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.


Marie Dyer Crockett

Volunteer Coordinator 

Marie came to New Heights in Fall 2019. Marie trains and coordinates all our volunteers.  Marie also works as the Communications Director for Calvary Pentecostal Church in Hammond. She lives in Hammond, with her husband, their children, and their dog. Marie grew up riding horses and is so thankful for the opportunity to continue being around them 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.


Jason Austin

Grounds & Facilities Manager

Jason is a 19 year Army Veteran, medically retired after being critically wounded in Iraq in 2007 by an 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. Jason also works as an advisor for our Veterans programs.  The property has never looked better.


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!


Amy Sanders

Barn & Herd Care Assistant

Amy was born in Kentucky but moved around a lot until joining the Army in 1990. She served until 1994. In 2018, she went through New Heights Veterans Program and immediately started volunteering. Amy was hired on the staff in the spring of 2019. She absolutely loves working at New Heights! She says that New Heights does more for her than she could ever do for them. 

Board Members

Kristen O'Keefe


Branch Manager, Hancock Whitney Bank

Sandra DiPietro


Senior Vice President/CFO, St.Tammany Health Systems

Louise Brady

Realtor, Later & 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