AATH Board of Directors

Mary Kay  


Mary Kay Morrison, CHP
Founder and Director Humor Quest
Author, Educator, Speaker
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, facilitating keynote presentations and workshop sessions for the past 30 years.  She is president of the AATH (Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor) and founded the AATH Humor Academy graduate studies program. She is the 2016 AATH Lifetime Achievement award recipient. Her book, “Using Humor to Maximize Living” is the text for numerous college courses. 
Additional information can be so found on her website.


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.



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.




Laurie Young
Laughter Works
4205 Lake Terrace
Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Laurie Young is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a certified Holistic Health Specialist and an Associate Adjunct Professor for Western Michigan University's Integrative and Holistic Health and Wellness Department where she teaches Health and Humor and Fun...The Brain's Best Learning Strategy.

Laurie and speaking partner Kay Caskey founded Laughter Works from their world headquarters in Decatur, Michigan and have given over 1,000 presentations to hundreds of organizations on the healthy benefits of humor and laughter. They are best known for teaching people how to juggle, a skill that tickles the spirit, grows brain cells, reduces stress and brings smiles to all.

Karyn Buxman  


Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE, CHP
Journal of Nursing Jocularity
1465 C Street, #3318
San Diego, CA  92101 United States
(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!



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 College
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.

Harald Ellingsen  


Harald Eide Ellingsen
Positive Humor
Steinaldervegen 4
Bryne, 4345 NORWAY
47 905 72 102

Harald Eide Ellingsen is our Norwegian board member. Harald is a standup comedian and public speaker about humor. 

His dayjob is within politics, but his heart is in humor.  



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.