Sharon A. Carl is the Executive Director for Envision Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. and President/CEO for Mending Hearts Family Services, Inc. She is an experienced child welfare, behavioral health, and non-profit senior level executive. She holds an M.A. degree in Counseling from Ottawa University and an M.A. in Education from Arizona State University. Additionally, she holds an Advanced Graduate Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Ottawa University. Sharon is a Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She has advanced training in play therapy, attachment therapy, trauma therapy, and non-profit leadership.
Sharon grew up in Kansas, spending weekends and summer time on farms and ranches owned by her extended family. To this day she visits every chance she gets. Sharon has always enjoyed being around horses, cats and dogs. She is a recreational rider who wants to develop more horse knowledge. Sharon was introduced to equine assisted therapy through one of her former counseling interns who is also a veterinarian. Sharon believes that equine assisted therapy provides a means for an individual or family that comes from a hurtful past to process their trauma. The horse provides unconditional love and understanding without words. The trust relationship between the horse and the individual creates an opportunity for a secure attachment which is the foundation of mental health. The equine, the equine specialist and the equine therapist walk along side each client during their journey to healing. The horse seems to intuitively know just what each client needs.
It is Sharon’s dream to lead Envision into its next organizational phase by adding the mental health component to its already successful equine assisted life coaching and trauma groups. Both Envision and Mending Hearts share a dream to have a facility where all services can be provided in a centralized location. Sharon and Envision desire to continue to be able to take the country to the city by facilitating groups at the Healing Post located at The Bridge United Methodist Church in central Phoenix.
Sharon is a member of the Association for Play Therapy, Inc., Arizona Association for Play Therapy, and the American Association of Christian Counselors. She is a new professional member of PATH International. Additionally, Sharon holds an Arizona Community College Teaching Certificate. She has served as an adjunct professor for Fuller Theological Seminary, Grand Canyon University, Glendale Community College and South Mountain Community College in the past.
Lisa Péwé (pronounced Pay-Way) has been an equine professional for over 30 years. She started out as a youth learning to ride, train, and show Arabian horses. This led to a professional career of training, showing, and coaching dozens of horses and riders to regional and national awards. Her success as a coach was based mainly on her ability to understand and read the horses at any given moment and be able to communicate to the rider how to “meld” or synchronize themselves with the horse. Her technique for building champion riders was always based on helping the rider create a foundation of personal “centeredness and emotional congruence” as well as identifying individual learning and motivational styles of the rider. Lisa now facilitates not the winning of championship ribbons, but the victory of inner growth and healing for individuals in all areas of life.
Lisa joined the equine therapeutic community in 2007 when she became the Equine Director and later the Program Director for a PATH Intl premiere therapeutic riding center. Lisa rebuilt and managed the equine volunteer training program for over 50 volunteers, as well as equine care, selection, and training. Additionally, she developed the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Personal Growth and Life Skills Programs. She has presented at regional and international conferences for PATH and received her certification in Therapeutic Riding Instruction in 2007. She also holds certification as an Equine Specialist.
Lisa’s passion for helping others in achieving inner victory and growth began with her own personal journey of emotional freedom and healing. Her journey allowed her to gain extensive experience with trauma-healing models and support groups as well as traditional 12-step recovery models. She is also a trained abuse-recovery support group facilitator. Lisa holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University.
Karen Gray is a PATH Certified Equine Specialist. Karen fell in love with horses at a dude ranch while on a family vacation at the age of six. After volunteering at a therapeutic horsemanship ranch over a decade ago, Karen discovered she could combine her love for horses with her desire to help improve the lives of people. After a 20-year marketing career, Karen pursued her true passion and acquired certifications in equine assisted coaching, life coaching and as an equine specialist in mental health and learning. Karen is also a graduate of USC with a BA in Psychology. Beginning in Colorado and now in the Phoenix metro area, Karen has been an equine assisted life coach since 2011.
Karen joins Envision’s family of devoted people who share the passion of helping others as well as honoring the horse’s extraordinary healing powers. She is blessed with a wonderful husband, two beautiful children, two special horses and a loving dog. She enjoys hiking, biking and, of course, horseback riding.
Melody Cohen is a PATH Certified Mental Health Equine Specialist. She has more than 45 years of experience working with horses and barn management and has been with Envision since its inception. Melody has been involved with therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities since 2010. Melody became PATH Intl. certified as a Mental Health Equine Specialist in 2014. Using equine-assisted therapies to work with people with special needs combines her deep passion for horses and love for helping others.
As a youth growing up in Topanga Canyon California, Melody worked on a ranch to help pay for her horse’s board. She worked as a trail guide and a barn manager maintaining a herd of over 30 horses, giving her a solid foundation on the care and handling of horses. Melody’s family relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona in the ‘60s and she immediately fell in love with the Sonoran Desert and its beautiful trails. Melody’s work experience includes property management, private caregiving, music, and all aspects of horsemanship.
Lottie grew up in Washington state with a love for horses since she could remember. She moved to Arizona in 2004. She proudly raised 3 children and has a granddaughter who also has a passion for horses. Her love for horses became her lifestyle and career, and she has traveled the country, including Maui, Hawaii, as a trail guide. She currently lives on-site with her horse and works at Saguaro Lake Ranch Stable.
In the recent past, she worked at Hunkapi Programs as the Horse Care Assistant and the Volunteer Coordinator. There is always a special place in her heart for volunteers, equine therapy and equine programs that support well-being. She believes horses save lives. Contributing to the community in service of less fortunate is very important to her. In spring of 2020, she started as the Digital Media Coordinator for Envision and she is excited to be part of the Envision team.
Paulette is the Program Coordinator for The Healing Post at The Bridge United Methodist Church. She has a BA in Elementary Education from ASU and has served as a literacy consultant for various schools in the Phoenix area as well as on the Navajo reservation. When Paulette left the classroom to raise her own children, she spent much of her time volunteering in their classrooms wherever she was needed. She has chaired numerous fund-raising events for schools and churches as well as coordinating camps, out-of-state trips, and performances for Desert Vista High School. While being relatively new to the field of equine therapeutic services, Paulette has witnessed incredible change in the attitudes and behavior of children who have spent just a few short weeks with the horses. She is committed to helping Envision expand their opportunities and reach. Paulette enjoys playing piano, knitting, reading, tennis, the beach, and family game nights. She and her recently retired husband have two adult children.
Russ was born in Southern Illinois and loved spending time at his grandparents’ farm. In 1966 his family moved to Phoenix. After graduating from ASU with a degree in Electronics, he co-founded Southwest Audio Systems, a company that setup sound systems for the AZ State Fair and various horse and livestock shows. In 1975 Russ started The Russcon Corporation, which designed, installed and serviced sound and video systems for many prominent clients in the valley. He is currently a system design engineer, client service specialist and sales rep for Jerry’s Audio/Video.
He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Bridge UMC. He has been involved in The Healing Post design and planning from its inception. He has supervised every facet of the construction and installation. Russ says the reward is seeing lives changed and a lasting difference made in the lives of those that come to the facility for help.
Susan has practiced intellectual property law for over 25 years, 20 of those with Fennemore Craig, PC in Phoenix, AZ. She earned a BS in Biology at Virginia Tech and a JD at George Mason University School of Law, and is a Registered Patent Attorney. Susan is an AV-rated attorney, representing companies, non-profits and universities in transactional matters and disputes involving copyrights, patents, trademarks, licensing and related contracts.
Susan views Envision’s mission to be in furtherance of the concept of “Tikkun Olam”, which is translated from Hebrew as “repairing the world”. She has a special interest in children and young adults with special needs. She has seen the almost miraculous benefits of equine-assisted therapeutic activities, and is dedicated to assisting Envision expand the number of individuals it serves. Susan is a volunteer and dog foster with Luv of Dogz, Inc., and is a member of the Fennemore Craig Foundation Committee through which she leads and participates with fellow employees in activities benefitting those in need in the community.
Susan and her husband own 3 horses, enjoy trail riding and just spending time with their horses, and are parents to two young men.
Jim Boyd brings his expertise in business finance, enterprise building and people management to Envision. With a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, from University of Toledo, a Master Business Administration from George Washington University, and his studies in military strategy, logistics, and history at the Naval War College as a Senior Officer, he is uniquely qualified to inspire others to reach their highest potentials and lead them to be more productive, increase their knowledge and fulfill their destiny.
Jim served on active duty in the Navy for 10 years and 20 years in the Naval Reserve. He retired as a Navy Captain in 2000. Upon leaving active duty, he worked in the field of aviation simulators and engineering support to the Navy F-14 community through the Naval Air Systems Command.
Later, Jim joined Vanguard Mutual Funds, where he rose to become a Manager in Vanguard’s Retail Services and Retirement Services divisions. After retiring from Vanguard, Jim focused his efforts on supporting small businesses in their strategic and financial planning.
Victoria Longfellow is an AV-rated Arizona licensed attorney with more than two decades of experience representing privately held businesses and their principals in organizational matters and commercial transactions. She serves as a trusted advisor and corporate counsel for a variety of industries, from start-up through growth and maturity and into asset protection and succession planning, working with business owners and their financial and tax advisors to protect her clients’ legacies as they retire.
Victoria’s undergraduate degree is from Santa Clara University (B.S. Finance, 1987), and she obtained her JD degree from Arizona State University College of Law (1992). Victoria attended the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University through which she was certified to mediate commercial disputes, a skill she uses throughout her practice.
Victoria has been a member of numerous business organizations throughout her career, and she supports various charitable organizations, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, SARRC (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Phoenix Rescue Mission, K2 Adventures Foundation, and Hope Kids. She has been a devoted supporter of Envision since 2014, serving on the Board and then the Advisory Board, raising funds, connecting the organization with key contacts, and helping with the horses at certain Envision programs each year.
Founding Board Members
Envision is grateful for the vision and efforts of members of our founding board, several of whom continue to volunteer with and support us. Their service as founders was invaluable, and we honor them here.