Niel Visser, PT, DPT
Niel Visser was born and raised in South Africa. From a young age he was passionate about sports, and excelled in rugby, track and field, tennis and surfing. His love of sports, and a sustained back injury, would introduce him to physical therapy and lead him to pursue it as a career. After two years in the military and a gap year in Europe, Niel enrolled at the University of Stellenbosch, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. Seizing an opportunity to work and travel, Niel came to the USA in 1995, and worked in various settings across the country as a PRN therapist. He gained experience working in in-patient rehab facilities, acute/sub-acute care, nursing homes, home health, outpatient orthopedics, sports medicine and work hardening. In 1999 Niel took a position in Spartanburg and became the clinical area coordinator overseeing four outpatient facilities. He co-founded Advanced Therapy Solutions, Inc. in April of 2003 and, with his business partner, Dillen Hartley, has seen their business grow from one clinic and two staff members to 5 locations and 50 employees. Niel received the Butch Buchanan Award for Clinical Excellence from SCAPTA in 2007, in recognition of his contributions and outstanding performance in the practice of physical therapy. In 2014 Niel completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy with emphasis on Executive Practice Management through Evidence In Motion. He and his team also received the Faculty Favorite Award in the Business Plan Competition. Niel has a special interest in treating spine patients pre- and post-operatively, as well as sports injuries. He enjoys staying up to date on the latest therapy related research. When he is not at work, Niel enjoys playing racquetball, hanging out with family and friends, and following his favorite sports teams.
Shellye Godfrey, OTR/L, CHT
Shellye Godfrey, Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist, joined the ATS team in 2008. After graduating from the State University of New York, she began her career at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where she focused on hand injuries, burns and amputees. She worked at the Hand and Upper Extremity Burn Unit of North Carolina Memorial Hospital for five years. In 1982 Shellye transitioned to Asheville Mission Hospital where she established a Hand Rehab Unit. She owned her own private practice, the Hand Center, in Greenville for 19 years. Shellye is a former President of the American Society of Hand Therapists, and has lectured extensively internationally and nationally on splinting, burn injuries and prosthetic training. She is published in the Journal of Hand Surgery, the Journal of Hand Therapy and in multiple Hand Therapy text books. Shellye enjoys spending time off at her home in the mountains, cooking, and taking care of her dog, Yogi.
Kacey Scanlon, MS, OTR/L
Kacey Scanlon joined the ATS team at the start of 2018. She holds an MS in Occupational Therapy after completing the joint undergraduate and graduate program at Ithaca College in upstate New York. After graduating, she relocated to upstate South Carolina to begin her career and has 3 years of experience in an inpatient rehabilitation and acute care setting. She has a special interest in stroke rehabilitation and holds a Neuro-IFRAH certification for treatment of stroke and brain injury. In her free time, Kacey enjoys volunteering for the Special Olympics and Camp Spearhead, spending time outdoors with her dog, and dancing.
Devika Kumar, PT
Devika is a Spartanburg native, graduating from Dorman High School and then Wofford College. She was set on being a physician until she worked as a receptionist at a local physical therapy clinic during school and fell in love with all things physical therapy. Devika started PT school at MUSC in Charleston just two days after graduating from Wofford in 2011. She received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2014. After graduating, Devika worked in an outpatient pediatric setting, first in Savannah and then in Asheville. She moved back to her home town of Spartanburg and joined Advanced Therapy Solutions in August of 2018. Devika loves being an active part of the constantly growing Spartanburg community and supporting local businesses. In her free time, she likes cooking with family and friends, catching up on all the latest shows and being outside with her dog Lucy.
Mareli Klopper, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Mareli Klopper qualified as a Physical Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1995. She spent the next few years of her career travelling and working in various settings and countries, including South Africa, the United Kingdom, Namibia and the USA. In 2009, Mareli returned to the USA and after working in an acute hospital setting in Louisiana for a year, she joined ATS in Spartanburg (2011) to continue working in outpatient Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, her preferred clinical environment. She completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion in 2013. Mareli is recognized as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist by the American Physical Therapy Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. In her free time, she enjoys riding her dual-sport motorcycle in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband.
Blake Givens, DPT
Blake received her undergrad from the State University of New York in Cortland, NY, with a degree in Physical Education in 2005. After graduation she accepted a position as an aquatic director in the recreation department for the City of Myrtle Beach, SC. Blake held this position for 8 years before returning to school to pursue the advanced degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL. Blake graduated in 2015 and joined Advanced Therapy Solutions in 2016. She enjoys working in the outpatient environment and has a passion for aquatic therapy. Blake enjoys being active and spending time with her family.
Melanie Collett, LMT, CPMT
Melanie M. Collett, LMT, CPMT is a 2003 honors graduate from The Greenville Tech Massage Therapy Program in SC. She is certified through The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy. Melanie also became certified in Pediatric Massage in 2013 from The Georgia Massage School in Atlanta. She has been a massage therapy business owner since 2003 and has worked with Advanced Therapy Solutions since 2009.
Natalie Smith, LMBT
After working in a variety of healthcare facilities, including cardiology, gynecology, and chiropractic since 1999, Natalie decided on a more holistic approach in massage/bodywork therapy. She graduated from Alpha School of Massage, Greenville, SC in 2004. Since then Natalie has been working in the Upstate as an independent contractor and owns a mobile massage service. Most clients would describe Natalie’s massage techniques as “gentle but firm”. Many modalities are used in her sessions, such as active and passive stretches, along with myofascial release. Deep tissue, sports and neuromuscular massage are among her specialties. When not massaging, Natalie’s passions are family, friends and good health.
Dixie Whetsell, CMOM
Originally from Nashville Tennessee, Dixie Whetsell moved to Spartanburg in 1990. She started working at ATS doing wellness screenings in 2004. Over the course of the next two years, as the company grew, Dixie’s administrative role evolved as well, eventually expanding into the position of Practice Manager that she holds today, overseeing all ATS facilities. Dixie is a Certified Medical Office Manager and is currently pursuing certification in related health care areas. She enjoys the great outdoors and loves hiking in the mountains, especially in the fall.
Lena graduated from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and earned a post-graduate diploma from AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town in 1994. She joined her husband, Niel, in the United States in 1995, and together they traveled extensively before settling down in Spartanburg. She worked in the public relations industry for several years before officially joining the ATS team in 2008. Lena manages Accounts Payable and Human Resources for the company. She loves spending time with her husband and two sons, listening to music, reading and traveling when time affords it.
Becky Lowe joined ATS in December of 2016 as Intake Coordinator at the Spartanburg Westside facility. She graduated from Virginia College with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science for Medical Office Administration. Becky was on the President’s List and inducted into the National Honors Society. She is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Becky is mom to two daughters, Jocelyn and Jasmine. In her free time she enjoys movies with her two princesses, and listening to music.
Kelly Cockrell joined ATS in October of 2016 as Billing Assistant at the Spartanburg Westside facility. She graduated September 2015, from Virginia College of Spartanburg with a Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding. Kelly was on the President’s list from August 2013 to September 2015. Her hobbies are reading and shopping. She hopes to one day travel to Europe, in the meantime she and her husband love to travel here in the U.S. She loves spending all her free time with her husband, daughter and of course her beloved dog, Odie.
Shelby graduated from Midlands Technical College as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2017 and joined ATS in February of 2018. Shelby is the only staff member to work on both the pediatric side AND adult clinics of Advanced Therapy Solutions. She lives in Gaffney with her husband, Thomas and new baby, David.
- Favorite Color: Blue and pink
- Favorite Food: Pizza and chocolate ice cream
- Favorite Vacation Spot: Mountains or Edisto Beach
- Favorite Hobbies: Horseback riding, reading, baking, and spending time with family and friends
- Professional Interests: Early childhood development and the Neurological patient population