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Staff and Directors

 

Lynne C. Schulthess
Executive Director

Lynne brings a wealth of riding and management experience to NCMT. After showing successfully with legendary trainers Ronnie Mutch, Walter "Tim" Kees and Leslie Burr Howard in the junior hunter division at shows including Madison Square Garden, Lynne went on to corporate life as a retail analyst for Tommy Hilfiger. She brings expertise in business management as well as a vast network of "A" show circuit riding professionals. As Executive Director, Lynne is responsible for the administrative and managerial tasks of all of NCMT's programs, and works hands on with the children and adult riders as well as the fellow staff members. Lynne is a graduate of Fairfield University.

 

 

Sacha Chen-Schaab
Development Director

A former Trooper who began at NCMT with his brother and mother in the early 1970s, Sacha was a passionate show jumper who graduated with the rank of Captain in 1982.  After a career in business management, he earned a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.  Sacha was a teacher and administrator for many years at international schools in Southeast Asia before returning to his home state of Connecticut.  In 2014, Sacha was appointed Development Director with responsibility for fundraising and public relations.  He is married and lives in the Silvermine area of Norwalk.

 


Hannah Wirfel
Head Riding Instructor

Prior to turning professional, Hannah had an illustrious junior riding career, having trained with Walter "Tim" Kees in the equitation divisions and Leslie Burr Howard in the amateur owner jumper divisions. She competed in the Maclay Finals at Madison Square Garden, and has numerous ribbons and accomplishments at Devon, WEF, Lake Placid, Southampton, and Harrisburg. Hannah has taught riders of all ages, including beginners, summer camp, adults, and junior equitation riders seeking to get qualified for the Medal and Maclay Finals. She has also served as a "walker" for the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Program, as well as trained the Trinity College Equestrian Team for the IHSA show circuit. She was also the assistant coach and the Equestrian Director for the Miss Porter's Equestrian Team. Hannah is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Jessica D'Urso
Riding Instructor

In December 2009, Jessica joined the NCMT family after years of experience managing and teaching at several barns in Fairfield County. A Norwalk native, she rode as a junior with Vince Jones and as a professional at Rhiannon Farm in North Salem. In addition to teaching many of the cadet program riding lessons, Jessica works with Hannah to organize, update and implement the Equine Care and Horsemanship curriculum. She has run summer camp for NCMT, and is an integral part in the oversight of the barn days, Trooper events, and Review Ceremonies. Troop's mission statement resonates strongly with Jessica, and she is pleased and excited to be part of the staff at NCMT.

 

Anne Dylewski
Barn Manager

Since joining NCMT in 2005, Anne brings over twenty years of riding and equine management experience. She works to ensure that the horses and ponies of Troop are happy, healthy and ready to teach the Troopers on a daily basis. Anne takes pride in developing individualized feeding and care programs for our diverse herd of horses. In addition, she works with the cadets to teach them barn management and equine care skills, involving the cadets at all levels for an enriched experience. Anne holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut.

 

Fredi Martinez
Horse Care Professional

Fredi came to NCMT in 2010, bringing a wealth of experience in horse care maintenance and grooming. He has extensive experience working for some of the top competitive show barns in Fairfield and Westchester Counties, where he was in charge of the health, appearance and performance of "A" circuit horses and ponies. Fredi works with Anne, Francisco and the rest of the staff to ensure that all of the horses and ponies at NCMT are well fed and groomed, receive appropriate turnout time, and maintain a clean and orderly stable. Fredi's experience with training horses on the ground to have excellent ground manners helps ensure the safest possible environment for our Troopers. NCMT is very fortunate to have Fredi in charge of our horses and ponies, who adore him!

 

Francisco Tinajero
Horse Care Professional

Francisco joined NCMT in 2010 and is responsible for handling and training the horses on the ground so that they can be handled easily by the children. His gentle demeanor with our horses and ponies translates into well- behaved animals and the safest possible environment. Francisco is also in charge of NCMT's property and maintenance needs.  He also works with Freddie to manage the horses and ponies with turnout, feeding, and stable management, and the horses love him! Francisco is a jack-of-all-trades, lending his painting, carpentry and landscaping experience to ensure that our facility remains in top shape. NCMT is fortunate to have Francisco as part of our team of professionals.

 

Board of Directors


Executive Committee


Elizabeth Tobin

President

Elizabeth holds an undergraduate degree in comparative literature from the University of Paris (France) and an MBA in International Finance from Fordham University. In 1986, she began her career in the global money management industry as an analyst and, from 1998 until 2001, was Associate Portfolio Manager of the First Eagle Funds – formerly known as the SoGen Funds. From 2002 to 2008, she managed assets for private European clients and returned to the First Eagle Funds in 2009 where she is currently employed.  Elizabeth is also a Director of Finel SA, a private industrial company. She became a member of New Canaan Mounted Troop in 1996 when her daughter was first introduced to riding at NCMT and quickly developed a lasting passion for the equestrian sport. Elizabeth served as Treasurer of NCMT from 2000 to 2012.  She lives in New Canaan with her husband.

Jennifer Goodman

Vice President

Jennifer graduated from Roanoke College in Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She worked in the fashion industry in New York City before settling in New Canaan. Jennifer's daughter Alexi has been a Trooper since 2010, and she is enjoying her experience and has grown as a young rider.  Jennifer is also an NCMT adult rider and is thrilled to be a part of the growing Super Trooper program.

Jeanne Hunt Smith

Vice President

Jeanne received her Bachelor of Arts in English (Journalism) from Miami University in Ohio in 1981. She was Vice President, Associate Buying Director of Media Partnership Corporation, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, from 1995 to 2008. Most recently, she has moved on to ICON International, a corporate barter company headquartered in Stamford. Jeanne has been a member of the NCMT family since 1989, serving on several committees over the years including the Capital Campaign to purchase the NCMT property at 22 Carter Street, and most recently the campaign to fund the new barn completed in 2009.  Jeanne was the proud owner of former NCMT school horse "Chester" from 1999 to 2010.  She lives in Darien with her husband Chris and her son Christopher. Her daughter Olivia is a student at Sweet Briar College, an accomplished equestrian who went through the ranks at NCMT, riding Troop school horses to ribbons in the CHJA Children's Medal Finals in 2005 and 2007.

Meghan Flattery Allen

Treasurer

Meghan received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Columbia University. She worked at Ernst & Young for eight years as a CPA, specializing in commodities trading and broadcasting. After leaving Ernst & Young, Meghan was the controller for the U.S. operations of Euromin Trading Corporation, a metals trading company. Subsequently, she worked for Bank of America as director of accounting/controller for the commercial finance subsidiary, until leaving after five years to spend more time with her family.  Meghan volunteers her time in the New Canaan schools and is a member of National Charity League. She passed along her longtime love of horses to her daughter, who began riding at Troop in 2006.  Meghan joined the Board in 2008 and began serving as Secretary in 2009. She lives with her husband Jim and daughter in New Canaan.

Kelly Foley Sapio

Secretary

Kelly graduated in 1988 from Mount Saint Mary University in Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance and a minor in Fine Art. She continued her studies at NYU’s Gallatin School, focusing on Global Business.  From 1988 to 1998, Kelly worked for Avatar Associates Investment Counsel, where she served as the Director of Managed Accounts. Kelly was also very active with marketing the non-profit New York Cares, working with the board there to develop mailing and marketing materials for the programs. From 1998 to 2001, she served on the executive board and various committees for the Junior League of Summit, New Jersey. From 2007 to 2008, Kelly served on the executive board for the Ox Ridge Elementary School PTO. She is currently a board member of the Darien YWCA Parent Awareness Committee and the Darien Firefighters Foundation, and is a volunteer with both the Darien Lacrosse Foundation and Darien Soccer Association. Kelly enrolled her daughters Emma and Bella in the NCMT program in 2004, and Emma is still in the program. Kelly has served on the Board since 2007. She lives in Darien with her husband Tom and three daughters Emma, Bella and Anna.

 

Board Members


Melinda Andrade

Board Member (Non-Voting)

Melinda has been active in the NCMT family for two years. She grew up riding and is thrilled that her children share her love of horses. Her twin daughters joined one day after their seventh birthdays, and her son will do the same when he turns seven. Melinda received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia and her MBA from the University of Chicago’s GSB. She worked as a public relations consultant in Washington, D.C. for PM Equities, an international commercial real estate agency, which took her to Hungary, Poland and the former Czechoslovakia, until she founded her own public relations and events planning agency, EPR, based in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1999, after ten years in Central Europe (with a client list of about fifty Fortune 500 firms), Melinda sold her agency to her employees and moved back to the United States. Since then, she has been a part-time commercial and residential broker and actively volunteers for several educational and child-focused non-profits, including Whitby School, where her children have attended for the past seven years. Melinda and her husband live in New Canaan with three children and four large dogs.

Ann E. Brown

Board Member

Ann has been a member of the NCMT family for over ten years, starting when her daughter Hailey began riding. She brings a vast marketing and media background to Troop, which has resulted in the development of the Adopt A Horse website and other branding and marketing strategies for the organization. Ann is currently a Senior Vice President at The Weather Channel, leading a team of marketing, creative and content professionals to build consumer engagement across all media platforms. From 2003 to 2010, she was a Senior Vice President in Creative Strategy for Time Warner Global Marketing, where again she developed programs and platforms that leverage media assets across Time Warner. Ann has worked for US Concepts, The College Television Network, and Saatchi & Saatchi, as account managers in marketing and media. In 2008, she co-founded Equestrian Neightion, LLC, a web-based virtual world and community for horse enthusiasts. Ann is an avid rider and horse show mom, and continues to bring creative marketing ideas to promote NCMT.

Heather Fava Budnick

Board Member

Heather received her Bachelor of Science in Business Communication from Bentley University in 1993 and a Master of Science from Tufts University Medical School in Health Communications in 1997. She began her career at the New England Journal of Medicine, where she worked for five years in Product Management, Marketing and Sales roles. After relocating to New York City, Heather worked in pharmaceutical advertising for Medicus Life Brands. She has served on the grant distribution panel for the New Canaan Community Foundation, for Community Nursery School Board as Chair, and volunteers her time in the New Canaan public school system. Heather began riding as a child and enjoys sharing her love of horses with her daughter, who has been riding at NCMT since 2008. She lives in New Canaan with her husband and two children.

Joan Burnett

Board Member

Joan is a 1986 graduate of Connecticut College, with a major in Early Childhood Development and a minor in Psychology. Since graduating, she has spent her professional life as a litigation paralegal working for local companies including Robinson & Cole, GE Capital, and, since 2005, for St. Onge Steward Johnston & Reens in Stamford. Joan joined NCMT in 1997 as an adult rider and immediately was drawn to NCMT’s mission. She was invited to join the Board of Directors a few years later, and has served on the Board in several capacities since that time, including as President in 2009. Joan continues her riding education at NCMT and is proud to be a part of the team working to continue to build on Troop’s rich history.

Sacha Chen-Schaab

Ex Officio Board Member

A former Trooper who began at NCMT with his brother and mother in the early 1970s, Sacha was a passionate show jumper who graduated with the rank of Captain in 1982.  After a career in business management, he earned a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland inAustralia.  Sacha was a teacher and administrator for many years at international schools in Southeast Asia before returning to his home state of Connecticut.  In 2014, Sacha was appointed Development Director with responsibility for fundraising and public relations.  He is married and lives in the Silvermine area of Norwalk.

Carol Dubrowski

Board Member

Carol became active at NCMT eighteen years ago, when her eldest daughter, Liz, started riding at Troop. She established the Parent Committee at Troop, which organizes many of the events for the children and assists with Troop fundraising activities. Within her committee work, Carol helped to expand Troop’s social events. She served as Secretary of the Board for about twelve years. Both of Carol’s daughters went through the complete Troop program and each served as Cadet Major. Liz went on to ride in college and was an IHSA National Champion and Reserve Champion, and worked at Troop for three years. Carol has a background in nursing, but went back to college for a degree in Early Childhood Education and has been teaching preschool in Wilton for fifteen years. Although her daughters are no longer at NCMT, Carol loves Troop and remains an active board member.

Nicole Karaman

Board Member (Non-Voting)

Nicole grew up in New York City and received her Bachelor of Arts at Skidmore College in 1988. Since 2000, she has been the Chief of Staff for the Chairman at J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC, a private equity firm focused on the financial services industry. Nicole has been an adult rider and a member of the NCMT family since 1997. A volunteer for Pegasus for many years, she is now devoted to NCMT's Super Troopers Therapeutic and Horsemanship Program. Nicole recently moved to Darien with her husband and son.

Aimee McLaughlin Mueller

Board Member

Aimee received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in English from Fairfield University in 1993. She worked for SmithKline Beecham and Pfizer, Inc. writing and coordinating toxicity, health and safety reports on final products and raw materials for the animal health division. Aimee then returned to school to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Fairfield University. She worked in the cardiothoracic step down unit at St. Raphael's Hospital in New Haven before leaving to raise her four children in New Canaan with her husband Doug. Aimee's son Conal and daughter Fiona ride at NCMT.

Beth Reilly

Board Member (Non-Voting)

Beth is a native of Northern Virginia. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the George Mason University School of Management in 1988. Beth began her career in sales and marketing with high tech company Sprint International in Reston, Virginia, where she worked as global account manager. In 1995, Beth worked at Denver-based First Data Corporation as a sales executive and ultimately vice president of business development in the healthcare space, helping large health insurers streamline their claims payment processes and employers provide more efficient benefits.  Beth got her residential real estate license in 2006 and left the corporate world to spend more time with her husband and three children in New Canaan. She is currently an agent with a Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in New Canaan. Beth has always had a great love of horses and had quarter horses as a teen in Virginia. She trained and showed in the local AQHA circuit, mostly in western pleasure and reigning. She was introduced to western riding while spending summers as a girl with her favorite aunt in Texas, though her very first horse show event as a four-year-old was lead-line equitation. Beth has a daughter currently riding at NCMT.

Lynne C. Schulthess

Ex Officio Board Member

As our Executive Director, Lynne brings a wealth of riding and management experience to NCMT. After showing successfully with legendary trainers Ronnie Mutch, Tim Kees and Leslie Burr Howard in the junior hunter division at shows including Madison Square Garden, Lynne went on to corporate life as a retail analyst for Tommy Hilfiger. She brings expertise in business management as well as a vast network of "A" show circuit riding professionals. As Executive Director, Lynne is responsible for the administrative and managerial tasks of all of NCMT's programs, and works hands on with the children and adult riders, as well as the fellow staff members. Lynne is a graduate of Fairfield University.

Cynthia McKane Stewart

Board Member

Cindy graduated from Princeton University in 1987 with a degree in Political Economy. She began her thirteen year banking career in the Chemical Bank Credit Training Program. Cindy specialized in Private Banking, where she was a Relationship Manager at Chemical Bank and subsequently J.P. Morgan Chase. She managed bank relationships with high net worth entrepreneurs in both New York (1987 to 1997) and London (1997 to 2000). Cindy completed an Executive MBA at Columbia University in 1997. She left the financial world in 2000 to raise her children Luke and Georgia. During this period, she has been a Vice President of the Executive Board of Saxe Middle School in New Canaan (2010 to 2013) and a frequent volunteer at East School, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Saint Mark's Nursery School. Cindy's family has been involved with NCMT since Georgia joined in 2009, when she found her great passion in life!

Caroline Brokaw Tucker

Board Member

Caroline grew up in New Canaan, attending the same local schools her children now attend and riding horseback in Bedford, New York. She majored in Comparative Literature at Princeton University (AB, 1985) and Marketing and Management at Columbia Business School (MBA, 1989). Caroline's first career was in marketing and advertising, followed by a hiatus from the workforce as she focused on raising her young children. A long-standing interest in working with children and their families, combined with work as a private tutor and essay coach, brought her to Dunbar Educational Consultants in the spring of 2005, where she assists families with students applying to college. She has been a partner since 2010. Caroline and her three children are active members at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in New Canaan. Her eldest son, Johnston, is a freshman at Ithaca College; Margot is a senior at New Canaan High School; and Jasper is in eighth grade at Saxe Middle School.

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