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Mailing Address

PO Box 68
Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085

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REINS Staff & Board

As a charitable non-profit organization, REINS is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and managed by a staff of paid employees and many active volunteers. Our dedicated team believes whole heartedly in our Mission and is on a steady course to fulfill our vision of growing the program and reaching more people in Calumet, Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties.

Board of Directors

Deana H. Hamel | Executive Officer

Deana has decades of experience as a rider, instructor and farm owner. Her focus is the positive bond between horse and rider and the restorative nature of that bond. As a former corporate executive and pastor, she brings an unique insight to the program.  She believes in the important role of equine therapy in healing body, mind and spirit.

Kurt C. Nilsen | Financial Officer

Kurt is a CPA, with over 25 years of finance experience in both the private and public sectors.

Gary Sellen | Operations Officer
| Administrative Officer
Peggy Brennan | Fundraising Chairperson


Peggy has loved horses for as long as she can remember, spending many Summers leading trail rides at a family friends riding camp. She had her own horse for 34 years, boarding him at the barn which eventually would become home to Reins. She believes in the mission of Reins and is committed to bringing awareness and including our communities in this great program.

Jim Thimmig | Board Member

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Advisory Board

Dr. Louise Blankenheim | Program Education Advisor

Louise has been involved in education for thirty years and is currently the District Administrator for the Kiel Area School District. She has been riding horses since she was a young girl. Her passion for horses and her background in education has led her to REINS. She believes that equine based therapy has a lot to offer all people and especially those with disabilities.

Jason Connors | Technical Advisor


Tom Blankenheim | Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

Tom is retired from Green Bay Area Public Schools and lives in Kiel. He started in Green Bay as a special education teacher and has recently ended his 35 year career as director of alternative programing. His wife introduced him to horses about 10 years ago and they now enjoy trail riding and working with their horses together. He is new to equine based therapy and has learned a lot over the last four years. He supports the mission of REINS and believes that youth and adults with disabilities deserve a wide range of quality programming. Tom is a PATH certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

Jodi Engelhardt | Senior Equine Specialist

Jodi Engelhardt was the original REINS Instructor 30+ years ago when it began at Lake  Shore Technical Institute!  Some of her riders still ride with us today! For the past 30 years she has traveled throughout the country as a Professional Horse Trainer, Clinician, Instructor & Judge.  For the past 2 years she has taken a step back from the horse show world & is thoroughly enjoying her position with REINS as the Sr. Equine Specialist. In addition to REINS she is passionate about her 4 grandchildren & her decorating business "Practical Decor"

Jacleen Hess | Therapeutic Riding Instructor
"Horses became an important part of my life when I was diagnosed with
several health issues at a young age.  This opened up my eyes to how
horses are able to change people's lives physically, emotionally,
mentally, and spiritually.  In 2014, I was certified as a PATH Intl.
Registered Instructor, and in 2015 I also received an instructor
certification through CHA.  My background as a certified equine sports
massage therapist has given me a better understanding of the
biomechanics of horse and rider.  I am amazed at how a team of
volunteers, an instructor, and a horse can make such a difference in
an individual's life.  I enjoy developing and teaching safe lessons
that are based around a theme and that allow the students to work
towards reaching their goals." Jacleen

Theresa Zimmermann | Volunteer Coordinator

Theresa has over 30 years of human resources and business consulting experience. She brings this knowledge, together with her passion and familiarity of our equine friends, to the position of Volunteer Coordinator.  As coordinator or our volunteer staff, Theresa is able to maintain her partnership in Future Focus Group, LLC, which is a consultancy firm working with small and mid-sized businesses looking for an organizational solution to employee engagement. In whatever role Theresa fulfills, her focus is providing service to those in need.