Our Team

//Our Team
Our Team2018-08-06T17:10:29+00:00


Co-founder & Partner

Beth Tuttle, an Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner, has spent more than a decade studying energy medicine, holistic living, and stress management.

Beth’s journey began when her husband experienced an extreme food intolerance and was subsequently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As she watched her husband’s health deteriorate, she was increasingly disappointed with how standard medical practice was handling his illness. Based on her studies, she knew stress was at the core of his health issues and connected with an integrative physician. With the physician’s guidance and the stress management tools she now shares with others, her husband’s health was restored. He has been cancer free since 2008.

Through this journey, Beth realized how powerful mind-body practices could be and how crucial it was to be able to manage stress and connect with the signals the body sends when out of balance. Beth’s oldest daughter, was placed on ADHD medication in 3rd grade upon teacher and physician recommendation. After experiencing multiple side effects, Beth introduced her daughter to the holistic principles of healthy eating, diet supplementation, and energy exercises. Her daughter found these non-pharmaceutical interventions worked better and without unwanted side effects, and was totally able to wean off the meds. Her daughter grew into a happy, healthy, successful adult.

Mary Schmidt, Community Outreach Specialist

Mary builds relationships with members of the community, and shares to power of our program in the West Michigan Area.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Industry Management, from Michigan State University. She has extensive experience in sales and small business ownership.

Her passion for helping children and families was fueled after she and her husband became foster parents and adopted their Great Niece. Seeing firsthand the toll generational stress takes on our bodies drives her desire to help break the cycle.


Co-founder & Partner

Deb Timmerman is a Registered Nurse and Healing Touch Practitioner. Deb began studying energy medicine and holistic therapies after sustaining severe injuries from a fall down a flight of stairs. During the search for interventions to manage pain, restricted movement, and vertigo she discovered Healing Touch, meditation and the power of mind-body connection.

In the transformation of her personal health, Deb was able to discontinue medications for hypertension and diabetes. As she incorporated the principles of mind-body therapies in her daily self-care routine, she discovered the core of her issues; unmanaged stress, an antiquated belief system and self-sabotage that began as a child. 

Deb’s healing journey helped her discover disease is rooted in our belief system and unprocessed emotions. Carrying baggage is stressful and causes wear and tear on the body and lifestyle diseases. Her passion is helping kids recognize that the human body is always providing feedback, teaching kids to tune-in to those messages and process them daily so they do not turn into life-long patterns which keep them from achieving their true potential. 

Deb, an experienced nurse manager,  has designed and implemented complimentary therapy and self-care programs for nursing staff, long term care and hospice residents. Deb is also a workshop leader for Metro Health-University of Michigan Health Live Healthy Program leading guided meditations, aromatherapy and stress management  workshops. She is a Community Champion Trainer for the Michigan ACE Initiative, providing trauma education and awareness. 

She has met the requirements of education, training and experience to achieve the designation of Diplomat through the American Institute of Stress. 

“If all day long you feel like a truck is coming at you, day after day after day, that’s going to take a toll on the body.”

Dr. Victor Carrion, Stanford University

Community Collaborators

Whole Child, Inc. is an organization committed to providing stress education and wellness programs that support children physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually and intellectually, and help the adults in their lives create a stable and supportive environment in which to thrive.  Their work is primarily with schools and community organizations.

Jaclyn Vallier
Jaclyn VallierCommunity Partner Battle Creek, MI
Jackie holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Michigan University. She has taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades in the Lakeview School District, Battle Creek Michigan. Jackie has additional training in the following: Kagen Cooperative Learning, William Glasser’s Choice Theory/Reality Therapy and Learning the Namaste Way Institute. She is certified in the Aroma Touch Technique. Jackie’s class participated in the SSK Pilot for schools during the 2016-17 school year.
Jennifer Van Wyhe
Jennifer Van WyheCommunity Partner Metro South Grand Rapids
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Grand Valley State University. She has extensive experience in case management and advocating for clients with chronic health issues. Jennifer has real life experience with a struggling child. Her daughter’s school issues forced her to leave the workforce to home school. You can watch Jen’s story on our blog page. Jen joined SSK, because it helped her daughter move from floundering to flourishing.
Kristine McPeak
Kristine McPeakCommunity Partner Northern MI
Kristine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Olivet College, but never landed in the classroom. Her passion to explore stress management through natural healing modalities took her in another direction. Kristine is a Certified Laughter Leader, Certified Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner and has studied Healing Touch, Myofascial Release, and a host of other modalities. In 2012 she returned to school to become a Physical Therapy Assistant through Flinlandia University.

Kristine is the owner of PeaceShine in Marquette, MI. Her mission is to help others learn to de-stress. Kristine serves on several community work teams in the area of mental health and substance abuse prevention and saw the need for a children’s program to use in these areas.

Advisory Board

Marian Long, RN MSN AHN-BC ND HWNC-BC CHTP/IAdvisory Board Member
Marian has over 30 years of nursing experience in many settings, including outpatient clinics, hospital, long term care, home care, hospice, and nursing education. She has been active in the arena of holistic health since the early 1980s, with a long history of teaching and providing Healing Touch, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery and other holistic modalities in hospital and community settings.

Her current nursing roles include consultant, coach and speaker, and she loves to help people learn about and enhance their incredible healing potential of body, mind and spirit. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband Ted, also a certified Healing Touch practitioner.

Dr. Annie Bishop, DC
Dr. Annie Bishop, DCNUCCA Chiroprator, Advisory Board Member
Dr. Annie is a pediatric chiropractor, currently working on postgraduate certification in chiropractic pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). She graduated from Life University in Marietta, GA in March of 2017 and has been practicing in Grand Rapids since. Dr. Annie attended Aquinas College for undergraduate studies in Mathematics with minor concentrations in Physics and Biology. She is very passionate about working with children and families, and creating a strong community foundation focused on health and wellness. To fuel her education, she is active in chiropractic research projects, including updating practice guidelines. Dr. Annie is a partner at Rise Wellness Chiropractic.

Dr. Annie is a partner in Rise Wellness Chiropractic.

Amy Gortsema
Amy GortsemaFounder, Achieve Tutoring Center, Advisory Board Member
Amy has more than 20 years of experience in education. For almost all of her career, Amy worked for Hudsonville Public Schools, serving as a teacher and an elementary school principal. She holds a Master’s Degree and an educational leadership endorsement.

The curriculum for each tutoring session is developed by content area experts and educators. Amy works closely with her staff to ensure each tutoring session is meaningful and effective. Achieve Tutoring Center provides guaranteed one-on-one tutoring services for students K- college in all content areas. Achieve Tutoring Center also offers ACT/SAT test prep, TOEFL prep for exchange students, and Speech services.

To visit Achieve Tutoring Center’s website click here.

Vonnie Woodrick
Vonnie WoodrickFounder, i understand love heals. Advisory Board Member
After losing her husband, Rob in 2003 to depression – Vonnie Woodrick faced many challenges due to the misconceptions of suicide and mental illness. Her determination to help her own children understand their father’s death and their own potential struggles led her to create i understand, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to support those who have lost a loved one by suicide or struggle with mental illness.

Prior to Rob’s death, both were very active in the community. Vonnie was involved with organizations such as: Forest Hills Educational Foundation, The Advisory Center for Teens, American Red Cross, Make A Wish Foundation and The Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation.

Out of the public eye for years, Vonnie felt the need to speak out and share her story in hopes of helping others navigate life after a loss by suicide or who struggles with a mental health issue.

Based in Ada, Michigan, i understand provides compassionate comfort to individuals and communities by: Hosting monthly educational awareness events in West Michigan, hosting a free monthly support group in Grand Rapids, Michigan for those who have lost a loved one by suicide, providing speaking engagements on the topic of mental health and life after losing a loved one by suicide and delivering mental health care packages to patients in West Michigan and families around the world.

i understand love heals also developed a WEAR, SHARE, CARE program to reduce the sigma of mental health issues and open conversations.

To visit i understand love heals website click here.

If you or a loved on is having a mental health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.