Our New Heights Team


Vicki Eiland

Program Director
PATH Certified Instructor

Vicki joined the staff of New Heights in spring of 2016. Before joining the staff, Vicki was 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. Vicki is a PATH International certified instructor and is certified in CPR, first aid, and mental health first aid. Vicki is also a PATH certified mentor.


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.


Scarlett Thomas

Barn & Herd Care Assistant

Scarlett joined the New Heights team in the summer of 2020.  She is from Pine, Louisiana, where she gained her thick accent that we love! Scarlett grew up riding horses and her family owns six. She has a passion for horses and couldn’t imagine not working with them. She loves taking care of the New Heights herd and it is the highlight of her day!


Jess Casanova

Volunteer Coordinator
Barn & Herd Care Assistant
PATH Certified Instructor

Jess joined the New Heights team in December 2020—just a few days after her birthday. She grew up on her family’s cattle farm in Amite, Louisiana where her love for horses began. She competed in 4-H horse shows from grade school through high school but gave up riding horses when it was time to go to college.  She’s so grateful for New Heights giving her the opportunity to work with horses and a stellar group of volunteers, clients & staff each and every day!

Mareike Budo

PATH Certified Instructor

Mareike is a certified PATH International therapeutic riding instructor and mentor. A certification as Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning has inspired the need for her to grow intellectually, she currently pursues a master’s in clinical mental health care counseling and will sit for her state exam and licensure (LPC) in fall 2020. Mareike is eager to share her passion and love for equine assisted therapies and activities not only with riders & their horses, but also with the entire New Heights team. Mareike has six horses, five of which are rescues who aspire their dream job as therapeutic riding horses. She also has 3 dogs, who have all German names: Anton, Gustav & Klaus.

Board Members

Kristen O'Keefe


Mortgage Lender, Crescent City Home Mortgage

Sandra DiPietro


Senior Vice President/CFO, St.Tammany Health Systems

Louise Brady

Realtor, Latter & Blum, Inc.


Kristin Castro

President, The Ad House


Ruel Gober

Dreamco Arabians 

Darron Goodgion

President and Cofounder, Not Rocket Science, Inc.

Frank Richerand

President, Evirotech Systems

Barry Strickland, DVM

Greene Lewis Veterinary