Patricia Fried, JD, Executive Director Quantum Leap Farm
Prior to joining Quantum Leap Farm in January 2011, Pat held senior leadership positions in small grassroots organizations as well as a large multi-million dollar nonprofit. She received her Juris Doctorate from Creighton University and while she practiced law for a short while, she was soon drawn into public service and joined Eckerd Youth Alternatives, a multi-state nonprofit organization where she worked in a variety of positions over a 21 year span. Pat's responsibilities over her years with that organization grew from providing oversight of daily operations of a unit serving delinquent youth to her last position as Associate Vice President of Quality. During her last 15 years with Eckerd, Pat led organizational efforts to improve the quality of service to youth and their families through performance management efforts and the adoption of evidence-based practices. As the executive leader of performance improvement, she led efforts to define strategic objectives, establish measures and targets to evaluate the objectives, and to produce reliable information for sound decision-making. In her role as Executive Director at a small grassroots organization in St. Petersburg, Pat worked on several projects including a community dialogue focused on improving success for children, a community baby shower and implementation of a parenting curriculum in the organization’s preschool.
Pat has extensive analysis, evaluation, planning, and implementation skills enabling her to manage a number of large projects simultaneously. She has presented at many conferences, both nationally and internationally. Pat is a true collaborator who focuses on identifying community needs and finding innovative ways to engage partners to help meet those needs. She engaged the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in collaborative research projects. Pat nurtures a culture of accountability and actively seeks out community partnerships wherever she works.
Pat’s background in quality, organizational efficiency, business development and leadership will help Quantum Leap Farm reach toward its goal to be one of the country's model equine therapy centers.
Jenna Miller, Co-Director At EASE Program, Head Therapeutic Riding Instructor
MA, RMHCI, Working Toward Licensure in the State of Florida, EAP EAGALA Certified Professional
An avid horsewomen and horse lover from a young age, Jenna has been involved in the Equestrian world for over 20 years, including the roles of competitor and coach to adolescents in the art of horsemanship. Jenna possesses a B.S. in Animal Science (Equine Studies) from the University of Florida and Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. She is now working as a registered Mental Health Counseling intern towards licensure in the state of Florida. Jenna spent her MHC internship working with Tampa’s homeless population at Metropolitan Ministries and since 2008 has worked with individuals, families and groups including different veteran populations from both James A. Haley and Bay Pines VA hospitals, as well as active duty military and their families utilizing the At EASE (Equine Assisted Self Exploration) program at Quantum Leap Farm.
As program director of the At EASE program Jenna believes this field of work can transform and empower lives by helping clients put the focus back on their own locus of control, resolving trauma, and offering a truly healing environment for healthy coping skills to emerge as well as increased emotional well-being. Jenna also spends her time as a therapeutic riding instructor at Quantum Leap Farm, where she assists individuals in improving physical, mental and social well being. Jenna’s passion for horses and their innate ability to impact individuals in a myriad of ways, as well as her continuing interest in the human psyche and belief in the mind, body, spirit connection has led her to the fascinating field of EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy). Her belief is that EAP is an amazing form of experiential therapy where individuals can draw powerful metaphors by interacting with horses allowing for powerful discoveries about oneself, one’s relationships and the world around them.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”- Victor Frankl
Mary Diana, BA, Equine Specialist, Operations Coordinator
Mary’s name might be familiar to those in the Tampa Bay area who are listeners of WUSF-FM. She served our local National Public Radio affiliate for 25 years as Classical Music Director. Throughout those 25 years she also acquired a deep knowledge of the nonprofit world, fundraising and donor development. Heading the Music Department she also used excellent organizational skills to coordinate a team that delivered music programming to the radio audience, 24/7, 365 days a year. While in music, Mary maintained her deep love of horses by riding at Sandhill Farm in Zephyrhills. When the opportunity arose to serve at Quantum Leap, Mary jumped at it.
All those years of experience and the skills Mary acquired at WUSF and Sandhill Farm are put to good use here at Quantum Leap Farm. As Operations Coordinator, Mary orchestrates the team’s efforts as we serve clients, performs horse-care and stable maintenance, corresponds with donors, referral sources, clients and volunteers, updates the website, maintains Farm inventories, researches and completes grant applications, keeps and maintains records, and creates and executes fundraisers. She is, in short, our corporate “glue”.
Carrie Peterson, Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Carrie Peterson has been involved with the responsibilities of horse ownership since childhood. For over 30 years, Carrie has both competed and coached USPC events up to “A” rated hunter level shows. During her High School years, she spent many hours in the saddle helping to rehabilitate off the track racehorses, slowly transforming them into saleable, show savvy hunter/jumpers. Teaching English riding discipline since the age of 16, she had many students showing continuously andtraveling the Southeast, from schooling shows to “A” shows. Her students primarily show in the pony divisions. Carrie leads them on to compete in the AHSA Pony Finals, at the world famous Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, KY.
Carrie, with her mother, B.J. co-owned a successful American Miniature Horse breeding program, Pepper Ridge Miniature Horse Farm, in Odessa, Florida. Together they trained many registered minis to drive, bred and produced numerous Champions, and brokered many international horse sales. These activites ultimately led to travel abroad and many life-long friendships. Managing Pepper Ridge for over 28 years, Carrie & B.J. owned a total of over 200 AMHA & AMHR minis! Since her mother’s passing in 2010, Carrie has been working on her certification as a PATH, International Instructor and is transforming her remaining Pepper Ridge minis into tiny therapeutic horses. She plans to continue seeking additional certifications within the equine assisted therapeutic field.
As of December 2011, Quantum Leap Farm is happy to have Carrie as a member of our professional staff. She provides and maintains an equine environment that promotes good horsemanship and a sense of fun, while keeping safety paramount. Carrie’s students learn equitation, balance, horsemanship, and confidence. They are also introduced to entry level dressage, drill team, vaulting, lunge lessons, games, driving and the pleasures of trail riding. Carrie has been a professional equine/commercial photographer and graphic designer since 1988. Currently she enjoys trail riding and driving her mini horses through the Florida orange groves!
Sheryl Whitley, Stable Manager, Therapeutic Instructor
Sheryl Whitley is a Tampa native who has been in love with horses and involved in the horse world since she was 6 years old. Her formative years were filled with horseback riding lessons. At 16 she purchased her very own horse. In early adulthood, family matters overtook her time and energy until about 6 years ago, when she began volunteering at Quantum Leap Farm.
In 2005, Sheryl joined the ranks of Quantum Leap instructors and has since worked with every type of Quantum Leap participant: disabled children and adults, a host of our military participants and even recreational riders. In 2010, Sheryl took on the role of Barn Manager. Sheryl thoroughly enjoys working with Quantum Leap Farm participants, volunteers and horses.
Liz Howell, BS, Stable Manager
Liz comes to Quantum Leap Farm having earned a BS in Exercise Science from the University of South Florida. She attended college on a softball scholarship and played as catcher on USF’s womens’ softball team, the Lady Bulls, for 4 years. Liz’s education and the leadership skills she acquired playing ball have transferred nicely to her roles here on the Farm. Liz manages dozens of volunteers, many of who have little or no equine experience, as they assist clients, perform barn chores, and groom and tack horses for sessions. Liz also assists in “hippotherapy” sessions during which we exploit the horses’ movement to benefit riders with various forms of mobility disability. Liz’s understanding of the most recent knowledge available in exercise physiology, anatomy, and exercise prescription make her the perfect instructor for these sessions.
TEAM MEMBERS/QLF CONTRACTORS
MA, LCDC, CAP, CTT, EAP EAGALA Certified Professional
Carla Berry Staats is founder and president of Staats Behavioral Health & Wellness, LLC, and Co-Owner of N2 Nutrition, LLC. She possesses both a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Sam Houston State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Brownsville. Carla holds an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) with the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (CDC) in Texas, Certified Addictions Professional (CAP) and Certified Trauma Therapist (CTT) with the Florida Certification Board. In addition, she holds an EAGALA certification (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) and a certificate to conduct family mediations. Her experience includes working with civilian adults, veterans and adolescents in both residential and outpatient settings.
Carla’s work focuses on assisting clients, both individuals and groups, in replacing unhealthy habits with more effective solution-producing behaviors to the enhancement of each client’s lifestyle and relationships. Her unique approach of mind, body, and spirit combined with her affinity for people and horses has guided her enduring interest in equine-assisted learning. As a horse owner and equestrienne, Carla recognizes the vast potential for understanding and growth through the metaphoric interaction between human and equine. Among the many benefits of team and relationship building in this distinctive setting are improved coping strategies, communication skills, and conflict and trauma resolution. She developed the At EASE Equine Assisted Self ExplorationTM Program now utilized at Quantum Leap Farm in Odessa, Florida.
Find out more about Carla and her work at www.UnitedWeStandAt-Ease.com.
Lynn Bankston, MPT, Director Hippotherapy Program, Licensed Physical Therapist
Lynn earned her Masters degree in Physical Therapy at Concordia University in1997. She is a member of the American Hippotherapy Association, a certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist, and an avid horsewoman. Lynn's extensive professional experience spans 14 years. During that time she has helped patients of all ages overcome function loss from amputations, balance and vestibular conditions, hyper and hypotonicity, a variety of orthopedic and neurological conditions, and acute and chronic degenerative conditions.
Lynn's specialty in manual therapy is an added benefit facilitating optimal outcomes. She creates individual programs for each person to achieve specific goals for their lives. Therapy sessions last from 30-90 minutes and may include stretching and manual therapy, hippotherapy and other horse related activities ensuring each patient's experience is safe, effective and fun!
Justine Nelson, MS, Licensed Speech Language Pathologist
Justine Nelson, the Licensed Speech Language Pathologist for Quantum Leap Therapy, LLC, earned her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1999, after earning her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin. Justine has provided speech, language, and cognitive therapy services to children and adults within their homes, private clinics, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals. Justine has worked extensively with preschool and school-aged children using a multisensory and play-based approach. She believes in using a dynamic means of speech and language therapy by tailoring the techniques to match the unique needs of the individual and their family. Justine makes use of numerous innovative therapy techniques including Interactive Metronome, Rhythmic Entertainment, Bal-A-VisX, Beckman Oral-Motor and Therapeutic Listening.
Mike Hughes heads up a growing family firm, Hughes Consulting, that not only keeps track of Quantum Leap's financial side, but also consults with QLF management on visioning and long-term planning. Deb Hughes works right alongside and both Mike and Deb have become ardent supporters and volunteers as well.
Please call Quantum Leap Farm at (813) 920-9250, or contact us for more information about the Farm.