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Our Story

 

New Heights Therapy Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization founded in 1998. New Heights is a premier therapeutic equestrian center dedicated to positively impacting lives through the healing power of the horse. We help people who have physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties reach their full potential.  New Heights has grown to be able to serve a wide variety of groups and individuals in our community.

Our facility is located on eight beautiful acres adjacent to Summergrove polo fields in Folsom, Louisiana. We have a fully handicap accessible facility with a covered arena and a 16 stall barn. Our arena is equipped with a wheelchair accessible ramp and a lift, which can hold up to 1,200 pounds to assist wheel chair bound clients to mount the horse.

In addition to our eight acres we have access to 22 acres of wooded riding trails adjacent to our property for participants to enjoy. We operate with the help of our community, volunteers, and generous donors who support our mission every day. We invite you to come tour our facility and get involved!

 

Our Board

Officers:


President
Kristen O’Keefe
Whitney Bank

Vice President
Louise Brady
Realtor, Latter & Blum, Inc.

Treasurer
Sandra DiPietro 
Chief Financial Officer, St. Tammany Parish Hospital


Secretary
Pat Granier

Vice President, Whitney Bank
 

Members:

Dan Casey
DealerTrack

Kristin Castro
President, The AdHouse

Ruel Gober
Owner, Ruelco

Darron Goodgion
President and Co-Founder, Not Rocket Science, Inc.

Mario Munoz
President, Turn Services

Barry Strickland DVM
Veterinarian, Greene, Lewis & Associates

William "Buddy" Terral, MD
Pediatrician

Ron Jenkins
Vice President, IBM International, Retired
 

Honorary Lifetime Members:


David Fennelly
President, Associated Terminals, L.L.C.
Director, Turn Services, L.L.C.

Mary Robinson
President, American Sprinkler Company, Inc.

Our Staff
Photo of Krista Carpenter
Krista Carpenter
Executive Director

Krista Carpenter joined New Heights as Executive Director in January of 2016. Prior to joining New Heights, Krista was an independent consultant, previously working with faith based institutions, non-profit, and political clients in program development, fund raising, volunteer management and outreach.

Her role with New Heights allows her to combine her love of horses with her desire to serve the most vulnerable in our community. Krista has a sincere vision for deepening the impact New Heights has on our clients, their families and our region as whole. Krista and her husband Tim have three sons and live in Covington.

Photo of Kim Clinard
Kim Clinard
Operations Manager

Kim joined New Heights in 2009 as the Operations Manager. She spent 25 years in the auto industry in the accounting field. Kim lives in Slidell with her husband, Dean, and is the mother of four children, four dogs, three turtles and a kitten. Needless to say, Kim is an animal lover and is thrilled to work just steps away from our herd of heroes.





 

Photo of Jennifer Montgomery
Jennifer Montgomery
Program Developer, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Jennifer Montgomery joined New Heights in March 2016 as program developer.  Jennifer holds degrees from Central Wyoming College in horse science and management as well as credentials in teaching riding and horse training technology. Jennifer also has a bachelors of science degree from Louisiana State University in Child and Family Studies.   She has combined the degrees to work for her in the field of therapeutic horsemanship.  Jennifer is a PATH International certified instructor and is certified in CPR, first aid, and mental health first aid.  

Photo of Vicki Eiland
Vicki Eiland
Volunteer Coordinator, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Vicki joined the staff of New Heights in spring of 2016. New to our staff, but seasoned to our program, Vicki has been a volunteer at New Heights for almost 5 years. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Florida State University in Early Childhood Education and spent almost 20 years teaching elementary school. She combines these attributes here at New Heights to train, coordinate and support our volunteers who are the lifeblood of our program. She and her husband, Patrick, live with their two children Jordan and Rachel, and their golden retriever, Bailey.  Vicki is a PATH International certified instructor and is certified in CPR, first aid, and mental health first aid.  

Photo of Juliette Thompson
Juliette Thompson
Facility Manager, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Juliette is an award-winning entrepreneurial Marketing Strategist with 20+ years of experience leading transformative programs that increase brand value, drive revenue growth, and propel companies to the forefront of their markets. She combines cross-disciplined marketing background in competitive research, corporate communications, public affairs, creative production, and product innovation to conceptualize and execute integrated communication strategies in tune with market trends and business needs. Juliette is an expert at leading high-profile organizations through crises and major foundational changes. She is a therapeutic riding instructor, ranch owner, and also uses her herd of miniature horses for therapy.  Juliette is a PATH International certified instructor and is certified in CPR, first aid, and mental health first aid.  Juliette is a member of Certified Horsemanship Association, the American Paint Horse Association, the Miniature Horse Association and the Louisiana Equine Council. 

Photo of Jason Austin
Jason Austin
Grounds Maintenance Supervisor

Jason is a 19 year Army Veteran, medically retired after being critically wounded in Iraq in 2007 by a Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Jason spent 900 + days in hospitals, where he underwent 4 surgeries. In 2010 Jason retired and was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries sustained in combat. In 2014 Jason was a participant in the New Heights Veterans Program. Upon completion he returned as a volunteer. Jason joined the New Heights staff in 2016. The property has never looked better.