MEET THE TEAM
“Horse thunder is what I call the sound of galloping hooves.”
– John Fusco, Writer/Producer
We are blessed to have a wonderful and talented team of professionals here at Stormwalker Ranch. A broad range of professional skills honed over many years has yielded a strong and fun-loving ranch family.
Phyllis is the Executive Director of Stormwalker Ranch, Inc. overseeing the direction and programs of the ranch, events center, and camping programs. Her passion for Christian Camping showed itself in her youth, with a pursuit that included an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Camp Administration from BIOLA University and administrative positions in camping spanning many years.
Over the past 25 years, Phyllis has worked in the IT Training industry, running training centers, including being co-owner/operator of a successful international IT training company.
Director of Development • Coaching Ministries
Kelley’s focus is to build community and to develop financial partnerships. She also works to educate, equip, empower and encourage people to discover how God made them to be intentional in attaining personal wholeness, stability, interpersonal confidence, and spiritual maturity. Kelley holds Master’s degrees in Pastoral Care & Counseling as well as Women’s Ministries from Talbot School of Theology (BIOLA Univ.) and a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation & Camp Administration. Kelley is also a certified life coach through the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and a member of the International Christian Coaching Association (ICCA). For more than 10 years, she has operated “Intentional Being,” her life coaching business.
Media & Marketing
As an award-winning filmmaker, MK’s body of work includes feature films and shorts, commercials, branded entertainment, +. He has produced programming aired on Netflix, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, and PBS, including documentaries on Crystal Meth and Bullying. He holds a B.S. in Christian Education/Biblical Studies from BIOLA and a Masters in Advanced Digital Storytelling.
July 2020 Update: In partnership with SWR, MK launched a new non-profit production company (Rogue Marble Inc.) created to tell the authentic and transformative God-stories from ministries and missions groups from around the world through films.
Mindy is a lifelong equestrienne, emphasizing natural horsemanship and colt-starting. She holds an Associate’s degree in Science, with a minor in Equine Technology, from Connors State College. She continued her education at TCC in Veterinary Technology, and has been Oklahoma certified as a Registered Veterinary Technician since 2003. Mindy and her husband operate T&M Quarter Horses and Mini’s on a Mission, and raise quality registered AQHA horses, registered mini donkeys, registered Zebu cattle, commercial beef cattle. She is regularly involved in various ministry programs, and is a distributor of AdvoCare nutrition products. Mindy is on a mission to bring hope to others with passion and Christ-centered inspiration through equine/animal education, good health, and opportunities.
Program Manager – Barn Mom
“I couldn’t imagine my daughters growing up without the friendship and responsibility of their horses.” Naomi was first introduced to Stormwalker Ranch when her daughters began taking riding lessons at the Ranch. She appreciated how lessons incorporated the disciplines of Cowboy Dressage®, soft feel, partnership, and emphasizing a patient lifestyle. She loves to see how the horses impact the lives of kids and adults who participate in riding lessons, programs, and events. She is working on expanding SWR’s professional riding program, as well as our teen “Barn Rats” initiative. Naomi and her husband are owner/operators of a custom harvesting business and a small family farm. Naomi is also a substitute teacher and an actively involved mom of three, earning her in-house nickname of “Barn Mom.”
Valerie’s love of horses, as with so many girls, began when she was young, and she carried this love of horses over into her professional career. She spent time learning equine care and treatment while working for an Equine Veterinarian. This valuable experience led her to become a Barn Manager at a large show barn where she was responsible for the care of 80 head of show and lesson horses. She truly believes that horses have healing abilities. Valerie was invited to work at Stormwalker Ranch in 2017 as the Barn Manager, and in a relatively short period has become a valued member of the SWR team.
Ranch Hand & Assistant Trainer
Brittany Peters was a little girl when she first came to Stormwalker Ranch. At her first Hoofbeats day camp, she discovered her desire to learn all there was to know about these animals that she loved so much. She worked with Dr. Tom Loafman, our Equine Veterinarian, as an intern and went on to be an intern at New Life Ranch working as a Wrangler. While there, Brittany pursued and received her CHA certification. She returned to join the SWR team in the Fall of 2019, working in Ranch Operations and is now both Ranch Hand and Assistant Trainer.
Australian-born Cheryl is a USDF Bronze Medalist and a CHA Master Instructor, a Certified Clinician for Western, English, Jumping, and Therapeutic Riding, and a US Army veteran. Additionally, she is a PATH Certified Instructor and PATH and CHA Instructor Mentor. Cheryl began riding western and eventing at age 13, moving to Oklahoma in 2000 to begin Dressage and teaching. Her career has also included 15 years of barefoot trimming and farrier experience, running a full-service facility with 50+ riders, and operating a therapeutic facility with 70+ riders.
Byron’s knowledge of horses has been acquired through his lifelong aspiration to be an outstanding horseman. He has fostered his understanding of the psychology and mechanics of the horse to garner a style of horsemanship that can fit any discipline, which has made him successful both in and out of the arena. Whether starting wild horses or preparing to compete, people benefit from his direct and encouraging approach. Byron and his wife, Kyla, have also been responsible for the program leading placement of over 4,000 horses. “I believe that horsemanship should be fun above all things. It really can teach us how to be closer in our relationships with friends and family.” Byron and Kyla operate Hogan Equine in Nowata, Oklahoma, which provides a platform for all to benefit from horses, in the development of life skills or acquiring advanced horsemanship skills for competition.
Debra is the founder of Equine Eagles, Inc., an equine learning center based in Independence, Kansas, where she offers recreational and therapeutic riding and vaulting. Debra focuses on developing a partnership with the horse based on the learning style combination of human and horse. Equine Experiential Learning is a ground-based ministry allowing the horse to teach us about ourselves and help bring healing of core issues. Debra enjoys watching students grow in confidence and relationship.
Harmoni has been an animal lover since birth, and horses have always held that number one spot. Once she started riding, it became a true love that would not be extinguished. So, it has become her mission to infuse children with the love of horses and the passion to continue learning about them. Her philosophy is that there is always something else to learn. Harmoni loves to watch young students build confidence in themselves and their abilities and watch how it affects them in the rest of their life. Harmoni loves participating in Cowboy Dressage, competitive trail, and endurance. She and her husband have 5 dogs, 3 horses, 11 cows, and 60 chickens.
Jimmie has been a lifelong animal lover, always bringing home injured, lost, hurt, or abandoned animals to nurse back to health. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Northeastern State and has worked in both the power line and oil and gas industries. She and her husband are the founders of “Ray of Hope Ranch” – a place where people and horses come together to connect and heal. Horses have the power to teach us and show us so many things about ourselves, life lessons for our everyday lives. She has a passion to teach and empower others to step into hope and purpose through Jesus.
Buddy’s horsemanship journey started as a very small child. After high school, he attended a Vet Tech program and worked for several years as a Vet Tech with both cattle and several breeds of horses. His philosophy is that there is always something to learn from everyone. Recently, he traveled the nation working as a lineman, foreman, general foreman, general superintendent, and inspector. In his spare time, he loves camping, fishing, and hunting, as well as working with others to pass on life skills that horses help us learn, such as self-discipline, trust, focus, patience, communication, compassion, and friendship.
We are blessed to have Erin join our team after her years at Silver Birch Ranch, in Whitelake, Wisconsin. Erin also completed a one-year program at Nicolet Bible Institute, where she learned to “live like it matters”. From 4-H, fairs, and local shows to serving as Head Wrangler in a camp program, Erin Gossen has lived in a horse–saturated world. She is CHA Certified and has already become a great addition to the SWR riding instructor team. Erin will also be working with our Gates of Grace, Spurs, and camping programs.
Having grown up in Indiana, attending college in Wyoming, her impassioned zeal for adventure led Lanie to compete in the “Rocket Horse Race” on the Wild Coast of South Africa, where she was working as a groom and trail guide. As a CHA Certified instructor, Lanie joined the SWR team just as the COVID pandemic forced us to suspend riding operations. What a great way to start a new job 😉 Loving and compassionate, Laine makes a positive impact in her role as Instructor and team member, successfully connecting with a wide range of people.