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PPTRC
13620 Halleluiah Trail
Elbert, CO 80106
Phone: (719) 495-3908
Fax: (719) 494-1689
Email: PPTRC@PPTRC.org

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PPTRC BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PresidentChris Valentine
Vice PresidentAllen Gasper
TreasurerNikki Herman
Kathy Bishop
Bob Book
Tara Nolan
Mark D. Scraba
Reggie Graham
Jeff Manderich
Janis Shane
Russel Solberg


PPTRC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and at-large-members. The Board’s main role is to determine the direction of the organization. While the Board is moving away from being a working board, members still help as needed with fundraising events, volunteer/donor recognition and occasional facilities maintenance. The executive director runs the day-to-day operations with the help of staff.

All of our Board of Directors contribute financially and consistently attend fundraising events.


PPTRC STAFF

Executive Director

Shannon Mitchell

mitchell@pptrc.org

Shannon started with PPTRC as a board member in 2013. She graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science in 2006, and Regis University with a master’s degree in Business Administration - Healthcare Management in 2011. Prior to taking the Executive Director position in June 2015, Shannon worked as a Banking Officer for FirstBank. Shannon grew up on and around horses. She has a great respect for the influence horses can have on those with disabilities and has personally seen the joy they bring to everyone involved with them.

Shannon’s husband, Jerad, works for his family’s company, The Woodshed, and is a Pikes Peak Range Rider. They have three wonderful children, Savannah, Bailey, and Marshall. When not working or playing with her three little ones, Shannon enjoys watching Jerad team rope, riding, and sewing.


Program Director

Chester DeAngelis

deangelis@pptrc.org

Chester joined PPTRC in 2015 as the Mental Health Program Coordinator. He went to State University of New York at Plattsburgh from 2009-2013 for his undergraduate degree in social work and took a year off to volunteer at Green Chimneys School in Brewster, NY. He was at Green Chimneys horse barn, filling multiple roles for a year, where he worked with groups and individuals in an assortment of Equine Facilitated Activities. Chester then attended the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work in 2014. While at DU, he studied Animal Assisted Social Work and interned to apply his theory classes to practice here at PPTRC. Chester is also certified with PATH International as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. 


Development Coordinator

Melissa Anthony

anthony@pptrc.org

Melissa joined the PPTRC team in 2015 after spending several years in the non-profit development field. Being around horses and serving her fellow humans have been Melissa’s passion since she was a young girl. At PPTRC Melissa has found a place that allows her to do both. Melissa earned her B.A. from UCCS in Women’s and Ethnic Studies and looks forward to continuing to grow her skills with PPTRC.

Melissa shares life with her other half, Andy, their boxer dog, Roxi, and four cats, Beanie, Squiggles, Garage, and Holes.




Office Manager

Amalie Fellini


Amalie began at PPTRC in February 2016. She is from Fort Collins, where she majored in Biology at Colorado State University. She moved to Colorado Springs back in 2012 to be closer to her family. Throughout her life, Amalie has enjoyed working in Optics and Banking, but is now eager to explore the world of Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies. She has seen the wondrous effects of equine therapies and is excited to be a part of PPTRC's growth and development.






Equine Manager

Maggie Roberts


Maggie Roberts just moved from Illinois to Colorado to join the PPTRC team. She grew up in St. Louis, MO and went to school at St.-Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terra Haute, IN. During college she studied abroad in Ireland for a semester studying equine training techniques. She’s been working with horses most of her life and is always looking to learn more in the vast and diverse equine world.






Volunteer Coordinator

Michael Mersman


Michael has over 7 years of experience working in the non-profit sector and working with volunteers. Most recently, he was the Community Engagement Coordinator at the United Way of Larimer County. Michael is originally from Colorado Springs, but has spent the last 14 years living in Fort Collins. He, his wife, and 1 year old son recently returned to Colorado Springs to be closer to family. Michael enjoys the outdoors and is an avid camper, snowboarder, and scuba diver.





PPTRC INSTRUCTORS

All of our instructors are certified through Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.


Kim Bennett


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I came on board in spring of 2014 in the dual role of Volunteer Coordinator Assistant and PATH certified Instructor.

Certifications & other background:

I have been PATH certified since 2006, CHA certified since 2011 and in 2012 received certification in EFMH by Greg Kersten, one of the early pioneers of EFP/EFL.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

I began volunteering on Saturdays for a therapeutic riding program in Atlanta Georgia in 2003 and fell in love with it. About a year I began teaching and shortly thereafter received my PATH certification. After my last child graduated from high school, I was able to leave the high stress world of Human Resources in corporate America to pursue a full time career as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor which brought me to Colorado to supervise a summer TR program for the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park.

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

No, most of my experience is teaching Therapeutic Riding although I am looking forward to gaining experience in Equine Facilitated Mental Health.

Do you have your own horses?

Being a “city girl”, I have never owned my own horse but have been able to lease a few over the years. Prior to moving to the Springs, I was “Mom” to a 12 year old Arabian gelding named Wellynton.

What do you do when you're not at PPTRC?

New to Colorado Springs, I am still learning my way around. I also plan to spend time over the summer with my riding buddies in Grand County, hitting the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. I read a lot, enjoy the company of Pumpkin, my 12 year old orange tabby cat and try to keep up with my grown two kids, Cassidy and Drew in Atlanta and my two grandkids in Florida.


Amber Clark


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I joined the PPTRC team as a therapeutic riding instructor in 2015.

Certifications & other background:

I am a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor with PATH International, as well as a USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winner a Centerline Scores 4 Star Rider.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

I became interested in therapeutic riding after loaning one of my older horses to a large therapeutic riding program in Atlanta, GA> I received remarkable cards and letters about how my horse had changed lives during his time there. That always stuck with me, so years later I finally seized the opportunity to become involved myself.

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

I’m not sure I would say I specialize in an area, but my dream is to develop riders for both Para and Special Olympics.

Do you have your own horses?

I own two horses, Rhythmic Blues and Grand Eska . Blue is currently leased by a good friend of mine in South Carolina who is competing him at the FEI levels of dressage and “Eska” is happily retired at the horse Shangri la with her friend Blitz.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

Most of the time when I am not at PPTRC I am working, which includes coaching riders, training horses, teaching clinics around the country, and attending horseshows. In my free time I enjoy biking, fly fishing, going to the gym, and hanging out with my dogs!


Lisa Cowan


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I started volunteering in 1995 and became an instructor in 2001.

Certifications & other background:

PATH certified instructor. Life long horse lover and owner.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

A friend told me about PPTRC. I went to check it out and loved it!

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

No, I enjoy it all.

Do you have your own horses?

Yes, I have a Clydesdale and a Quarter Horse.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

Enjoy outdoor activities with family and friends.



Chester DeAngelis


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I began as an intern at PPTRC in August 2014.

Certifications & other background:

I hold PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Certifications. I earned my Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Children and Youth: Risks and Healthy Development from DU's Graduate School of Social Work as well as a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work from the Institute of Human Animal Connection (IHAC).

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

In middle school, I volunteered and took lessons a therapeutic barn in Warwick, NY for a time before high school sports overtook my free time. After I graduated with my bachelors of social work, I volunteered and worked at the horse barn at Green Chimneys, a residential school for youth at-risk in NY, specializing in Animal Assisted Activities and therapies. When I left NY for University of Denver, I wanted to continue to explore this human-equine bond.

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

I have a passion for designing equine assisted mental health interventions that help enhance the lives of both the humans and animals involved in the programs.

Do you have your own horses?

No, I have a dog, Bolt, and a Bearded Dragon that lives with the kids at Green Chimneys in NY.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

Bolt and I enjoy day hikes with any friends willing to come along for the adventure.


Jody Enget


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

In February 2010, when I was hired as the Executive Director

Certifications & other background:

PATH registered certification Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

Volunteered during college and took an instructor training course at CTRC. Fell in love with the work and have stayed in the field since 1996.

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy

Do you have your own horses?

Sweetie, our beautiful paint mare and Sword, a wonderful retired horse from PPTRC.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

Enjoy my blessed family, my husband Aaron and I have 4 great kids, Preslee, Riley, Halle, and Trigve.


Julie Farnham


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I began volunteering at PPTRC in 2002 and went through the certification process to become an instructor in 2004. I have been an instructor since June 2004.

Certifications & other background:

I rode both English and Western until I was about 21 and didn’t ride for about 20 years while I was raising my three kids. I became a PATH registered instructor in 2004.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

My daughter suggested we go riding in 2002 and I realized how much I had missed being around horses so I started volunteering at PPTRC. I really love the interaction with the riders, volunteers and horses.

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

I have been involved mostly with hippotherapy during the last three years.

Do you have your own horses?

I have never had my own horse but maybe when the kids all graduate from college.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

When I am not at PPTRC I am involved in a lot of family activities. We spend a lot of time watching the kids in baseball, softball and lacrosse. We also enjoy traveling and college and professional sports.


Debbie Karber


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I started volunteering for PPTRC in 2014.

Certifications & other background:

I am certified as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist both through PATH international, and I am also a Registered Nurse.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

Jody and Bill, a long-time PPTRC volunteer and friend, came to Norris Penrose to check out my two horses to be used for EFP at Norris Penrose. I visited with Jody about the program and Bill shared an amazing story about the history of the painting that hangs in the indoor arena at PPTRC. I was so moved by Bill's passion and the work that was going on at PPTRC. Before Jody left, she said “Have you ever considered becoming a Therapeutic Riding Instructor?" The rest is history.

Do you have your own horses?

I own two horses, Zoey and Shorty, that I board at Norris Penrose.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

When I am not at PPTRC, during tax season, I work at our CPA Firm with my husband Curtis. Curt and I love to hike with our dog Fritz and enjoy every part of living in Colorado. Every chance I get, I hang out with my amazing kids in Cali and CO.


Maggie Roberts


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I began teaching in November 2016 at PPTRC.

Certifications & other background:

I’m a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a Red Cross First Aid Instructor. I’ve ridden horses since I was a child and showed Appaloosas during my youth. I also have a BS in Equine Training and Instruction from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

A lesson horse that I use to ride was donated to a local TR center around the St. Louis area where I grew up. After researching the barn and seeing what they did for so many people I wanted to help. So I started volunteering when I was about 18.

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

Not really but I love every aspect of it and what it can do for so many people.

Do you have your own horses?

Yes. Currently my horse, Fancy, is being used by PPTRC as one of their therapy horses. I’ve owned her since 2005 and she helped me through so much as I grew up. I’m excited for her to be able to do the same for our clients.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

I love to read and hike.


April Wade


When did you begin volunteering and/or teaching at PPTRC?

I began as a summer intern at PPTRC in 2016. After volunteering all summer and acquiring my student teaching hours for therapeutic riding, I returned in January of 2017 as an Instructor.

Certifications & other background:

I was certified by Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) when I was 16 to teach western riding lessons and trail rides at a summer camp. That is where I discovered and developed my passion for therapeutic riding.

How did you get into therapeutic riding?

I taught riding lessons at a summer camp for five years to elementary, middle and high school students. Two weeks out of the year we hosted special person's camp -- they were my favorite group of people to work with. That led me to pursue volunteer positions and internships with several therapeutic riding facilities to learn more!

Do you specialize in any area of therapeutic riding?

At present, I work mostly with elementary age students who are learning to ride through our Therapeutic Riding program. I hope to pursue my Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certificate over the next few years.

Do you have your own horses?

I did! My family bought Cinnamon (a Haflinger) when I was seven and he was less than year old. We rode for about eight years before we donated Cinnamon to the camp that I began working at. He has been a therapy horse there for 7 years.

What do you do when you’re not at PPTRC?

Hiking and coffee shops! I am absolutely in love with the mountains, and what better way to end an excellent hike than a cup of coffee and a good book?




PPTRC MENTAL HEALTH THERAPISTS

  • Jody Enget, LMFT
  • Jill Davis, PsyD
  • Rita Petersen, LPCC
  • Debbie DeWitt, LMFT
  • Chester DeAngelis, LSW

We are proud to partner with multiple community agencies that also provide therapists for their client’s Equine Sessions. Our Community Partnerships include: Memorial Hospital: University of Colorado Health, Children's Hospital Colorado, Fort Carson, Operation TBI Freedom, Cedar Springs Hospital, Griffith Centers for Children, Four Feathers Counseling, Mayfield Counseling, and Department of Youth Corrections.



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