Meet our Board of Directors!
Retired educator from Columbus Public Schools.
I have been an active board member since the programs inception. The Shane Center is dear to my heart for helping so many individuals grow physically and mentally. Participants over the past 26 years have enriched my life through experiencing their strength and determination. Those involved have become like a family, encouraging and supporting one another while sharing successes and enjoying the growth of both young and old. Volunteers are an important part of the Shane Center with many volunteering for 20 years or more. The staff at the Shane Center is small but vital to the success of the program. They are willing to take on any task necessary from mucking (Yucky) stalls to grooming and exercising the real stars of the Shane Center, THE HORSES! It takes many good hearts to help the program achieve it’s mission. Giving is Loving!
Retired professor of education for over 40 years.
Since retirement in 2008, my focus has shifted very deeply to spiritual formation and development. This has also helped me become more aware of the spiritual component as it relates to the horse and its use in therapy.
My association with hippotherapy, and more recently the Shane Center, goes back almost 30 years. Prior to involvement at the current center in Centerburg, I assisted and Andy rode with Karen as part of the Otterbein program. My involvement with Karen and the center covers a lot of time and a variety of capacities. My foremost involvement is a volunteer side walker for my cerebral palsy involved son, Andy. Andy has missed very few sessions in all those years; and I have always been there helping Andy mount, side assisting for balance, and then dismounting. When we first approached Karen, she was not too sure how—or if—she and therapy would be useful to/for Andy (because he is non ambulatory and fairly involved). I am glad she—in her compassionate caring manner—gave us a try. Andy has been “riding” ever since and perhaps has more seniority than any other current rider. He absolutely loves the riding, the therapy, and the interaction with the horse! Plus over the long term, the therapy has made a huge difference in his body control and balance, his alertness, and his interaction with the other riders and horse handlers.
In addition to “volunteering” and physically assisting for close to 30 years, I have been involved in many capacities from financially assisting the program, from learning more about hippotherapy (did complete some Parelli workshops), from helping physically run the farm (bush hogging and baling hay); from grooming; from spending many hours entering financial data on their computer system; from spreading the word about how great the program is.
I—and Andy—love the Shane Center because it has very positively changed our lives—both physically, mentally, and socially. It is very obvious to me—both explicitly and implicitly—how caring, compassionate and Christ-like Karen is. She is a phenomenal CEO that has worked so hard and caringly to bring the program where it is today.
To me, observing over all these years, both as an observer, and as an actively involved participant have witnessed so many interactions that simply say…love is spoken—and acted out here—at the Shane Center.
The very caring high quality program has come so far…and touches so many lives in a very positive holistic way. Thank YOU Karen and all involved in implementing the programs at the Shane Center.
Founder and CEO, Connect a Voice
Tom is a new Board member, but as the parent of a program participant he has been involved with the Shane Center for more than 20 years. Tom has seen the positive impact equine therapy can have on individuals, and he has always been impressed with the professionalism and passion of the Shane Center.
As an engaged parent of an individual with a developmental disability (DD), Tom has been engaged in the DD community for many years. He founded Connect a Voice – an innovative technology system which captures service compliance information for DD providers – as a way to improve care to individuals with developmental disabilities. Central Ohio is lucky to have a resource like the Shane Center to help improve the lives of individuals with DD.
In his spare time, Tom is an avid biker and loves to play golf (just not very well).
Chronic Care Management and Palliative Care Advanced Practice Nurse, Knox Community Hospital.
This fall will mark 4 years that I have been involved with The Shane Center as a volunteer.
I love The Shane Center for many reasons, but mostly because of the impact the Center has on individuals with disabilities. For an hour, once a week, no longer are they defined or restricted by their physical, emotional, or intellectual limitations. They are one with their horse and volunteers, experiencing an emotional, physical, and spiritual bond that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. I love developing relationships with the riders, their caregivers/parents, and the other volunteers/employees. I find it so inspiring to show up, get dirty, and put forth some energy, simply to make someone else’s day better. The smiles and laughter of the riders are worth it all!
No rider is turned away for inability to pay.
The Shane Center is one of the best kept secrets in Knox County that shouldn’t be a secret!!! The center doesn’t only impact the riders and their family. Every employee and volunteer leaves here better than when they came in. Afraid of the horses? Don’t own a pair of boots? Can’t afford to donate? Simply say a prayer that the mission can go on and grow, and spread the word of the AMAZING work that is going on at Willow Farm in Centerburg for those who live with disability.
I have been volunteering at The Shane Center for 7 years, 2 years of those also as a board member. I am taking riding lessons using Stevie, one of our lesson horses.
I love The Shane Center because I get to work with the students, their families and the horses. I have learned a lot about patience and being open-minded. I love it when a student does something unexpected – like a student who hadn’t ever spoken suddenly saying, “Hey!”.
I have formed long-lasting friendships working at The Shane Center. We all work as a team to give our students the best equine experience and to assist the students in reaching their goals, no matter how small or large those goals are.
I feel that I am a better person from my experiences at The Shane Center; much more patient and tolerant.
Volunteer at The Shane Center since 2019
Co-owner with my husband Paul of Cosby Heating and Cooling in Mount Vernon Ohio. Proud mama of 3 young men…Daniel 26, Jack 24 and Noah 18.
I was born a horse lover! My dad always said my first word was pony. My dad used to tell me if you rub my feet I will buy you a pony someday. He was true to his word ! I had fun in 4-H, trail rode and then spent a few years taking care of Standardbred race horses. I currently have one lovely little brown Rocky Mountain/Welsh pony cross left on my farm named Annie who I absolutely adore.
My friend Mindy Ingalls introduced me to the Shane Center last year and I was honored to become a volunteer and most recently to be invited to sit on the Board of Directors. I love seeing the pure joy on the riders faces when they are on their horses and getting to know each of their unique and delightful personalities.
There is truly something for everyone at the Shane Center whether it is volunteering, supporting financially or simply sharing through word of mouth with anyone you may know that might be interested. It is indeed a special place…..