients and families.

Jamilya has an Associates of Arts/Christian Counseling & Bachelor of Science/Psychology. She is a special advocate and a parent of special needs child and have a passion for finding resources and helping individuals and other families.

Roger Anderson

Center Based Coordinator

Roger joined RCG in 2017 and currently serves as a Center Based Coordinator. Since joining RCG, Roger has obtained his RBT, operated as lead for a team of therapists and trained new team members. Roger enjoys playing music and spending time with family, friends, his girlfriend and their cat.

Christen Sikes

Clinical Supervisor

Christen serves as a Clinical Supervisor and has been working in the field since 2017. Christen has obtained her MA in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and a Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst in the state of Virginia. Christen enjoys being outdoors, listening to live music, and traveling.

Sasha Yazdgerdi

Clinical Supervisor II

Sasha has been providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services since 2007 and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2012. She has worked nationally in Virginia and Georgia – and internationally in Dubai and London. Sasha has worked in both clinics and schools – providing therapy, supervision, and staff training, as well as school consultation to support teachers and administrators.

Sasha loves working with children with disabilities and their parents, as well as supporting other clinicians and professionals in the field. Sasha particularly loves the area of verbal behavior and supporting people to communicate. She is passionate about helping others and problem solving challenges.

Jackie Donaghy

Clinical Supervisor II

Jackie is currently a clinical supervisor with RCG. Jackie comes with a decade of experience. Jackie received her bachelors degree in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and she received her masters degree in psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis from Capella University. Jackie is a licensed board certified behavior analyst.

In Jackie’s free time she enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband, two children, and dog.

Anay Beck

Clinical Supervisor II

Anay began working with children with special needs at a young age which instilled a passion for wanting to provide the best life for them. She received my Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on special education and then obtained my Master’s in Special Education. She worked at the regional program in Winchester, VA, Northwestern Regional Education Programs (NREP) as an instructional aide and then progressed to a Special Education teacher of Autism and developmental disabilities which provided me immense experience working and learning from a wide variety of students. Anay transitioned to the Aurora School in Leesburg,VA where she learned and fell in love with ABA. She was immersed in the science all day and saw the change and positive effect it had on the students and decided to pursue my BCBA through Ball State University.

Anay has taught in the public school system,  consulted and trained teachers on ABA, provided teaching to parents, and has provided direct therapy to individuals with autism.  She believes all individuals should be provided the most meaningful quality of life and strive to make that my focus in my work.

Interested in joining our team?