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Board of Directors

Tammy Ebnet- Co- Board President

If only for the love of horses, is a saying I grew up with.  I have had a passion and true love for horses since a very young age. It is now in my adult life, I am able to fully appreciate the love horses have for humans, and the coaching and training they provide us without words.  The care and actions they show through compassion, love, patience, strength, and leadership are truly an impactful force for all that come in contact with horses.  You are never a horse expert in my book, but rather a sponge or student of learning as each horse like a snowflake is vastly different and unique.  Each one teaches us something new to add to our mental tack room.


I believe leadership is about doing the right thing while encouraging open and honest communication. Communication allows us to be strategic and is vital in building and developing our teams while also growing as leaders.  


Through the BHH program, I am able to utilize my education and passion in Human Resources and Leadership to support and develop young people in learning patience, kindness, ways to calm our anxiety, communication, and leadership.  I am truly honored to be part of the BHH family and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with both horses and humans.


As co-president, my passion and mission are aligned.  My ultimate goal is to continue the growth and success of this organization. 

Debbie McFadden – Vice President

A horse lover for forty plus years, I have been around horses since age 10. I showed horses through my youth and have trained and given lessons to both children and adults. I currently own and operate a Pilates studio from my home and use the principles of Pilates and movement in my lessons with the children and the horses.​

Nancy Downey – Secretary

I’m a Native Nevadan who grew up owning and loving horses, and I continue to enjoy trail riding to keep me grounded and connected to nature. Since receiving my Master’s Degree in Sociology from UNLV, I have owned a social research consulting firm and taught college courses for the past 30 years. After moving to Carson Valley in 2005 to teach at UNR, I have been assisting several non-profit organizations with fund-raising events and have seen first-hand how much the children benefit from participating in the Between Horses and Humans programs. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with this incredibly talented and dedicated group of individuals to further the mission of such an inspiring organization. I’m excited to get down to the business of helping both horses and humans!

Kay Godbey- Treasurer

I’m a retired CPA, having worked in local government finance for over 30 years.  An Ohio native, I moved to Montana with everything I owned in the back of my VW bug and my skis strapped on back! Desperate for a job, I became a seasonal firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, where I met my husband.  Our family moved to Henderson, Nevada in the late 90’s where I became active with several youth organizations and fundraising events. 


My two children graduated from UNR and I fell in love with northern Nevada after making several trips to Reno and visiting the area.  I retired in 2018 and moved to the peace and quiet of rural Nevada. My husband and I are beekeepers and live on the beautiful Walker River in Wellington. When not remodeling our 82-year-old rock home, I enjoy spending time with Maddie, our 14-year-old Golden Retriever, and training Gus and Sadie Mae, nine-month-old Labrador Retriever littermates.  I enjoy hiking, camping and gardening and am honored to share my skillset with this fabulous organization. 

Jeannette Bostedt - Director & Program Manager

Jeannette brings 25 years of corporate leadership experience to the role of program manager at Between Horses and Humans. She has been passionate about BHH since 2012, contributing to the organization as a volunteer coordinator and fundraiser. Jeannette is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Nevada Reno where she has found her personal mission, enabling youth in difficult life situations to embrace and develop their unique skillsets. At BHH she heads a capable and creative team who are dedicated to inspiring youth and empowering them through horses.

Buffy Swetland - Director

Horses have been my whole life. As far back as I can remember they have been my passion, my purpose, and some days my reason for getting out of bed.  Like many, I had a challenging childhood that I think gives me a unique perspective on how horses can truly impact your life in a positive way.  Almost every great memory I have includes horses in some way.  From friendships to family and adventures in between.  After learning about BHH, I was so excited to be a part of an organization that helps young people learn communication and life skills like I learned from a lifetime with these animals.  Older now, my perspective on the relationship between horses and humans has changed into a much more holistic view on the spiritual connection, energetic understanding and healing that these wonderful creatures bring into our lives.  I am grateful to be a small part of this organization of wonderful people, and horses who do so much for the young humans in our community. 


Joining 4-H when I was young led to JR Rodeo, Hunter/Jumpers, an embarrassing attempt at Dressage, Trail Trials, California Mounted Officers Association competitions, and lots and lots of trail riding and camping.  I have spent many hours volunteering for the mounted posse in California and NV, with P.O.S.T. mounted training in between.  My work history includes Sales, Insurance, Law Enforcement, with many years in-between doing spiritual work including Past Life Regression, Space Clearing, Essential Oils and way too many crystals to count. ;-) 

Laura Maffitt – Director

I have lived in South Lake Tahoe for over 40 years and love the lifestyle it offers. During the summer you will find me sailing with my husband on our 27ft sailboat, boat camping, horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. During winter I love to ski, snowmobile, and horseback ride (in the valley).


I’m pretty sure my love affair with horses started at birth. I have always been attracted to horses ever since I knew what a horse was. I was able to finally have a horse of my own in my early teens in my backyard at Lake Tahoe. After that it took me about 20 years before I managed to have horses back in my life.


When I finally found my way to BHH I instantly felt I had found my people and my “home”. I started out volunteering and shadowing instructors and immediately jumped in to help with PR and Social Media. I wanted to use my background in hotel sales, marketing, and management to help support BHH. I find that volunteering at BHH not only helps the program but helps to heal myself as well and allows me to share my love of horses and helping others. 

Tammy Chako- Director

My passion for horses and dogs began as a very young girl growing up in rural Wisconsin. By the age of 9 I started riding and showing Appaloosas and Quarter Horses, as well as competing in Western and English riding classes, showmanship, barrel racing, and pole bending. My instructor used to tell my family that I “ate, drank and slept horses.” 

In my early twenties, as a young single mother of two children, I began working for a family who owned a private show barn of registered, world class, Quarter Horses. My work ethic and solid equine knowledge foundation resulted in my quick promotion to Barn Manager. My expertise included working with young stock and providing necessary foundational training and groundwork to prepare them to begin training under saddle when they were physically and psychologically ready.  


I have a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and have worked in public Child Welfare for 27 years. My education and service record led me to my current position as Deputy Director for Child Welfare Services at El Dorado County Health and Human Services in the South Lake Tahoe office. I have observed firsthand the long-term effects trauma can have on children and youth who have been exposed to abuse, neglect, and unstable home lives. Being able to provide effective interventions for the treatment of trauma and stress related disorders for children and youth is a wonderful way to enable them to enhance their health and wellness while teaching life skills they can carry into adulthood. This is exactly what BHH does. I’m extremely honored to be part of this program, to work with the horses and the team of wonderful humans, and to serve on the Board of Directors.

Other Important People

Barbara Slade – Founder & Program Manager Emeritus

Barbara retired from Between Horses and Humans in December 2021, but continues to serve as an advisor to our Program team. I was President of the Carson Valley Trails Assn. for 4 yrs. and on their board for 7 yrs.  My equestrian experience expands over a period of 50 years, 40 of which were as a professional horseman. It was common, during the early years of my “horsin’ around” to learn numerous equine disciplines from a variety of trainers and I gained an extensive education regarding all aspects of owning and caring for horses, learning to be an equine instructor and trainer.

My career encompassed a great deal of giving instruction and training for both horses and humans. Currently I have been teaching and working with children and adults for close to 40 years. I was on the Board of Advisors for the state of NJ’s 4-H program. I was a horse judging coach and judged at many competitions, as well as competing at the upper levels in the discipline of Hunter/Jumpers. I managed horse shows and show horse facilities. I even had the incredible opportunity to ride races as a jockey of thoroughbred race horses for almost 5 years.

Bayan Lewis - Retired November 2022

I began my relationship with horses when I was fifteen, as a cowboy on my grandfather’s ranch in Northern Idaho.  While spending summers in the high country chasing cows on horseback I recognized, even then, how important the bond is between a person and their horse-partner.  Through the years, I continued my connection with horses spending summers riding the high Sierra meadows at a guest ranch, and for 22 years rode the week-long cattle drive in November.  I now keep two horses at home, one is an adopted Nevada mustang.  

One of the best things in life for me is being associated, even in a small way, with the BHH team of dedicated people who are helping our community’s youth in their moment of need.  Upon my retirement after 40 years in law enforcement in Southern California, it was easy to relax into the peace and quiet of the Carson Valley.  However, I recognized I still owed something back to this community which was now giving me what may be the best years of my life.  Being a part of the BHH family is very rewarding and allows me to share my leadership skills and my time in an organization which truly addresses some of the unmet needs of our community.

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