Our Providers

Nichole Elmendorf, OTR
Occupational Therapist/Owner

I love helping others learn and grow. As a result of my efforts,  I have been able to help many individuals turn the stumbling blocks of their lives into stepping stones. I started Progressive Beginnings in 1999 with my husband John. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling, shopping, yoga, and watching my 3 children participate in their various sporting events. 

Jessica Oakland, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist/Operational Partner

I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2010 and then my Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May 2014 both from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. I started with Progressive Beginnings in June 2014 and became an Operational Partner in November 2014. I have a passion to work with pediatric patients and a large interest in the neuroscience of pain to educate and engage my patients. I create our newsletters, social media posts, and community outreach as the Director of Marketing. My husband and I live in Manitowoc with our daughter, son, and dog. We love to travel, hike, camp, and spend time with our family and friends. 

Kristin Winkel, MS, SLP-CCC
Speech Language Pathologist

I completed my Bachelors degree from USF in Tampa, FL in 2009 and my Masters degree in 2012 from UCF in Orlando, FL, both in Communication Sciences & Disorders.  I began my career working with the geriatric population in inpatient rehab in skilled nursing.  I moved back home to Wisconsin in 2018 to be closer to family.  Around that time, I had an opportunity to expand my skills as an SLP and switched populations to work with pediatrics in the Birth-3 Early Intervention program.  I look forward to being a part of the Progressive Beginnings team and serving all ages in our community.  When I’m not working, I can be found spending time with my son & dog, at the beach or on a hike, working out, or in the kitchen. 

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Mikelyn Schneiss MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

I attended UW-Milwaukee for my undergraduate degree where I played on the women’s volleyball team and graduated in May of 2018 with a bachelors degree in Occupational Studies and a minor in Psychology. I continued with further education at UW-Milwaukee and graduated with my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy in December of 2020. I love being able to support and encourage others, which is a huge reason why I love Occupational Therapy. It is so enjoyable for me to be a part of someone’s journey, to work alongside them while they work towards accomplishing their goals, and to watch them be able to participate in the things they love to do! In my spare time I enjoy cooking, baking, crafting, fishing, hiking with my husband, and being outside enjoying God’s creation. 

Emma Eberhardy
Patient Services Manager

I am proud to be joining a team that offers excellent care for our community and is centered around helping others grow. As Patient Services Manager I look forward to assisting our therapists and management team. I feel this new role is a perfect fit for me - it is very meaningful and purposeful for me to be able to help patients with access to the care they need. My plans in the near future are to enroll at LTC. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my two dogs, working out, kayaking and remodeling my house.

John Elmendorf, OTR
Occupational Therapist/Owner

We started Progressive Beginnings in 1999 to provide a choice of providers in pediatric care and an opportunity for local residents to receive warm water aquatic therapy.  I have spent my career as an Occupational Therapist working to understand reimbursement, legislative guidelines, and helping others grow their new careers in healthcare. I continue to grow and expand Progressive Beginnings in the areas of management services for long term care, home health, and outpatient rehabilitation services. Our newest undertaking has been growing outpatient clinics within Assisted Living Facility communities

Sara Ploeger, COTA
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/ Rehab Manager

Hello! I'm Sara, a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant and Rehab Manager at Progressive Beginnings. I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology, graduated as a COTA in May 2017, and started with ProgressiveBeginnings in November 2017. I became Rehab Manager in 2020 and love the opportunity to provide additional support to our staff and management team.  I have always worked with people and truly enjoy being able to help them be able to do the things they love. I thoroughly enjoy helping people and seeing their face light up when they achieve a goal makes me smile! During my free time, I enjoy traveling, camping, and learning about new cultures.

Nina Gutmanis, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

I graduated from UW-La Crosse with a degree in Sociology in 2007 and worked in a few different fields before decided to go back to school for OT. I graduated with my Masters from UW-Milwaukee in December, 2019 and began my career at Progressive Beginnings at the end of November. I'm looking forward to working with my patients and families to help achieve their goals! In my spare time I enjoy swimming, knitting, and reading and hope to add a dog and/or cat to my family in the new year. If I haven't had a chance to meet you yet, feel free to say hi and introduce yourself!

Allie Radloff MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

I graduated from the UW-Madison in 2011 with my Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology. In 2014, I graduated with my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Midwestern University in AZ. I started my career out in AZ working primarily with an adult population focused on neurological rehabilitation. My husband and I moved back to WI in 2018 to start our family, and I then made the switch to pediatric therapy with a focus on early intervention and development with the Birth to 3 program. It was here I realized my passion for the pediatric population and my love for helping shape the little minds in our community! I am excited to be working at Progressive Beginnings back in outpatient rehabilitation and continuing to help kids of all ages. I have also started a new adventure with school based occupational therapy and will be around Progressive Beginnings after school hours and in the summer! When I am not working you can find me with my own 2 little boys enjoying the outdoors and making memories! 

Maria Lensmire, PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant

I graduated as PTA in 2017 from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. I started working at Progressive Beginnings early January 2021. I have always had an interest in working with both adults and kids. I enjoy getting to know my patients and the kids I work with and helping them achieve their goals. In my free time I enjoy reading, spending time with family and friends, and anything outdoors especially in the summer!

Latest Clinic News:


The importance of good sleep hygiene

Mar 19, 2021

Good sleep hygiene involves getting 7-8 hours per night. Here are some tips to getting a good night sleep:

➡️ Maintain a daily routine such as reading before bed

➡️ Consider learning meditation or deep breathing techniques to clear your mind

​➡️ Stop drinking liquids 3-4 hours before bedtime

➡️ Stay active, avoid naps

➡️ Prescriptions and over the counter medications can affect sleep

➡️ Reduce or eliminate drinking alcohol


Find your LOVE for movement!

Feb 2, 2021

Our bodies are designed to move. Although the idea of moving seems simple, we often forget how much our bodies need movement!

The CDC recommends that:

-KIDS have 60 minutes every DAY of moderate to vigorous activity

-ADULTS have 2.5 hours every WEEK, or 30 minutes each DAY at least 5 days a week of moderate activity.

If you feel limited in your ability to participate in activities of exercise, let our PB team create  an individualized movement plan for you! It's never too late to find your love for movement. 


Exercise in water can help reduce chronic pain.

Oct 13, 2020


Exercise in water utilizes several principles and has a number of benefits that will speed recovery, boost your muscle performance, and help to reduce pain. By using equipment such as water paddles or noodles, the therapist can create gentle currents aimed at specific areas of the body, helping to improve problem areas.

Autism in children.

May 7, 2020

Autism is a spectrum of related disorders having a shared core of signs and symptoms. All kids on the spectrum have difficulties with (1) communicating non-verbally and verbally, (2) relating to the world around and to others, (3) behaving and thinking flexibly. Looking for resources? We can help support your family.