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Executive Officers

Lynn ThomasLynn Thomas, LCSW

Co-Founder and Executive Director

LT@eagala.org 

Lynn received her Master’s of Social Work from the University of Utah and has over 16 years experience working with adolescents, families, individuals and groups in various settings including youth corrections, wilderness and ranch programs, private practice, and mental health agencies. As Executive Director for Aspen Ranch, a residential boarding school for troubled adolescents, she developed a program integrating horses as the primary treatment component. Lynn additionally served as Executive Director for the Aspen Achievement Academy, a wilderness therapy program. In 1999, recognizing the efficacy of the experiential learning approach, the intense impact of the equine relationship, and a need to professionalize standards for this new modality, Lynn formed EAGALA, a non-profit 501(c)3 association. With the help of an energized and dynamic team, Lynn developed the organization’s training and certification program and ancillary training manuals. Today, she continues to spearhead operations both domestically and abroad as EAGALA augments its global presence. Along with leading EAGALA, she has 3 children, twins age 18 and one age 16.

 

Mickey DiGiacomoMickey DiGiacomo

Program Director

mickeyd@eagala.org

Mickey has spent her lifetime in the equine industry from 4-H to breaking and showing horses to fifteen years spent as a jockey, riding in ten different states.  She retired from riding and moved to the racetracks of the west coast (to be warm!) for three years as an exercise rider.  She eventually left the track and created a riding program for a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed boys - Sierra Boys Ranch.  She also worked as a residential counselor and house director for the program.  She attended her first EAGALA training in September 2000, after which she became Equine Services Director for Sierra Family Services and helped transform the equine component into a true EAGALA Model program.  Literally hundreds of hours of EAGALA sessions later, and after contracting as an EAGALA trainer since 2004, Mickey now works full-time as Program Director for EAGALA overseeing the global training schedule, mentoring program and networking groups amongst many other duties.

 

Brenda HunterBrenda B. Hunter, M.A., LCPC

Clinical Director

brenda@eagala.org

Brenda has been a certified member of EAGALA since 2003.  She began her EAGALA career at Reins of Change, Inc., working as the mental health professional in providing individual, group, and family EAGALA model EAP/EAL services to clientele presenting with a variety of mental health issues and ranging in all ages down to age 5.  She obtained her EAGALA Advanced Certification in 2007.  Brenda was one of the original founding members of EAGALA’s Ethics Committee and has been the Chair of this committee for over 5 years.  In 2008, Brenda became a Trainer and Mentor with EAGALA.  She has conducted international and national trainings and trained hundreds of EAGALA Certified members over the years.  Brenda also has presented at numerous national and international conferences on EAGALA-related topics since her membership with EAGALA. In July 2014, Brenda became the Clinical Director for EAGALA, assisting the EAGALA executive administrative team with oversight of EAGALA committees, endorsement of EAGALA recommended material, and general clinical matters pertaining to EAGALA model services and organizational structure. 

Brenda’s non-EAGALA clinical professional experience includes: working over 6 years in brain injury rehabilitation, providing neuropsychological assessment and treatment; working over 7 years with a non-profit organization where she began as a residential treatment therapist and advanced to being the Clinical Supervisor of the Community Counseling Program, where she supervised therapists and case managers in providing mental health services to individuals, couples, and families who presented with a variety of mental health issues; working over 6 years with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (non-profit) where she began as a Supervisor and advanced to being the Manager of five community service prevention programs that provide clinical and case management services to families in need in the greater Madison area. Brenda earned her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arkansas.  She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Wisconsin.