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Meet the Berkshire Horseworks Team

Hayley Sumner, Founder and Executive Director of Berkshire HorseworksHayley SumnerFounder and Executive Director — EAGALA Certified

With BHW, Hayley finally found a way to integrate her love of horses and California cowgirl spirit with a penchant for helping others. After owning and running a bicoastal public relations and strategic marketing firm for over 20 years devising global campaigns and submerging herself in the nuances of corporate culture –entertainment conglomerates, sporting franchises, consumer products, educational systems, hospitals, hotel and restaurant chain – she gained a knowledge base which prepared her for the next phase of her life.

During this time, she sat on many boards, did pro bono work for various nonprofit organizations in both rural and urban areas, devising initiatives for multi-ethnic, at risk populations. True to her deep seeded commitment to public service, she chose to pursue her Masters in social work where she spent time in the foster care system and inner-city school districts.

While pursuing this degree, she obtained her EAGALA certification and saw firsthand the incredible healing power of horses. She and her Rottweiler, Brando who, as a certified therapy dog headed who together had been working across the country at risk youth, families, inmates, and veterans helping to develop social skills and empathy, headed east to the Berkshires where she had spent her childhood.

Assessing the needs of the community and the need for additional services, she opened Berkshire HorseWorks to provide Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She realized the impact that this work could have on group dynamics in surrounding businesses, and has since expanded the practice to include extended retreats in team building for corporations.

She is currently pursuing her advanced EAGALA certification as well as a military designation. See more about Hayley here.

Dominick Sacco -- EAGALA Certified Mental Health Professional  Dominick SaccoMental Health Professional — EAGALA Certified

Born and raised in Berkshire County, Dom has a unique understanding of both the residents and the issues that confront them.  A son of two caregivers, Dom defined his professional and life path quickly. Having graduated with his Masters, began his career in outpatient services in his community. He then moved over to the administrative side, directing a staff of 30 in a special needs school. With 11 years in private practice in Dalton, and many years in public and private school systems, he is poised to parlay that experience into a new venture of treatment.

Always thinking and looking for additional modalities to help his clients, Dom became certified in the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning in 2013. Dom serves as a mental health professional as part of the EAGALA team in sessions with at risk youth, families, and veterans.

Susan Aleksejczyk -- EAGALA Certified  Equine SpecialistSusan Aleksejczyk — EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist

Susan Aleksejczyk is certified by EAGALA as an Equine Specialist and is working on her advanced certification. She additionally serves as the Networking Coordinator for the Albany EAGALA Networking Group. A Life Coach trained by Elite Life Coaching, and a member of the New York State Horse Council, Susan owns RoseWal Farm and is trained in Large Animal Emergency Rescue.
 
 
Cynthia Segui — Licensed Mental Health Professional

Cynthia has been practicing clinical social work for the past 15 years serving a variety of populations including At-Risk youth, families, young adults, homeless, addiction recovery, adjudicated and incarcerated youth and adults. She moved to the Berkshires from New York City after receiving her Masters in Clinical Social Work at NYU in 2007.

Her work has included working as a clinical therapist at an out-patient treatment center for children and adolescents, at an inpatient hospital for children, doing outreach with drug-involved homeless adults, as a staff social worker at a community health center, and as the Clinical Director of a drug treatment center for adjudicated youth and adults. Her primary focus has always been on the effects and resolution of trauma.

Cynthia has a passion for animals and helping others, so equine assisted psychotherapy was a natural and perfect fit for her.