Meet Our People


Tammy Simmons

Tammy Simmons

Executive Director
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Tammy Simmons, M.S., CCC-SLP, executive director of ACCESS, is responsible for all aspects of administration, including budgeting, fundraising and board development.

Simmons began her career working as a speech-language pathologist at Easter Seals Arkansas. She worked at the Pulaski County Tri-District Early Childhood Program and was in private practice before co-founding ACCESS in 1994. A graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she has a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders, with minors in music and psychology, and a master’s degree in communicative disorders.

Simmons is a former Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 honoree and UALR College of Professional Studies 2010 Alumna of the Year. She is a member of The International Dyslexia Association. She is a frequent guest speaker and has served as a presenter at universities, at state conferences (Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Special Show), at a National Reading Panel conference and at The Division for Early Childhood Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families.

Monika Garner-Smith, M.E.d.,

Monika Garner-Smith, M.E.d.,

Director of Early Childhood Education
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Monika Garner-Smith, M.Ed., early childhood program director at ACCESS, is responsible for all aspects of the early childhood curriculum and managing the ACCESS Early Childhood Program team.

Garner-Smith began her career as a special educator at Easter Seals Arkansas, working there for eight years before co-founding ACCESS Preschool in 1995. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she has a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in early childhood special education. She is certified in The DuBard Association Method®, as well as early childhood education (birth to Grade 3), elementary education (Grades K-6) and special education (Grades K-12).

Garner-Smith is a member of the Arkansas Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Early Childhood. She has served as a guest speaker at the annual national Division for Early Childhood conference; at the Arkansas Department of Education Special Show biennial conference; and at several parent and professional training workshops.

Cheri Stevenson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Cheri Stevenson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Director of Academy and Adult Services
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Cheri Stevenson, M.S., CCC-SLP, director of Academy and Adult Services at ACCESS, is responsible for day-to-day management of the organization.

Prior to joining ACCESS in 1998, Stevenson administered speech-language evaluations and diagnostics for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in the Department of Pediatrics at the Dennis Developmental Center. Before that, she provided early intervention therapy and diagnostics for the birth-to-2 program at Easter Seals Arkansas. A graduate of UAMS and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she has a master’s degree in communication disorders. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ouachita Baptist University.

At ACCESS, Stevenson specializes in diagnostics for children ages 3 to 12 and serves as the lead speech-language pathologist on the AERC staff when diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. She is certified in the Neo-Natal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale®, The DuBard Association Method® and Interactive Metronome.

Stevenson is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association, where she serves as the representative for the Therapy Advisory Council for Medicaid and QSource.

Kellie Wilhite

Kellie Wilhite

Director of Development
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Kellie Wilhite, ACCESS director of development, joined the organization in December 2010. She is responsible for all aspects of development, including fundraising, grantwriting and special event management.

Prior to joining ACCESS, Wilhite was the executive director of Little Rock’s City Parks Conservancy, where she was responsible for grantwriting, board development, marketing, fundraising and volunteer management. She was director of annual giving and special events at Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation in Little Rock for more than three years. She is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University.

Wilhite is an advisory member for the City Parks Conservancy.

Board of Directors

Walter M. Ebel, III


Shay Sebree


W. Scott Davis

Vice President

Jackson Farrow, Jr.


Amy Baden


Heather Allmendinger

Shelly Baldwin, MD

Fred Davis

Brandon Freville

Jane Hartz

Beth Johnson

Harold Joyner

Kurt Knickrehm

Mark Langston

Lynn O'Connor

Olivia Ramsey

Becky Scott

Philip Tappan

Katherine Ann Trotter


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