Meet the Team!

Our Mission

SilverNail NW is dedicated to increasing opportunities for choice and access to Professional Behavior Services outside of the Portland, Salem, Eugene corridor. We ensure access by working in locations that traditionally struggle to access behavior services and mentoring other small business owners who work in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities field.

Meet the Owner

Michelle Silbernagel


Michelle is a highly experienced behaviorist. Most importantly, however, she is a humanist that understands that the only thing standing in the way of those experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities is access to supportive skill development. Michelle sees her role as empowering those she has the pleasure of working with to lead fulfilling and self-determined lives. Her colleagues would describe Michelle as a great advocate for small business owners who are struggling to understand the complex service elements system and Oregon Administrative Rules.

“I first became aware of service equity issues as I witnessed children outside of the I-5 corridor not able to access the needed support systems that other children could access in their local communities.”

Her experience and passion for directly helping people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities combined with knowledge of OAR’s led Michelle to develop SilverNail NW. With her own consulting firm, Michelle increased her capacity to serve a broad range of service users and to help ensure equal access to services despite the county that people live in. She is always excited about opportunities to meet new people and develop new long-term relationships that support people leading fulfilling lives — whether that is helping a house manager implement more robust and efficient practices or empowering a client to increase their autonomy. SilverNail NW’s agency is dedicated to not only writing FBA’a and PBSP’s but assisting teams with a lifetime of changes through ensuring that we provide maintenance services to the plans that we write.

Michelle recognized the importance of supporting people experiencing disabilities in her first job at Fairview Training Center in the summer of 1994.

It was at her very first job that Michelle recognized the importance of supporting people experiencing disabilities and while there she made a connection at Oregon School for the Blind (OSB) which propelled her toward providing direct care of students as a residential and school support team.

It was at OSB that she developed some of her fundamental knowledge about and experienced working with children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and participating in the (Individual Education Plan) IEP process.

This experience led Michelle to pursue higher education and she graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Child and Family Studies in 2002.

That experience helped Michelle’s next professional development when she returned to her roots in working with people who receive services through local Community Developmental Disability Programs (CDDP’s); first as a case manager or service coordinator at a county office and then at a large provider agency as a house manager and then area director.

In Michelle’s free time she buys too many treats for her Goldendoodle (Pepper who sometimes visits with Michelle on assessments when people request), travels locally camping with her wife, listens to too many podcasts, and spends time on her timber farm with her family.

Meet the Behavior Professionals

Stephanie Hunter

Stephanie Hunter

Behavior Services Manager

I believe in connected and inclusive communities with a diverse local workforce so individuals do not have to rely on support providers that are hours away and don’t know the community they are working in. I am passionate about being a champion for individuals and families when so many systems are still pushing them out because of their disability. I am passionate about guiding (or disrupting) these systems with the goal of bringing them into the 21st century, abandoning their ableist and deficit based policies and attitudes.

Building rapport and trust is important as I may see folks on their worst day and they need to feel safe being so vulnerable. I strive to work with individuals and teams wherever they feel most comfortable meeting, whether that be their place of work or home during traditional business hours or after. Conducting an assessment of the current safety and quality of life needs for the individual and the people that help support them enables me to develop a positive behavior support plan that is person-centered and a good fit for the individual and their environments.

I have been working with children and adults experiencing disabilities and co-occurring mental health needs since 1999. I have worked in many roles including direct support professional, administrator, program development, trainer, and statewide behavior professional and mentor. I am the parent and foster parent of 2 young adults who are Neurodivergent and throughout my career have worked to ensure the individuals we serve receive the same quality of service I want for my children.

I value centering the voices and experiences of historically excluded populations in our state and ensuring that individuals and families have the ability to work with someone that looks like them, speaks their language, and shares lived experiences with them. SNNW is already creating this, much needed, vision in our state and I am excited to help build the capacity of Behavior Professionals in Central and Eastern Oregon.

I am a community person and organizing efforts to help create stronger, empowered, and more connected communities is what gets me out of bed in the morning. When I am not working or doing community work I enjoy visiting hot springs, having coffee with friends, thrifting with my daughter, emergency prepping, and television has never been better. Many people move to Central Oregon for the outdoors but I prefer the indoors.

Akane Ogawa

Behavior Services Manager

Since being in the field of providing individualized behavior support to families and individuals living with various IDD to make sure that supports are individualized is key. I believe one size does not fit all and having someone who has experienced the back lash behind a system that cookie cuts everything allows me to truly be an advocate for those whose voices may be placed to the side.

I have worked on the ground, with firsthand experience helping individuals navigating their everyday life. As a former DSP and Behavior Technician I have supported folks from ages 4-99 providing behavior support for behaviors that may require intervention. One thing that I am passionate about doing in this field is the initial rapport building process at meeting, as well as after the individual has engaged in a behavior that may require intervention. I show patience and understanding to determine what they are trying to communicate.

SilverNail NW’s mission and Michelle’s passion is what drew me into working for SNNW. As someone who has been in the field of I/DD for 15 years I have become intimately familiar with how the system supports those with I/DD and I enjoy having the ability to assist folks in rural areas access a higher level of care and to gain support. I especially enjoy advocating for rural populations.

Some of my past experiences include:

  • 2010-2014 volunteered at a weeklong MDA summer camp, helping with ADLs for folks with 40+ types of Muscular Dystrophy in NYC
  • 2012-2014 internship at an outpatient unit in Brooklyn NYC
  • 2015-2017 Bachelor’s Degree in ASL studies minor is Special Education.
  • 2015-2018 DSP for individuals and families experienced living with I/DD.
  • 2018-2022- Behavior Technician working in ABA.
  • 2019-2021- Master’s in Special Education emphasized in Behavior Analysis.
  • 2022-2023- Behavior Consultant

I also believe it is important to continue learning new things and I strive to expand my knowledge, I am currently working toward:

  • becoming an OIS trainer
  • my national accreditation for Behavior Analysis.
When I am not working, I am spending time with my spouse, housemates and our collectively 5 pets (4 dogs, 1 cat). Our summers consist of camping, and backpacking. While our winters consist of snuggling up next to the fire playing board games, reading or watching movies and shows. When there are longer stretches of off days, we enjoy picking a destination and traveling to get to know that area and culture. In this field knowing how to separate work and leisure is the key to making me feel alive and excited.
Akane Ogawa

Shadow Reine

Behavior Professional

As a Behavior Professional, I conduct interviews and observations to get to know clients and use the information gathered to write support documents such as behavior support plans. Even after documents are written and support staff is trained, I continue to check in with clients to ensure their needs are being met.

One of my passions is bringing an intersectional lens to my work. No one is one-dimensional; we all have a multidimensional identity and this should be reflected within the documents that are written. Our identities are important to us and should be acknowledged as they are who we are; factors such as our gender, race, class, ability, culture, etc. make us who we are and when we can embrace ourselves (and have others embrace us) we live happier and healthier lives.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. I have worked as a Behavior Technician, providing 1:1 ABA therapy to those with ASD for about three years in Wisconsin, alongside teaching swimming and safety skills around water to children with I/DD and physical disabilities. Upon moving to Oregon, I worked as a DSP for a variety of clients with I/DD diagnoses for about a year before working with SilverNail NW.

I enjoy working with SNNW because of how person-centered and humanistic the company is. This goes beyond working with clients, families, and providers to how I am treated as an employee.

When I’m not working, I take my time to engage in self-care activities (among other things) which include reading, drawing, hiking, and spending time with friends and loved ones. I also have three cats and two dogs who are a large part of my life and get involved in most of my activities.

Demeter Finch

Behavior Professional & Language Consultant

I am called on to work with clients when they want assistance establishing, understanding, or communicating their support needs with their staff, family, and/or employers. My job is to connect directly and build rapport with my clients, teach them how to identify wants versus needs in their daily life and how to effectively advocate for their needs. Most importantly, my job is to have the needed hard conversations and provide the necessary tools to help my clients achieve their goals in life.

When I was five-years-old I was diagnosed with a rare childhood disease which would result in several operations throughout my childhood and into adulthood. That life experience taught me about the importance of autonomy and how that relates to health. Autonomy is an unconditional right and something that every human is capable of exercising. My work in this field is driven by the desire to see that right extended to everyone, especially those living with daily accessibility limitations.

I have over 20 years of experience working with people from a myriad of cultures, ages, identities, and support needs. I have provided direct care supports for those in memory care facilities, the I/DD community, retirement homes, hospitals, and in- home settings.

SilverNail provides me with the opportunity to have and create my own flexible schedule and understands the importance of having a work/life balance. I get to work with a diverse and incredible group of humans who all share the same goal of maintaining a level of mutual respect and dedication to all of our clients.

Football. I absolutely love football. I am a huge Oregon State and Steelers fan (I even have a tattoo). I enjoy finding ways to stay active with my family. My hobbies include running, learning about language and culture, going to the movies, and painting.

Desitny Spellman

Behavior Professional


Working with clients to observe and identify target behaviors and then creating needed plans (FBA/PBSP) and interventions to best support the individual. These plans and supports are then integrated into the home and taught to staff, parents, caregivers, etc. In this industry there can be a large disconnect or gap between school and home and I want to be the bridge to this gap.

I have worked in the public school system for the last 7 years as an Autism Support Specialist, supporting students K-5th grade who have an ASD school eligibility. I serviced 3 different elementary schools with a caseload of 20-35 students depending on the year providing supports, interventions, trainings, hands on 1:1 work with students, teachers, staff, administration, and parents/caregivers.

I wanted to work for an agency that values their clients rather than getting the job done and moving onto the next. SNNW goes over and beyond by doing maintenance with their clients, this step is so important!

When I am not working I am spending time adventuring with my family and dogs, running my catering business Handzy Food LLC, or finding a new bookstore to get lost in.

Tracie Burich

Behavior Professional Assistant

I love working with people, and I love solving problems in a creative way. I am going to school to become a therapist, so I also find conflict resolution and working with relationship systems to be extremely rewarding.

I help write plans, so I’m often in the field interviewing or observing clients. I also assist with managing maintenance, so I check in with clients often, to ensure the plan is working for them and make changes where necessary.

I am currently working toward my bachelors in psychology with a minor in gender and sexuality. I am relatively new to this particular field, but I’ve worked with people in a variety of industries over the last several years in which I have learned to think on my feet and that has deepened my passion for working with others.
When I’m not working, I paint, hike, travel, read, write, and visit art museums. I love exploring new places and experiencing new things with the people I love!

Cecilia Ramirez

Behavior Assistant

I specialize in working with families to help bridge language barriers. I work with clients and families to ensure their needs are being met and help make sure appropriate supports are in place.

I enjoy learning and helping people because, as the old saying goes, “helping a person might not change the world but it could change the world for one person.”

Throughout my life I have been dedicated to assisting Families or individuals that struggle with language barriers. I love working with SilverNail NW because they have an awesome team of individuals who love and care about their jobs, and they have proven over and over they deeply care about each of their clients.

“Only a life lived in the services to others is WORTH living.”
– Albert Einsten

What makes me feel alive is God, my Family and knowing that I can help people . When I’m not working I like going on walks and enjoying nature, spending family time, and enjoying life.
Emily Young

Emily Young

Behavior Professional, Independent


I greatly enjoy opportunities for creative-problem solving. I get to work with clients throughout the development of their support documents. I strive to offer a safe and empathetic presence that enables clients to open up and become vulnerable about their experiences.

It is my goal to help people understand there is always more than what meets the eye. It is imperative for people to look into the complexities of challenging behaviors and look beyond the surface to see the root causes of their struggles. There is so much beauty in the human experience and I strive to assist that beauty flourish in all individuals I work with.

My experience has mostly been working with youth in school and alternative settings. I found my true passion when I started working with children with disabilities and challenging behaviors.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to join the SilverNail team – learning from and collaborating with such like-minded and diverse professionals – makes this experience meaningful and intricate. I am excited to work for a team who has a strong initiative and to create more inclusivity and equity in our communities.

In my free time I love to be outside and adventuring: camping, mountain biking, skiing, climbing…etc. Or creating: writing, drawing, making music…etc. And most importantly, having one of my pets by my side.

Chambria Guthrie

Chambria Guthrie

Behavior Professional


As a parent of a child with special needs, I appreciate the rarity of any professional taking into consideration the entire family unit’s needs, as well as the uniqueness of each person. If a need, support, or interest is not in a drop-down menu or a box, create a new one. When working with families and individuals, thinking outside the box is important to me.

As a behavior professional, I seek to find strengths, interests, and passions among any areas of assistance presented. Having worked with individuals with different abilities as a behavioral educational assistant, DSP, a dance teacher, and a parent, it is my honor to help lift others up, highlighting and strengthening all they have to offer.

Recently obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree, in Psychology, has allowed me to explore many of the ‘why’s’ of how an individual may be operating. Working as a dance teacher for over 20 years, while striving to include students with disabilities, gave me the opportunity to practice creative ways to support others, giving them space to shine. Being a parent of a child with special needs has given me first-hand experience on what it’s like to maneuver through this journey, while supporting someone I love.

SNNW aims to work collaboratively towards assuring clients receive optimal support. Each SNNW team member offers different perspectives, which is gathered at weekly team meetings, and offered up to each of our clients.

I am a life-long seeker of creatively connecting with others. I thoroughly enjoy dancing, theater arts, and teaching these creative forms. You can find me dancing in the Downtown Bend Dance Crew, and taking dance classes. While I’ve taken a break from teaching dance and theatre, I plan to do so again in the future, for individuals with all abilities and needs. On days off, I enjoy time with my partner and two sons. I am also an avid tea drinker!

Shadow Reine

Behavior Professional

Demeter Finch

Behavior Professional & Language Consultant

Destiny Spellman

Behavior Professional

Cecilia Ramirez

Behavior Professional Assistant & Spanish Consultant

Emily Young

Emily Young

Behavior Professional, Independent

Chambria Guthrie

Chambria Guthrie

Behavior Professional

Meet the Quality Assurance Wizard

Katie Lyman

Quality Assurance Manager

I work with companies that provide residential services to clients to ensure each Provider is in compliance with the Oregon Administrative Rules. Working with new, emerging, and established providers I provide Quality Assurance support by completing reviews of documents and processes as well as helping with any corrections that need to be made.

I strive to ensure new providers know the “unwritten rules”, things that are typically learned after years of experience, in order to help them best serve their clients. I also work with the licensing department to help ensure more consistency in regards to licensing citations.

Before joining the team at SilverNail I worked for 12 years in the developmental disability field including 6 years of quality assurance work. I thoroughly enjoy working with SNNW because of the flexibility of being able to work around my family’s needs, and knowing that the work I am doing is ensuring that people with disabilities are being provided the best possible care.
I love playing board games (my family has over 300!). Doing escape rooms with friends. Reading fantasy and mystery books
Stephanie Hunter

Vincent DeFrancesco

Administrative Assistant & Billing Specialist


I am passionate about being a part of a team that strives to ensure individuals are able to receive services from entities that care about them on a personal level.

I primarily work behind the scenes at SilverNail NW, so while I may not be seen often, you’ve probably seen my work. When I do get to interact with our clients it is at events where I strive to make the events as accessible as possible for everyone.

I have worked in the veterinary industry for 2 years and property management for 2 as well. These experiences have taught me to be empathetic and caring toward others. I was drawn to SilverNail NW because of their team’s positive energy and their dedication to ensuring everyone maintains a good work-life balance. With our clients, we put in a lot of work to ensure they have a well-rounded life – management at SilverNail NW does the same for their team members. This helps us to be able to provide for our clients in a more positive way.

Outside of my job with SilverNail NW, I love to spend time with my family and friends. I also enjoy paddle boarding and surfing.


Positive Behavior Support

With direction from people supported, families, ISP teams, and the Oregon Administrative Rules, SilverNail NW works closely to ensure person centered and least restrictive Positive Behavior Support Services.

SilverNail NW has professionals who are OIS certified to write or co-author PBSPs, provide onsite training to the DSPs working with a person who requires safeguarding interventions. At this time we do not provide OIS classes but are happy to refer you to our partners.

Technical Assistance

SilverNail NW provides technical assistance to people, non profits, and companies who want to apply for certification and endorsements in the State of Oregon.

We believe that even the most experienced and educated providers in Oregon benefit from a fresh perspective, system development, and best practices. SilverNail NW has substantial experience meeting the Oregon Administrative Rules in Oregon.