Our Staff

Julie Venhuizen, M.H.Sc., S-LP(C)
Owner & Speech-Language Pathologist

I am a registered Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). I have been registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario since 2004. I received my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario and moved on to the University of Toronto to obtain my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Since graduating from the University of Toronto I have worked at Lear Communication. As of May 1st, 2016 I was given the amazing opportunity to purchase Lear Communication’s Waterloo clinic and we became Sound Expression Speech and Language Services. I am excited to enter this new stage in my career as both the owner of a business and a practicing SLP.

I work with clients of all ages and I can assist with a wide range of communication difficulties including articulation and motor speech disorders, fluency disorders, voice disorders, language-based learning difficulties, stroke, acquired brain injury, and swallowing disorders. I have experience working in private practice, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and within clients’ home environments.

I am a member of the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA) and I am certified through the National Association, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC). Some of the highlights of my career have included organizing an advertising campaign for ‘May is Better Speech Language and Hearing Month’ to raise public awareness about the importance of SLPs to support people experiencing communication difficulties. I have also provided education about an SLPs role in treating people with Parkinson’s Disease to the Parkinson’s Support Group of Kitchener as well as provided Communication training and Safe and Effective Feeding training for staff at local long term care facilities. I had my “15 minutes of fame” when I appeared on the local CTV news to talk about voice disorders and stuttering. I invest myself fully in assisting my clients to reach their full potential and I have a genuine interest in their well-being and future successes. If I can help a child say their name correctly when they introduce themselves; help an adult tell their spouse “I love you” following a stroke; or assist a young adult to return to school after a car accident then I have done my job well!

As well as an amazing career, I have been blessed with a beautiful family. I am the busy mother of three young and energetic daughters. I enjoy being active; spending time with friends and family; trying new foods and recipes; and reading.

Annmarie Foster, M.H.Sc.
Speech-Language Pathologist & Marketing Manager

Annmarie Foster, M.H.Sc.I have been working as a registered speech-language pathologist (SLP) since 2007. I completed my undergraduate degree at McMaster University in Health Sciences and obtained my Masters of Health Science from the University of Toronto. Currently, I serve a large caseload of children, teens and adults with diverse speech, language, literacy, fluency, voice and cognitive-communication goals. I have experience working in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, private practice and within multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams.

I am committed to mentoring students, providing community education, and advocating for the profession. I am involved in McMaster University’s career mentoring program, have conducted vocal hygiene and effective voice use seminars for sales trainers, and have lectured Communication and Safe and Effective Feeding Modules for the Restorative Care Education and Training program with the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging. I have also presented at the Brain Injury Association of Niagara Conference on returning to school after brain injury and have developed a series of informational handouts to assist family physicians in educating their patients on speech and language disorders.

I have a genuine interest in others and their well-being. I am talkative, but also a good listener. I take time to establish good relationships with my clients and help them set achievable goals with functional outcomes making treatment both fun and meaningful. Whether I am supporting a child who is learning to say ‘R’, helping a student understand a school assignment, teaching strategies for fluent execution of a presentation or assisting someone in getting back to work after sustaining a brain injury, I appreciate the unique abilities of the individuals I work with and am rewarded daily by their successes.

I have strong family values and enjoy family tradition. I live an active lifestyle and enjoy traveling, outdoor activities and eating chocolate chip cookies.

Laura Carson, B.A.
Communicative Disorders Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator 

Laura Carson, B.AI am a Communicative Disorders Assistant and a registered member of The Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Waterloo and continued my post-graduate studies at Georgian College, where I received my Communicative Disorders Post-Graduate Certificate.  I have had the pleasure of working in the speech therapy field for over 5 years.

During my time working as a Communicative Disorders Assistant I’ve been blessed with being able to work with a diverse caseload. I currently work with clients of all ages; providing speech therapy to preschoolers, school age clients, and both young as well as older adults. I have extensive experience working with a variety of different disorders such as; preschool language, articulation, literacy, learning disabilities, stroke rehabilitation, and acquired brain injury rehabilitation. I have experience working within a multidisciplinary team setting and have provided services in a clinic setting, in the comfort of a clients’ home, and at various long term care facilities in the region. My therapy encompasses compassion, creativity, and functionality. I enjoy using my creative juices to create client specific material and strive to always incorporate my client’s interests, hobbies, and family into my therapy programs. My goal is to make therapy meaningful for my clients and their families. I encourage open communication in my therapy sessions and my hope is that all of my clients, and their family members, will feel comfortable and confident in the knowledge and strategies I have to share – questions are always encouraged!

Volunteering has always been an important part of my life and has provided me with valuable learning experiences that in turn led me on a path to develop a career in which I love.  I have volunteered my time at a variety of places in our community, as well as internationally while completing a placement in Costa Rica where I was able to teach the nuances of the English language to young adults learning English as a second language. Volunteering is something I value and encourage in others, and I am happy to have the role of Volunteer Coordinator at Sound Expression.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my husband, son, and our dog.  I enjoy spending time outdoors, participating in fitness, watching movies and escaping into the world of reading while settling down with a good book. I am passionate about food, travel, my family, and my career. I am blessed to be working in a field that allows me to meet new and interesting people on a regular basis. I am humbled to be a part of my clients’ lives and to be able to provide guidance and support as they improve on their speech, language, and literacy goals to reach their fullest potential.

Ashley Witzel, M.Cl.Sc.
Speech-Language Pathologist

I am a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). I earned my Masters of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Western Ontario in 2011, and have been practicing since 2011. My clinical experience includes working in both the Private sector, and School Board, with focus on Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion, Fluency/Stuttering, Articulation, Preschool and School-Age Language, Aphasia, Motor Speech, and Voice. I also have a special interest in Transgender Voice Therapy.

I’ve attended various conferences, most recently completing the Transgender Voice and Communication Training for Voice Clinicians course, and OSLA’s 2016 Voice Therapy Conference. In addition, I’ve completed Level 1 and 2, post-graduate courses in Cognitive-Communication Disorders, along with training in The Hanen Program’s It Takes Two to Talk course. Several years ago, I had the unique opportunity to ‘scrub-in’ on a Temporal Lobectomy brain surgery for a research project, where I administered speech assessment tasks to the client who was awake mid-brain surgery. It was a fascinating experience!

My approach to working with clients is collaborative and client-centered. I strive to create functional goals and materials that are relevant and meaningful to the client’s life and activities. I enjoy working on multi-disciplinary teams, collaborating with rehabilitation professionals, parents, family members, teachers and most importantly the client, to ensure that clients receive the most comprehensive and integrated services.

For leisure I enjoy quality time with my husband, daughter and son, visiting with family and friends, spending time outdoors walking and running, gardening in my vegetable and flower gardens, and reading. I have a passion for food and love trying new flavours.

Jilienne Reusser,M.Cl.Sc.,S-LP(C)
Speech-Language Pathologist

Jilienne Reusser, M.Cl.Sc.I feel very lucky to work as a speech-language pathologist. It is truly a privilege to walk with clients and families and be a part of their lives for a short time as they build or rebuild communication and/or swallowing skills. At Sound Expression, I enjoy working with a variety of client populations differing in age, experience and lifestyle.

I completed my undergraduate degree at The University of Waterloo in Biomedical Science and received my Master of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Western University. I also obtained my Bachelor of Education from Wilfrid Laurier University. I started working at Lear Communication in 2014 and stayed on as part of the team when we became Sound Expression in May 2016. Before working at Lear I worked in acute care at Cambridge Memorial Hospital treating patients with swallowing difficulties.

In addition to my work with Sound Expression, I am employed with Care Partners, working with patients and families in their homes who have experienced a stroke. I enjoy the variety of settings I currently work in, including the office, client’s homes, long-term care homes, hospitals and the community.

I am a member in good standing with The College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO), Speech-Language Audiology Canada (SAC), The Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA) and the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). I am Hanen certified for “It Takes Two to Talk”, a family centred approach to language learning for children. I have completed Level 1 and 2, post-graduate courses in Cognitive-Communication Disorders in addition to a variety of other continuing education courses.

In my time outside of work I enjoy being active and outdoors, having coffee with friends, and spending time with my family!

Mary Hiltz, B.A.
Communicative Disorders Assistant

I am a Communicative Disorders Assistant and a registered member of The Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. I received my undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Developmental Psychology from Carleton University. At Georgian College, I received the Communicative Disorders Assistant post-graduate certificate. I have also taken courses of interest through the University of Waterloo and Cape Breton University. A lifelong learner, I have had the opportunity to learn through volunteer experiences, with both adults and children. My volunteer experiences have helped to shape the person I am professionally and personally, and so I am thrilled to have the role of Volunteer Coordinator at Sound Expression.

Before joining the team at Sound Expression, I worked in Nova Scotia for a few years primarily in the preschool population, gaining much experience in all areas of speech and language development. I have worked on a team that provided rehabilitation for individuals following a stroke and spent a few years as a facilitator of an Aphasia group.

In my free time, I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, enjoy being outside snowshoeing or hiking, reading, and playing piano or guitar. I love to travel, which is how I ended up living in Nova Scotia for the past two years after falling in love with the East Coast on a trip! I am happily home now though, and enjoying spending time with my family and friends. Joining the team at Sound Expression is exciting to me as I look forward to a varied caseload that involves constantly learning and adapting to help each individual reach their functional goals. I strive to help clients feel confident using their strategies while having fun, and feel empowered to reach their goals.

Natalie Melick, M.Cl.Sc.
Speech-Language Pathologist

I am a registered Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). I am also a member of the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA). I studied my Masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western University, and completed my undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in Psychology and Biology. I have experience in the communication disorder areas of voice, stuttering, aphasia, motor speech disorders including Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), transgender voice therapy, augmentative and alternative communication, accent reduction, articulation, preschool and school-aged language, dysphagia, and traumatic brain injury. I enjoy working with all populations of clients, and I have a special interest in working with individuals who have aphasia or motor speech disorders.  I am certified in The Hanen Program’s It Takes Two to Talk (ITTTT) and Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) and have completed Level 1 of PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT). While completing my studies at Western, I assisted research specific to adult neurodegenerative disorders related to speech.

I aim to make assessment and therapy functional and family-centred. Like my colleagues, I have a strong passion for working with people and helping others communicate to the best of their abilities. I am thankful to be invested in a rewarding career that allows me to work with a diverse caseload and make a difference in peoples’ lives.

I currently live in Kitchener, and I am originally from the small town of Kincardine. I enjoy coffee, going for walks, playing hockey, board games, concerts, spending time with my fiancé and friends (and cat), and travelling! While completing my undergraduate degree, I had the pleasure of residing in Spain for 5 months as an International Student. I also have a great love for pets, particularly cats and dogs!