Meet the Staff2018-11-16T05:20:33+00:00

Braintrust Behavioral Health

Meet Our Team

Zach Dugger, MA, BCBA, LLP

CEO, Owner

Meet Zach Dugger, the founder of Braintrust Behavioral Health. Zach originally hails from from Midland, MI. He obtained his Masters of Arts in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University and is currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, as well as a Limited Licensed Psychologist. While at WMU, Zach got his start in the world of early intervention with children with autism. He has 13 years of experience in Human Services ranging from working with individuals with traumatic brain injury and being a case manager to working with children diagnosed with ASD at WoodsEdge Learning Center (previously known as Croyden Avenue School).

One thing Zach is passionate about is the ability to help others. In 2013 Zach was contacted by a local autism coordinator who informed him about the need for services in the area. Through his faith in God and with the guidance and support of his friends and family, he made the decision to start Braintrust Behavioral Health. Zach has steadily sought out where there may be a need for additional providers in the surrounding communities and has added contracts with eight counties over the past two years. He plans to continue to work to provide quality services in the state of Michigan, with hopes of expanding to other areas in need.

Steve Donatelli


Meet Steve Donatelli. Steve is originally from Midland, MI however life has led him to be living in Denver, Colorado. Steve is very passionate about work. He likes the feeling of being able to help people and make a difference. His favorite part of the job is helping families and employees better their lives.  Also, Steve is a pretty big hockey nut!

Steve currently is Braintrust’s current Chief Operating Officer. He currently holds degrees in Entrepreneurship, Business Management, and Hotel, Resort and, Restaurant Management. With Braintrust, Steve is on the Admin side of things, however he has immense respect for our Behavior Technicians. He reports on them being some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people he has had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

As COO, Steve helps write policies and helps provide our techs with all of the resources they need to help better serve the children and families that we work for. He plans to hire more techs to help stimulate growth so we can help more individuals. Although he typically carries a full schedule, Steve has plans (time permitting) to become a hockey coach or a coach for his local Special Olympics.

Dana Pellegrino, MA, BCBA

Clinical Director

Dana received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Western Michigan University and is currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis through the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. During graduate school at Western, Dana assisted with starting the Kalamazoo Autism Center under the guidance of Dr. Richard Malott, BCBA-D. There she gained experience with early intervention for children with autism.

After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles, California, to work on her Ph. D. and also to work full time as an ABA Supervisor, overseeing programs in the home, school, and community settings. After two years in California, Dana obtained an Associate Director position in Sacramento, California, for an in-home autism agency, where she obtained more experience in managing employees. Dana also assisted with starting an in-home autism agency based out of Arizona, but longed to be back in Kalamazoo. She pursued this ambition and was fortunate enough to find a position as an ABA Supervisor with Braintrust. After one year, Dana was promoted to Clinical Director.

Dana’s professional interests include employee training, parent education, and treatment for challenging behaviors.

Marissa Allen, MS, BCBA

Assistant Clinical Director

Marissa received her Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in Psychology in 2007 and her Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University in Behavior Analysis & Therapy in 2012. She has experience in working with children and adults with disabilities and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Marissa was an Educational Coordinator at Melmark New England, in Andover, Massachusetts, where she designed and implemented treatments for children with severe problem behavior.

Marissa subsequently provided consultation for families and individuals with TBI. Marissa is currently a doctoral student in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Braintrust Behavioral Health. At Braintrust she currently provides supervision and training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for staff who work with children with autism.

Marissa’s research interests include choice assessment and treatment of problem behavior, ethical issues in practice, and developing ways to improve treatment integrity with staff and other care-givers.