Meet our Team
Jan Clifford, Founder and Executive Director of HORSEPOWER personally experienced the relationship with horses as a child. She witnessed the true connection of horses and children while running a horse boarding facility in Texas. When Jan moved to NC with her 6 horses, she was driven to do something meaningful with them. She then researched the need for Equine Therapeutic Learning right here in Greensboro and HORSEPOWER was born. The magic she witnessed between horse and rider has been the underlying success of what HORSEPOWER became and has grown to become over the past 25 years.
Jan Clifford, Executive Director & Certified PATH Instructor
Jan is the founder and Executive Director of HORSEPOWER. Before starting HORSEPOWER Jan owned and operated an accounting practice in Dallas, Texas for 15 years as well as a horse boarding facility for five years. Jan is a level two certified riding instructor by the Association for Horsemanship Safety and Education and a Registered Instructor by PATH Intl.
Emily Mann, Operations Manager & Certified PATH Instructor, CTRS/LRT
Emily first joined HORSEPOWER in 1994 as a volunteer. She graduated from East Carolina University after studying recreational therapy and sign language. In 2003 she was the Volunteer Coordinator and in 2009 became a PATH Intl. registered instructor and the Director of Student Services for HORSEPOWER. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.
Mikayla Smith, Director of Social Media Relations, Certified PATH Instructor, & CTRS/LRT
Mikayla graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017, with a Bachelor's of Science and a major in Recreation Therapy. She is a licensed Recreational Therapist in the state of North Carolina, and has a passion to help people of all abilities reach their goals in life through animals. Her passion for animals began at a young age with horses and farm animals of her own. Her love for animals continues today as she grows her little farm in Thomasville, NC. Her love for horses lead her to volunteer at HORSEPOWER in the summer of 2016. Shortly after, she began working at HORSEPOWER as a barn supervisor and in January 2018 gained her PATH instructor certification.
Mike Foster, Director of Marketing and Program Enhancement
Mike is from Greensboro, NC and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Business Administration. His love for horses originated from watching Sunday western movies with his dad. It was not until later in life that Mike was able to pursue his desire. It only took one ride, and Mike was hooked and wanted to learn all he could. That was over 20 years ago. Mike’s passion took him into the sport of Reining where he competed and worked at different barns just filling his horsemanship skill bag. Always wanting more, he immersed himself in several of the horsemanship techniques with the desire to know more and do what was best for the horse. His gift of being able to teach and his desire to introduce as many people as possible to the spirit of the horse has led him out of corporate America and here to Horsepower.
Rita Maloy, Director of Volunteer Outreach
Rita Maloy volunteers at HORSEPOWER cleaning stalls, sidewalking, and leading horses. In addition, she recently began a part-time position assisting with volunteer outreach at HORSEPOWER. In this position, she is helping with volunteer recruitment, scheduling and leading tours for prospective volunteers, conducting the classroom portions of sidewalker and leader trainings, and staying involved with current volunteers to help maintain a welcoming environment where volunteers can continue to grow and thrive. Rita retired from the National Board for Certified Counselor and Affiliates (NBCC) in 2019. During her 21 years there, she held several management positions. Before working at NBCC, Rita worked in Disability Services at UNCG. Born with the genetic predisposition to love horses, Rita was happy to return to horse life following retirement. She served as volunteer coordinator for HorseFriends prior to volunteering at HORSEPOWER. Rita holds a BA in English and a Master of Public Affairs, both from UNCG. When not at HORSEPOWER, Rita is at home with her husband Steve and their dog, Punch. They occasionally visit their son, Stephen, who lives in Wilmington.
Erin Getchell, Administrative Assistant
Erin is a lifetime horse lover and equestrian. She began her involvement with horses when she was given riding lessons for her 8th birthday. During her teenage years, she rode hunters, trail rode in the NC foothills, and helped her parents breed and show AMHA Miniature Horses. In later years, she focused more on dressage and ran her own farm with a small, Friesian horse breeding program. She recently moved back to NC from Lexington, KY to be closer to family. Erin was thrilled to find a spot here at HORSEPOWER where she can combine her skills and abilities in the office with her love of people and horses.
Jade Halstead, Volunteer Coordinator
Jade came to HORSEPOWER in June 2023 and instantly felt at home. Originally from the Midwest, Jade began taking lessons, riding, and caring for horses from an early age and experienced firsthand the healing power of the human-animal bond at her family’s 30-acre farm. Jade lightly competed in hunter jumpers and enjoyed combined training when her family relocated to Southern Pines, NC. In 2007, while studying at UNC-Asheville to obtain a degree in Health and Wellness Promotion, Jade discovered pet therapy during an internship with a non-profit organization providing animal assisted activity and therapy services in WNC. She became a registered volunteer Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) Therapy Team with her dog as well as a Team Evaluator and went on to work as a Coordinator for many years in non-profits and the Mission Health System in Asheville. Jade currently resides in Greensboro and in her free time she enjoys casual bike rides and traveling with her husband and their Labrador. She is thrilled to be part of the HORSEPOWER team and is inspired daily by the amazing and hardworking HORSEPOWER volunteers, staff, and horses who help bring happiness, healing, and joy to so many riders and their families!
Alex Gagliano, Barn Staff
Alex is 32 year old with 27 years of experience in horse care and riding. With a hunter background Alex started working horse shows and summer camps before the age of 10. She continued showing into her late teens & began teaching beginner lessons, managing farms, working with injured/ rescue horses & barn sitting at age 24. Her love for horses is infinite. Alex also was a certified HAB tech for several years which allowed her to migrate into a therapeutic facility easily . Combining her love for people and animals together! Sassy pony's are her spirit animal.
Katherine Doyle, P.A.T.H Certified Instructor & Saturday Barn Staff
I began volunteering at HORSEPOWER in 2019 as a leader, sidewalker or barn helper after I graduated from Western Carolina, it quickly became my favorite place and I joined the staff in 2020. Since then I have completed my PATH Intl. Instructor Certification and teach classes on Thursdays and Saturdays as well as run barn on Saturdays. I have been riding most of my life and HORSEPOWER has allowed me to put my love of horses to a bigger purpose.
Perry Flynn, Certified PATH Instructor & Mentor, CCC/SLP (volunteer)
Perry is an AP Professor and the Consultant to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in the area of Speech Language Pathology. He is the Vice President for Planning and a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Perry has authored book chapters in Common Core State Standards and the Speech-Language Pathologist and is a frequent contributor to the ASHA Leader and Perspectives publications. He is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Operation Smile volunteer (missions in 2002 and 2003 to Jordan), Director of the Equestrian Sport Development Team and member of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics North Carolina. He leads the CSD Department’s inter-professional practice in equine assisted learning and is the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association co-faculty advisor.
Jean Martin, Certified PATH Instructor & Mentor
Jean joined HORSEPOWER in August 2008 as a volunteer. Her love for children and horses made it a perfect fit for her. Before HORSEPOWER Jean was a flight attendant with Piedmont and US AIRWAYS for over 20 years. She is a proud graduate of Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Charleston, South Carolina. Jean is a business owner with her husband Eric and a mother of two children, Haley and Walker. They have a dog named Addie.
Kelsey Repsch, Certified PATH Instructor
Kaitlyn Cole, Certified PATH Instructor
Kaitlyn joined HORSEPOWER in Spring of 2022 after moving to the area with her husband and two children. She has been a PATH certified CTRI since June of 2020 but horses have been a part of her life since she was a child. She has a B.S. in Exercise Science and uses her knowledge of anatomy and physiology in both horses and humans to create a partnership between horse and rider that benefits each. She loves people and loves horses and considers it her privilege in life to come alongside them and support them on their journey forward.
Laura Mooney Whitty, P.A.T.H Certified Instructor
Laura graduated from Midway College in Kentucky in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Equine Management. She has been involved with horses from a young age and participated in United States Pony Clubs as a member, coach, and District Commissioner at her local club. Her love of all things animals has led to her involvement with horsepower as well as accumulating multiple animals at home to include cats, dogs, horses, goats and chickens. She lives in Mayodan with all her animals and her husband Sam and works for Coca-Cola as a Senior Logistics Operations Manager.
Piper Diaz, P.A.T.H Certified Instructor
Piper started taking riding lessons when she was six years old, going on to work as an assistant trainer, focusing on American Saddlebreds. She has taught beginner through advanced riding lessons for over ten years, and has enjoyed working with all age groups and ability levels. She loves working with animals, and introducing people to the benefits and rewarding aspects of horse back riding. She currently lives in the heart of wine country, Yadkin Valley North Carolina, with her family and their dogs and two horses.
Theresa Allison, Certified PATH Instructor in Training (volunteer)
I have been around horses from a very young age and always found joy in teaching others about horses and riding. I heard about HORSEPOWER and loved that they were giving an opportunity to individuals to ride horses who otherwise might not get the chance. I started volunteering at HORSEPOWER in the fall of 2022 sidewalking and leading. My brother started riding at HORSEPOWER and I saw amazing changes in him! I soon came to realize that teaching others about horses and being a part of that amazing change in others is something that I am very passionate about. HORSEPOWER is helping me on that path and is allowing me to help countless individuals along the way.