Jane Banta, Riding Instructor and Barn Assistant
Jane found Mane Stream through the semi-annual tack sale after moving back to New Jersey from Texas. She is currently an Adaptive riding instructor preparing for her PATH certification as well as a barn assistant. Jane has been riding horses for 15 years and getting back into the sport after graduating from Southern Methodist University. Pony up! In her spare time she rides as many horses as she can get her hands on and spends time with friends, family, and her three dogs.
Louisa Bartok, Marketing & Communications Manager
Louisa leads the marketing and community outreach efforts for the organization while also acting as backup for the volunteer coordinator and assisting with special events and fundraising efforts. She brings to Mane Stream extensive expertise in non-profit administration, focused mainly in the areas of volunteer coordinator, marketing, and development.
After growing up on a horse farm in Hunterdon County with many years spent riding bareback and trail riding, Louisa graduated from Hollins University but did not ride while there. Louisa has been enjoying the sport of curling for 25 years, having competed for many years and represented the East Coast Region at the 2002 National Competition. Now she spends her vacation time participating in Bonspiels with her husband Paul all throughout Europe and North America.
Kelly Champion Tambasco, PATH Registered Instructor, Camp Activity Specialist, and Barn Assistant
Kelly has many different and important job responsibilities at Mane Stream. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor, one of the barn staff responsible for maintaining the barn and caring for the herd, and during the summer also acts as a camp activity specialist. Kelly has been involved with horses for almost 45 years and has enjoyed sharing her knowledge and experiences with the staff, volunteers and participants. In her spare time, Kelly still enjoys riding and is currently competing on the hunter\jumper "A" circuit.
Denise Cooke, Database Coordinator and Marketing & Communications Specialist
Denise maintains the Mane Stream donor information and database, provides the staff with software and technical support and deals with technical issues for the organization. Denise came to Mane Stream in 2004 after her daughter, Ashley, began riding here. She volunteered for a year and then started working in the office. She has a MA in Educational Psychology and taught special education in Bridgewater before moving to AT&T where she worked in programming and systems management. Denise loves reading and has lived in Whitehouse Station with her family for 25 years.
Jen Dermody, Equine Manager, Head Instructor and Event Coordinator
Jen coordinates the adaptive riding program, schooling program for our horses, is responsible for finding and assessing potential new members of our herd, and is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor. Jen specializes in teaching riders that are independent in their willingness to learn and she strives to get the most out of her riders while developing their skills. She utilizes what she learns from her own experiences and adapts that to help her riders reach their goals and become as independent as possible.
In 2015, Jen became the event coordinator for Mane Stream. She quickly discovered she had a passion for planning events. When one event ends she is immediately planning, to make the next one a success.
Jen spends her free time riding her own horse, helping friends at shows and spending time with friends and family. She has had success showing in the Adult Hunters, Adult Equitation, and Amateur Owner Hunters.
Melanie Dominko-Richards, M.S. CCC-SLP
Melanie has been involved with Mane Stream for over 15 years, starting out as a camper, then a volunteer, and finally a staff member! When not working at Mane Stream, Melanie works full time as the speech-language specialist at a vocational and technical school. She has completed both her American Hippotherapy Association Level I and Level II trainings; she anticipates taking the HPCS exam within the coming year. Melanie is also in the process of completing her certification through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EGALA).
In her spare time, Melanie enjoys riding and competing in the hunter/jumpers, reading, traveling, and spending time with her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Arnold.
Emma Gargiulo, Barn Assistant
The youngest of our team, Emma is currently at Goucher College and helps out only during her school holiday breaks. She joined the barn staff in 2015 but has been an important part of the Mane Stream organization since 2012 when she started volunteering.
Trish Hegeman, Executive Director
For the past 25 years Trish has worked with nonprofit organizations, both as a staff member and as a consultant, helping them secure the resources necessary to be successful. She has broad fundraising experience with a focus on individual giving, foundation and corporate relations, board development and annual campaigns. Over her career she has worked with a wide variety of organizations including a children’s hospital, a major NYC museum, an organic farm and environmental education program, a public radio station and most recently, was the Associate Director of Development and Alumni at Far Hills Country Day School.
Trish has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Holy Cross College and a Masters of Arts in Visual Arts Administration from New York University. She has served on a number of boards of directors, including a term as President for Family Connections, which provides education services to low income families.
She grew up on Long Island and rode horses as a teenager. She has lived in New York City, northern California and moved with her husband Rich and three children to Basking Ridge seven years ago. Most of her free time is spent cheering for her kids – either from the stands at a hockey rink or from the audience at a dance performance.
Holland Kochanski, Barn Manager, PATH Registered Instructor & Camp Director
Holland Kochanski is the Camp Director and a PATH Registered Instructor. Holland joined Mane Stream in 2009 as the Camp Counselor, and worked as barn staff and as the Program Assistant before becoming Barn Manager in 2011 and Camp Director in 2015. Holland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology: Law, Criminology and Deviance from the University of Minnesota, and has been a PATH Registered instructor since 2006. Holland enjoys creating games, activities and theme days to make Camp Coldbrook a memorable experience for the campers and volunteers.
Holland was born and raised in New Jersey, and enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband live in Somerville.
Alissa Lanahan, DPT, Cert MDT
Alissa is a licensed physical therapist with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Drexel University. She has always enjoyed working with horses and the pediatric population. Equine Assisted physical therapy combines both of her loves and passion for helping others. Alissa is working toward her AHA certification. She also works full time as a therapist at an outpatient physical therapy practice in Flemington, NJ.
Alissa lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog, Jackson. In her free time, she is a recreational runner and enjoys sending time with family and friends.
Susan Nemeth, MA, LPC, LCADC
Susan Nemeth, MA, LPC, LCADC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor with a Master’s in Counseling from Seton Hall University. After attending an Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) training and witnessing the power of including equines in the psychotherapy process, she became determined to incorporate equine assisted therapy (EAP) into her practice. Because EAP is experiential and solution-focused—clients are given the opportunity to find their own best solutions—this modality fits well with Susan’s belief that clients already possess the tools they need to promote self-healing. She is excited to provide this service to individuals and groups at Mane Stream. Susan is also EAGALA certified.
Susan has experience working with clients with various mental health diagnoses including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and addictions to alcohol or drugs and specializes in the treatment of individuals struggling with addiction and dependency. Susan has also been a volunteer at Mane Stream for many years. In her spare time, Susan enjoys reading, horseback riding, cycling, practicing yoga, and ballroom dancing.
Stephanie Pieros, MS, CCC-SLP
Stephanie is is a speech-language pathologist licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Stephanie has completed her American Hippotherapy Association Level I training, The AHA Horse Connection training, and she intends to complete her American Hippotherapy Association Level II training this year. When not working at Mane Stream, Stephanie provides home-based Early Intervention services for children age 0-3, and she works part-time at a rehabilitation hospital.
Stephanie enjoys spending the remainder of her time with her family and her horses, Patchy and Misha.
Erin Polos, PT
Check back shortly.
Jeanne Schroder, Business Manager
Jeanne is responsible for the overall financial aspects of Mane Stream. She prepares financial reports, handles the annual audit, and generates invoices, processes payments and deposits donations. She also pays the bills and works on Human Resource and Insurance functions.
Jeanne grew up in Cincinnati and has lived in Chicago, as well as on both coasts. Her career track was a winding journey that started with sales and purchasing. She then earned degrees in accounting and computer programming which led to two years at Ernst & Young and a C.P.A. license. After positions doing corporate reporting and software conversions, she “took time off” to be home with her daughter.
When not being a horse-mom, a.k.a. free groom, at her daughter’s riding events, she enjoys finding destinations to photograph with her husband, and quiet moments to sew and quilt.
Sarah Schwartz, Barn Assistant
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Emily Seguine, Volunteer Coordinator & Riding Instructor
Emily came to Mane Stream as a summer camp intern & then took on her current role as Volunteer Coordinator. She is also currently an Adaptive Riding Instructor and studying for her PATH Intl. Certification.
She grew up in Clinton, then went on to attend Kutztown University, studying Special Education. Emily grew up riding horses for most of her life until she took a break for high school sports but began riding again in college becoming the Kutztown University Equestrian team captain.
Gina Taylor, Director of Operations, Director of Therapy Services
Gina Taylor, MS, OT, HPCS is a New Jersey licensed occupational therapist. She is a Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist and leads the Mane Stream Therapy Team. She is certified in Sensory Integration and has a strong interest in sensory based interventions, including Sensory Diets and home programs. She is an American Hippotherapy Association faculty member and teaches the Level I, Level II and Sensory Connections course to other therapists using the horse to treat their clients nationally and internationally.
Outside of Occupational Therapy, Gina enjoys dancing, hiking and camping. She owns her own horse, Drifter, and Great Dane Smedley.