Our Mission: Empowering kids to lead joyful lives.

Occupational and Speech Therapists

Leigh Burkey, OTR/L, Co-Founder/Executive Director

Leigh’s favorite pastimes include dance parties in the living room with her kids, hiking, road biking, and occasionally trying to keep up with rock climbing. She loves to travel and has enjoyed zip lining through the jungles of Costa Rica, exploring the beaches of Mexico, and seasonal work at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. Leigh was born in Normal, Illinois, and grew up in the small town of Altamont, home of 2300 people. She lives in San Anselmo with her husband, two young children, and two cats, Unicorn and Alice in Wonderland.

Leigh knew she wanted to be an OT since high school when she received OT for a hand injury. She followed the therapist and was fascinated by her passion for the work, and the impact it had on others. When OT was listed as a good fit for Leigh on the career matching exam in high school, her mind was made up. She attended the University of Columbia in Missouri.

Jamie Close, MSOT, OTR/L, Executive Director

Jamie loves to spend her time being outside and active. She also loves to travel and explore the world. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda and is still deeply connected to friends there. As a child, she wanted to be an archeologist and some of her favorite travels have included China, Egypt, Zanzibar, and Borneo where she was been able to see many things she dreamed of in her youth. Jamie was born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho, which inspired a love for being outdoors. She lives in Fairfax with her husband.

Jamie had never heard of OT until college. She was describing her dream job of working with children with disabilities and her sister told her to check out OT. After researching the field and observing a pediatric OT, she knew it was a perfect fit. She attended Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Corry Wagner, OTR/L – Director of Outdoor Programming, Friendship Explorations

Corry had been working as a private pediatric OT for over 10 years. Corry founded Friendship Explorations in 2015 and brought Friendship Explorations to Ready Set GO Therapy in the spring of 2020. With a background in environmental education and an obsession with the beach, she blends her pediatric OT skills with her love of helping children benefit from the beauty and developmental benefits of the outdoors.

Most prized accolade: Voted “Most likely to do OT at the beach” by her peers of OT graduate students.

Danielle Abraham, SLP – Speech Director

Danielle was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area before moving to San Diego to complete her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego. A California girl all of her life, she ventured to Chicago for 2 years and received her Master’s Degree in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University. She loves early morning workouts, coffee, stationery, and hanging out with her two dogs.  Danielle brings over 8 years of expertise in language, literacy, and pediatric education with experience in research, medical, and educational sectors. Her focus revolves around supporting children with developmental disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and other learning challenges. Danielle loves working with kids because they share so many of the same interests: Minecraft, Pokemon, and more!

Gigi Galliani, MSOT, OTR/L – Clinical Manager

Gigi is a fourth-generation Italian San Franciscan who grew up in Marin County, where she developed a passion for exploring the beautiful scenery of Northern California through hiking, swimming in the ocean, skiing in Tahoe, camping, and beach volleyball. Gigi loves being creative and has a vast imagination that she channels into art, cooking, and of course her OT sessions.

Gigi was first exposed to OT when she volunteered at Ready Set Go Therapy, where she decided pediatric OT was the perfect career choice for her, as it combines her love for health science, creativity, and working with children. She then went on to earn her Master’s of Science at A.T. Still University in Arizona. Gigi is thrilled to continue her passion for pediatrics at the same clinic where it all began.

Kristen DeMont, OTR/L

Kristen is a nature lover and finds her joy being outside on the trails of Marin, in the great Pacific Ocean, and in her sunny Fairfax garden. She loves music, dancing, yoga, camping, backpacking, swimming, meditation, and spending time with her family and friends. She is a Marin native, who grew up in Sleepy Hollow and was a committed Sleepy Hollow Sea Lion every summer! She earned her Master of Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in San Diego county, which gave her the chance to enter a career field she was passionate about, and surf every day! Kristen has worked in multiple OT settings and is passionate about the unique and meaningful ways that occupation can support someone’s journey through life. She will always find authentic and meaningful ways to connect to a child and their families to support their journey, and in doing so believes she is also on a path towards greater health and fulfillment.

Courtney Malachowski, OTR/L

Courtney is a California native that loves to spend her time swimming in San Francisco Bay, running in Golden Gate Park, reading about nature and being in nature with her dog Brody. She has been learning Greek for almost two years now as her partner is Greek and they try and visit friends and family in Greece yearly. Courtney’s passion has always been to help children play, grow, and learn in a creative way. She has spent many years working with children as a ballet teacher, advocate for foster care youth, behavioral coach for non profit organization for children and teens with autism and as an occupational therapist in San Francisco Unified School District. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University of San Diego and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Dominican University of California. She has experience in working with children diagnosed with autism, developmental delays, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and dysgraphia, emotional regulation challenges, cerebral palsy, and other neuro motor deficits. She is excited to continue growing with her clients at Ready Set Go Therapy.

Carley Kruger, OTR/L

Carley enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, hiking, and trying new restaurants. She grew up in Danville, California and now resides in San Francisco. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and her master’s degree in occupational therapy at San Jose State University. Carley’s interest in this field began as a volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. After being exposed to multiple areas of occupational therapy, her love and focus has been in pediatrics. She has experience working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Down syndrome, and developmental delays. She has a passion for working with children and helping them live their lives to the fullest.

Julia Zasso, MSOT, OTR/L

Julia is an OTR/L with a passion for pediatrics, neurodivergence, and sensory integration. Outside of work, she is a devoted cat parent, avid reader, and novice vegan baker. She first fell in love with the occupational therapy profession when volunteering at an SI clinic in her hometown of Roseville, CA. Since earning her MSOT from Dominican University, she has found joy in working with neurodivergent and developmentally disabled adults and is excited to be joining the world of pediatric therapy. 

Julia began her OT career through work in project-based therapy at Autistry Studios, along with field experience in school-based therapy at Oak Hill School, and assistive technology development and integration at Technology Resource Center of Marin.   She is enthralled by the sensory world, especially where it intersects with young and neurodiverse minds and bodies. She is a strong believer in the therapeutic value of empowerment, playfulness, and humor.

Nadalie Valdez, OTR/L

Nadalie enjoys cheering on her favorite sports teams, attending music festivals, traveling, yoga, and weekly visits to the farmers market. She grew up in Southern California where she was involved in competitive dance and soccer. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and business administration from the University of Arizona. After undergrad Nadalie worked in digital and social media marketing for 1 year. She developed her passion for occupational therapy after volunteering at a local clinic and school district in Los Angeles. Nadalie completed her doctorate in occupational therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos, CA. For her capstone project, she designed a dance program focused on health and wellness and implemented it at the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco. She had an amazing time getting to know the kids and her love for working with children bloomed. As a new San Francisco resident, some of her favorite things about the city are walks in Golden Gate Park, exploring local coffee shops, and searching for the best gluten/dairy-free options!

Lawrence Buot, MS, OTR/L

Lawrence is an avid sports fan and loves the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Golden State Warriors. He also loves to camp, hike, and go on long road trips throughout California and the Pacific Northwest with his wife Angelica and their dog Leo Bear. Lawrence also loves to read books especially high fantasy and has extensive expertise on everything Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Harry Potter. He grew up in the butter and egg capital of the world, Petaluma, California.

Lawrence discovered occupational therapy when he was getting his Kinesiology degree at Sonoma State University. Upon graduating from Sonoma State University he worked at Cypress School in Petaluma as a teaching assistant to work with kids with autism, physical disabilities, and developmental delays. It was his work at Cypress that confirmed his desire to become a pediatric occupational therapist. Lawrence then returned to graduate school and earned a Masters’ Degree in Occupation Therapy at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California. Lawrence is also working as an occupational therapist at Anova Center for Education in Santa Rosa. Lawrence enjoys working with other specialists as a member of a multidisciplinary team to create beneficial and meaningful treatment sessions for his students and clients.

Emily Osborn, OTR/L

Emily grew up in Santa Rosa and has lived all over Sonoma and Marin counties. She currently lives in Petaluma and enjoys reading, knitting, singing, going for walks, and playing board games with friends. Emily comes from a creative background and has a BA in Theatre from Lewis & Clark College. While she loved the ways theatre could create connection and moments of catharsis, she wanted to help others more directly. When she discovered OT, she knew she had found a perfect match, and pursued her master’s in OT from Dominican University of California. She uses her theatre training in OT sessions to keep clients engaged and adapt to changing circumstances. She loves how pediatric OT uses child-centered, therapeutic play to create positive changes in children’s daily lives. With a mom who was an adaptive PE teacher and an aunt who’s a practicing pediatric speech therapist, working therapeutically with children runs in the family.

Mallory Petty, CF-SLP

Mallory is a Bay Area native born in San Francisco and raised in Novato. She has spent most of her life in and around Marin, with brief stints in Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and Boston. Mallory discovered her passion for Speech Language Pathology while working in education- both in outdoor education and in traditional classroom settings. She finds joy in helping children (and their families) enhance communication skills and overall participation in life. Additionally, Mallory has worked with adults with various speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. She thrives on the challenge of improving an individual’s quality of life through therapy and collaboration.

Outside of work, Mallory enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog. She stays active through activities like swimming, soccer, and yoga. Mallory’s passion for learning shines through her current pursuits in art, cooking, and Spanish language classes. With a heart for helping others and a zest for life, Mallory is a dedicated professional and a true lover of adventure and growth.

Nicolette D’Esposito, OTR/L

Nikki grew up in Los Angeles and eventually moved to Marin County to earn her bachelor’s and her MSOT from Dominican University of California. Nikki has always had a passion for working in pediatrics. This passion stems from her experience working as a gymnastics instructor for children ages 2-14 years old throughout high school and college. As an occupational therapist, she has experience working with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, emotional regulation challenges, developmental delays, anxiety, and selective mutism. Nikki strives to provide each child with a treatment plan that harnesses each child’s strengths and is fun and creative, while also helping the child to learn and develop the tools and skills they need to feel successful at home, at school, and in the community. Outside of work, Nikki enjoys arts and crafts, drinking coffee and boba, spending time with friends and family, and collecting squishmallows.

Samantha Williams, CF-SLP

Sammy enjoys going on walks, trying different coffee shops, taking pilates or yoga classes, sewing, and spending time with friends. She grew up in Central California, where her interest in Speech-Language Pathology began while working as a peer mentor in high school.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific in 2020. After graduating, she worked as a nanny in Marin County, fell in love with the Bay Area, and moved to San Francisco. She graduated with her Master of Science in Communicative Disorders from Eastern New Mexico University. During graduate school, she worked as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant in schools and private practices. Sammy loves working with kids because every day is a new adventure!

Administrative Staff

Rachel Seaman – Administrative Director

Rachel is originally from Boston and has traveled and lived in many cities throughout the US before settling in San Francisco with her family. She loves the arts, architecture, skiing, reading, baking, sewing and creating everything and anything that comes into her head!

Rachel has over 20 years of experience working with children in a professional, educational and private care setting. Working to benefit children and their families with local non-profits, education, and volunteering has been a core foundation of her career for many years. Her volunteering has been focused on promoting literacy and the arts in enriching the lives of children in the Bay Area. Rachel brings her corporate and nonprofit experience to help support the staff and families at Ready Set GO Therapy.

Deirdre Pieper, Administrative Assistant

Deirdre is originally from the Chicago area.  She came out to the Bay Area to attend college and never left. Her love of children led her to spend the early part of her career as a teacher and Director of a preschool program in Marin.  After having children of her own, Deirdre transitioned to the business world, working for small, local businesses to large government institutions for over 16 years. During the pandemic, Deirdre turned back to working with children and brings both her love of children and business experience to Ready Set GO Therapy.

Deirdre loves to spend time hiking, traveling, visiting museums, and on artistic endeavors of her choosing, but her favorite is time spent with family and friends.  Her favorite words to hear are “let’s go on a little adventure.”

Amy Schmitt, Administrative Assistant

Amy, originally from Southern California, moved to the Bay Area where she attended San Jose State University and received a BA in Mass Communications and Journalism, and a minor in Art. She later attended De Anza College and received her Paralegal degree. After raising her four sons, which involved spending twelve wonderful years volunteering in their elementary school teaching literacy, and arts and crafts, Amy enthusiastically reentered the workplace working in various sectors for the Courts, an open space district, and in management at a high-end shopping center. Amy’s love of children has come full circle and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the wonderful Admin team at Ready Set GO Therapy. Amy’s also very proud to add a prized title to her name… Nana! When Amy isn’t visiting her grandchildren and family in the South Bay, she loves to spend her time hiking the Headlands, visiting museums, reading, crocheting, cooking, hitting the gym, and just living life to the fullest, one day at a time.

Ready Set GO Therapy, Inc. • 350 Gate 5 Road, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-339-8800 • Fax 415-963-4243 • info@readysetgotherapy.com