Meet the VEWS Team
The team that makes VEWS what it is! If you are interested in volunteering your time, please visit our Volunteer page to see opportunities.
"When I started volunteering with VEWS in 2015, my goal was to learn more about caring for horses. I didn’t expect to discover the beauty and grace of horses that willingly forgive humans or to meet so many great horse people. I also never envisioned how gratifying rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming abused and neglected horses would be. Several of the horses arrive at our rescue in pitiful condition so it really tugs at your heart to see their recovery and bittersweet when they leave. Today as I continue to learn about horses, I am so grateful for all the wonderful horse people that have shared their knowledge and friendship and support our rescues efforts. #rescuehorses"
Lisa’s love of horses began early in life and has culminated in personally adopting four horses from VEWS as well as contributing her time and energy to the organization. With a career background in healthcare and education, Lisa pursued certification as an Equine Behavior & Management Specialist and as an Advanced Equine Training Professional via the accredited Animal Behavior Institute and now serves as the Equine Director and Volunteer Educator for VEWS.
Director of Operations
Tim has enjoyed a 20+ year career in the financial services industry working for banks in leadership roles managing risk and business operations. Tim has a BA in East Asian History from the University of Minnesota and a MBA from St. Thomas University. Tim has served on the boards of other non-profits over the years and enjoys the collaboration and passion that smaller non-profits bring to fulfilling their mission. Tim and Lisa found VEWS after moving to Hanover county in Richmond back in 2018. VEWS provided the opportunity they were looking for to learn more about horse care while giving back through volunteering.
"A native of West Virginia, I’ve lived in the Richmond area for 9 years. Although my degree is in Healthcare Management, I’ve been in the restaurant business for all my years in RVA. My husband and I love to cook, kayak and camp. We also have a goal to visit every winery in Virginia-there are over 400! Fun fact: I have legal permanent residency in the Caribbean island of Saint Maarten."
"I have been working with horses since I was 12 years old. I have a bachelors in Equine Studies from Houghton College, and have been teaching and training horses for 14 years. I moved to Virginia 9 years ago with my husband, and VEWS has been such a blessing to find, not only to be able to help the horses that come in but also share my knowledge with the volunteers that want to help the horses. When I’m not riding or working with horses I love to hike with my family. My husband and I would love to be able to visit all National Parks possible with our kids."
Mikki joined VEWS with her family in 2018 with no background experience with horses. VEWS has opened her eyes to the world of horses and taught her so much about the background of rescue horses and the care needed to rehabilitate them. Horses will remain a part of her life from this point on. When not at the barn, Mikki works in the fitness industry and enjoys her pets and outdoor activities.
I am in my car on the way to one of my happy places- VEWS. When I retired I was looking for someplace to volunteer and since I had grown
up with many animals (farm girl) I started looking at horse rescues, found VEWS and have volunteered for about 5 years. My horse experience has been as an owner of an off the track thoroughbred.
The horses that VEWS rescues teach me so much. To be able to bring these horses from a place of abuse and neglect to a place of trust is a marvelous and humbling experience.
I am in awe of the caring and compassionate volunteers that I work with at VEWS. The leadership at VEWS is outstanding. I am proud to be part of such a wonderful organization.
Social Media Coordinator
Molly Kirk is a lifelong horse person, having grown up eventing in Maryland. She groomed professionally on the hunter/jumper circuit after college, then worked for the magazine The Chronicle of the Horse, traveling to report on horse shows, all while riding and competing at the lower levels. Now a magazine editor in the Richmond area, Molly is currently horseless and enjoys shifts at VEWS for the barn time and horse care.
I rescued my first pony when I was 12. Trixie was blind, had no training and had been left in a cow pasture for years. Most of my childhood memories include my adventures with Trixie as I taught her to ride and pull a cart. Those experiences, along with learning the importance of serving others during my military career in the Army and Air Force, made me who I am today. During my 50- plus years with horses, I have personally rescued more than 18 horses, mules and donkeys. When I retired from my second career as a high school teacher in 2021, I discovered VEWS and joined in January 2022. I'm proud to be part of such a wonderful organization that allows me to continue working with horses and people. Today, my husband and I live with my herd that includes a Chincoteague Pony I trail ride, a mini horse and team of pony mules I drive, and a mini donkey. I love my shifts at VEWS! As Adoption Director, I love working with my Adoption Team to find wonderful homes for our VEWS horses.
I’ve been volunteering with VEWS since spring of 2022 and it is hands down my favorite part of the week! I love working with my shift to help with barn chores, participating in the groundwork/riding group, and now working with the Adoptions Team to find forever homes for our horses. One of my favorite aspects of volunteering is watching the horses transition to their new chapter here at VEWS. I love seeing their unique personality shine through while they settle in, knowing that they’re safe and cared for. I also love working with my fellow volunteers…the community within VEWS never ceases to amaze me. They are always willing to step out of their comfort zone, learn and help each other to do what is best for our horses. I’m so grateful I get to be a part of this great group of dedicated people and meet so many wonderful horses along the way.
Jeannie is a lifelong animal lover who has been volunteering with animal welfare organizations for over 30 years. She joined VEWS in 2020 has been enjoying the opportunity to learn about and care for horses. She currently shares her home with six dogs, two cats, a pig and a turtle. In addition to volunteering, Jeannie also spends her free time scuba diving, hiking and traveling.
Fundraising Project Manager
Since childhood I have always felt a passion for fairness and justice and as I have matured this passion has expanded to those who cannot truly speak for themselves: youth, seniors and animals. Over the past thirty years of working professionally, in the church and in my community, I’ve also learned my gifts are service and administration. Fortunately, I have been able to intertwine these three areas by working in a senior living community, teaching youth in my church and volunteering at VEWS. The success stories, seeing their trust and confidence grow with the hope that you may have influenced or contributed to their happiness is a reward beyond words!
Fundraising Project Manager
Shalini started volunteering with VEWS in 2021. She has always had a lifelong love of animals. Originally from India, she came to the USA to further her education. After living in Illinois and North Carolina, Shalini and her family settled in Glen Allen in 2010. VEWS has provided her with a wonderful outlet to interact and care for horses which she has always wanted to do. She is also an active volunteer with Sports Backers and the United Way Income Tax Assistance Program.
I have worked in information systems and cybersecurity for over 28 years, including web design for numerous organizations. I grew up and learned about horses from my big sisters who taught me everything I know. Originally from upstate NY, I've been in the Hampton Roads area since 1998 after graduating from Alfred University in 1995 and also have a Master's in Information Systems from Florida Institute of Technology. Most of my horses have been rescued and successfully competed in dressage and western dressage but also wonderful trail horses and companions. I currently live with my husband, two kids, and our herd which includes a Hanoverian, Friesian Sport Horse, OTTB, and my particular love, "Big Bertha" our 20+-year-old, 18H mammoth mule we saved from auction. I'm locally known for horses of big proportions as mine are generally 18H with my largest horse General George who's 19H. I'm happy to donate my time to VEWS and its wonderful mission.