Board Members

Rev. Stacey Spence, President

Stacey, born in Dayton, Ohio moved to Florida at an early age with her family and grew up in Broward and Palm Beach County. She has three adult children and two grandchildren.  Stacey attended Zion Lutheran High School in Deerfield Beach. From there her education continued at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Her life path led her studies to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky.  She has been a resident of Marion and Alachua Counties for the last eight years.

Stacey has a strong dedication to her children, family, friends and her faith.  Her personal and loving relationship with Jesus coupled with a passion for helping and guiding others led her to Hawthorne First United Methodist Church where she was recently appointed a Provisional Elder. Youth ministry and animals have always been Stacey’s passion.

Stacey has served Non-Profits as staff or as a volunteer over the last twenty years. Her expertise is forged in her strength to carry on regardless of the circumstances. She has faithfully served Stirrups n’ Strides as a PATH certified riding instructor, mentor and Board President over the last seven years. Stacey is an experienced equestrian whose love for people and horses are messed together in her service to Stirrups n’ Strides. A favorite quote is “Well done my good and faithful servant. GOD”

 

Sandy Donaldson, Vice-President & Secretary, Ombudsman

Sandra (Sandy) is married to Tom Donaldson and they have 4 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren! Their daughter’s love for horses is what introduced them to the equine world.

Sandy graduated from Newton-Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing in Newton, Massachusetts. Her career path led her to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC, University of Vermont, where she was a Pediatric Orthopeadic Nurse. She worked for twenty-seven years there for a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon. She and her family moved to Ocala after retiring in 2003.

After relocating to Ocala, Sandi looked for a volunteer opportunity that would be a good fit with her experience working with special needs children and one she would truly enjoy. An ad in the newspaper drew her to Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center where she could make a difference for people with special needs in the horse environment.

Sandy was asked to join the Board of Directors in October, 2012. “It has been a rewarding experience for many years. I am very happy to be involved in this wonderful organization!”

 

Rebecca (Becky) Moore, Comptroller

Rebecca (Becky) was born in Iowa and values the strong work ethics instilled by a Midwest upbringing.  Becky’s strong family ties are evident by a marriage of 53 years to Jerry Moore. They have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren!  Church is of utmost importance to her and she is currently serving as the Finance Chair there.

Becky’s employment has ranged from new accounts/investment in a bank, to renting semis & trucks for Ryder Truck Rental, to helping her husband run a restaurant equipment business where she kept the books. She has also been a gift shop manager specializing in shipping & selling of citrus fruit. Becky brings many years of varied experiences and a broad range of knowledge to Stirrups ‘n Strides.  Retirement came for her in June, 2009.  By September, Becky was ready for a new challenge.

She soon realized that Stirrups ‘n Strides offered exactly what she sought; a “family” orientated therapeutic riding program.  Becky became a volunteer in September, 2009 and started learning about the horses, the “safety first” for everyone, and the joy in helping others.  She was hooked and was soon there for every riding day and helping in classes either side-walking or leading.

Becky was asked to join the Board of Directors in March, 2011.  She has served on The Board as Treasurer, Secretary-Treasurer, Bookkeeper and currently as comptroller. Her main focus and goal is to see the Quail Roost Covered Arena completed entirely and to help cut the ribbon for Grand Opening!

“I love that Stirrups ‘n Strides helps people grow and become more invested in life! This is true not only for the riders, but also the volunteers and instructors. That there are horses makes it that much more exciting!”

 

Elaine Richter, Treasurer

While growing up, Elaine lived in Brooklyn and East Meadow, NY.  During her marriage, Elaine and husband Bruce moved from Brooklyn, NY to Fair Lawn, NJ where they lived and raised a family. Elaine was the Parent Support Coordinator at the Paramus Vocational High School Program that her daughter Becky attended, where she coordinated services with the student’s parents. She also served on the Board of Directors for Morris County, NJ ARC for 3 years. Her daughter Becky had been riding in a PATH therapeutic riding program with great results in New York.

Elaine and Becky moved to Ocala, FL, in 2010 after her husband Bruce passed away. She went back to work as a Customer Service Manager for Alpex Wheel Company, a manufacturing company that made diamond and borazon grinding wheels.

Elaine searched out just the right therapeutic riding program for Becky to continue her riding and they found it at Stirrups ‘n Strides! Becky began riding again and Elaine became a volunteer in 2010. Elaine was asked to join the board as Treasurer in October, 2016.

“My daughter Becky rides with Stirrups ‘n Strides and I felt it was very important to become involved. Not only is it an excellent therapeutic riding facility, we have experienced such a genuine feeling of caring, friendship and family at Stirrups ‘n Strides. ”

 

Elaine (Laney) McGivern, Member

Laney grew up in Western Pennsylvania close by her grandparents’ farm. Her first ride on a horse was on her Grandfather’s draft horse, Jack. She got her own pony at the age of 12. And so began her love of horses.

She earned a BSBA from University of Florida and an MBA from University of Tampa. She pursued a career in market research and development in the Tampa Bay area and Atlanta, before taking a three year break to travel solo around the world. Upon her return, she settled in San Francisco and worked in the customer service department for United Airlines for 15 years. Laney and her husband, Jim, have been married for 24 years. Bi-coastal for many years, they moved from California to Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, FL full time 10 years ago.

Along with a love of horses and equine assisted therapy, Laney is also an avid golfer, an interest she shares with her husband Jim. She is on the course rating team for Florida State Golf Association as well as the rating panel for Golfweek Magazine.

Laney began volunteering at Stirrups ‘n Strides in 2010 once they settled in Lecanto. She has been an enthusiastic volunteer at many equestrian competitions such as eventing, dressage and combined driving events. Laney joined the Board of Directors in June, 2013. In March, 2015, Laney became a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor.

“Knowing the effectiveness of the program at Stirrups’n Strides, participating on the Board presents an opportunity to help grow the program and assure its future sustainability.”

James (Jim) McGivern, Member

Jim McGivern was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland – University Heights. He attended Jesuit schools for 13 years and later studied business at the University of Notre Dame.

As an officer in the Air Force, he flew transport aircraft on active duty—much of it in and throughout Viet Nam. He was hired in June 1965 by United Air Lines and served as navigator, flight engineer, first officer and captain for nearly 35 years. Jim is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI/CFII) with over 24,000 hours in the friendly skies.

Jim has real estate experience and is licensed in Florida, has owned many commercial properties and homes, has served on two additional board of directors – one a Technical Manufacturing Company in Silicon Valley, CA.  His loves-of-life are family, flight instructing, golf, where he and wife, Laney, ‘panel-rate’ the attributes of several golf clubs per year, world-wide for a well-known golf magazine.

He joined this wonderful non-profit endeavor, where he enjoys Laney’s passion for travel and teaching—she as a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and both thoroughly enjoy helping in any way possible with Stirrups ‘n Strides success. Jim also joined the Board of Directors in June, 2013.

 

George Sawyer, Member

George grew up in Rhode Island. He joined the Marine Corps in 1966, where he served a thirteen month tour in Viet Nam and was honorably discharged after six years of service.  He graduated from Fisher College with a degree in Business Management. George has forty-six years of experience in sales & marketing. George and his wife Connie have also been married for forty-six years. He recently retired from the Virginia Lottery after twenty-eight years as a Regional Manager when he and Connie relocated to Ocala. They have two daughters, a grandson and a granddaughter.

Horses have always been a family passion. George and Connie were involved in 4-H Horse Clubs in Massachusetts and Connecticut with their children, volunteering on local and state levels. As grandparents they continued to have horses so both of their grandchildren could ride.

After relocating from Virginia to Ocala, George and Connie joined Stirrup ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center in September, 2016.

George was recently asked to serve on the Board of Directors in May, 2017.
“My mission is to bring more awareness and focus to the great things Stirrups ‘n Strides offers through the connection between the disabled and horses.”

 

Ange Banda, Member

Ange is the Branch Manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Reddick.  She has worked for Wells Fargo for a bit over three years, but has worked in the financial industry for twenty-one years. Also a teacher, Ange taught Spanish at Indiana University East for six years prior to moving to Ocala three years ago.  She is a Hoosier from Indiana, so no stranger to the horse industry either.

Ange has two children: one son (21) who lives in Indiana and a daughter (18) who lives with her.  She also has a small dog, a Japanese chin, named Pixie.

Ange has served on many boards over the years and has volunteered for too many organizations to count.  She has a true passion for being involved in the communities where she works and lives. “Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so we should all help when we can – to leave this world a better place than we found it.”

Hobbies: outdoors, beach, relaxing in/on the water, music, traveling, volunteering