We have a great staff of dedicated individuals who provide leadership, coordination, lessons, and assistance. See the people that make Stockhands Horses for Healing work along with a short biography.
Lisa Benton, Executive Director/Co-founder
Lisa graduated from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in 1992 with a Diploma in Nursing and practiced as a Registered Nurse in central Ohio, focusing mostly on home health care both with the elderly and children. Lisa started her own business in 2010, Bricks 4 Kidz. It is a franchise where we teach children about the concepts of creative science, engineering, and architectural design through the use of LEGO® bricks. Lisa had the 9th franchise in a company that has grown to over 600 franchises today. They successfully operate after-school enrichment classes, summer camps, parent’s nights out, scouting events, birthday parties, field trips and other special events for preschool and elementary age children.
Lisa has two beautiful children, Courtney and Cody. Her extended family has always been involved with horses and Lisa quickly shared in their passion. In 2008, her almost 2-year-old nephew was diagnosed with autism and their lives changed. They have all been involved in his development, encouraging him to speak, make eye contact and more. And then she took him for a riding lesson. Lisa was able to see firsthand how equine facilitated therapies can have a positive impact on children as well as adults on the spectrum and with other disorders, and she wants to make this therapy be available to others.
Tim Funk, Equine Specialist/PATH Instructor/Co-founder
Tim grew up in Delaware, Ohio and graduated from Olentangy High School. He grew up with horses and other livestock, purchasing his first horse at the age of 13. He was in 4-H and showed at the Delaware County Fair during his youth as well as working at various equine facilities in Delaware County. In 1992 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He served active duty abroad in the Marine Corp for 4 years. He is the father of two beautiful children, Mattie, and Mason.
After working in the construction trades for 12 years, he decided to go back to school. He attended Hocking College and received training in Equine Business Management. He received his Farrier Certification and started Stockhands Equine Services in 2012 which provides services for all your equine needs, from farrier to colt training and lessons, as well as handyman services around the farm.
A few years back, some friends came to ride Tim’s horses. Her son was on the autism spectrum. He barely spoke and Tim was told not to touch him, as the human touch bothers him. So he scrambled to get on the horse and Tim led him around the pasture. When he got off the horse and started walking back to his mom, he grabbed Tim’s hand. She was in tears because he wouldn’t let anyone touch him yet he initiated human contact. That day, Tim became aware of the amazing power of equine therapy.
Cassandra Dilley, PATH Instructor
Cassandra graduated from Ohio University Southern in 2013 with a degree in Equine Studies and concentrations in Riding Instruction/Therapeutic Riding Instruction. In addition to her Equine Studies degree, Cassandra earned certifications from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) and the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). While attending college, Cassandra rode on Ohio University’s Western, Hunt and Dressage teams. After graduation, Cassandra began to work as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor in Tennessee until relocating to the Columbus area in 2015 with her husband. Through her lessons Cassandra combines her passion for horses and individuals with special needs.
Chloe Lanka, PATH Instructor
Chloe comes to Stockhand’s with over ten years of riding experience. She competed in western and English events at national level competitions through the Interscholastic Equestrian Association and the American Quarter Horse Association. Chloe graduated from Miami University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After college, she began looking for a way to get involved with horses again and started volunteering with Stockhand’s in July 2016. After several months of volunteering, Chloe was encouraged by Lisa and Tim to become a PATH certified instructor. In August 2018, Chloe officially became a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor.
Judy Preston, Board Member
Judy Preston is a lifelong equestrian. She began riding at age 5 and continues today. She was an active participant in the 4H program, both as a member and later as an advisor. She received her BS in Accounting from the University of Akron and spent several years in public practice before taking over the accounting and administrative functions of the business she and her husband started. After moving to central Ohio for family she spent several years volunteering with the local Ohio Horseman’s Council chapter but her passion has always been kids and horses. Judy brings both her accounting and equestrian expertise to her volunteering at Stockhands Horses for Healing.
Tom Meers, Board Member
Tom Meers is a co-founder and the President of Result Data, a Central Ohio data analytics firm founded in 1996. Tom has over 30 years of leadership, management, and technical experience including the authoring of two books and numerous papers. He has served on several IT industry advisory councils. For many years Tom has participated in and supported Central Ohio charitable organizations including serving on the executive leadership committee for the Central Ohio Heart Walk, volunteering for Stockhands Horses for Healing, and support for the Graham Family of Schools.
Board of Directors
- Lisa Benton
- Tim Funk
- Judy Preston
- Tom Meers