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Board of Directors


Lacie Schwend 
President

Lacie was born and raised in Butte, Montana. She attended Montana Tech University and graduated in 2005 with a B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health. After college, Lacie relocated to Gillette, Wyoming with her husband, Dave. Both of them worked in the Gillette mining industry until 2009, when they relocated to Sheridan, WY.

Lacie owns her own business and currently works from home while staying home with her two sons. Lacie was treasurer of the Board for Tongue River Childs Place for 4 years and is now active on the CHAPS Board. She is a certified EMT and personal trainer and teaches fitness classes for the community center of Dayton, WY. When not working, Lacie enjoys distance running, sewing and tending to her garden.

Mikole Soto 
At-large

Mikole Soto was born and raised in Sheridan. She attended the University of Wyoming where she received a Master’s in History and a Juris Doctorate degree. Mikole has recently moved back to Sheridan to work as an associate attorney with Chapman Valdez & Lansing.

Mikole first fell in love with horses when her younger sister was involved in the Heels Down program in Sheridan. Her family owning their own quarter horses, Mikole continued to compete in the AQHA show world up through college and competed in the World Show. Heels Down always meant a great deal to Mikole as her little sister was diagnosed with DYRK1A and the program provided her sister such great therapeutic relief. Mikole always wanted to find her way back to a program that provided these services and is beyond grateful CHAPS fills that role in this community. Overall, Mikole is passionate about this program and is excited to be part of this awesome team.

Greta Knapp 
Secretary

Greta is the regional manager at Bank of the West and is a native Sheridanite. She attended college in Wyoming and Arizona.

Greta has worked hard to get Bank of the West involved in many community events such as the Downtown Sheridan Association's Third Thursday Events, Bike MS and the VOA's Empty Bowl event.

Having a mother that suffered from mental illness, Greta is especially passionate about the CHAPS mission and feels it is a privilege to serve on the board.

Barbara Perry 
At-large

Barbara grew up in Billings, MT and joined the Army after graduation. She received an honorable discharge in 2002 and worked a variety of customer service related positions. Barbara relocated to Sheridan with her 5 kids and husband in 2012. Barbara has a BS in Accounting from MSU Billings and a MS in Accounting from Liberty University.

As a veteran, Barbara has always been passionate about organizations with a focus on veterans health and started looking to for ways to be more involved as a volunteer for such organizations. Barbara started volunteering with CHAPS in July 2016 after learning about their involvement with local veterans and disabled youth.

 

Fleur Ahern 
At-large

Fleur Ahern came to Wyoming in 2008 with her husband of 20 years and 14 year old son.

I am from Co. Willow Ireland and received my I.C.E.S. And B.H.S.A.I. Training in Co. Kilkenny Ireland. While attending college, I was given the opportunity to teach and assist with The Riding for Disabled program which was very fulfilling and rewarding.

I went on to work in England and America with polo and other areas of the horse industry.
I am looking foreword to working and getting involved with such a great program as CHAPS.

Jeff Foral 
At-large
Jeff Foral was born in Oconto WI. He was raised on his grandparents' dairy farm. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, stationed at McChord AFB. He spent 3 years in security and 4 years being an air and oil hydraulic mechanic on aircraft.

Jeff moved to Sheridan, WY in 1994 where he has owned and operated a 1 man construction company since 1996.

Teresa Garrett-Martin 
Treasurer
Teresa is an avid horse lover who spends a good deal of her time trailing horses and capturing them thru photography. For the past five years she has worked as an event photographer for an equine-based sports association and for many local rodeos. Traveling mostly on weekends during the summer, Teresa works over a fivestate region capturing horses and their owners doing what they love. When not on the road, she hangs her work hat up at Photo Imaging Center in Sheridan WY.

Since 2016 she has been volunteering her photography talents to CHAPS and is our newest member to the CHAPS board. Knowing, first-hand, the benefits horses can bring to a person struggling with their mental health, Teresa is very excited to be a part of CHAPS. Their mission to help make a difference in the many lives of those who are struggling is near and dear to her.

 

Staff


 

Kristen Marcus
Executive Director

Our Executive Director is a Wyoming native from Ten Sleep. Kristen has an A.S. in Equine Science, a B.S. in Animal Science (Equine nutrition and management), a Masters of Agriculture in Equine Breeding and a M.S. in Agricultural Communications.

Kristen grew up on the back of a horse and spent her childhood on the family ranch working cattle, horses and pigs.

She has been in Sheridan since 2009 and is grateful to be living at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains again. Kristen and her husband, Jeremy, have two children, Briannon & Cian (pronounced key-in). Her hobbies include horseback riding, 4-wheeling, scrapbooking, photography and reading.

Fleur Ahern
PATH, International Instructor
Fleur Ahern came to Wyoming in 2008 with her husband of 20 years and 14 year old son. She is from Co. Willow Ireland and received her I.C.E.S. and B.H.S.A.I. training in Co. Kilkenny Ireland. While attending college, she was given the opportunity to teach and assist with The Riding for Disabled program which was very fulfilling and rewarding. She went on to work in England and America with polo and other areas of the horse industry.

Fleur is kind, easy going and always has a smile on her face. She brings years of experience and a passion for horses and people with her to CHAPS.

Lynn Gordon
Licensed Professional Counselor

Lynn is a Westerner by heritage, growing up in Colorado. She attended college in Wyoming and Nebraska and has been in the Sheridan community for many years.

Lynn has been a counselor in a variety of settings, including the school, community counseling, developmental/early childhood counseling and now in private practice. She is experienced in all areas and ages of the human condition, ranging from early childhood to senior issues; grief, depression, anxiety, challenging behavior and self-esteem to name a few. Her desire to help others overcome trauma and pain is an important part of her work.

Lynn, in addition to being a Licensed Professional Counselor, holds certification in elementary education, middle school education and K-12 counseling. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher.
Lynn brings to the CHAPS program a keen interest in helping veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress, its resulting life issues and how the horses can help these be overcome.

Her “off-hours” combines time with her family, gardening, cooking and traveling.

 

Gina Marchese
Barn Manager

Gina's first ride was at the age of nine at Camp Tanasi, a Girl Scout camp in east Tennessee. Since then, horses have been a constant in her life. From working for lessons in Virginia, to schooling therapy horses in Colorado, and exercise riding rodeo horses in southern Wyoming, she has always found a way to work with and be around horses.

Gina is pleased to be able to work for CHAPS as the barn manager and feels it a privilege to care for the horses that are so important to all the riders and volunteers.

Eddie Paylor
Volunteer Coordinator/Fundraising Assistant
Eddie is a disabled Army Veteran who came to Sheridan to work on his PTSD issues at the Sheridan VA Medical Center. During his time at CHAPS, he fell in love with the center. Eddie asked about volunteer opportunities having decided to give back to the program he so much enjoyed. Now Eddie is a Volunteer Coordinator, working to schedule volunteers for events and fundraisers as well as planning and executing fundraisers

 

Nancy Marchese
Volunteer Coordinator
Nancy relocated to Sheridan in the fall of 2011 after her husband retired from the military. She is happy to have her feet firmly planted in one place after moving every few years. She has worked with various non-profits through the years and has been a volunteer for CHAPS since the spring of 2012. This year, she agreed to take on the position of Volunteer Coordinator. In her spare time you may find her piecing quilts, reading, riding or traveling.

 

We are a Premier Accredited Center with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH), a global authority and advocate for equine-assisted activities and therapies that inspire and enrich the human spirit. 

Contact Us

Phone: 307.673.6161
Email: info@chapswyo.org