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Meet the Team

Our dedicated team of administrators, instructors and horses work hard to ensure that you have the best experience at Great and Small. Please take a moment to get to know the team.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AT GREAT AND SMALL

Caree Ops

Exciting opportunity to join Great and Small as the Executive Director

Great and Small (G&S) is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization and help shape the future direction in an exciting period of growth. This is a full-time salaried position reporting to an engaged Board of Directors. The Executive Director will be responsible for overall operations, management, programs, and fundraising activities of G&S. A passion for the mission of G&S to serve the special needs community through equine-assisted services (EAS) is essential.

 

Founded in 1998, G&S offers the opportunity for those with disabilities and challenges to experience the magical therapeutic effect of horses, empowering our students to learn to ride in harmony with their specific needs. Located in Boyds, Maryland, about 30 miles from Washington DC, G&S is a 501(c)3 organization with an annual budget less than $1million. 

 

The Center is located on a beautiful 100-acre property and has an indoor arena for year-round operations. Currently 14 staff (of which 10 part-time), over 120 volunteers, and 12 therapy horses come together to provide services to 80 weekly participants.

 

The successful candidate must be an articulate leader with the ability to represent the organization externally and be a compelling advocate for G&S. An understanding of how to run a small business or nonprofit organization, and how to manage fundraising are both also key.

Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, as well as a knowledge of non-profit governance and accounting practices. The candidate must be able to motivate and lead the small G&S team, build relationships in the community, communicate effectively, and work with minimal supervision. PATH certification and/or equine experience is not required but preferred. This is a management position; responsibilities and oversight include:

 

  • Staff recruitment, management, and development

  • Donor cultivation for individual and corporate giving

  • Development and management of relationships and interactions with participants, potential and current donors, and the G&S community

  • Grant writing

  • Budget development and management

  • Event planning and coordination

  • External communications (website, social media, newsletter, etc.)

  • Program and farm management oversight

  • Coordination and alignment with the G&S Board of Directors and G&S Committees (Development/Fundraising; Finance; and Governance)

  • Attendance at Board and Committee meetings

 

This full-time position offers a competitive salary and provides benefits including sick leave, two weeks of paid vacation, a health insurance stipend (with proof of insurance), potential field board for one horse, and generous professional development opportunities. The priority application deadline is August 18; to apply, please send a cover letter and CV to Recruitment@greatandsmallride.org

A PDF Version of this Position Listing can be found here.

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Part Time PATH Instructors

We are growing and have part-time openings for PATH Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructors on a rolling basis. Afternoon, weekend, and limited daytime hours possible.

 

Offering a structured, supportive, positive work environment, and dynamic opportunities for professional development. Pay scale of $21/hour and paid sick leave. Please contact Lisa Gatons, Program Director, to submit a resume or for more information at LGatons@greatandsmallride.org.

Our Staff

Administrative Team 

OUR STAFF
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Alexis Leonard, Executive Director 

Alexis joined the team in spring of 2020, and comes to Great and Small with more than a decade of fundraising and nonprofit experience, and is a lifelong horsewoman. She is a graduate of Sweet Briar College and recently served on the board of directors for Montgomery Countryside Alliance. Alexis lives in Dickerson with her two dogs, four horses, and her wife, Lili - who is also a frequent face and avid volunteer at Great and Small. 

Email: aleonard@greatandsmallride.org

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Rachel Doyle, Volunteer Manager

PATH CTRI, PATH ESMHL

Rachel is a highly qualified volunteer coordinator with extensive experience in equine therapies, and joined the team in spring of 2023. She graduated from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Facilitated Therapies in 2015. She has been a certified PATH CTRI and PATH ESMHL for 9 years also and a certified PA Council instructor. Rachel is a lifelong horsewoman currently owning two horses: a haflinger named Dora and an Appaloosa named Kallie. Rachels's passion for therapeutic riding makes her an invaluable addition to the team! 

Email: rdoyle@greatandsmallride.org

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Lisa Gatons, Program Director
PATH Equine Specialist

On staff for over a decade, Lisa Gatons is certified as a PATH Intl. Equine Specialist and has had training and experience with Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) methods. Prior to stepping into the Program Director role in December of 2022, Lisa has led many of Great and Small’s special programs, acting as an equine specialist for Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning as well as horse handling for hippotherapy sessions. Lisa lives nearby with her husband, two sons and four dogs. Both of her sons have volunteered at Great and Small many times over the years.

Email: Lgatons@greatandsmallride.org 

PATH Instructors and Equine Specialists

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Paige Clark, PATH CTRI and Mentor

Paige began volunteering at a therapeutic riding center in high school. She graduated from Centenary University in 2017 where she received a B.S. in Equine Business Management, minored in Psychology, and certified as a PATH Intl. certified instructor. She was the volunteer manager at Maryland Therapeutic Riding before joining Great and Small in November of 2019 as Program Director, and currently supports Great and Small in a part-time capacity.

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Nancy Heller, PATH CTRI and Mentor

Nancy is a retired special educator who specialized in early childhood special education. She has been a PATH certified instructor since 2003. Nancy has participated in PATH’s Mentor Training program and serves as a mentor to those who are working toward instructor certification. She has also served as vice president of the Maryland Council of Equestrian Therapies.

In 2021, Nancy was the PATH Intl. Region 2 Credentialed Professional of the Year. Congratulations Nancy!

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Peggy Itrich, PATH CTRI and Mentor

Peggy graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and worked for Lockheed Martin from 1993 to 2012. A life-long horse lover, opportunities to ride and be around horses were few and far between. When she began volunteering at Great and Small in 2007, it was a dream come true. She loves seeing the smiles on her students’ faces and the wonderful accomplishments that can happen when kids and horses come together.

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Elena Pezzana, PATH CTRI

Elena graduated with a Master of Law from the University of Camerino, Italy, but she set aside her professional career to raise her children, one of whom has special needs. She moved with her family (her husband, three children and two dogs) to the USA in 2014, after having lived in Italy, France, and French Guiana. She has been riding since a young age and her favorite discipline is dressage. Elena joined Great and Small as a volunteer in 2015, and in June 2018 she became a PATH Intl. certified instructor. She is also a part-time Italian teacher in D.C. for children.

Occupational Therapists (Hippotherapy)

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Nathalie Miller, PATH CTRI and Occupational Therapist

Nathalie joined the team in 2022 after volunteering with Hippotherapy sessions at Great and Small. Nathalie is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, a licensed Occupational Therapist and Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Nathalie has been teaching therapeutic riding lessons since 2014 and has been riding horses since 2003. Outside of teaching therapeutic riding Nathalie works at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington D.C. treating a patients with neurological disorders. 

Volunteer Coordinators

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Mischa Smith, Saturday Volunteer Coordinator

Mischa has been a dedicated volunteer in our community for five years, and we are pleased to announce that she has been promoted to 'Saturday Volunteer Coordinator' as of January 2023. Mischa is an avid horse rider herself who has been riding at Bascule Farm for seven years now. Her beloved horse, Rex, an 11-year-old thoroughbred, resides at Great and Small. We are proud of Mischa's accomplishments and grateful for her continued enthusiasm in serving our community.

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Veronica Sulima, Saturday Volunteer Coordinator

Veronica began her journey with Great and Small as a volunteer five years ago and since January 2023, she has served as a 'Saturday Volunteer Coordinator', ensuring that our program runs smoothly and efficiently. With twelve years of riding experience under her belt, Veronica leases a horse named "Heart" at Bascule farm where she enjoys eventing. Her passion for horses and volunteering is an invaluable asset to our organization.

Barn Staff Team

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Dakota Quelland, Barn and Facility Manager

Dakota joined Great and Small in June of 2021, and has many years of equine experience, including managing equine operations, giving beginner lessons, and even driving a stagecoach team! Dakota comes to us most recently at Windy Way Welsh Ponies in Berlin, Maryland, and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in both English Equestrian Studies and Equine Business Management from the University of Findlay.

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Caroline Perry, Barn Staff

Caroline Perry has been a member of the team at Great and Small for many years - filling roles of program volunteer, Saturday volunteer coordinator, barn staff, and even helping with grant writing from time to time! Caroline keeps her horse, Mozart, at Great and Small and has been riding since she was five years old. 

Our Horses

Learn more about our therapeutic partners and consider sponsoring one or more horses to help support and sustain our riding programs. Visit Great and Small's Sponsor a Horse page to meet and learn more about our horses. 

OUR HORSES

Board of Directors

Connie Eysenck, Communications Advisor | Great and Small Board President 

Connie joined the Board of Great and Small in February 2016, bringing 30 years of experience in strategic communications at the World Bank, and several years of teaching. Recently retired, she is exploring other opportunities and adventures, and applying her experience, skills, and enthusiasm to meaningful and interesting initiatives and projects. Connie’s professional passions remain international development, the power of communications, leadership roles and behavior, advocacy, campaigns, and community building. Her personal interests include supporting activities that make a difference.

A lifelong horseback rider, Connie was introduced to Great and Small when her wonderful horse “Huck” retired from the eventing world and joined the Great and Small equine team. After seeing the impact that the programs have through Huck’s five years here, Connie joined the Board to support the organization and contribute to its success. Originally from London, England, she lives in Washington DC with her husband.

Al Blount, Entrepreneur | Great and Small Board Treasurer 

Al joined the Great and Small Board in 2015 and also serves on the Finance Committee. The proud parent of a son with Fragile X, Al has been actively engaged with Great and Small since his son began taking therapeutic riding lessons shortly after they moved to Boyds in 2012. He began volunteering after seeing the positive impact the program had on his son and is honored to be a committed supporter and serve on the board.  Now retired from a technology career, Al spends his time in real estate development and advocating for individuals with intellectual disability with a particular interest in fostering meaningful employment opportunities for adults with learning differences.

Amy Chandler, Business Owner and CEO | Great and Small Board Secretary 

Amy joined the Great and Small Board in July 2021, and also serves on the Governance Committee. She is the owner and president of Kinsale Management Group, which owns and operates a portfolio of construction industry companies including Mid Atlantic Contracting, Pro Power & Electric and Z Construction. A creative thinker and problem solver, Amy is skilled in providing the vision, management, and direction needed to grow an organization, create operating efficiencies and cultivate organizational culture. Amy holds a bachelors from University of Maryland, College Park and is a current MBA candidate at Villanova University.


A life-long horsewoman, you can find Amy at the barn, on a horse or thinking about horses. She has over 30 years’ experience competing in the hunter/jumpers and over a decade’s experience in equine management.

Dr. Kathleen Atmore, Neuropsychologist

Kathleen joined the Great and Small Board in March 2023, and also serves on the Governance Committee. An avid horse lover, Kathleen is a Developmental Neuropsychologist and Autism Specialist with over 25 years of experience working with and advocating for children and families affected by learning and developmental disabilities and associated mental health concerns. She has worked at Children's National hospital in Washington DC since 2004. Kathleen has a special interest in meeting the needs of underserved populations, and in 2016 launched the Autism Behavioral Communication consultation service at the hospital, to provide education for staff and support for patients whose challenges have limited their access to health care services.


Raised in Minnesota where she developed her love of horses and rode regularly, Kathleen moved to Massachusetts to train and work at Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School before moving to Washington in 1994. Kathleen is the parent of four adult children and is delighted to have the opportunity to support the mission of Great and Small.

Jonathan “Jon” Beall, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking

Jon joined the Great and Small Board in March 2023, and also serves on the Development and Fundraising Committee. As Senior VP, Commercial & Industrial Relationship Manager, with EagleBank, Jon and his team have directly supported and financed more than $190 million in education/charter funding for top performing schools in DC, along with many regional and national Not-for-Profit organizations.

 

Jon and his wife Ally are lifelong Washingtonians, raised and now residing in Montgomery County, MD. Proud parents of two “pandemic babies”, they became actively engaged in the neurodiverse and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) community when their daughter was diagnosed with ASD. Since then, they became part of the robust and diverse special-needs community and enrolled their daughter in therapeutic riding lessons. After seeing first-hand the results yielded via the “magic” of equine-based therapy, and the positive impact on his daughter, Jon is honored to be an advocate and supporter of Great and Small. 

 

Jon and Ally enjoy spending time with their amazing 3-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, and chocolate Labrador, and in his spare time playing golf or guitar.

María González Calvet, Attorney

Maria joined the Great and Small Board in March 2023, and also serves on the Governance Committee, bringing 20 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Currently a partner at Ropes & Gray, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, and former in-house executive counsel of a Fortune 500 company, Maria has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries worldwide. Her professional focus is on advising clients to identify and mitigate risks and implement effective compliance and governance.

 

Maria’s first job was as a stable hand in rural Pennsylvania, and her favorite place is in the saddle! After decades away from horses, she was eager to introduce the sport to her son in 2020 after he recovered from a terminal diagnosis. She has witnessed firsthand the meaningful confidence-building impact that riding has had on him and is honored to serve on the Board to help others. When not in the office or the barn, Maria enjoys time with her daughter, her partner Anne, and their two dogs.

Curtis Mejeur, CEO

Curtis joined the Great and Small Board in March 2023, and also serves on the Finance Committee. He is currently the CEO of Bellese Technologies, a healthcare technology company focused on improving Medicare. Curtis has a long history of executive leadership for large and small organizations. His passion has been helping grow leaders in their areas of expertise spanning from healthcare, to finance, employee benefits, and security. Curtis has most recently led the benefits and financial management for the US Federal Government, overseeing the administration of a $100 billion budget.

Curtis joined the riding community later in life as a way to connect with his children. He now finds ways to ride all across the world, learning horses in their native countries. He is passionate about the power of horses to help people improve themselves.

 

Elizabeth (Liz) Terry, Non-Profit CEO

Liz joined the Great and Small Board in March 2023, and also serves on the Governance Committee. A lifelong equestrian trained in multiple disciplines, her love of horses was instant; and it continues today with her mare, Sophie (who, coincidentally, lives next door to Great and Small).  

 

Professionally, Liz has spent her career running nonprofits and trade associations. From operations to business development, event planning, advocacy, PR and Communications, Liz has experience in multiple aspects of running an organization and representing her constituency. 

 

In her free time Liz has volunteered for and served on multiple advisory and nonprofit Boards for several nonprofits including the American Ireland Funds: Young Leaders-Washington, DC, Belfast-Beltway Boxing, and Shore Lit, where Liz is currently serving as Treasurer. Liz understands sitting on both sides of the board room table. More importantly, Liz believes in the benefits horses bring to every life they touch. 

Katherine Williamson, Occupational Therapist

Katherine joined the Great and Small Board in March 2023, and also serves on the Development and Fundraising Committee. She is a licensed occupational therapist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC. As a certified Autism specialist, Katherine designs and runs programs that support children with developmental disabilities to access safe and supportive medical care. These programs cover both inpatient and outpatient services, and Katherine is integral to hospital leadership in supporting care for high-risk individuals. She shares knowledge and expertise by speaking nationally and internationally to help other institutions adopt new practices for this population. Katherine is highly trained in leadership — both in leading large groups of people and also in creating effective leaders. She manages a leadership program supporting people around the world to create and fulfill community-based projects. 
 
Katherine started riding as a 6-year-old and has never lost her passion for horses. Her leadership, commitment, creativity, and constant drive for what is possible makes Katherine an ideal addition to the Great and Small family. She lives in North Bethesda with her husband and son.

Committee Members

Patrice Williams-Johnson, Finance, Community Leader/Entrepreneur

Patrice joined Great and Small’s Finance Committee in March 2023. Raised in Norfolk, Virginia, she has degrees in accounting and leadership. With over 32 years of service in the Federal government in accounting and budget in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, she is currently the Executive Technical Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer.  Patrice enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling, and has spent time in Africa twice on medical missions. Together with her daughter, she has adopted a number of dogs from the animal shelter, and started being around horses when her daughter began riding. 

 

Serving the community and in ministry is another passion. Patrice has been the Treasurer of her homeowner community association for 20 years, has served in nonprofits and several ministries, and provides financial education to her community. She also hosts Montgomery County high schoolers through the SummerRise program.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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