Our Team

The JoyRide Team is the engine behind “making the impossible possible” for our clients. The staff is a caring group invested in the success of the clients and horses, and they use the highest levels of professionalism in their work. Riding instructors are certified through PATH Intl. as Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors (CTRI). Our day program instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, and provide high quality instruction to all their clients.

To view current JoyRide job openings, Click Here.  To get to our application, Click Here.

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Carrie Kennedy

Executive Director 
 

Carrie was born and raised in Annapolis Maryland and has been living in Texas for the past 11 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has years of business operations experience, and a love of horses and serving her community. She enjoys spending her free time with her children, biking, swimming, and reading.

Carrie@joyridecenter.org

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Kristi Pierce

Prep Day Program Manager

Kristi has a Master's degree in Education and a special education teaching certificate. She has an interest in utilizing outdoor classroom spaces and the natural world. Her family includes her husband, children, dogs, cats, chickens, bees, and horses. 

Kristi@joyridecenter.org

Regina Pakstas-Smith
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Equine Assisted Learning Program Manager

Regina was born in Maryland and raised in New York. She relocated to Magnolia, TX, from Western Kentucky with her dog Jasper, where she was the barn manager and PATH CTRI at two therapeutic riding facilities. She has been a PATH CTRI for 6 years, with a degree in Psychology from the College of Saint Rose and a Master's degree in Crisis Counseling and Trauma from Liberty University. Regina has been riding horses for 18 years and has 2 horses, Peppy and Duke. She has interned with international horse-icon Alycia Burton for 6 weeks during a tour of the United States, has a background in hunter/jumper and dressage, and teaches from a natural horsemanship perspective. She is passionate about her work and fully believes that therapeutic riding is her strength and calling in life.

Regina@joyridecenter.org

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Karen Somma

Therapeutic Riding Program Manager

Karen has loved horses all her life and was blessed to own her own horse as a young adult.  After graduating from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor's degree, she worked for attorneys for 20 years and raised her son in the suburbs of Houston. In 2008, she volunteered for a therapeutic riding center and immediately fell in love with the industry. Karen became a CTRI in 2011 which was quickly followed by Equine Specialist in Mental Health/Learning and Mentor credentials. She has a passion for assisting people with disabilities to gain strength, increase communication skills, develop confidence, and have fun through interaction with those magical creatures known as horses.

karen@joyridecenter.org

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Sarah Musick

Development Manager

Sarah has a background in many industries such as corporate, legal, religious organizations, and over 10 years in the nonprofit sector.  She has a passion for working with under-resourced communities providing solutions that connect them to opportunity and a future.  She enjoys traveling, hiking, and working in the yard with her husband of 25 years, Robert.  Together they have raised their beautiful daughter Emma who is in college at the University of Montana

Sarah@joyridecenter.org

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Craig Arny

Volunteer Coordinator

Craig grew up in Houston with a love of both horses and volunteering. He discovered the combination of both at SIRE in 2002, where he volunteered for a few years until JoyRide was founded in 2009. He has been a volunteer at JoyRide since the beginning. Craig joined JoyRide’s staff as the volunteer coordinator in 2019. Craig is married to artist Sam Sartorius and lives in Magnolia with a rescued Great Dane and one cat. He is also a doting father and grandfather.

volunteer@joyridecenter.org

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Blake Lewis

Office Manager

Born and raised in Texas, Blake has grown up with a love and understanding of horses that runs generations deep.  She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Services and Development with a Minor in Agriculture Economics from Tarleton State University.  Her passion for therapeutic equine-assisted services stems from volunteering with T.R.E.A.T Rodeo in college.  She joined our team in February 2022.  Blake has dreams of one day, opening her own non-profit to provide therapeutic equine-assisted services to children and adults.  

Blake@joyridecenter.org

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Brandon McLarty

Facility Manager

Born in Houston and raised in Sugarland, Brandon has worked in pool construction, at a gun range, in real estate with Keller Williams Southwest, and Montgomery County Sherriff's Office Jail Divison.  He has loved hunting and fishing all of his life. Brandon has owned horses, donkeys, and dogs, but currently has one horse, Romeo, 2 dogs, Dixie and Diesel, and a donkey.  He hopes to go back to school for a bachelor's degree in the wildlife science field. 

Brandon@joyridecenter.org

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Alicia Cambell

Assistant Teacher

Alicia came to JoyRide as an intern student from Lone Star Montgomery College, where she volunteered in both the riding and day programs.  She graduated in 2019 with an Associate's Degree in Human Services and plans to continue her education to become a certified special education teacher. Once Alicia completed her hours as an intern, she was offered a permanent position working in the day program and has enjoyed every minute of it. When she isn't working at JoyRide, Alicia enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as taking care of her many animals, which include 3 cats, 4 dogs, and 2 bunny rabbits! (Fondly referred to as the Campbell Zoo)

Alicia@joyridecenter.org

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Lorraine Ostrowski

CTRI and Equine Specialist

Lorraine is a PATH CTRI and an equine specialist. Lorraine brings many years of experience with her.  Lorraine has been a PATH CTRI since 1994 and has held her Equine Specialist certificate since 2019. Lorraine spends her free time crafting and with her family. 

Lorraine@joyridecenter.org

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Shannon Roepke

Equine Trainer

Shannon is not only a highly skilled equine trainer but is an avid photographer as well. Shannon has a keen interest in animals, including reptiles. Shannon brings a wealth of equine knowledge to the team. Shannon spends her free time with her own animals and enjoys showing her horse. 

Shannon@joyridecenter.org

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Amanda Weber

Day Program Mentor

Amanda graduated from Klein High School in 2009. That fall, Amanda began riding lessons at JoyRide. In recognition of her skills and commitment, she trained as a volunteer and became a sidewalker and a horse handler. Once the day program was formed, Amanda began working with the young adults as a mentor.  Amanda, an avid equestrian competitor, has won many trophies, belt buckles, and ribbons galore as an Equestrian with Disabilities Rider in Quarter Horse shows. Still committed to learning, Amanda is currently taking reining lessons. She loves taking care of her 3 horses, Forrest, Bella, and Bodemeister.

aweber@joyridecenter.org

Board of
Directors and Board  Members

Scott Vann

President

Roger Wagner 

Vice President

Guy Hunter

Treasurer

Mary Brezina

Secretary

Leonard Kalfayan

Member

Madeline Brogan

Member

Bryce Speer

Member