Growing up on a ranch, I was introduced to horses at a very young age. Throughout my youth, horses played an integral part of my everyday life ~ from a piece of equipment necessary for work, to an instrument of creation, to my only means of transportation. That was many years ago. My adult life started with four years in the U.S. Army, an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota, marriage, and two children. I’m still happily married after 40 years, still working my profession as an Electrical Engineer, and since my children have grown up and left the nest, the Lord is blessing me with several ministries to occupy my free time. Currently I’m an Elder in our church, an active member of our local Gideon camp, a Bible Study leader at the Carver County Detention Center, and now I’m proud to also be a member of the Board of Directors for HIS Haven Ranch. After being away from horses for so many years, the Lord is blessing me with an opportunity to help bring horses into the lives of young people.
It is an honor to serve on the board for His Haven Ranch. I was a “city boy” growing up and was introduced to horses by my wife, Laurie, 23 years ago when I became a “country boy.” I have been around horses since that time and have watched in amazement how this wonderful animal can soften the heart of a hurting child and bring healing, love and comfort to children of all ages at His Haven Ranch. Laurie and I have been married for 32 years and are blessed with 3 wonderful daughters, Brittany, Jenna and Emma.
I have worked in the Financial Services industry for 27 years and currently work for one of the top 20 banks in the nation leasing commercial vehicles for commercial and municipal customers. I am an active member of NewDay Church where I serve on the worship team.
Horses have been a huge part of my life and my healing. As a child, I received my first horse Babe and she became my best friend. When things were difficult at home, I would hop on her back and ride for hours finding the precious peace of Jesus through her gentleness. Babe always listened intently with her big brown eyes and ears pointed towards my voice, seemingly understanding every word I said. Her companionship was priceless. What I didn’t realize then but I know now is that her presence was a therapy to my soul. Thank You, Lord, for Your magnificent provision through my horse!
Here I am now as an adult seeing others struggling and trying to navigate through the tough stuff of life. I have been a mentor with HIS Haven Ranch for the past 12 summers. I was employed as a lifeskills paraprofessional in grades K-5 for 15 years. I am so blessed to be a part of providing a place like HIS Haven Ranch in our community. It is vital. Many families these days are struggling with financial challenges, unemployment, loss, and divorce. By simply providing a place where individuals can come and be shown the grace and love of God through others and empower them to walk in self-respect and kindness, we CAN make a difference.
As a current volunteer in hospitality at the Ranch I have always had an interest in the organization, their mission, and constantly kept them in my prayers. My daughter was greatly blessed by Equine ministry while at a treatment program in Arizona and I am a firm believer in the power of God working through this type of ministry. I also love horses and while I have never owned one, helping with their care now allows me to get closer to these wonderful, compassionate animals.
I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors for HIS Haven Ranch. As a business instructor and owner, accredited business accountant and financial counselor, I enjoy being able to work with The Ranch and see the impact that our program has on the volunteers, riders and families that we service. I married my high school sweetheart, Kevin, and we are blessed with three children.
I have had a love of horses for as long as I can remember. I rode them or simply spent time with them at every opportunity growing up and bought my first horse just before I turned 19. God has blessed me with many great experiences and learning opportunities, but nothing has compared to the wonder of watching these beautiful creatures He created openly love and serve, even if they haven’t been treated well. Their innate ability to sense the feelings of those around them and act accordingly is truly amazing.
Currently I am president of my homeowner’s association and serve on my church council, as well as wherever needed within the church. My day job is as a first line manager in a technology company. I have no children of my own but dearly love the many nieces and nephews that I have and enjoy watching them grow and learn to love Jesus.
My last horse was retired 12 years ago and so I am thrilled to have an opportunity to be associated with such an awesome program as HIS Haven Ranch. Could it be any better than to find an opportunity to serve God while associating with His awesome creation?
I am honored to serve on the board of directors of such a great organization. I have been apart of HIS Haven Ranch since 2014, first as a wrangler and now as a mentor and a foreman. Being able to see not only the growth in the program but the impact it has on each individual rider has been a huge blessing to me. I am currently attending Southwest Minnesota State University with a Major in physical education and health with a minor in developmental adaptive physical education. When I graduate, I plan to teach in the New Prague district and settle down and start a family. Working with kids has always been a passion for me. This is why I chose a career not just to educate but in shape the future of America’s youth. I chose Physical education because I was involved in sports my whole life and have learned many valuable lessons from being on these teams. Right after sports came my love for animals. I grew up on a small hobby farm raising live stock and small animals. Horses have helped me through tough times in my life and it such a blessing to see the impact that a horse can make on an individual with the Lords guidance through HIS Haven.
Like so many of us, life has happened to me and I’ve seen seasons of hurting and seasons of hope. A couple of years after a season of tremendous loss, I was, on the surface, “back to normal,” but at my core, I was in the throes of grief, identity struggles, and angry conversations with God. It was around that time that I was introduced to one of my dear friends, Laurie Baer, and through her, the wonderful work of HIS Haven Ranch. Unlike several of my fellow board members, I didn’t grow up riding horses. I have one very distinctive memory of a trail riding experience in my younger years, but aside from that, I admired them from a distance. Since I’ve been acquainted with HIS Haven Ranch, I’ve realized the tremendous impact horses can have on a person, inviting healing and profound character development. Further, I’ve realized that the presence of the Lord and His Peace that surpasses all understanding are uniquely tangible at HIS Haven Ranch. A lot has happened in my life (and at the Ranch!) since I was first introduced to HIS Haven Ranch. I have been fortunate to receive ride lessons and to serve as an assistant mentor at the Ranch. I have completed a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and an MBA with focused studies in marketing and entrepreneurship. While establishing my career in business, I have continued to serve as an events volunteer with HIS Haven Ranch, and feel very privileged to now serve as a board member as well. It is my hope and prayer that the skills and experience that I’ve acquired thus far will, in some small way, contribute to the greater mission of HIS Haven Ranch.