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Stacie Rulison, M.S., M.Ed, BCBA, LBA 

Business Partner and Practitioner

Skills Group Facilitator and Individual Services

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA)

UCLA PEERS Curriculum Certified (an evidence-based social skills intervention)

​Stacie has facilitated numerous teen and adult, school, university, and disability-based workshops and group classes since 2016. The Balance MI-Skills curriculum was adapted from the the UCLA PEERS curriculum, and modified to expand content and data collection based on clinical assessment. The social communication training is an evidence-based framework integrating behavioral and cognitive methodologies with didactic and Socratic instruction, live and video modeling, rehearsal, coaching and feedback in the moment, and pre- and post-data collection. Individual sessions are also facilitated to enhance social, communication, and adaptive skill knowledge in a more intensive setting. Ongoing research in credible, peer-reviewed journals and sources is conducted to assure current best and proven practices for offerings at Balance MI-Skills.

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Lisa Espinoza, M.Ed., Behavior Therapist

Business Partner and Practitioner

Skills Group Facilitator, Employment Specialist, and Individual Services

Practicum completed to test for BCBA credential

UCLA PEERS Curriculum Instructor (an evidence-based social skills intervention)

​Lisa Espinoza has been an advocate for children and families effected by autism for over 10 years.  She was a catalyst to initiating the Michigan autism insurance legislation initiative, partnering with other families to start the grassroots movement Autism Insurance for Michigan (AIM). Through this process she developed relationships with legislators, universities, lobbyists, and autism support organizations. Since that time, Lisa has pursued a career in behavior analysis, completing her coursework and practicum hours to test for the BCBA credential.  She is working toward the ACRE certification to support customized employment and has led employment coordination for individuals with disabilities overseeing employer development, site development, job coaching, and work experiences.  Lisa has provided intervention services to children, teens, and adults implementing applied behavior analysis (ABA) methodology and implementing group and individualized social and communication skills interventions since 2016.


Balance MI-Skills Staff Excellence!!!

We are so fortunate to have such a capable and dedicated team of individuals to support the offerings we provide! We love our work and have been blessed to find individuals who are as passionate as we are in offering quality services to individuals participating in our programming and services.  We KNOW we can only continue growing and prospering through their amazing efforts and commitment!


Johnny Wenzel, M.A., Behavior Therapist, Clinical & Employment Support Specialist 

Full-Time Clinical Practitioner

Skills Group Facilitator, Employment Specialist, and Individual Services

Johnny Wenzel works full-time for Balance MI-Skills where his is a class and group facilitator and lead therapist, providing one-on-one programming in social communication, soft, and employment skills training. Johnny supervises employment programs and job coaches and assists with job development. Johnny is an outstanding clinician developing strong connections with staff and participants in programming. Balance MI-Skills is extremely appreciative of Johnny's dedication and support!


Johnny received his master's degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) at Michigan State University in 2019. He previously served as the support services coordinator for Spartan Project SEARCH at MSU, where some of his responsibilities involved supervising and training job coaches, coordinating the navigation training and peer mentoring programs, and developing and maintaining partnerships with employers. Johnny has also supported clients from Community Mental Health with programming to improve adaptive and daily living skills. Johnny first became interested in supporting individuals with disabilities at a young age after getting involved in peer support programs for friends with autism and other developmental disabilities. He hopes to use his skills and experiences to improve the support network for teens and adults with disabilities, and to provide better opportunities for those individuals to live independent and self-determined lives.

Becky Swender,  Business Support Associate

Social & Employment Skills Coach

Becky works for Balance MI-Skills full-time. Becky provides business and clinical support including assisting in classes as a social coach and job coach. She also provides administrative and business support to the operation of Balance MI-Skills and has made contributions in streamlining processes and practices. Becky previously was a Media Center Specialist for St. Johns Public Schools. Becky has over 10 years working with individuals with disabilities in a classroom setting, which she did before becoming a Media Center Specialist. When she worked in the CI classroom, she worked with students with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities, and learned about and used behavioral strategies and procedures. She also knew it was an amazing opportunity to help others! Becky enjoys working with teens and adults in learning to better their lives by obtaining better social and relationship skills. Becky is married to Jeremy and has three children. In her free time she loves to read, go camping, and be with her family.

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 Missy Vitek-Maurer, Teacher-St. Joseph Catholic School, St. Johns, MI

Social & Employment Skills Facilitator, Employment Specialist

Missy is an experienced and excellent facilitator coming from an educational background. She taught numerous social communications and employment classes. Missy currently teaches 2nd grade at St Joseph Catholic School in St. Johns, and previously was a middle school teacher at St. Johns Middle School. She also coordinated the LINKS program at St. Johns Middle School. We appreciate Missy's dedication and expertise in working with teens and adults in the program.

 Mason Rulison, Student at Central Michigan University (CMU)

Social & Employment Skills Coach

Mason has been social and employment coaching for several years, joining as a high school student who served as a LINK for students with disabilities in high school. Mason is currently studying psychology at Central Michigan University (CMU), and works with Balance MI-Skills part-time. He does an excellent job helping with class procedures and connecting with participants in the program, and we value his commitment to the program. Mason loves animals and has a yellow Labrador Retriever.  He also plays intramural soccer and volleyball and enjoys traveling, camping, and watching and attending sporting events. 

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Dar Pung, Student at Lansing Community College (LCC)

Social & Employment Skills Coach

Dar Pung is a student at LCC studying for a General Associates Degree. He readily goes above and beyond with class logistics, job coaching, and interacting and connecting with participants. Dar was previously a student with Balance MI-Skills before becoming a staff member. He loves cats, video gaming, and making people laugh.

Ryder Rulison, Student at Western Michigan University (WMU)

Social & Employment Skills Coach

Ryder is a student at WMU where he is in an exploratory curriculum and will identify a major, but has declared a minor in Japanese. Ryder plans to do a study abroad in Japan and obtain a bachelor's degree in the future. He is a former student in the Balance MI-Skills program, and a self-advocate. He assists with social coaching in the social communication groups and the Keys program, and plans to job coach in the future. Ryder also worked as a clerk at Kroger's in St. Johns for a year (2022-2023), and graduated in 2023 from Ovid Elsie High School. He enjoys being at college, animae, gaming, sports, and the Japanese club.

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Madalyn (Maddy) Holmes, Student at Michigan State University (MSU)

Social & Employment Skills Coach


Madelyn is a student at Michigan State University working to get her bachelors in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. She will soon be attending graduate school to get her masters in Speech Therapy. Madelyn also participates in a stuttering research lab at MSU, and enjoys presenting research data at conferences. Maddy has been an outstanding addition to our team and connecting with participants in classes, leading activities for the Keys program, and job coaching. In her free time Maddy enjoys traveling, running, and hanging out with friends/family. 

Jess Cherniawsky, Student at Michigan State University (MSU)

Social & Employment Skills Coach


Jess is a senior at Michigan State University. She is currently double majoring in neuroscience and psychology as well as applying to grad school to get her PhD in clinical psychology. Jess previously worked as a behavior technician before working for Balance MI Skills and has made significant contributions to the team and her role as a job and social coach, bringing a strong behavioral perspective to her work. In her free time Jess likes to workout, hang out with her friends, and go on walks around East Lansing.

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Cheryl Maloney, Former High School Teacher

Social & Employment Skills Coach

Cheryl has a Bachelor of Science (BS) in physical education, health, and mathematics and a Master of Arts (MA) in Educational Administration from Central Michigan University (CMU). Cheryl was previously a teacher at St. Johns High School and taught physical education, health, and personal development She worked with students with emotional impairment and cognitive impairment and modified curriculum to meet their needs.  Cheryl has coached various sports in the middle and high school levels.  She is married and has 3 daughters. In her spare time Cheryl enjoys spending time with family and friends and doing healthy activities.

Ruby Dush, Student at Lansing Community College (LCC) and Ferris State University

Social & Employment Skills Coach


Ruby is a student at Ferris State University/Lansing Community College working toward a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (PK-6 Band). After graduating, Ruby foresees herself being a teacher in the town she was born and raised in, St. Johns. Growing up with three siblings and MANY cousins sparked an interest in her at a young age to pursue teaching and/or anything involving children. In her spare time Ruby likes  to travel, most recently to Italy, spend time with close friends/family, and walk or run around St. Johns. 

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