top of page

Meet The Leadership Team

ESIS Administrative Team

Ribbon Cutting_edited.jpg

Amber Watkins, EdD, BCBA, LBA 

CEO & Executive Clinical Director​


Dr. Amber Watkins received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She went on to complete her teaching certification from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  She then completed a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  Dr. Watkins then graduated from Wingate University with an Educational Doctorate Degree, with a concentration in Superintendency and Curriculum and Instruction.  Later, she enrolled into Clemson University to pursue her certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Watkins served as a high school teacher, athletic coach, assistant principal and Middle School Principal.  She then served as the Director of the Exceptional Children’s program in Richmond County, NC, for 4 years supporting students, teachers, and parents of children with special needs throughout the school district.  In her final year in public education, Dr. Watkins served as the Executive Director of K-12 policy and Exceptional Children’s Services for Richmond County Schools. 

After serving in public education for 17 years, Dr. Watkins, and her husband, Derrick Watkins, opened their first ABA clinic in December of 2022, serving children with Autism and their families.  In October of 2023, they opened their second clinic, and they are now in the process of opening their third clinic in rural North Carolina. Dr. Watkins has always been passionate about advocating for, and serving children, especially those with special needs in underserved communities. 

As a parent of a child with Autism, Dr. Watkins realized the challenges of raising a child with Autism with minimal support and services, outside of the local school district, which sparked her passion to leave public education to create clinics to serve and support. Dr Watkins and Mr Watkins have two boys, Elias and Derrick, Jr.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to the beach, camping, and doing almost anything with her husband and her boys.

Derrick Watkins, MSA

Co-Owner & Chief Operating Officer

Derrick Watkins received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Elizabeth City State University.  He attended ECSU on a football scholarship.  Derrick also earned a Master’s Degree in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. 

Derrick served 23 years in various roles in Richmond County Schools.  He served as a Business Education teacher, athletic coach, Assistant Principal and Principal. 

Derrick is the co-owner of Early Start Intervention Services, and is dedicated to serving families of children with Autism around the region. 

Derrick is married to Dr. Amber Watkins, and he is the proud father of two sons, Elias and Derrick, Jr.  Elias, Derrick’s youngest son, who has Autism, was the inspiration for opening ESIS, and Derrick continues to be proud of Elias’s progress. Derrick is a classic car enthusiast and he enjoys coaching his son, Derrick, in various sports, and he enjoys helping Elias create videos.  

Nicole Bowles

Program Coordinator for Fox Road & Professional Development Coordinator for ESIS








Nicole Bowles graduated from UNCP in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Birth to Kindergarten Education.  She started her career of working with children in January 2009 as an Educational Specialist at Sandhills Children's Center.  She has been working with children at the teacher and administrative level for almost 15 years.

Nicole is currently in school, working towards an Assistant Behavior Analyst certification, and looks forward to serving clients at ESIS for many more years!  Seeing children grow and progress fills her tank.

In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading, crafting, and spending time with her family and friends.

Chasity Allen

Program Administrator for Long Drive

Chasity Allen has 14 years experience working in school systems in North Carolina and Virginia. Throughout her experience in schools, she worked with the exceptional children's population in both resource and self-contained classrooms.

Chasity is currently enrolled at Mary Baldwin University, pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Autism Studies and Applied Behavior Analysis, where she is pursuing her certification as an Assistant Behavior Analyst. Chasity enjoys working with children, especially children with special needs. She loves being there when they accomplish something for the first time and seeing the proud smiles on their faces. They truly brighten her days and teach her new things everyday.

Chasity has four children, two boys and two girls. They enjoy kayaking and movie nights with snack boards. There is always something going on in her house, but she loves every minute of it!!

Rhonda Watkins

Office Manager, Fox Road Clinic

Rhonda Watkins attended Richmond Community College after graduating from Richmond Senior High School.  She went on to work at Hood Packaging in Hamlet for 23 years. Rhonda enjoys working with children, and has served as a Foster Parent for Alexander Youth Network for the last 14 years.

Rhonda is so thankful for the opportunity to work daily in something she is passionate about, making a difference in the lives of children.   Rhonda is excited about her new career as Office Manager at ESIS. 

Rhonda is the mother of 3 children, the wife of Mr. Timothy Watkins Sr. and she enjoys spending time with my family and friends

ESIS Clinical Supervision Team

Christine Cox, MS, BCBA, LBA

ESIS Clinical Supervisor





Christine Cox attended East Carolina University for undergraduate school where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development with a minor in Psychology. After graduating in 2017, she happened upon an RBT job in Charlotte, NC where she initially fell in love with the field of ABA. After a year in Charlotte, she moved to an ABA company in Pinehurst, NC where she got my Master in Science and obtained her BCBA certification and North Carolina license.

When Christine was a child, her mom volunteered at a shelter for battered women, and Christine would go with her mom to "distract" the kids while their parents discussed options for their future. Ever since, she has always stated that she wanted to work with children in some form. One of her favorite aspects of her job is being able to sit with parents 6 months-1 year after their child starts ABA, and showing the progress the child has made.

Christine says that she is the definition of a social butterfly, so she makes time to go to new places and try new restaurants, and she loves doing this with her family and friends.

Christine started dating my husband at 20 years old as we met through mutual friends at ECU and as of last year, we have a beautiful baby girl!

Katie Aiken, MS, BCBA

ESIS Clinical Supervisor







Katie Aiken received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She  received her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Dayton.

Katie’s career in ABA began in 2019 and she has loved her job working with children with Autism ever since. Katie’s love for working with children started when she was in high school. She would observe special education classrooms and she created bonds with the students in the classroom.

Katie loves spending her free time with her nephew and  going shopping. 

Kalli Hunt, Masters of Psychology- ABA

ESIS Clinical Supervisor in Training







Kalli Hunt received her bachelor's degree in Applied Education with a concentration in Developmental Psychology of Adolescence from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (May 2021). She then went on to graduate with a Master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University (September 2023). Kalli has been working as an Applied Behavior Analysis Technician since July of 2021.

Kalli adores working with children. Her love for working with children has grown into her passion and career. 

On a personal note, Kalli  is from a small community field with farms. She loves waking up in the morning and spending her time watching the cows graze, looking at their crops, and listening to nature… minus the bugs, frogs, and snakes.

bottom of page