Staff Info

The Team!

You hear from us all every day, but it’s about time the brilliant and incredibly witty staff members of Smart Apps for Kids had our own page.

So here it is! C’mon in and meet the staff!
Ron EngleRon Engel is the founder and Grand Poobah of Smart Apps For Kids. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Tulane University, and has worked in public relations for both Tulane and Special Olympics of Louisiana. A native of New Orleans, Ron loves Journey, fried chicken, and horror movies, hates eye exams and fruit, and has a man-crush on Daryl Dixon. He got his first tattoo at 43 as a gift from the SAFK staff. He has a childlike fascination with Disney parks and uses his three children as an excuse to indulge it. Ron does not like the sun and may actually be a vampire, but not a cool one that fights werewolves or anything.
Lisa McCormackLisa McCormack is from Byron Bay, Australia, and once dreamed of being a chef. She is the founder of iHelp SN Kids, and has been instrumental in getting iPads into the hands of special needs children. The idea for iHelp came about after she fundraised for iPads for her own three children who have autism. She loves Prince, hates Justin Bieber, and wishes she could dance. Her grandfather recently gave her his old prosthetic leg to use as an umbrella stand. She hates to have her ears touched (or pierced), but has had her tongue pierced for about 15 years.
Lisa RuddyLisa Ruddy is a Ph.D. student at Queens University Belfast, studying apps that improve communication skills for kids with ASD. She also has degrees in creative writing, drama and English, and loves poetry, music and James Stewart films. She is left-handed, right-footed, and loves men with facial hair. Her hidden talents include doing the splits and assembling flat-pack furniture. She is terrified of butterflies.



Emilie DavisEmilie Davis graduated from Indiana University more years ago than she cares to remember. She holds degrees in English and journalism, and can sing the Greek alphabet. She loves show tunes, animated films and the Beatles, and played both the cymbals and the bass drum in the high school marching band.

She cannot whistle or swim despite repeated lessons in both, and has an irrational fear of the number 13. She is a grammar nazi, and has a rather wide circle of acquaintances who are convicted felons.


Eleanor HollandEleanor Holland, our resident opera singer (no, really), holds a Bachelor of Music, a Graduate Diploma in Music Education, an Associate Diploma of Music in Voice, and a Master of Philosophy. At this point in her life, she is so over studying.

She is also qualified to teach dance, although she never has. She maintains her credentials on the off chance that one day she might have no other job options and will have to teach Flashdance-style choreography to poor, unsuspecting children. She has elbows that bend backwards, an inordinate love for old folk music, and a thing for Jeremy Irons. She loves cheese and rocks, naps and bras, and finds her bellybutton icky. She is directionally challenged.

Heather HetlerHeather Hetler holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication Disorders and works as a Speech-Language Pathologist in an elementary school. Her greatest areas of interest are literacy, language, and autism, and her experience with a family member with Asperger Syndrome has been a huge help to her in her work with SAFK.

Originally from North Dakota, Heather considers herself predictable and boring. She would love to play the piano well, but wants to accomplish this with little or no actual effort on her part. She dreams of running the Boston Marathon and being more organized, and plurals written as possessives make her cringe. She is an obsessive rule-follower and must give herself a pep talk before removing the tags from furniture, pillows and mattresses. A champion multitasker, she is also a wealth of useless information. Her favorite word is exacerbate.


Rachel JonesRachel Jones is a speech language pathologist and a recent graduate of Indiana State University (we’re so proud).

She is a lover of coffee, office supplies, and all things Disney, and is annoyed by toads, bridal shower games, and Christopher Walken. A 6-foot-2-inch girly girl, she sleeps with a teddy bear and owns a ridiculous number of children’s books.

Kelli HoutsKelli Houts, or Princess Buttercup Von Fancypants, as she prefers to be known, is a graduate of the University of Alabama.

She overuses the word “y’all,” would sell her children for bacon, and had her heart broken by our very own Grand Poobah, Ron Engel, when she was in elementary school. Ron begs to differ, but as Kelli wrote this, she is choosing to remember it her way.

Emilie Davis wrote these bios after making everyone fill out one of those ridiculous Facebook questionnaire things that people forward around.