Team Members

Laura O'Rourke
Executive Director

Laura O’Rourke is the founder and Executive Director of Behavior Bridges.  


Laura holds a Master of Science degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2006.  She is also a Washington state Licensed Behavior Analyst and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  


Laura has worked in the field of ABA since 2002. Laura has extensive experience developing and implementing behavior support services in home, school, community, work, and center based settings.  She has provided services in early intervention, regular education, special education adult residential and employment settings. 


Laura specializes in skills training, functional behavior analysis, behavioral assessment, behavior intervention planning, staff training, and crisis intervention.  Laura also has a passion for staff and practicum supervision.  


Laura has had the pleasure of providing consultations, workshops and services across the United States and internationally.  She has also taught graduate level courses and has been a guest lecturer for several universities.


In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with her family while they explore the Pacific Northwest, and going back to her roots in the Midwest to visit family and friends- and eat good food from Portillo's, Carr Valley Cheese, & Culvers! 

Danielle Gonzalez
Assistant Program Manager

Danielle completed her masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Ball State University in 2015.  She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2016.


Danielle has a passion for individuals with disabilities and creating lasting change in their lives. She has a brother with autism and has dedicated her life to helping families like hers, creating change, spreading acceptance and disseminating the principles of behavior. Her future goals include adult transition services, adult housing services, sibling support groups and parent trainings.

Danielle loves trivia and spending time with her husband and her cat, Nova. 

Desiree Patty
Lead Program Supervisor

Desiree completed her Master's of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College. She has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2012 and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2018.

Desiree serves as Behavior Bridges' compliance officer as well as Safety Care trainer and provides initial and ongoing training to staff and families.  


In her spare time, Desiree enjoys crafting, reading, and hiking with her dog!


Emily Nalker
Program Supervisor

Emily is originally from the Washington, DC area and moved out to Tacoma several years ago. She graduated from the College of William & Mary with a BA in Sociology in 2014 and a M.Ed in Special Education in 2015. After graduating, Emily worked as a special education teacher for four years. She ran an elementary autism program and a junior high behavior program. Emily is now working as a behavior therapist for a supported living agency in Tacoma while she finishes her BCBA, primarily supporting adults with autism. Emily enjoys traveling and learning to do DIY projects around her house.

Kendra Whitaker
Program Supervisor

Kendra Whitaker has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2012. She earned her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University in 2016. Kendra started her fieldwork under the supervision of Laura O’Rourke. Kendra joined Behavior Bridges in February 2020. She has a passion for working with early learners, building the foundation for success and promoting lasting change and generalization. She enjoys creating meaningful relationships with families and behavior technicians. She values the importance of working as a team, which is what brought her to Behavior Bridges. Kendra lives in Lacey with her husband and daughter. On her days off she enjoys binge-watching television shows, painting and crafting, and outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking. 

Lydia Cooper
Program Supervisor

Originally from Georgia, Lydia began her journey in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis as a student in 2015 then transitioned into an RBT role in 2016. She completed her Master's degree at Southeast Missouri State University in 2019 and decided to expand into the mental health field to become an advocate for those seeking crisis intervention services. She enjoys working with children of all ages and aspires to one day merge more ABA techniques within the mental health field. In her spare time, Lydia loves to travel back home to Georgia, explore new places and restaurants, while also teaching herself new skills within the graphic design world.

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Ashlynn Cope
Behavior Technician

Ashlynn joined Behavior Bridges in 2020!  She is a graduate of Rogers High School and currently attends Pierce College.  She hopes to become a behavior analyst some day.  In the meantime, she is an award winning golfer and lover of dogs and kids.  

Becca Haugan
Lead Behavior Technician

Becca completed her Bachelor’s of Science in psychology at Washington State University in 2019. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Dayton and will graduate in April 2022. In her free time she enjoys baking and reading. 

Amanda Daniels
Behavior Technician

Amanda is originally from Virginia but has lived all over the world due to her previous military career. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hawaii Pacific University in 2020 and is set to graduate with her Master’s of Arts in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University in December 2021. Amanda aspires to become a BCBA after completing her fieldwork requirements. Before moving to Washington, Amanda worked as an RBT in Hawaii for a year while also working in a youth crisis shelter. In her free time, Amanda enjoys making memories with her wife, 1-year-old twins, and their two dogs.  

Taylor Alicuben​
Behavior Technician

Taylor started with Behavior Bridges in 2022 and has previously worked as an RBT in Hawaii. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Psychology. She is a retired volleyball player and enjoys working in team settings. Her goal is to become a BCBA and continue to help kids behaviorally. Taylor enjoys watching sports and traveling on her free time!

Sarah Loucks

Administrative Assistant

Sarah is an experienced Administrative Assistant. She has been in the field since 2018. She takes pride in her attention to detail and is excited for her opportunity to work at Behavior Bridges. Her goals include furthering her education in ABA and providing exceptional service to her community. When she is not working, she loves reading, being with family, and spending time with her dog!