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R.O.C.K. Staff

Nancy O’Meara Krenek

nancy@rockride.org

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Director of Therapy & Research / Physical Therapist  Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
AHA, Inc. Member Therapist
PATH Intl. Registered Instructor

Dr. Nancy Krenek has been a physical therapist for over 32 years and in the past twenty years specialized in equine-assisted activities and therapy serving children, adults and veterans.  She is the CEO and Founder of ROCK (R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids) in Central Texas (rockride.org)  and also the Executive Director of the TAMUS Courtney Grimshaw Fowler Equine Therapeutic Program on campus in College Station, which has recently been sponsored by the ONE Health Initiative under the Texas A&M Biomedical Department of Vet/Med (courtneycares.org)  Nancy is one of 85 board certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists in the nation.  Besides serving participants through connection with the horse, she has been instrumental in over 20 research projects, with three being published in peer reviewed journals. Her passions are her husband Frank and their blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren.  She enjoys biking, kayaking and airstreaming.

R.O.C.K. Leadership

  • Susan Finfer

    Chief Financial Officer

     

    SusanSusan brings over 35 years of professional experience in both corporate and nonprofit environments to ROCK Ride on Center for Kids.  After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas, she became a CPA.  Prior to joining ROCK, Susan was Vice President of Finance at the Austin Community Foundation where her responsibilities included management of the financial, accounting, HR and IT functions.  Before that, she was a plant controller at The Pillsbury Company.

    Susan enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, reading, traveling, hiking, playing card games, and volunteering.

  • Shannon Middleton

    Safety and Education Director / Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist / Hipppotherapy Clinical Specialist / AHA, Inc. Member Therapist / PATH Intl. Registered Instructor / Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

    Shannon joined the staff as an SLP in 2006 after volunteering at ROCK for 2 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Education with a specialty in Speech Therapy and a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. She has over 20 years of experience including working with individuals with Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, language disorder/delay, articulation/phonological disorder, cognitive impairment, stroke and head injury.

  • Sheri Ruther

    Business Operations Director

    Sheri moved to Texas from Michigan in 2012.  She worked in accounting and office manager positions over the past 20+ years.  She started with ROCK in September 2013 as a contract biller and administrative assistance and became a full-time employee February 2014. ROCK has had a very special spot in her heart for the past 16 years when her sister-in-law, Patti Colbert, became involved and her daughter, Lindsey, started volunteering and then became a PATH Certified Instructor at ROCK.  Her husband, Glenn, is also a volunteer at ROCK and they have made it a family affair and feel everyone at ROCK is family!  They now live in Georgetown.

  • Kristin Witcher

    Program Director / Path Int'l Registered Instructor

    Kristin started volunteering as a sidewalker/horse handler at ROCK in 2007. She became a PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2008. After being away from therapeutic riding for 4 years, Kristin has returned to ROCK.

R.O.C.K. Staff

  • Olivia Prince

    PATH Intl. Registered Instructor

    Olivia

  • Devon Felts

    PATH Intl. Registered Instructor / STAR Program Coordinator

    Devon

  • Rebecca Delich

    Bookkeeper

    Rebecca

  • Susan Finfer

    Chief Financial Officer

     

    SusanSusan brings over 35 years of professional experience in both corporate and nonprofit environments to ROCK Ride on Center for Kids.  After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas, she became a CPA.  Prior to joining ROCK, Susan was Vice President of Finance at the Austin Community Foundation where her responsibilities included management of the financial, accounting, HR and IT functions.  Before that, she was a plant controller at The Pillsbury Company.

    Susan enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, reading, traveling, hiking, playing card games, and volunteering.

  • Kevin Bowers

    PATH Intl. Registered Instructor

    Kevin

  • Kayla Johnston

    PATH Intl. Registered Instructor / Equine Assistant

    Kayla has been a passionate part of the horse community in and around Houston, TX her entire life. She started riding at the age of 5 with her first pony that she named “Rainbow” and has been in love with horses ever since. She spent most of her years showing Arabians and Half-Arabians at the Regional and National level. She has been a PATH Int’l Registered Instructor since 2010. She moved to the Austin area and joined ROCK in September 2015. She feels fortunate to have been raised around horses and loves to pay it forward by introducing people to the world of horses and promoting therapeutic riding! When she is not teaching, she loves to spend her time riding her horse, Freddy, hanging out with her family or enjoying live music.

  • Jennifer Howicz

    PTA, BS / Physical Therapist Assistant/Grants / Member, American Hippotherapy Association and PATH, Intl.

    Jen began her career at ROCK as the mother of a rider and as a volunteer side walker, joining ROCK Hippotherapy Department as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2009.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Arkansas in 1987. She returned to school in 2004, receiving her Associates degree for PT Assistant from Austin Community College in 2007.  Jen has completed both Level I and Level II training from the American Hippotherapy Association. She has experience working with individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Angelman Syndrome, Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, agenesis of the corpus callosum, spinal muscular atrophy, spinal injury, and traumatic brain injury.  In addition to her role as PT Assistant, Jen supports the grants team, assisting with grant applications and grants management.

  • Kathy White

    Communications Director

    Kathy began working for ROCK in the Fall of 2015. She has 30 years of experience working in graphic design and marketing, mostly for non-profits. Born and raised in Illinois, Kathy has been in Texas for nearly 25 years. She lives in Georgetown with her husband of 26 years and three (almost grown) children.

  • Priscilla Lightsey

    PT / DPT / MA / HPCS / AHA, Inc. Member Therapist / PATH Intl. Registered Instructor

    Priscilla Lightsey is a Physical Therapist who worked at “classic ROCK” before moving to Beijing, China in 2007. She is the director of the equine assisted therapy program she founded in Beijing, China: HOPE (Horses Offering People Enrichment) (www.hopebeijing.org). Her credentials include: a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Master of Arts in Special Education, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist and PATH Int’l Certified Instructor.

  • Lesley Shedeck

    Equine Director

    Lesley has over 35 years experience riding, raising and training horses. She has horse show experience in English riding, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, and working cow horse. Lesley has managed her own boarding and training facility for 20 years and has been providing riding instruction since 1993.

  • John Schmalstieg

    Property/Facilities Manager

    John graduated from Texas A & M University with a degree in Agricultural Economics, Farm and Ranch Management. While at A & M he was in the Corp of Cadets and Parson’s Mounted Calvary. Since then he has ridden and shown hunter/jumper and dressage horses. Before joining the ROCK team, John served as a high school business and technology teacher.

  • Heidi Derning

    PATH Intl. Registered Instructor / ROCK On Veterans Coordinator / Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

    Heidi is a PATH Int’l Registered Instructor and Recreational Therapist (TX Certified) who has had the great opportunity to be with ROCK since 1999. Over the years, she has worked as the center’s volunteer coordinator and as a full-time therapeutic riding instructor. She is passionate about and coordinates both the Veterans program and the Over 21 Club (a special program for young adults with disabilities).

    Heidi wasn’t born in Texas but got here as soon as she could in the 2nd grade! (Originally from Seattle) She has been married for 29 years to her ROCK supportive husband, Brett, and three grown children (Allyson, Kevin & Julia), son-in-law Brennan, three crazy dogs and one tough cat.