LKN Speech Language Pathology



Marianne Umphlett, Owner of LKN Speech Language Pathology, PLLC employs highly skilled and experienced speech language pathologists who compliment the team and exceed as professionals.

She invites you to meet them below.

Meet Marianne Umphlett

MSP, CCC-SLP and Owner

An ASHA-certified, NC-licensed speech-language pathologist, Marianne Umphlett earned her Masters of Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina and Bachelor of Science of Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University. Marianne has helped children and adults throughout Charlotte and the Lake Norman region and specializes in all types of speech and language therapy including: auditory processing, neurological impairment, speech and voice disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders, apraxia of speech, and swallowing disorders. In addition, she has worked with schools and medical centers including acute care, outpatient and home health settings.

Graduating in 1986, Marianne initially served as a therapist in a nursing home and retirement setting with a focus on swallowing disorders, communication and cognitive disorders related to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. She then worked in hospitals, particularly with stroke, head injury, and head and neck cancer patients in acute and outpatient rehabilitation settings, plus developed inpatient and outpatient satellite programs. In addition, Marianne worked as a regional manager for large contract rehabilitation companies overseeing occupational, physical and speech-language therapists. She later became a clinical consultant ensuring compliance, continuing education and program development.

After marrying her husband Kevin and starting a family, Marianne continued to offer speech therapy on a limited basis so she could enjoy her young children and volunteerism. In 2006, she launched her private practice, providing in-home visits and networking with area speech and language clinicians. She also exceeds ASHA NC licensing board and continuing education requirements. With two children of her own, Marianne personally understands the communication issues of children, as well as the challenges families face. While she respects each child as an individual, she also works closely with parents to develop a collaborative treatment plan that helps children achieve success in the shortest amount of time.

Amy Elder

MA, CCC-SLP and Senior Associate

Amy Elder, MA, CCC-SLP graduated from Ohio University with a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology in 2006 and joined the LKN Speech Language Pathology team in 2016. She specializes in pediatrics and has worked in a variety of settings including public and private schools, home health, and private practice.

Amy is highly experienced and has extensive training related to articulation/phonological disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, expressive and receptive language, augmentative communication, literacy, pragmatics/social communication, gestalt language processing, and Autism.

Amy enjoys working with children of all ages but finds exceptional joy working with young children to help them find their voice. Amy is passionate about parent involvement and training throughout the therapy process and believes this is critical to providing effective speech and language therapy.

Marissa Deddens Larkin


Marissa is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential to communicate and connect with the world around them. She has worked in a variety of pediatric settings, including public schools, multidisciplinary clinics and private practice. Marissa joined the LKN Speech Language Pathology team in September of 2021.

She has worked extensively with preschool age clients targeting articulation and language skills as well as high school students to develop their social language skills, fluency and functional communication using augmentative and alternative communication. In addition, she has helped pediatric clients to improve literacy through enrichment programs for at-risk students in classroom settings. Marissa is experienced in providing therapy for a variety of diagnoses including articulation, language, fluency, literacy, pragmatics, and functional communication.

Lisa Mills


Lisa graduated from the University of South Florida with a master’s degree in speech language pathology in 1997 after graduating from Florida State University with her bachelor’s degree in communication science and Disorders. She is ASHA certified and NC licensed and joined LKN Speech Language Pathology in April of 2024. She specializes in pediatrics and has excelled in her field as both a therapist and clinical supervisor. Before joining LKN Speech Language Pathology she served as a Clinical Specialist for a hospital outpatient rehab for the Cabarrus region. Lisa began her career in Florida working for a pediatric hospital in outpatient rehab and was given specialty training and a seat on the CAPD planning board committee, served as a member of the Craniofacial team, and assisted in radiographic evaluations for velopharyngeal insufficiency. Deciding to take time out of clinical work to raise her children, was a difficult decision, but one she treasures and values as she had the opportunity to spend quality time with her family and grow in empathy and understanding for returning to her field from the perspective of motherhood. She returned to clinical work seven years ago in a local private practice that offered interdisciplinary collaboration with Occupational Therapists and discovered her love for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Lisa’s treatment style is relationship-centered, and she prioritizes creating a place of joy and safety to introduce new ways of communicating and learning. She adapts her approach from a fun-loving play companion with her youngest clients who are learning to speak their first words to a motivational coach and friend to her school-age and adolescent clients who are learning new approaches to reading, spelling, and comprehension. She believes all children need to be seen for their strengths and unique interests and should leave their therapy sessions feeling confident and proud. Lisa has a steadfast dedication to continued self-improvement and growth and continued education across the span of disorders with a sampling of her training including completion of PROMPT training, Oral Placement Therapy with Talk Tools courses, and multimodality cues to expand her treatment skills for articulation/apraxia, Lindamood bell program and phonological manipulation/discrimination training(Words in Noise, Phonemic Synthesis Training program for CAPD, and Floortime therapy Improving Visual and Auditory processing in preschoolers with ASD and is a certified NLA Trained Clinician for autism spectrum and language disorders.

Whitney McFarland


Whitney earned her both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech-language pathology from Western Carolina University in 2010. Whitney holds a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association and is licensed by the NC Board of Examiners for speech language pathology. She is experienced and enjoys working with both pediatrics and adults across the lifespan from young children to older adults. Her impressive career has led her to work in various settings including private practice, early intervention, schools, and skilled nursing facilities. Whitney is skilled in treating a wide variety of diagnoses including articulation, phonological disorders, language delays & disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, autism, fluency, dysphagia, and aphasia.
Whitney is committed to helping clients of all ages become confident communicators. She is passionate about providing empowering and engaging therapy sessions with home exercise and carryover programs to ensure maximum potential is achieved efficiently. As a mother of 3 young children, she brings good experience to the therapy session as both clinician and parent. She understands that parents are a child’s first teachers and that families today are busy and work-life balance is important.

She is dedicated to continuing her education in the latest developments in the field to further her professional knowledge base and growth. Whitney believes in the importance of individualized treatment plans, multidisciplinary collaboration, and creating opportunities for success.

Emily Maher


Emily graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York with a master’s degree in communication sciences and Disorders in 2006 and received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Nazareth University in Rochester, New York in 2004. Emily joined the LKN Speech Pathology team in 2023 on a part-time basis while she continues to work for Cabarrus County Schools as a lead speech-language pathologist. She has also worked in Massachusetts for UP Education Network and has worked in private practice, home health, and nursing homes.

Emily enjoys working with children of all ages but especially enjoys working with older children on language and comprehension skills. In addition, she has a passion for fluency disorders and building up children’s confidence in their communication. Other areas of expertise include hearing impairment and pragmatics/social communications. With over 17 years of experience Emily brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team!

Kaitlyn Kimrey Miller


Kaitlyn joined LKN Speech-Language Pathology in 2014 as a speech-language pathologist. Prior to earning her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders from East Carolina University, Kaitlyn graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, receiving the honors of summa cum laude and valedictorian of Communication Disorders. A certified elementary and exceptional children’s teacher for grades K-6, she speaks fluent Spanish.

Skilled at working with patients of all ages, Kaitlyn completed her internships at Avante Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Wilkesboro, NC; Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Elkin, NC, Bridges School in State Road, NC; and Therapy Source in Hickory, NC. She is CPR-certified through the American Heart Association.

Diane Drakulic


With a Masters of Communication Disorders in Speech Pathology from the University of Akron, Ohio and Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Miami University of Ohio, Diane joined our team in 2013. She currently works as a speech-language pathologist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, providing augmentative communication evaluations and treatment to non-verbal preschool and school-age students.

Diane formerly worked as a speech-language pathologist at Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation with specialty in head trauma, stroke, feeding and swallowing disorders, fluency, voice and language. She also served as a communication specialist for St. Mark’s Inc. of Charlotte and as a speech-language pathologist for Perry Local Schools in Ohio. Her professional affiliations include the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and North Carolina Augmentative Communication Association (NCACA).