402-933-2882 info@zierinstitute.com


Larry M. Zier, OTD, OTR/L
Some describe their work as a calling, an unexplainable pull to a particular field of interest, or at the very least, an overwhelming desire to make a difference. For Larry, it happened well into a career in business. Its impact was so great that he changed careers, returning to school to work with children in an area that is little understood and certainly underserved.

Larry Zier, OTD, OTR/L, earned his clinical doctorate degree from Creighton University. He has received training in the areas of sensory integration, the DIR/Floortime approach, and therapeutic listening, and holds a Profectum DIR certification. Larry was inspired to become an occupational therapist to create a more relationship-based option for parents and have an opportunity to offer an alternative to power and control.

His passion is working with children and helping them to achieve their highest potential physically, emotionally, and socially. His approach is to treat each child as an individual, always keeping in mind their unique strengths and differences. He strongly believes in the role of family involvement, as well as collaboration with caregivers, teachers, and other professionals, as integral to a child’s growth and overall success. Larry enjoys work on all aspects of family and child development – motor system, sensory system, emotion system, and then tying them all together in dynamic experiences.

Larry and his wife, Peggy are from Omaha, NE, and have four children. Along with his family, he enjoys running, biking, yoga, boxing, and anything that will get him outside. If he wasn’t an OT, we’d probably find Larry restoring wooden boats in Michigan.

envelope   Larry M. Zier, OTD, OTR/L


Stephanie Young, OTD, OTR/L
Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy at Creighton University. Stephanie is trained in the areas of Bowen Family Systems, DIR/Floortime, DIR Profectum Level 1 Certification, Adolescent Emotional Development, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. 

Stephanie, along with the Zier Institute, has developed a program for teenagers for understanding emotional intelligence and its power to transform learning and relationships. This new program called “Compass” helps to transform teens’ lives. Compass equips young adults with the internal tools they need to navigate this essential period in their lives – all in a safe, engaging environment.

Inspired to become an OT by Larry Zier’s work and the importance of social-emotional development. Stephanie is rewarded by how OTs can support this area of human growth. As a lifelong learner, she learns from her clients each day as she builds relationships and connections with families and kids of all ages. She enjoys Zier Institue’s welcoming and laid-back nature. Families are comfortable when they walk in the door and that is important to her as a therapist at Zier Institute. Superhero Stephanie would possess a confidence that never wavers – she has us fooled because all we see is a confident leader and excellent OT!

Stephanie grew up in Minnesota with a large extended family that helped shape her interest in family systems. She spent most of her free time on missions to Guatemala, Mexico, Texas, and rural Minnesota towns. While in college she honed her leadership and relationship skills in Greek life and volunteering time to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Today, she enjoys running, biking, baking, exploring Omaha, and traveling to see family and friends.

envelope   Stephanie Young, OTD, OTR/L


Emilee Hunter-Maguire, OTD, OTR/L
Emilee was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and moved to Omaha to attend Creighton University in 2010. Emilee earned her bachelor’s degree of psychology in 2014, worked for Creighton Campus Ministry and towards her Master’s of Theology in 2015, and graduated from Creighton’s Occupational Therapy program in 2018–a true blue jay! She also holds a Profectum DIR/Floortime level 1 certification. Prior to coming to Zier Institute, Emilee worked with Amy Zier + Associates abroad in Italy.

Emilee is (almost) a 300hr certified yoga instructor, certified in Children’s yoga, and has completed seminar I of John Barnes’ myofascial release training. She teaches yoga in the Omaha area. Her specific areas of research include animal-assisted therapy, time management skills, and a case study where yoga was used as the primary intervention in a child with anxiety. Emilee incorporates several principles of yoga into most of her OT sessions with clients at the Zier Institute.

In her work as an OT at Zier Institute, she’s inspired by meeting people where they’re at and joining them in building a better life, whatever that means for them! Emilee thrives in Zier Institute’s clinic environment as it’s a space for everybody–kids and adults alike. She also thinks she has the best co-workers in the world. Right back at you, Emilee

Emilee enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, Zeus. She also enjoys reading, cooking, playing games (board games and cards are her favorites!), and soaking up the sun with 50+ SPF!

envelope   Emilee Hunter-Maguire, OTD, OTR/L


Theresa Kennelly, OTD, OTR/L

Theresa is an Omaha native with a love for the Huskers and Bluejays! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming a teacher but discovered occupational therapy after working with a child with Autism and later experiencing OT in its purest form on a mission trip to Uganda. While on this trip, Theresa had the very unique and rare opportunity to shadow an occupational therapist at a local orphanage. It was from this occupational therapist that she learned how authentic this field was. This OT used the very few supplies he had along with sticks and wood to make walkers and supportive seating for children, among many other therapeutic interventions. Seeing how effective OT was in its most simplistic and raw form convinced Theresa then and there that this was the field for her. Theresa graduated Creighton with her bachelor’s degree in Social Work and her doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy in 2020.
Theresa joined Zier Institute team as an OT student to learn about the DIR/Floortime™ model and discovered the power of relating with children through play and understanding the integral components that uniquely make up each child. Upon graduation, she stayed on at Zier Institute as a licensed OT. Using this model, she continues to find meaning through honoring the child’s individual self and building relationships with the children and families she works with. For Theresa, the greatest thing about occupational therapy is that that it serves a function to people of all ages. Every person participates in daily occupations and OTs get to help people from all walks of life learn how to participate in roles and occupations that are meaningful to them.
In her free time, you will likely find Theresa playing with her two big dogs (Ella and Wrigley), coaching volleyball or playing sand volleyball, reading books, or playing board games with friends or family (her current favorite is Ticket to Ride)! Given her choice of superpowers, Theresa would choose time travel but we hope she’d stay here with us!


Lainey Russell, OTD, OTR/L

Lainey earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and health science at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She continued her education at Nebraska Methodist College, receiving a Masters of Occupational Therapy. Lainey was introduced to Zier Institute, DIR/Floortime, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy as a fieldwork student for 6 months before joining the team.
Lainey originally discovered occupational therapy after her grandpa suffered a mild stroke. The care the family received reshaped her educational aspirations as Lainey experienced how occupational therapy supports clients’ growth and goals. Lainey enjoys supporting a variety of clients at Zier Institute through one on one sessions and social groups. Lainey loves seeing client’s excitement and ideas come to life. The clinic’s energy and environment feel unique in that it balances novelty and variety while also feeling like a safe and comfortable place to grow and explore. 
Outside of her time at the clinic, Lainey spends time with family and friends, traveling, live music, teaching fitness classes, and playing card games/board games. Lainey has so many cities she wants to visit, she wishes for the ability to teleport herself around the world!


Kayla Peck, OTD, OTR/L

Kayla was born and raised in Omaha, only a few blocks away from Creighton, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and continued to complete her clinical doctorate of occupational therapy. Kayla grew up familiar with the field of occupational therapy with an occupational therapist mother and physical therapist father. She knew she wanted to go into one of these fields, but it was not until she discovered the DIR/Floortime model of Zier Institute that she settled on occupational therapy.

Kayla spent many years as a competitive gymnast. She found a way to integrate her love of gymnastics with occupational therapy as the director of a program at her gym for kids with special needs. This is where Kayla was able to see the impact of full-body movement on the sensory system, and she realized this was where she wanted to focus her practice. She continues to use the knowledge she gained during this time in her occupational therapy practice as she loves to incorporate gymnastics moves into her sessions to impact the sensory systems.

When she’s not at the clinic, Kayla enjoys reading books, playing chess, going for walks, spending time outside, eating ice cream, and playing with her dog, Luna.



Michael Abraham
Your Tech Therapist
Michael is the owner of Your Tech Therapist and has been doing technical support for small businesses and individuals since 2010. Michael regularly supports Zier Institute by fixing technical issues, optimizing technical workflow, offering training, and much more.

Due to the way Michael has built Your Tech Therapist he is able to offer support for many others across the Omaha area and is always interested in meeting new clients who may be in need of Michael’s services.

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