Meet Our Staff

Jessica E. Mafera

Jessica is the founder and president of The Pinnacle Group.  Originally from New Jersey, Jessica moved to Florida in 1994 to pursue a degree at Florida Tech. In 2010, she headed even further South to Key West where she enjoys living and working in the close knit community. Jessica has
a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and is a Board Certified 
Behavior Analyst.   She has significant experience in a variety of settings 
working with individuals with autism and other disabilities and has been working with 
this population since 1998.

Christina M. Ramirez-Platt

Christina received her Ph.D. in School Psychology with a specialization in behavioral consultation from the University of Oregon and is a doctoral level board certified behavior analyst. Originally hailing from the northeast, Christina brings almost 20 years of experience providing services to individuals with a range of developmental and behavioral challenges, and their families and educators in the home, school and community settings In particular, Christina enjoys working collaboratively with all caregivers to help provide strong behavioral support for effective and meaningful change. Christina looks forward to further exploring the waters around the keys through fishing, diving, and kayaking. 

Paul Bertolino


Kara Pascucci

Kara has been practicing as a BCBA since 2003. Originally from Massachusetts, 
she graduated from New York University with a degree in Special Education and 
obtained her MSEd in Intensive Special Needs from Simmons College.  Kara 
worked as a clinician at the New England Center for Children, a private school 
for children with Autism and other behavior challenges for 6 years.  In 2008, in 
pursuit of palm trees and sunny weather, Kara moved to the Florida Keys.  She 
has been consulting in the Keys since the beginning of 2010.

Hillary Cassel

Hillary earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2008. She moved to the Florida Keys in 2012 and worked as an elementary school teacher for six years, teaching Kindergarten through third grade, as well as Special Education for Kindergarten through fifth grade. During that time, she earned her Master's degree in Exceptional Student Education with coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is looking forward to working one on one with children with disabilities and making a difference in their lives.

Kiersten Pyrtle

Kiersten received her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and special education from George Mason University in 2018 and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Kiersten moved to Florida from Virginia in 2017. Prior to moving to Florida, Kiersten worked in an early intervention center providing ABA services to children under 5 years old with Autism and other developmental disabilities. She also has experience providing ABA therapy to children with Autism in the home and community settings. As a BCBA, Kiersten hopes to help children and families become empowered through the use of evidence-based strategies and intervention.

Lacey Koch

Lacey Koch, M.Ed.,BCBA
New to the Lower Keys in 2019, Lacey comes from Michigan with an Elementary and Early Childhood Education background. After teaching elementary school, Lacey began working as a Registered Behavior Technician, and then pursued a master’s degree in ABA from Arizona State University. Lacey’s previous experience includes teaching preschool and second grade, followed by several years at an early intervention center for children with Autism. Lacey loves working as a BCBA to help children gain independence in their homes and communities, as well educating others to help create positive, inclusive environments.

Neomi Stella

Helena Waterbury

Kyrstyn Ransom

Savannah Diaz


302 Southhard St Suite 106
Key West, FL 33040

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