MEET OUR TEAM
Founder & Executive Director
Since February 27, 1992, former Brisbane-ite Amanda Boxtel has dreamed of walking again. On that fateful date, a freak skiing accident in Aspen-Snowmass, Colorado rendered her with a permanent spinal cord injury from the pelvis down. She has since been involved in community and outreach projects that aim to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities in the United States. Amanda is the founding Executive Director for the Bridging Bionics Foundation, demonstrating how bionic exoskeleton technology has a positive impact on the quality of life. Amanda showcased the first partially 3D printed exoskeleton in the world for Singularity University’s European Summit in Budapest, Hungary, and then again at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. In November 2014 Amanda presented her forwarding thinking ideas about neuro-rehabilitation and humanizing technology at TEDCity2.0 in Chengdu China.
Amanda was the first person in the United States to own an EksoTM bionic exoskeleton suit manufactured by Ekso Bionics, which she acquired in June 2013. She has since donated her exoskeleton to the Bridging Bionics Foundation for use in the Aspen Community to help others who are paralyzed walk. She has walked in four bionic exoskeleton suits from different manufacturers around the world including Ekso, ReWalk, Indigo, and a prototype from Bionik Labs in Canada. Her goal is to test pilot as many exoskeletons available in the market today to expand her experience and knowledge so she can speak to audiences from an authentic stance. She lives with her golden retriever, Benson, in Basalt near Aspen, Colorado.
Amanda can be contacted by her email at Amanda@bridgingbionics.org.
Founder & Executive Director
Rebecca Harrell started as a dedicated volunteer with the Bridging Bionics Foundation in November 2015. Now, as the Bridging Bionics Foundation’s Financial Manager, she embraces the opportunity to use her many years of experience in administrative support and accounting. Rebecca’s ongoing passion for supporting others with life-challenging events originally blossomed from her work as a practicing licensed hypnotherapist. Working with the clients at Bridging Bionics is a natural transition for her, allowing Rebecca to fulfill her lifelong passion of helping others when they need it most.
Rebecca is not your average Financial Manager. As a seasoned accounting and administrative professional, her attention to detail, determination, and skill set make her the perfect addition to the Bridging Bionics Foundation’s staff. Rebecca relies on her strong work ethic and hands-on approach to excel at working behind the scenes to make things happen. With her support, Bridging Bionics can grow and continue to inspire clients to focus on their wellbeing.
She feels honored to be a part of such a unique, dynamic, and important non-profit organization and has a strong devotion to the continued success of Bridging Bionics Foundation.
Rebecca can be contacted by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Colorado native, Ryan has worked for over 20 years in journalism, communications and content. He has been the managing editor of several national magazines, including Leading Edge, AAHA Trends, and AgileVox, among others. Additionally, Ryan has worked for several years producing and planning video projects for events and campaigns both domestic and international.
Ryan’s background in nonprofit communications and community engagement led him to Bridging Bionics, where he brings his passion for developing projects that directly and holistically affect people who benefit from them, and a belief that meeting people where they are at is the beginning of a wonderful journey.
Aside from work, Ryan loves being with his family of five, writing comedy and playing music. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Zander works with Bridging Bionics as a Consultant. Raised in the Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, Zander earned a B.S. from Colorado State University. He worked in Resource Management for the U.S. Forest Service and then served as Content and Database Manager for Interactive Outdoors, a publisher of online recreation guides.
Zander has helped direct the fundraising efforts of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for the past 16 years. He has taught alpine and adaptive skiing for Aspen Skiing Company/Challenge Aspen for more than 20 years, building a ski school client base that includes many Bridging Bionics participants. Zander has served on boards and volunteers in fundraising for several Aspen area non-profits. He lives in Basalt, Colorado and loves recreating in the outdoors.
Program Therapists & Trainers
MSPT, Physical Therapist
Tami Cassetty graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Physical Therapy in 1991 after completing an undergraduate degree in Physiology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has practiced physical therapy for 25 years in a variety of settings including rehabilitation, home health care, outpatient settings, and acute care. She loves working with Able Bionics USA and Bridging Bionics Foundation and feels so honored to be part of the program.
Tami has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for over 15 years with her family. When not working, she loves to hike, ski, play tennis, listen to music, and get involved with community activities.
Tami Cassetty, MSPT
Physical Therapist & Clinical Coordinator
Maria is a Swedish native who graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Lund, Sweden in 2003. In 2010, she completed a 30 credit higher education course in Sports Medicine at Linnaeus University of Kalmar, Sweden.
Maria has experience with inpatient and outpatient pediatric, cardiac rehabilitation, and orthopedics. Additionally, she has further education in Medical Training Therapy (MMT) for back and neck, Muscle Energy Technique (MET) for the cervical spine and thoracic outlet, Orthopedic Manual Therapy (OMT) for spine and extremities, Kinesio taping (KT1 and KT2), McKenzie method (A and B), and Functional Dry Needling (Level 1 and Clinical Integration). She is also a certified specialist in the Keeogo Dermoskeleton, Ekso exoskeleton (Level 1 and Level 2), and a Level 2 specialist and trainer in the Indego exoskeleton with “Clinic” and “Personal” emphasis.
After working at Bridging Bionics since the beginning of the program in 2015, Maria has deepened her understanding and knowledge of how to help clients to regain function, relearn to walk and improve their quality of life. She strongly believes that technologies such as whole-body vibration and exoskeletons, and the model Bridging Bionics uses, are powerful combinations to regain and maintain mobility for people with neurological impairments. To see how results from training empower clients to reach their optimal level of activity, whether it is in daily living or sports, is a reward and ignites her passion and love for the program.
Maria lives in Basalt, CO with her husband and two boys. She enjoys being active in the beautiful outdoors, especially when biking, running, or skiing.
Maria Grufstedt, PT
Kenzi L. Pizzino
DPT, Physical Therapist
Prior to receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2013 from the University of Miami, Kenzi spent her undergraduate years at Colorado State University where she earned her degree in Health and Exercise Science. For the past six years, she has worked mainly with the orthopedic population in outpatient therapy. Kenzi has earned her Level 1 and Level 2 Ekso GT certifications from Ekso Bionics. She also has continuing education in the Maitland approach for spinal mobilization, Muscle Energy Technique (MET), Spontaneous Muscle Relaxation Technique (SMRT), and Kinesio taping.
Having always possessed an interest in assisting with the aid and recovery of those neurologically-involved, she is excited to be on this journey with Bridging Bionics and is extremely moved by the opportunity to be a part of something so transformative. With the utmost enthusiasm, she looks forward to working along-side these courageous and determined clients to share in their triumphs, and to be a part of the future strides and advancements Bridging Bionics is generating with remarkable technology.
Kenzi and her husband, Josh, live in Rifle CO with their two children, Joshua Jr. and Cass, and Sandy and Simba the loyal family dogs. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family; going on bike rides or hikes, playing in the snow, camping, or simply doing yard-work.
Kenzi L. Pizzino, DPT
Physical Therapist & Program Scheduling Coordinator
MSPT & Physical Therapist
For the majority of her Physical Therapy career, Debbie has worked with neurologically-involved and geriatric clients. She has always loved addressing the mobility limits of her patients and problem solving how to help them move and function optimally. Her passions are with neuroplasticity and aqua therapy. In October of 2015, Debbie took the opportunity to learn something new and serve her community in a different way by training as one of the physical therapists for the Bridging Bionics Foundation. She has gained certification as a specialist in the Keeogo Dermoskeleton, Ekso exoskeleton (Level 1 and Level 2), and a Level 2 specialist and trainer in the Indego exoskeleton. She is excited about the possibilities for advancing mobility for injured and neurologically impaired clients as technology and therapist’s skills continue to progress.
Debbie has lived and played in the Roaring Fork Valley for over 20 years and makes her home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado with her husband and two children.
Debbie Weidemann, MSPT
Program Trainer / PT Aide
Hanna recently graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a B.S. in Kinesiology- Exercise Science. There, she was a part of the division one cycling team where she competed in both road and mountain disciplines. During her senior year, Hanna was an Athletic Training Intern where she worked with athletes of the cycling, rugby, rodeo, soccer, and other sports teams. It was here that she developed an immense passion for rehabilitation and supporting others through injury and disease.
Hanna is thrilled to be on the Bridging Bionics Team to learn from the Physical Therapists, the advanced technology, and each client she has the privilege to work with. Since high school, Hanna has thoroughly enjoyed working with individuals with disabilities and she is excited to expand that to the neurologically-involved. Here, she will learn how to problem-solve and develop innovative ideas through the cutting edge technology at Bridging Bionics. Hanna is striving to be a vital role for individuals on their road to recovery and improving their quality of life. Bridging Bionics will be an amazing stepping stone for her as she prepares to apply to Physical Therapy School.
Hanna was born and raised in North-Central Wisconsin however she calls Colorado her second home. In her free time, Hanna is outdoors riding her bike, shredding the slopes, or relaxing on the Colorado River attempting her best to fly fish!
Matthew is the founder of NeuroNotes Music Therapy Services from Colton, OR. He received his education in Music Therapy at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. and has been certified in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). While completing his undergraduate program he was able to study at Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Cambridge, MA; utilizing NMT techniques while working with patients who had been diagnosed with TBI, ABI, Strokes, Parkinson’s Disease, and other neurologic disorders. Matthew has also had the opportunity to work with individuals who have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, Development Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Early Intervention/Pediatric groups as well. He is very thankful for the opportunity to work at Bridging Bionics Foundation, to work with such an amazing team, and to be a part of the rehab process for the clients. When he is not practicing NMT, Matthew is the band leader for the Oregon based Aspen Meadow Band, he enjoys woodworking, hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.
Neurologic Music Therapist
Birgit Shinneman, PT
Birgit graduated from Physical Therapy School in Germany in 1991. She has practiced physical therapy for 30 years in Germany, New Zealand and the US, working for Denver Health (Level 1 Trauma Hospital) for the majority of the time. Birgit was the Outpatient Lead Physical Therapist at Denver Health and ran their neurological clinic. She is a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (Maitland) and is certified in Triggerpoint Dry Needling. Birgit has a passion for working with neurologically impaired patients, and feels very honored to be part of the team at Bridging Bionics.
Birgit relocated to Snowmass Village, CO with her husband in the winter of 2021. She loves to telemark ski, mountain bike and travel.