BOARD & BIOS

These are the leaders of making “I Did It!” moments happen at TEC.  We are beyond grateful for their dedication and passion to leading, managing, and growing the organization.

Autumn Zick

President

Autumn has been involved with TEC for more than a decade.  She was one of the founding volunteer members who brought TEC to life.  Through TEC, Autumn can combine her love of horses and helping those living with special needs.  Autumn began riding when she was 8 years old.  She has shown hunters/jumpers, dressage, and Arabians at the regional and national level, and continues to compete at the adult amateur level.  For more than 30 years, Autumn served as a Speech Pathologist with her final years being spent at Berrien RESA and Blossomland Learning Center.  Now retired she considers volunteer work her full-time job.  As a PATH-certified instructor for more than 35 years, Autumn is a volunteer instructor for TEC and for the We Can Ride 4-H Club.  Autumn hails from Williamston (MI) but calls St. Joseph (MI) home with her husband, Russ, and their dogs, cats, and horses.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Speech & Audiology – Michigan State University

  • Master of Arts, Speech Pathology – Central Michigan University

 

Affiliations:

  • Member, PATH International and a PATH-Certified Riding Instructor

  • Member, Michigan 4-H Proud Equestrian Program

  • Member, St. Joseph – Benton Harbor Rotary Club

  • Member, American Speech and Hearing Association

Margaret Hojara-Hadsell

Vice President & Secretary

Margie is a perpetual worker bee and volunteer.  After retiring from the Michigan Rehabilitation Services as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and State Administrator, she returned to this area to work for the United Way of Southwest Michigan as the Great Start Collaborative Coordinator for Cass County.  Being a part of TEC allows Margie to channel her work experience and love of horses into one.  She began riding as a youth and had the opportunity to ride in the U.S. championships and has shown hunters/jumpers at the national level.  For close to three decades, Margie has been a PATH-certified instructor serving at different times as a volunteer instructor for TEC, We Can Ride 4-H Club, and Reins of Life Therapeutic Riding Center (South Bend, IN).  She and her husband, Ron, have also served as an instructor team since the early 1980s.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts – University of Notre Dame

  • Master of Arts, Community Counseling – Andrews University

 

Affiliations:

  • Member, PATH International and a PATH-Certified Riding Instructor

  • Member, Cass County Youth Council

  • Member and Leader, We Can Ride 4-H Club

  • Member, International Partners in Mission

Barbara Lenhardt

Treasurer

Barb has been active with therapeutic riding for more than 20 years.  Her first introduction was with the We Can Ride 4-H Club when her son, James, joined the program as a youth.  Her desire for James to benefit from a year-round program led her to be a part of the birth of TEC.  She has remained an active volunteer for TEC and has served as Treasurer for more than a decade.  Life is never dull for Barb as the parent and sister of adults living with disabilities, and six grandchildren.  Barb is a Paraprofessional Accountant at Haslett & Gaynor, P.C. in Niles (MI).

Kendell Casey

Member at Large

Kendell joined TEC to give back to the community through the use of her professional talent and personal experiences in working with equine partners to provide mental health and substance abuse therapy.  As the wife of a retired Army officer, she witnessed first hand the healing power of horses.  While her husband was deployed she trained his horse and prepared the animal to serve as a therapeutic partner upon his return home.  She shared that it was inspiring to see their relationship develop into a partnership of mutual trust and compassion.  Kendell serves as a Clinical Treatment Services Manager at Berrien County Juvenile Center.  She is originally from Salt Lake City (UT) but has chosen Eau Claire/Southwest Michigan as her place for eventual retirement.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Human Services and Management

  • Master of Science, Social Work

  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

  • Certificate, Animal and Human Health (AHH)

  • Specialized Animal Assisted Interventions and co-therapist with two Newfoundland therapy dogs

 

Affiliations:

  • Member, National Association of Social Workers

  • Member, National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)

  • Lifetime member, VFW Auxiliary

Kevin Casey

Member at Large

Kevin brings firsthand experience of the power of horses to help returning combat warriors heal and reconnect with civilian life.  After 30 years of serving in the United States Army, Kevin retired as a Lieutenant Colonel who had been deployed for five combat tours.  He was honored for his service with the Legion Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal  Upon returning home from his last combat tour, after almost 18 months away from his family, Kevin was introduced to Spittin’ Image (Image). This being his first experience with horse ownership, it provided Kevin a distraction from more challenging times.  He learned the positive benefits of horsemanship and the value of the human-equine bond.  Through Kevin’s experience with Image, he hopes to help other veterans experience the therapeutic benefits of working with horses.  Kevin hails from Munster (IN) but, of course, being in the Army he was stationed across the states.  He returns to the area with his wife, Kendell, and now serves as a Portfolio Manager at Whirlpool for the Global Information Systems team.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Mechanical Engineering – United States Military Academy

  • Master of Science, Information Management – University of Southern California

  • Master of Science, Strategic Studies – The Army War College

 

Affiliations:

  • Lifetime member, Reserve Officer Association

  • Member, Project Management Institute

  • Lifetime member, VFW Auxiliary

Donna Canter

Member at Large

Donna’s first experience with therapeutic riding took place years ago when she was a sidewalker for her then four year old niece.  In 2017, she reconnected with a former classmate who is active with TEC and invited her to come be a part of the team.  As the Early Childhood Director at Lewis Cass Intermediate School District, TEC gives her an outlet for bringing her passion of working with young children to the team as a volunteer sidewalker, horse leader, and Board member.  She is a firm believer in extending learning beyond the traditional classroom experience, and sees the value in combining the expertise of the PATH instructors with the use of horses as a means to contribute positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals (especially children) living with special needs.

 

Education:

  • Masters of Art in Early Childhood Education, Western Michigan University

  • K-8 Michigan Teaching Certificate with an Early Childhood Endorsement

 

Affiliations:

  • Member, Great Start Collaborative Steering Committee

  • Officer, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Niles)

Kris Reinelt

Advisory Board Member

Being new to the area and self-employed with a home office, Kris reached out to TEC in the winter of 2013 as a way to meet new people through volunteering.  It didn’t take long and she was entrenched in TEC.  She fell in love with the people, riders, and horses. First it was just as a volunteer for riding lessons, then helping with the organization’s marketing, and soon she was serving on the Board.  Kris has been a volunteer for other nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and several community events.  She calls the Thumb Area of Michigan home but currently resides in Bridgman with her husband, Martin.  Kris has owned Infinite Creative Services, a business and marketing consulting company, since 2006.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration and Communication Arts – Aquinas College

  • Master of Science, Management and Marketing – Walsh College

 

Affiliations:

  • Member, Thumb Area Tourism Council

  • Member, Caro 150 Winter Fest

Reyna Price

Advisory Board Member

Reyna was drawn to TEC through her daughter, Elysa, who has Dravet Syndrome, which is a severe seizure disorder.  Elysa began riding as a young child and soon Reyna was one of her volunteers.  Reyna’s experience in business management, marketing, sales, nonprofit organizations, and fundraising led her to expand her volunteer efforts to the Board.  She is instrumental in supporting the outbound communications of TEC and spearheads events for TEC as well.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration – Siena Heights University

 

Affiliations:

  • Volunteer, Great Start Collaborative of Berrien County

  • Team Captain, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan (Team Elysa and Dravet Angels)

Larry Sehy

Advisory Board Member

Larry, is a retired fund development professional with over 50 years of experience.  He came to TEC to do Christian service in helping others.  He enjoys seeing the growth that occurs in the children and adult participants.  And, of course, he loves to watch the interaction between the horses and their rider.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science – George Williams College

  • Master of Divinity – Yale University

 

Affiliations:

  • Member, YMCA Southwest Michigan

  • Member, Big Brothers Big Sisters – Berrien Cass, and St. Joseph counties

  • Member, Fernwood’s Botanical Garden and Nature Center

  • Member, Ft. St. Joseph Advisory Committee

  • Member, Underground Railroad Society of Cass County

  • Friend, Cass District Library

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Questions about TEC?

Contact: Autumn Zick

Phone: (269) 429-0671

E-mail: info@tecfarm.org

© 2017 Therapeutic Equestrian Center

All instructors certified and TEC is a member of  PATH International.