Berkshire HorseWorks Announces Board of Directors

FROM: Berkshire HorseWorks, Inc., EAGALA Certified Program

CONTACT: Hayley Sumner,, (413) 698-3700




Nonprofit Draws From Both Local Community And West Coast, Securing Members With Complementary Strengths

Richmond, MA – February xx, 2016 Berkshire HorseWorks Inc., which has provided EAGALA Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to nearly 200 at-risk youth, families, and veterans, has pulled together its first Board of Directors since receiving a its 501(C)3 nonprofit status in January, 2015. The Board comprises those from across the country who are at the forefront of their respective fields as well as local professionals with a key knowledge of the pervasive needs of the community, it was announced today by Hayley Sumner, Founder and Executive Director.

Berkshire HorseWorks utilizes this powerful, proven, and experiential Model to aid clients suffering from a broad array of mental health and behavioral challenges including ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, anger management, eating disorders, Asperger’s, addiction, and domestic violence. Sessions are ground-based, solution focused, and facilitated by a Licensed Mental Health Professional as well as a qualified Equine Specialist both certified in the Model. EAL incorporates Equine Assisted Team building which, through partnering with school districts, local businesses, and international corporations to enhance personal development and reinforce group dynamics in the workplace. The organization offers various programs out of a 27 acre compound in Richmond, MA which is composed of the Berkshire Equestrian Center, hiking trails, outdoor paddocks, historic barns, meeting rooms, the Select Registry Inn at Richmond, and a wellness center.

The local nonprofit held its first annual board meeting in September 2015, where the following officers were appointed: Don Fulford, Chairman; Don Granger, Vice President; Mark Casagrande, Treasurer. John Krol, Special Superintendent, Jack Quinn, Steve Hoff, Jim Clark, Elise Abrams and Barbara Newman also joined the Board of Directors.

“Because we’re a relatively new nonprofit, it is critical that we ensure that we are addressing the needs of the community and that we are guided by those locally who have a vested interest in its health and wellness. We’ve reached out to people who can truly guide us in our programming and strategic partnerships and are continuing to look for other who can help us in this journey. In addition, because donors locally are stretched so thin, we turned to others across the country who have a commitment to this work to permeate other funding pots. We’re really happy with the way the team is coming together.”

Don Fulford, the President and CEO of a Catholic Religious nonprofit serving more than 300,000 members and in 35 countries, brings extensive knowledge of the nuances of the nonprofit world. Formerly CEO of Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland, Fulford was also an appointed member of the Agricultural Commodities Advisory Committee for the state of Kentucky. Los Angeles resident, Don Granger, Executive Vice President of Production at Skydance Entertainment, has served as Executive Vice President of Motion Picture Production at Paramount Pictures, where he was responsible for supervising such blockbuster franchises as Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Clear and Present Danger, Kiss the Girls, and the Academy Award®-winning Saving Private Ryan, among others. Granger who produced Rogue Nation featuring Tom Cruise is currently shooting the sequel where he serves as Executive Producer. Mark Casagrande, a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, is the Owner and Executive Director of Park Avenue Center, a 120 bed residential outpatient substance abuse treatment program with mental health service in Minnesota. Casagrande formerly served on the Board of Directors for EAGALA, the governing organization which certifies Berkshire HorseWorks professionals. Granger, in conjunction with Casagrande, will be spearheading the fundraising efforts and financial planning of the nonprofit.

Four board members have deep roots and immense experience in community service, including John Krol, Special Superintendent John Quinn, Steve Hoff, and Jim Clark. Born and raised in Pittsfield, John Krol is the Ward 6 City Councilor, the founding chairman of the City’s Green Commission, a member of the School Building Needs Commission, board member of Berkshire Animal D.R.E.A.M.S, former board member of the Christian Center, and former board president of Pittsfield Community Television. Currently the President of OneEighty Media, John Krol’s extensive experience in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, government relations, health care marketing and community outreach provides a unique perspective for the local nonprofit.

Also having been born and raised in Pittsfield, John J. Quinn Jr. is currently the Special Superintendent of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, Jail and House of Correction having been appointed to that position by Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., on April 1, 2005. Quinn formerly served as the Program Director for the Pittsfield Boys Club where he was the Director of the Title XX Counseling Program. Prior to that, Executive Director of Big Brothers of Pittsfield, MA., Director of Juvenile Jobs for Justice Program, and Director of the Boys Club Substance Abuse Program. Steve Hoff, a licensed psychologist and college professor, is co-founder of Barrington Psychology Center, which provides mental health services to individuals, families, schools and communities. He has been a faculty member of The School Psychology Program at The College of Saint Rose for 10 years. He began his professional career in New York City public schools where he was a school psychologist and crisis response trainer. Both Quinn and Hoff, because of their connection with Berkshire Children and Families, will identify key issues which are potentially detrimental to those locally. Hoff in addition, will ensure our HIPAA compliancy.

Jim Clark, a Retired Army Officer, is currently the Director of Veterans’ Services of Pittsfield. Previously, Clark was enlisted into the United States Army in 1978 after graduating from Taconic High School. After completing his original obligation, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as an Armor Officer in 1985. After retiring in 2012 from the US Army, Clark worked as an assistant teacher at Morningside Community School until November of last year when he was appointed to the position he is currently holding. He will be integral in developing the content for the next “Horse Powered Veterans” group.

Elise Abrams and Barbara Newman are long time Berkshire residents. Elise Abrams is a Partner at Berkshire Community Capital. Prior to this, Elise was a Wall Street equity sales trader and market maker for 18 years serving domestic and international qualified institutional buyers as well as a fundraiser for not-for-profits where she created initiatives that measurably improved fundraising for humanitarian aid. Barbara Newman, formerly an Executive Creative Director/Writer in NYC where she built iconic global brands is currently developing a feature length documentary film on the American cowgirl. Barbara facilitates CAF: Saddle Your Own Horse workshops where she brings the principles of cowgirl spirit to high schools and girls leadership initiatives such as Girl Scouts of America, and Girls Inc. Abrams and Newman will steer special events and corporate sponsorship.

Berkshire HorseWorks™, a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation, is part of the international EAGALA network of 4,500 certified professionals in 50 countries. For more information on Berkshire HorseWorks or EAGALA, please call (413) 698-3700, email , or visit

Through the power of horses, Berkshire HorseWorks™ provides the tools to cope, challenge, communicate, heal, lead, empathize and thrive in today’s world.