Hayley Sumner — Founder 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.
Dominick Sacco — Mental 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.
Chris Ciepiela — Early Education Specialist
Chris Ciepiela is an early education specialist. She has taught early learners
for over two decades, including in a supervisory capacity at the Center for
Early Education and Care at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Chris
holds certifications in holistic health counseling and Reiki level II. In addition,
Chris is a published author in the Common Sentience book series. Her stories
are featured in the books titled: Animals, Personal Tales of Encounters with
Spirit Animals and Ancestors, Divine Remembrances of Lineage, Relations, and
Bekrshire HorseWorks would not be able to provide community programs in the Berkshires without the generous support of its volunteers. We thank all of the individuals that contribute their time and resources in support of our mission.
Your support and contributions help care for our horses and enable community-accessible programs for those in need.