Bayan Lewis - President
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.
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.
Barbara Slade – Past President, Director, Program Manager, Equine Manager
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.
Ted Thran – Treasurer
Ted was born and raised in the Carson Valley. Ted recognized his first claim to fame being the first baby born at Carson Tahoe Hospital in 1963. He graduated as Douglas High School Valedictorian, and attended the University of the Pacific and the University of Nevada – Reno earning a BSc in Business Administration. Upon graduation Ted worked for Freeman and Williams CPA’s. In May of 1999 he worked for the Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer performing multiple accounting functions and helping to implement the cash receipting system and touch screen voting. Ted served as the Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer from 2008-2014. Subsequently he was the Town of Minden Accountant from 2014-2018, then joined Carson Valley Accounting.
Currently, Ted is on the Board of Directors for the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Douglas County Education Foundation and Project Santa Clause, and the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District. Other groups Ted has served with are the Carson Valley Kiwanis, Family Support Council, Minden Mainstreet and the Boys and Girls Club of Carson Valley (founding Board member). Between Horses and Humans is thrilled to have Ted’s expertise and civic enthusiasm, and welcomes Ted as the BHH Treasurer.
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!
Denise Lewis – Director
I was born and raised in Southern California. After a rewarding career in law enforcement, in 2003 my husband and I built our dream house and moved with our daughters to the beautiful Carson Valley. I love living in the country and continue to work as a consultant from my home office.
My experience with horses began with trial riding (other people’s trained horses) in my mid-30’s, but my heart was fully captured by the mysteries of the horse when I adopted a mustang 6+ years ago from the BLM - he'd been injured in a fight with a stallion on our property. The process of gentling "Henry" taught me so much about the effect horses can have on our human emotions, and just as importantly, that the opposite is true. Horses teach me something new every day. Most of their teachings are not about how to keep horses, but about me and how my emotions affect others. To me, this is one of the most important lessons of the horse.
I was an active BHH volunteer as a barn hand and teacher’s helper a few years ago, and giving my time to such an amazing program was one of the most rewarding and edifying experiences in my life. I’m looking forward to another retirement soon so that I can continue to share more of my time, energy and those valuable horse-lessons with the kids at BHH!
Christie Bird – Director
Christie has over 35 years of administration experience. She currently works for to Bently Nevada, LLC, having previously worked at Reno Tahoe International Airport Property Management and Western States CAT in Meridian, Idaho. Christie began her career in the medical field, changing to office administration as it was more flexible for her young and growing family. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Nevada Reno.
In her personal time, Christie enjoys volunteering, cooking, entertaining, and spending time with her family and four brilliant granddaughters. Christie lives in Carson City with her two dogs, Elvis and McKinnley. Between Horses and Humans is excited to have Christie's administrative skills and dedicated attitude, and welcomes Christie to the BHH Board of Directors.
Amanda Kendall – Director
Born and raised in and around London, I explored a variety of 'careers' until my late twenties. I then studied to be a Chiropractor and began practicing on a small island just off the south coast of England called the Isle of Wight. In 2010 my husband Gregg (born and raised in SoCal but moved to London in the 80's) and I decided on a new adventure in the U.S. He said to me, "I get to go home to the U.S., so you get to choose where we live." Not wanting to make his life too easy I gave him a long list of things I wanted... mountains, a lake, skiing, hiking, biking, horses... near a city and an airport. I thought to myself, "Ha! He'll never be able to check ALL those boxes!!" Gregg read the list through once and said, "Well I guess we'll be moving to Lake Tahoe then…"
We couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I have enjoyed involving myself in various groups including 'Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra' and 'The American Red Cross'. Now I look forward to expanding my commitment to supporting the Lake Tahoe and surrounding area communities by joining the incredible team that runs 'Between Horses and Humans'.
Marie Gibson – Advisor
Dr. Marie Gibson comes from a ranching family in northern California. She has degrees in Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Renewable Resources, Business Administration and Educational Leadership. Her strong belief in accounting education has motivated her to expand her business by offering a number of online self-learning programs including study-at-home packages, remote access capabilities, webinars and free advisory downloads. She works at Gibson & Associates, teaches for University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies, and is supportive of several non-profit groups in the area. She is an accomplished horsewoman who takes pride in rehabilitating horses with loving care. BHH is excited to welcome Marie and her arsenal of skills, talents and interests to the Board of Directors.
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 the girl running around the neighborhood pretending she was a horse. I rode every chance I could as well as attending horse camp for years as a young girl. 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. I know first hand how a relationship or even just being around a horse can heal your heart and reach deep into your soul.
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. I am thrilled to be joining the amazing team at BHH and to help support this much needed program.