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Elevations: A Children’s Therapy Resource Foundation

2023 Board of Directors

Kelly Lynch, President

Physical Therapist (currently stay-at-home mom)

Kelly worked as a therapist before choosing to stay at home and raise her two children. As a therapist, Kelly often ran into roadblocks finding financial coverage for therapies or equipment that would improve outcomes for the children she worked with. Determined to address this need, Kelly helped co-found Elevations to provide funding for children with special needs to get what they needed that could make or break the child’s success. She knows that the families that request help from Elevations are doing everything they can to provide the best care for their child and finds that emotionally powerful. Kelly considers it an honor to be a part of that. Originally, from Grand Forks, North Dakota and now living in the Spokane Valley, Kelly is a runner and enjoys reading in her spare time.

David Owan, Treasurer 

Physical Therapist, Youthful Horizons Therapy

David Owan is a Physical Therapist at Youthful Horizons Therapy and the founding member of Elevations. In his practice, David worked with many families to be sure their child received the services they needed. The need far outpaced his ability to reach all of the children needing services. Working with other clinic owners, David recognized that many clinics were facing the same challenges. Elevations was created to assist families by helping to relieve the financial stress for families of special needs children in Spokane County, regardless of diagnosis, to get the therapy and equipment needed to reach their full potential.

Lora Norton, Secretary

Speech Therapist, Center for Pediatric Therapy

Lora joined the Elevations board in 2016. She has been working with families of children with special needs or developmental delays for more than 25 years and appreciates how a challenge given to a child affects the whole family. She believes families deserve emotional and financial support. As a therapist, she sees how therapy, knowledge, support, and equipment for good home programs make a difference in children’s lives and the way a family can function. She also sees firsthand how the medical and educational systems do not provide enough support and she feels a need to do something more to help families in need. Born in California, Lora has lived in the Northwest for most of her life. Lora has a large family and is inspired by her children and enjoys Gonzaga basketball.

Chanda Neu

Milestones Pediatric Therapy, Owner and Speech Therapist

Chanda joined the Elevations board in 2016 to help families struggling financially with outrageously high insurance deductibles, multiple co-pays, and lack of insurance coverage.  As the owner of Milestones Pediatric Therapy, she has had many heart-wrenching conversations with parents and worked with families to find solutions, but there is a limit to what any one clinic can do. Chanda is committed to the success of Elevations so that families can get the support they need without resorting to drastic measures. One family considered divorcing so that mom could apply for state assistance. Chanda has three adopted children who bravely face many lifelong challenges. They remind her every day what it means to be resilient, kind, and loving. Chanda is originally from Plentywood, Montana and enjoys almost anything outdoors.

Brad Messerschmidt

Parent special needs children, Thrivent Financial

Brad is a parent of children with special needs and has experienced first-hand the trials and tribulations that families can often face. Brad brings his experience, compassion and commitment to supporting families that are going through similar experiences. While he knows that the support of friends and family go a long way, he also recognizes that families/children often need additional resources. Brad is honored to be on the board of Elevations and help in bringing these resources to the families in need. Brad is a Financial Representative with Thrivent Financial and loves spend time with his family and being in the outdoors.

Julie German-Murrey

Former teacher and school administrator

Julie worked with children who have disabilities for nearly fifteen years in her role as an educator. Then, in 2019 her daughter, Rosalie, was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, and Julie left her professional role so that she could be Rosalie’s full time “momager”. Rosalie received multiple therapies each week, participated in community activities, and excelled with specialty equipment that allowed Julie and her husband, Doug, to complete Rosalie’s home programs. Between a high deductible insurance plan, and caps on services, funding Rosalie’s therapy quickly became extraordinarily expensive. Julie found Elevations in 2019 and Rosalie became a grant recipient. Thanks to her kind, compassionate, and highly skilled therapists, Rosalie made tremendous progress. When Rosalie died unexpectedly, in her sleep, at the age of 3 in November 2021, Julie wanted to continue to be involved with Elevations to support children and families in the Spokane community.

Rob Wulf

Sales Consultant, Specialty Home Products

Rob is a Spokane native for 32 years spending most of his upbringing in the Spokane Valley and received his business degree from Eastern Washington University. Robert’s passion for giving back to the youth of the Spokane community started with his time with the Big Brother and Big Sisters Program. He has spent years as a mentor for underprivileged children in the foster care system. In doing so, he became aware of the mission of Elevations and found a mutual passion to support children in reaching their full potential. In his spare time, you can find Rob spending time with his family or enjoying the great outdoors!




Mary Anne Ruddis

Executive Director

Mary Anne has a deep passion for children and a unique understanding of the obstacles that families face as they navigate the healthcare system. Having had two medically fragile children, she is committed to assisting others and working to help children receive the services they need to live up to their fullest potential. Mary Anne has worked professionally in the non-profit sector since 2004 after five years of volunteer service. She officially joined the Elevations team in August 2016 and is excited to be working together with the board, volunteers, and the community to ensure that children with special needs get the services and resources they need to thrive. Mary Anne is a proud graduate of Gonzaga University and happy to call Spokane Valley home.

Kari Fleming

Administrative Assistant

Kari has had experience working in the non-profit area since 2017. Having had a child who was medically fragile she understands not only the need for non-profits like Elevations but also the benefit.  She understands the impact that Elevations has goes beyond the financial support provided to also providing hope.  She and her husband are proud parents of two resilient and compassionate boys. She is a local artist and Spokane native who enjoys the bountiful beauty of our area and spending time with her husband, their kids and their 3 dogs.