Above are some of our equine team members: Small Brown Horse, Tall Brown Horse, Small Brown and White Horse, Spotted Horse, Tall White Horse, Brown Horse, and Tall Brown and White Horse.

SARA BABB, MSW, SUPERVISEE IN SOCIAL WORK

Sara Babb is emPOWER's Executive Director and Mental Health Specialist. She has been smitten with horses since she was two years old, but she did not get to be around them on a regular basis until after college. For undergraduate study, she attended Longwood University and received her Bachelor's of Social Work degree. She holds a Master's Degree in Social Work and is working towards her Licensure as a clinical social worker. Her specialties in counseling include domestic and sexual violence and trauma. Currently she is also working in the field of substance use as a Substance Use Clinician. She got certified in the Eagala model in 2014 and is trained as an EMDR clinician, which she is excited to use in the arena!

In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her horses, cat, dog, husband, and family. 

 
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ALETA STRICKLAND, Ed. S., NCSP

Aleta serves as emPOWER's Equine Director/Specialist and Sara's right hand lady! She got her bachelor's and master's degrees at the College of William and Mary. She is a licensed School Psychologist and has years of experience working in multiple communities providing counseling and testing services to children and adolescents, as well as providing parenting classes. Currently she works in the school setting and in private practice in Louisa, Virginia, where she sees children individually and teaches parenting classes. She started training with the Eagala model in 2008 and got certified in 2014.

Aleta has 5 horses, two wonderful children, and a husband who is supportive of her busy adventures. Aleta grew up around horses and is excited for this new adventure!

emPOWER: Equine Assisted Services works with Cedar Row Farm to provide EAP and EAL to our communities of Chesterfield and Louisa. To learn more about our partnership, please click here to learn more about our partner, Cedar Row Farm or visit them here!


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Our Board of Directors is made up up a group of individuals that have varied interests. They all bring with them different experiences and perspectives. 

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MICHELLE FOWLER: President

Michelle T. Fowler holds the title of President for Fowler & Company, LTD.  Michelle founded the company in 2001 when she realized there were limited options for smaller financial institutions seeking traditional internal audit and control consulting services in an outsourced environment. Michelle graduated from James Madison University and has been actively involved in the internal audit and consulting business since that time.  Michelle holds the designations of Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Information Systems Officer.  

Michelle is currently the "food lady" to her daughter's thoroughbred, Echo. She helps out with local 4-H groups and Pony Clubs. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, enjoying nature, and spending time with her family!

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SUSAN RICHARDSON: Vice-president

Susan Richardson grew up in Rockbridge County, Virginia. She started riding horses as a very young child on her family's farm and has not stopped since! She attended Mary Baldwin College. After graduation, she began working for Chesterfield County Police Department as a dispatcher. She began working as a forensics investigator with Chesterfield. In 2016, she retired from the police force after working for 30 years. 

In her spare time, she enjoys riding her horses: Sassafras and Remington, foxhunting, karate, and spending time with her husband, Bob and dog, Nash. She recently received her black belt in karate, and Brandy Ashman is VERY excited to be taught some moves now that they are serving on the board of directors together!

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NEAL YOUNCE: Treasurer

Neal Younce is from Powhatan, Virginia. She currently works as the Accounting Manager at Sigma Foods. Neal attended Longwood University and has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Accounting. 

Neal enjoys spending her spare time with her family, including her husband and young son.  

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BRANDY PHELPS ASHMAN, DVM

Dr. Brandy Phelps Ashman was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina.  She quickly developed a love for animals. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science in 2002 and graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. 

Dr. Ashman began Hoofbeats Equine Service, LLC in 2009.  She has a certification by the International Veterinary Chiropractics Association for both large and small animals.   Dr. Ashman's four legged family includes 2 dogs, named Ringy and Willow. She also currently owns 2.2 horses, 2 paint horses, Mo and Ozzy and a miniature horse named Rooster.  Dr. Phelps enjoys marathon running, outdoor activities, and Crossfit in her free time