Tony Giangiacomo - Executive Director
20+ years of horse experience
Member of North American Riding for the Handicapped Association
Masters Degree in School Psychology from Temple University
Retired school teacher/coach
Kathy Bentz - President
A Berks County native, Kathy is an alum of Reading Central Catholic High School and attended Kutztown University. She has worked in sales, training, and customer support roles at a variety of companies, and has also worked in the non-profit arena. A passion for volunteerism and a deep altruistic streak have led Kathy to volunteer for a few non-profit organizations in the area. Graduating with the Leadership Berks class of 2005 provided her with a deeper understanding of the inner-workings of non-profit boards and has led her to her current position with Shady Hollow Assisted Riding. Kathy believes that all individuals deserve the opportunity to be as active as possible and loves to hear and share success stories of those who’ve triumphed over the impossible.
Personally, Kathy is the proud mother of two grown daughters, and enjoys her 13 plus year relationship with her partner, John Dunkelberger. An avid outdoors fan, Kathy enjoys hiking, camping, skiing, boating, and all things active (except spelunking … on the list of “tried it once, don’t need to do it again!”) You can also find Kathy on the volleyball court throughout the year, playing competitive ball outdoors and indoors, including beach tournaments given access to sand and sun. Kathy also believes in exercising her mind. Reading is a constant in her life; no pages left unturned! Recent reads include: self-improvement, leadership, spiritual awakening, Reiki, with a little Stephen King and Dan Brown thrown in just for fun.
Joyce Burkholder - Vice President
Connie Colosimo - Secretary
Born and raised in Berks County with a B.S. in Special Education from Mansfield State University of PA. I have been a Special Education teacher for 34 years providing instruction in classroom, vocational and community settings. Worked in the Summer Work Experience and Assessment Program for 15 years serving as a site supervisor and more recently as a program coordinator. My husband Gary and I have been married for 32 years and have two grown children, Andrew and Kathryn. I share my home with an Australian Shepherd, English Bulldog, 2 rescued cats, a rescued guinea pig and a couple fish. SHAR board member since approx. 1998.
Sheila Gallagher - Board Member
Sheila has lived and worked in Berks County for 26 years teaching Special Education in the Conrad Weiser School District. She is a retired Major from the PA Army National Guard. Sheila received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and her master’s degree in Social Restoration from Mansfield University. Sheila is a life-long horse lover. Sheila and her husband, Pat, enjoy traveling, skiing, and canoeing. They especially enjoy camping and trail riding with their two horses. Sheila also competes in the National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering (NACMO) east coast division. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Equine Council, the League of Maryland Horsemen and the Circle T Riders.
Jaclyn Michelle Kratzer - Board Member
I am a disability advocate and writer in Pennsylvania. I am 37 years old and reside in Reading, PA. I enjoy writing, going out, being around people, and helping others. I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of two and a half and use a motorized wheelchair as my primary mobility tool.
I have been very active in educating people about many different types of disabilities. I graduated from Reading Area Community College with an Associate in Applied Sciences in Human Services and that is just the very beginning in a long journey of reaching my educational goals. I am also a certified advocate from Temple University. I won the title of Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2003. I never did get to finish my goals with education and now because of my current profession I have decided to enroll in University of Phoenix to finally get the degree I desire. That degree is in Human Services Management.
I am the Executive Director of Differently Abled Associates, Inc., a not-for-profit incorporation that does community service throughout the community. Currently I am the Coordinator of Children and Youth Services, focusing on children and youth with disabilities for Abilities in Motion, a Center for Independent Living, and was a tutor for people with special needs at Reading Area Community College. I also write short articles on special education in my area for www.examiner.com and was also an online columnist at Bella Online, Suite 101, and Life Tips. My articles and poetry have appeared in many places including: Christian Friendship, Personal Growth, Civil Rights, Family Health, Our Journey, Positive Reflections, just to name a few. I have a self-help book and a children’s story completed, but have yet to find a publishing house to print these works.
In addition to my professional life I am the youngest of eight children, the aunt of twenty, and the great-aunt of five. I believe that children are indeed the future and any chance I get to enrich a child’s life or anyone’s life makes my life worthwhile. My personal philosophy is to live your life in truth is the best thing you can do because “honesty now saves you a lot of time in the future”.
Megan Dissinger - Board Member
I am a graduate of Alvernia University with a dual degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. I am a Neurorehabilitation Specialist for Community Skills Program of Wyomissing, Pa, since July 2008. I work with individuals, in their home and community, that have had traumatic brain injuries. My passion and hobby has always been horses. I have been riding and showing Quarter Horses in various events for over 25 years. I just recently won the 2011 High Point All-Around Open Show rider for the Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association (PQHA). I am hopeful that my experiences with working with horses and being involved in the Berks County 4H Horse clubs will be beneficial to the Shady Hollow Assisted Riding Program.
Courtany Heckman - Board Member
Corey Nelson - Board Member
Deb Murphy - Board Member