Pam Cusick, MA , President
Pam Cusick is an experienced public health research professional with experience in the areas of education, communications, and research as well as strategic planning, community outreach, and public relations. Pam earned a BA in Psychology from Sweet Briar College, and a MA in Psychology from the New School for Social Research. Pam has been involved with horses for much of her life and is interested in increasing public awareness of the therapeutic benefits of working with horses.
"There is much anecdotal evidence of the amazing impact horses have on individuals with physical and emotional challenges. Providing research-based evidence will enable more people to access these benefits through their medical providers and, hopefully one day soon, be able to obtain coverage through health insurance. I look forward to working with HHRF to help this become a reality.”
C. Mike Tomlinson, DVM, MBA, Past President
Dr. Mike Tomlinson became an avid horseperson in the fifth grade. From that point on, his life has been focused on horses. Mike earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the University of California at Davis. The first job after picking up his diploma was working at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He had a performance horse practice until returning from the Stockholm World Equestrian Games, when several of his best clients explained that he cannot be gone for six weeks straight for the events – he had to choose between traditional veterinary practice and doing the big events. It was clear which way he was to go. So it was back to school, this time earning his Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Since then, Mike has been a C-level executive of several corporations, continuing today as the CEO, COO and/or Board Member of several multinational corporations. He has been extremely active in para equestrian sports since 2000 including helping found the US Para Equestrian Association in 2010 and being an executive board member since then. He is very active in sport governance having been on the USEF board for 12 years and still very active with several equestrian sport organizations. Dr. Mike has been Chef d’Equipe for the USET Endurance Team and the USET Team Vet for numerous competitions including three World Equestrian Games. He is a FEI Vet for Dressage, Endurance, Eventing, Vaulting, Para Equestrian, and Jumping, a FEI Steward, and is a FEI ‘O’ Judge, Course Designer and Technical Delegate in Endurance. Dr. Mike lives in Southern California where he can enjoy riding year ‘round. Last year Mike taught FEI Officials’ courses and officiated at over 20 FEI 3, 4 and 5 star events in countries all around the globe.
“I am a believer - I know positively that horses facilitate an accelerated path to healing and personal progress. What a thrill to support research that encourages the world to make it more accessible."
Evelyn McKelvie, Vice President
Evelyn McKelvie is a certified Executive Coach, speaker, and author who specializes in working with teams and individuals who want to create better ways of relating in the workplace and overcome barriers to performance effectiveness.
Before devoting herself full time to her current role as Founder of Equine Coach, Evelyn worked for many years in leadership positions in large, medium, and small, most recently as a senior manager for IT at the University of British Columbia.
Evelyn has developed a unique coaching modality which includes working with the aid of horses as co-coaches. Incorporating principles from neuroscience and emotional intelligence. Evelyn has a degree in Music from the University of British Columbia (1994), a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University (2008), a diploma in Computer Programming (2000) and is certified to administer Emotional Intelligence assessments (EQ-I, 2009). Evelyn is also a certified horse trainer with many years of experience working with many horses.
“It has been my privilege to meet and work with many horses over the last 20 years. They have taught me things that no human could. They inspire me to continue to work with and for them and to always seek to be the best person I can be.”
Patricia Ochman, B.C.L., LL.B., Secretary
Patricia Ochman practices law at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her J.D. from the University of Akron and her B.C.L. and LL.B. law degrees from McGill University, Canada. She has also studied at the Vermont Law School and at the University of Lapland, Finland. Prior to joining Jones Day, Patricia Ochman practiced law in Montreal, Canada, where she focused on litigation, indigenous law, constitutional law, and natural resource law.
After spending her teen years jogging Standardbred trotters and pacers, Patricia Ochman now spends most of her free time with her Icelandic horse. She also enjoys saddleseat riding and driving.
“Horses compelled me to overcome my fears, push my limits, build my self-confidence and discover my deepest core. They helped me in my daily life and in my interactions with others. It is important to me that others, especially those who need it most, have the opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with a wonderful horse, simply because horses encourage us to be honest with ourselves, without ever judging us. They just gently and patiently teach us to be the best that we can be. HHRF’s work helps make such relationships between horses and humans more accessible."
Sally Lehnhardt, Treasurer
Sally recently retired as Vice President of Information Technology. She has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University. Sally rode her first pony at 2 ½ and her connection to horses has grown from that moment. She has competed in 4H, Western Pleasure, Saddle Seat, Driving, Hunter/Jumpers, Dressage and now owns an eventer. Sally is a life long learner, an avid reader, and a lover of all animals, especially dogs and horses. She currently has two rescue dogs and her horse.
"I have seen the impact horses have on people. They can bring out confidence that didn’t exist, they can help someone’s body learn balance and improve core strength and they can teach communication in many verbal and non-verbal ways. HHRF is providing the scientific research to show how this connection can be used to help people in many ways and to therapy with horses become more accessible to those who need it."
Nancy Coyne, MD
Nancy Coyne, MD is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with 40 plus years experience. She has been doing equine facilitated psychotherapy since 2005 in Maine and Arizona. Inspired by Barbara Rector, Ann Alden, and Linda Kohanov, she works with individuals, families and small groups with the horses to help the humans heal from trauma, manage emotional turmoil and connect with nature and themselves. Her work incorporates yoga, art making and sharing with the powerful work of the horse herd.
“I would like to contribute whatever I can to the ongoing discovery of what the horses offer humans in these critical times.”
Nancy is a life-long horse person having shown western, hunters, jumpers, and Tennessee Walking Horses, which she has also bred and trained. She was an avid 4-H'er. She has been leading EAAT organizations for 12 years, including being part of several research teams. She is a Walking Horse Owners and Exhibitors Association Certified Judge and a PATH Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She received her B.S. in psychology from Old Dominion University and went onto become a family therapist as well as a policy analyst. She is currently working on her MBA from St. Andrews University. ·
“Outcomes are validated by research and as equine assisted activities and therapies become increasingly well-known it is crucial that research that leads to the development of best practices be supported and disseminated. Relationships with horses are life-changing; now we have to gather the evidence!”
David Schmutz’s educational background includes AB Pitzer College (1975) in Classical Studies, Claremont Graduate School (1977) MBA. David spent his career in real estate (Colwell Banker, Bixby Ranch Company) before acquiring the Paddock Riding Club in 1986. This provided the necessary experience in working with horses and individuals through various disciplines. He currently has his Senior accreditation in Dressage (‘S’) and his 4* from the ‘Federation Equestre Internationale’ (FEI) in Para Equestrian competition.
“I believe that the relationship between horses and riders, while thousands of years old, is in need of better understanding. Anything we can do to facilitate communication between these two will accrue to the benefit of both in mutual our endeavors.”
Molly Sweeney,Emerita, non-voting member
Molly Sweeney is founder of the Horses and Human Research Foundation. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where she was blessed to grow up with horses in her life. Molly became involved with Equine Assisted Activities in 1990, when she started volunteering for SIRE. Molly has been a volunteer at SIRE for almost 20 years and has also served multiple terms as their board president. She served on the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Board from 1996 to 2002. Molly says she is not a researcher herself, but has never outgrown that childhood phase where one is always asking, “But WHY?”
SPECIAL NOTICE, August 2019: We send our condolences to the family of Ann Alden, who recently passed away. Ann was an important part of the HHRF family and will be missed.
We extend our sincerest gratitude to past board members who have encouraged and guided HHRF's mission though out our history:
Patti Kortkamp - 2002
Jane Fitzpatrick- 2005
Marge Kittredge- 2005*
Octavia Brown- 2007
Alan Young- 2007
Michael Kaufmann- 2008
Renee Taylor- 2009
Tess Schmalbach- 2009
Jim Smith- 2009
Susan Harding- 2009
Robert Crump, J.D.- 2012*
Leslie Williams- 2014
Pam Milner- 2015*
Judith Lightfoot- 2015
Joanne Hart- 2015
Cynthia Ruiz- 2015
Stacey Yalenti- 2016
Larry D. Pence - 2016
Alison Zack Darrell - 2016
Paul T. Haefner - 2017
Lynn Shaw - 2017
Michael Richardson- 2017
Maureen MacNamara- 2017
Anne Alden - 2018