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Board of Directors

Leading Us Forward

Through the leadership of our previous board members, FSBPT has developed a firm foundation for the future. Today, our board of directors helps provide the overall direction and continued growth for FSBPT.

Our CEO and board of directors consist of diverse, dedicated professionals who bring a range of insights and perspectives. They include educators, practitioners, state licensure board members, and a public representative.


David Relling

David Relling, PT, PhD, North Dakota

David Relling, PT, PhD, is Associate Dean for Health Sciences and Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He chaired the UND department of physical therapy from 2014-2021 and has practiced in a variety of settings including acute care, orthopedics, and long-term care. Dave was appointed to the North Dakota Board of Physical Therapy in 2010 and completed his second term on the board in 2020. He served as President of the ND Board from 2014 to 2016. Dave is a member of the state association and the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dave began his involvement with FSBPT in 2005 as an item writer and has served as a member and then co-chair of the NPTE Exam Development Committee for physical therapists. He was inducted into the Academy of Advanced Item Writers in 2010.

Michele Thorman

Michele Thorman, PT, DPT, MBA, Wisconsin
Vice President

Michele Thorman, PT, DPT, MBA, is a Clinical Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Physical Therapy Program. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (PT), Cardinal Stritch University (MBA), and Temple University (DPT). Her passion for the Physical Therapy profession is grounded by perspectives gained from her previous employment experiences as a clinician, administrator, and educator. Clinical interests include geriatric rehabilitation, education, and wellness in cancer survivorship. Michele served as program director of the University of WI- La Crosse (UWL) Physical Therapy Program and as a member of the UWL Foundation Board of Directors prior to her retirement in 2019.

Michele has been privileged to serve the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy since 2009 as a member and later as chair of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Examining Board. She has chaired the Continuing Competence Committee and served on the Sexual Misconduct and Boundaries Committee. She was honored to present at the International Network of Physiotherapy Regulatory Authorities (INPTRA) in Geneva, Switzerland (2019). Michele is a humble recipient of the President’s Award (2018). She served as president of APTA-WI. Michele is now honored to serve as vice president on the FSBPT’s Board of Directors.

Cynthia Potter

Cynthia Potter, PT, MS, DPT, CEEAA, FAAIDD, Pennsylvania

Cynthia Potter, PT, MS, DPT, CEEAA, FAAIDD, currently serves as the Chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy. She is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatrics and her clinical work has focused on children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many different practice settings, including owning a private practice for eleven years. She has been a faculty member at Slippery Rock University, Duquesne University, and Robert Morris University. She earned a BS in biology and English writing from Allegheny College, an MS in health-related professions (developmental disabilities track) and a Certificate in Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Slippery Rock University.

She has been involved with FSBPT for more than fifteen years in multiple capacities, including serving as an item writer for the NPTE and jurisprudence exams and she was named to the Academy of Advanced Item Writers. FSBPT committee and task force service includes the Education Committee, serving as chair from 2019 to 2021; Exam Development Committee; Practice Analysis Oversight Committee; Continuing Competence Committee; Membership Survey Task Force; the Exam Licensure, and Disciplinary Database Task Force; and the Excellence in Regulation Committee. She received the Outstanding Service Award in 2011 and 2015. She has been active in the American Physical Therapy Association since she was a student and received the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Service Award and Humanitarian Award.

Ruggie Canizares

Ruggie Canizares PT, MS, MBA, CMPT, Oregon

Ruggiero (Ruggie) S. Canizares, PT, MS, MBA, CMPT, received his PT degree from University of Santo Tomas, his Master's in Exercise Physiology from Southern Connecticut State University, his Master's in Business Administration from Northwest Christian University (MBA Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society), and his Certified Manual Physical Therapist (CMPT – certified “with distinction”) from The North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. Ruggie practiced in various clinical settings including acute care, in-patient rehabilitation, nursing home and long-term care, and in-school pediatrics. He currently owns a private practice that has been operational since 2008 and also works per diem as a Home Health Physical Therapist in a local regional hospital.

In 2011, Ruggie was appointed to the Oregon Physical Therapy Licensing Board and completed his second four-year term in 2019. Ruggie served as Board Vice-chair from 2014 to 2018, and as Board Chair from 2018 to 2019. He has been actively involved with FSBPT since 2014 as a delegate/alternate delegate and served two terms on the Finance Committee. Elected in October 2018, Ruggie is currently serving his second term as FSBPT Treasurer. Ruggie continues his active role in regulation and public protection by serving as a public member and Vice President on the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board.

Ellen Donald

Ellen Kroog Donald, PT PhD, Florida

Ellen Donald, PT, PhD, earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Boston University in 1985, and a Master of Science in Adult Education from Syracuse University in 1995. In 2016, she earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Measurement and Research from the University of South Florida. She is the Program Director for the Golisano Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (GIDDI) at Florida Gulf Coast University as well as being a member of the Faculty. Prior to her positions at Florida Gulf Coast University, she was Director of Clinical Education for the Physical Therapy Program at the University at Buffalo. Her clinical expertise is in pediatric physical therapy, and she is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Ellen has volunteered with the FSBPT since 1999 in multiple roles, including serving as an item writer, Chair of the Item Bank review committee, and member of the Finance committee. She received the FSBPT Outstanding Service Award in 2013. In 2017, Ellen was appointed to the Florida Board of Physical Therapy and continues to actively serve in that role.

Steven Scherger

Steven J Scherger, PT, Minnesota

Steven Scherger earned his bachelor of science in physical therapy from Ohio University in 1994. Throughout his career, he has continued to pursue ongoing education and professional development becoming a certified McKenzie Therapist and specializing in Spine care.

Currently serving as the Regional Manager for Courage Kenny Sports and Physical Therapy in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Steven has assumed a pivotal role in overseeing a region renowned for its excellence in physical therapy services. His work with Courage Kenny as well as with the Allina Health Neuroscience and Pain program where he is the lead Physical therapist, allows him to work on facilitation of best practices in spine care and process improvement. Steven has brought innovative solutions to patient care and operational efficiency, ensuring top-tier services for those in need.

In 2015, he was appointed to the Minnesota Board of Physical Therapy, showcasing his passion for public protection. His dedication and expertise led to his reappointments in 2019 and again in 2023.

Steven’s role on the Minnesota Board of Physical Therapy has evolved, culminating in his current position as the President of the board, a role he continues to fulfill with diligence and leadership. His responsibilities include spearheading initiatives to safeguard patient well-being and promote ethical practice within the state.

In addition to his local involvement, Steven Scherger has given his time and expertise to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Over six years of service on the Finance Committee, he has played a role in ensuring the organization's financial stability. He has also been an active member of the re-entry task force and the Ethics and Legislation Committee, contributing to the development and refinement of critical policies and guidelines.

Michelle Sigmund-Gaines

Michelle Sigmund-Gaines, Oregon

Michelle Sigmund-Gaines is the Executive Director of the Oregon Board of Physical Therapy. She has been serving in that role since late 2017 and has held leadership roles in healthcare regulation in Oregon since 2008. Michelle has over thirty years of experience in organizational governance, information technology management, and instructional design and has a passion for public service and education. In addition to healthcare regulation, she has worked in a variety of sectors, including government, transportation, retail, K12, and higher education.

Michelle has been volunteering with FSBPT since 2018 and has had the honor of serving in multiple roles, including as a member of the Education and Ethics & Legislation Committees, the Board Assessment Task Force, and as member and Chair of the Council of Board Administrators (CBA).

Michelle received the FSBPT Outstanding Service Award in 2020 and the President’s Award in 2021.

Charles Reiter

Charles E. Reiter, III, JD, Illinois 
Public Member

Charles E. Reiter, III, JD, is a practicing attorney in Chicago and founding member of Reiter Burns, LLP. He has served as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary of the Loyola University Health System and the Loyola University Physician Foundation and was Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary of Palos Health, a community hospital. He has also served as a director and board chair of captive insurance companies underwriting medical risks. Since receiving his Illinois attorney license in 1981, he has concentrated his practice of law in health-related areas including medical staff matters, mediation, contracting, compliance, litigation and complex transactions, including developing structures in response to the many challenges posed by health reform.

His pro bono work includes establishing the Loyola Children’s Center at Maybrook to provide free daycare, books, meals, social services, referrals and medical screenings to children whose parents had business in the courthouse but no daycare; establishing the Felony Mental Health Court at Bridgeview to provide mental health services in a non-custodial setting; Chair Emeritus of the Board, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding Center - Equine assisted therapies for people with special needs including children, military veterans and Gold Star families; and Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC) - Hearing Board Appointment, March 1, 2006, to March 1, 2012, and Oversight Committee Appointment, March 1, 2006, to the present.

Reiter is a graduate of Boston University and the University of Miami School of Law. He is admitted to practice in the state and federal (trial bar) courts in Illinois.

William Hatherill

William A. Hatherill 
Chief Executive Officer

William Hatherill has over thirty years of experience in health care strategy and management and has spent more than twenty years as the CEO of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. His broad and deep experience includes expertise in organizational design and management, feasibility analyses, and operations, enabling companies to improve their productivity, quality, and competitiveness. Prior to joining FSBPT, Bill held executive positions, including president and corporate operations officer, in a variety of organizations; Texas Tech University Health Science Center, American Medical International, Republic HealthCorp, and St. Paul HealthCorp. Bill has also enjoyed a successful consulting career.