AATH Board of Directors



Mary Kay Morrison, CHP
Humor Quest
322 Canary Drive
Caledonia, IL, 61011-9770 United States

Mary Kay Morrison is an educator who has taught at virtually every level of the educational spectrum. She as been facilitating keynote presentations and workshop sessions for the past 30 years through  her business, Humor Quest. Her work includes integrating what we know about cognitive research to the workplace, in the classroom and for healthy living. In addition to humor and stress management, Mary Kay frequently conducts seminars on brain research, group facilitation, and parenting skills. Mary Kay is founder and director of the AATH Humor Academy. Her book, “Using Humor to Maximize Living” is the text for the HA grad class. She was the AATH 2010 conference chair.  She and her husband Don (also an AATH member) are blessed with 12 grandchildren.



Maia Aziz
With Love and Laughter
1143 34th Avenue
Lasalle, QC H8P 3A1  Canada

For almost 20 years, Maia Aziz has worked as a social worker and administrator in a variety of health and social service establishments. A current pediatric Program Manager at the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Center in Montreal, Maia writes and speaks about how to cope with the inevitable roller-coaster of emotions and daily challenges of being a caregiver, how to collaborate effectively with healthcare professionals and how to never lose sight of what really matters. 




Sporty King
R. King & Associates
7601 Cedar Point Lane
Penthouse 208
Charlotte, NC 28210 United States

Sporty works with people who want to help others feel good about themselves and their contribution to the bottom line. He is a Conference Speaker and former Wall Street Journal executive with an inspirational message for an adult which resonates with young people, inspiring people to understand success while enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills.




Gurinder Bains
Loma Linda University
24951 North Circle Drive
Nichol Hall Room 1809 
Loma Linda, CA, US 92350 United States

Gurinder Singh Bains, MD PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Primary Research Coordinator for the School of Allied Health at Loma Linda University. He has been a co-author in over 25 publications.  He received his PhD from Loma Linda University, MD from Ross University Medical School, and a BSc in Finance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has been involved in research that includes humor/laughter, inflammation, high intensity exercise and weight loss, sleep, blood flow, and back pain.  His PhD dissertation focused on how humor and laughter can enhance short term memory in the elderly.  Dr. Bains has presented at numerous scientific meetings and his research has gained worldwide media attention such as ABC News Worldwide, CNN, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Men's Journal, FOX News, and Huffington Post to name a few.



Karyn Buxman


Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE, CHP
Journal of Nursing Jocularity
5641 La Jolla Hermosa Avenue
La Jolla, CA  92037 United States
c: 858-603-3133 

Karyn Buxman is an international speaker, nurse and author of the What’s So Funny About...? series. Clients range from the Mayo Clinic to the Million Dollar Round Table and they hire Karyn again and again to educate, inspire and entertain. Her mission: To improve global health through laughter and to heal the humor impaired!



Kathy Laurenhue, CHP
Wiser Now, Inc.
7282 55th Avenue E, #144
Bradenton, FL 34203  United States

Kathy Laurenhue calls herself the CEO – Chief Enthusiasm Officer – of Wiser Now, Inc., a multi-media publishing and staff development company that emphasizes well-being in aging. Because research in aging has proven that social connections vastly improve our life satisfaction, in all her work, Kathy seeks to help people connect with one another by having fun together. Her mantra is, “Laughter builds rapport; rapport builds trust, and trust builds relationships.”

Kathy has a master’s degree in instructional technology and an undergraduate degree in English. She is the author of three books, including a companion set on Alzheimer’s disease, and both develops and leads multi-media training related to aging issues. Deeply interested in helping people to have fun keeping their brains active as they age, she has written hundreds of trivia quizzes, word games, discussion topics, and imaginative/reminiscence exercises through publications such as Brain Aerobics Weekly (now available as CDs called Creative Mind Play) and the more than 75 titles for her MindPlay Connections™collection, some of which are also available on CDs. You can learn more at her main website (www.WiserNow.com).



Fr. Paul Moore, M.S., LPC, LMFT

Client Focuesed Counseling
102 E. Sunbridge Dr., Suite
Fayetteville, AR 72703 United States

Fr. Paul Moore is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a National Certified Counselor, as well as an Anglican priest. His psychotherapy practice, Client Focused Counseling, provides counseling and marriage & family therapy to the NW Arkansas region. ​Fr. Moore’s therapeutic approach is a blend of Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Family Systems, Thomistic, and Liberation.

It is Fr. Moore’s hope to assist those experiencing dehumanizing and oppressive stressors find liberation. This can be done through therapy and or advocacy. He accepts persons where they are and walk with them on a therapeutic journey using affirmation and helping persons recognize their intrinsic value and worth.



Melissa Mork, CHP
Chair, Department of Psychology
University of Northwestern Colleg
3003 Snelling Ave. North
St. Paul, MN 55113 United States
c: 651-628-2069

Prior to coming to Northwestern, Melissa Baartman Mork was employed with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Health Services providing psychotherapy and conducting neuropsychological assessments for the UMD Medical School. She currently works part time at a mental health clinic in New Brighton, MN, as part of her ongoing clinical practice. She is married with two children: daughter Piper Zandt and son Samuel Truman.



Nila Nielsen, Ed.D
Heartfelt Humor
19729 Archer Avenue
Omaha, NE 68135 United States

Nila embraces Heartfelt Humor! As the former elementary principal in a school that was referred to by the community as the 'School with Heart', Nila loved to laugh with the kids and staff. Now, her laughter is shared with anyone who will listen, as she motivates and promotes an intentional infusion of humor within daily life.

Retirement has given Nila the freedom to choose and do only those things about which she feels passionate. Thus, she spends as many hours as she can volunteering for AATH. Dr. Nielsen currently serves on the Board of Directors, facilitator of the membership committee and as a co-director of the AATH Humor Academy.



Laurie Young, CHP
Laughter Works
34125 Cr 352
Decatur, MI 49045 United States

Laurie Young is a licensed professional counselor, a Certified Holistic Health Specialist, and a long-time keynote and workshop leader. She has given over 1,000 programs to such diverse groups as the United States Post Office, ESPN, and the highly-stressed members of the Louisiana Counseling Association a year after Katrina. Laurie understands the challenges facing counselors as she worked for over 20 years as a school counselor.

She, along with her LaughterWorks partner Kay Caskey, created several of classes offered through Western Michigan University’s Graduate Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness Program including Health and Humor and The Brain’s Best Learning Strategy: Humor and Fun—a 3-credit class for teachers seeking permanent certification.

She has presented a number of papers for the International Society for Humor Studies in France, Italy, Norway, and Japan. Laurie is a life-long laugher.



Jae Pierce-Baba, CHP
LipShtick Productions
12206 Ridgepoint
Wichita, KS 67235 United States

Jae Pierce-Baba, OTR, Humorologist, is CEO of her own seminar company, LipShtick Productions and a nationally recognized professional speaker, writer and comedienne. As an Occupational Therapist, Jae has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of settings with patients ranging in age from newborns to the elderly.

Her mission in life is to spread the word of the power of therapeutic humor in both our professional and private lives.



Jill Knox, CHP
The Sunny Side
2234 Ivy Road
Oceanside, CA 92054 United States

Jill Knox is highly sought as a speaker and humorist who has, as long as she can remember, incorporated humor in daily living and as a survival tool. As an educator, her use of humor in the classroom led her to a career as a speaker and founder of The Funnyside, providing workshops and keynotes to colleges, school districts, health centers, and women’s groups emphasizing the power of humor at work, play, and daily living.

Jill is a passionate believer in life-long learning and in recent years has enjoyed, but not yet “mastered” playing Steel Pan, and Ukulele.  She is currently continuing her path to enlightenment as a student of The National Peace Academy in order to earn a  Peace Building/Peace Learning Certificate, knowing that humor and laughter are the gateways to a peaceful world.



Kathy Velasco
V2 Marketing Communications
220 East State St., Floor G
Rockford, IL 61104 United States

Prior to founding V2 Marketing in 1995, Kathy held executive marketing and editorial positions at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association in Rockford, IL. Since 1995, she has served as the Managing Director of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, in addition to running the advertising agency.

V2 has been honored with the 2013 Community Volunteer Award by the United Way of Rock River Valley, for our commitment to volunteerism. In 2014, V2 was recognized as the Small Business of the Year by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the 2014 Outstanding Corporation by Association of Fundraising Professionals.