Staff

Stephanie Melchert | Executive Director | Email: Stephanie@VictoryTherapy.org
As the Executive Director of Victory Therapy Center, Stephanie puts her extensive experience of non-profit operations to work to optimize resources and fulfill the annual program of work. In her role with Victory, she ensures compassionate services are provided to the many clients that turn to us for help with healing. With over 20 years of proficiency in non-profit development and marketing roles, Stephanie has a passion for creating awareness and funding for organizations helping others. Stephanie participates and has served with numerous professional associations; some of these include the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Advocates for Special People, Arlington Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, and Meeting Planners International. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Fashion Merchandising from Iowa State University.
Tracy Allen | Managing DirectorEmail: Tracy@VictoryTherapy.org
Tracy began working at Victory Therapy Center as a volunteer in 2011. She relocated with her husband, Grant, and son, Jackson, to Texas from Oregon leaving a 23 year career in the airline industry. She quickly came to realize that this was an industry that spoke to her and that she had an opportunity to work in and industry that makes a difference in people’s lives. In addition to being responsible for many of the administrative tasks related to our therapeutic riding clients, she is PATH certified as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Tracy has a life-long love of horses and riding, focusing the last 20 years on the sport of Dressage.
Laura Hamrin | TherapeutIc Riding Instructor | Email: laura@victorytherapy.org
Laura Hamrin has a passion for teaching and riding. She started riding at the age of three and competing by 5, continuing in eventing and classical dressage. She went on the attend and graduate from Morvan Park International Equestrian Institute as well as managing her family’s horse farm in North Georgia maintaining up to 100 horses and training competition horses. She had the opportunity to work with special needs and fell in love with the therapeutic industry. Laura graduated from Grace Training Center with her Christian workers degree and later received her PATH instructor certification and CHA level 3 in western and 4 in English and is currently working on her advanced instructor certification at Victory Therapy Center.
 
Suzanne Sessums | Physical Therapist & TherapeutIc Riding Instructor | Email: suzanne@victorytherapy.org
Suzanne has been a Physical Therapist with Victory Therapy Center since 2005. She received her physical therapy license in 1999 from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She works as a physical therapist in the Fort Worth School District, Pediatric Home Health, and PRN with Wise Community Hospital in Decatur, TX. Suzanne is a registered AHA, Level II Instructor.
 
Allison Watson | finance manager & THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR | Email: accounting@victorytherapy.org
Allison started as a volunteer at Victory Therapy Center in 2012. She has worked in the accounting departments for both commercial development companies and construction companies since 1984. She has owned and shown hunter-jumpers since she was a young girl so when the opportunity arose to join the staff she didn’t hesitate. She has been in the position of Finance Manager since January 2015. She has recently become a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor and a CHA certified Instructor for Riders with Disabilities with a Level 2 Physical and Level 3 Cognitive.
Bridget M. Bello | THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR | Email: bridget@victorytherapy.org
Bridget began working at Victory Therapy Center in September 2016. She recently relocated with her family from New York where she left a 20-year career in Early Childhood Education and Administration. She possesses a MS in Elementary Education as well as a NYS Teaching Certificate. However, Bridget has always has had horses in her blood. She has been a competitive rider since she was 10 years old and has owned, trained & cared for horses most of her life. After she graduated from college, she enjoyed coaching and teaching riders on her college equestrian team and balanced that with her “day job” as a teacher. Once settled in the DFW area, Bridget knew she wanted a career change and decided to move closer to her passion for horses. She started volunteering at various Therapeutic Riding Centers such as ManeGait & Born 2 Be and instantly knew this was her vocation. She became PATH certified in January 2016 and has not looked back.
Charla Ann Story, M.Ed. | THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR | Email: charla@victorytherapy.org
Charla was born into a horse and musical family where showing horses and playing music was the norm. Her mother introduced her to training principles and to the industry of therapeutic riding where she remains today. She holds her Master’s degree in Education and is a PATH Registered Instructor, CHA Master Instructor and Clinician, and Certified Instructor for the American Red Cross. She is the Founder & Director of C-Bar Horsemanship Therapeutic Riding Center specializing in equine-facilitated learning, adaptive physical education, training and schooling horses, Horses for Heroes program, and collaborating with local university and their student/volunteers.
Diana Pierzchala, PsyD | LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST | Email: dr.diana@victorytherapy.org
Dr. Diana’s passion for helping people grow, combined with her passion for horses, led her to seek alternative paths to healing for those who would thrive from the unique emotional and therapeutic experiences that horses offer that traditional therapy does not. In equine therapy, Dr. Diana emphasizes the development of trust, patience, self-confidence and compassion.  She is diversified in her experience and has been trained in equine assisted therapy using the PATH, EAGALA, and SpiritHorse methods. She specializes in the effects of trauma, depression, anxiety, PTSD, domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as team building, strength building and interpersonal communication. Dr. Diana is a licensed clinical psychologist that has been in practice for many years and has led workshops at national conferences. She is a member of the Military Veteran Peer Network, Healing With Horses Collective, American Psychological Association and National Honors Society in Psychology. She holds a BA in Psychology from The George Washington University, a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and a PsyD from The Texas School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.
Crystal D. Wayne | RANCH HAND & PART-TIME THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR | Email: crystal@victorytherapy.org
Before Crystal came to Victory Therapy Center she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of North Texas in Emergency Administration and Planning. She then spent 4 years in the Army and served one tour in Iraq. During her tour in Iraq she spent most of her time providing security for convoy missions on the highways by either being in the lead vehicle or the last as the gunner or driver. When she wasn’t on the convoys she worked in the Detainee Holding Area. In 2007 she left the Army and came home to Denton, Texas where she soon realized that adjusting back to civilian life was going to be hard at best. Crystal tried traditional therapy through the VA but knew it wasn’t getting her anywhere. She came across an Equine Therapy Center and immediately went out to the Ranch where she said “I don’t care if I have to muck out stalls and groom horses all day I just need a barn full of horses.” For you see Crystal was raised with horses and the barn was her safe place growing up. After being stripped of almost all emotions from her time in Iraq, as soon as she put her hands on Rossini (her therapy horse) she could feel her healing to begin immediately. Crystal has a passion for helping fellow Veterans and their families so they too can start healing.  
Robin Buchanan | PART-TIME THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR | Email: robin@victorytherapy.org
Robin has a BA in Zoology and has previously worked in a zoo and was the Director of an animal shelter while living in New Jersey.  Animals have been her passion her entire life.  While growing up, her family had numerous foster children that she helped to care for.  Robin began volunteering for Victory (Rocky Top Therapy Center) in 2006.  She has recently become a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor and a CHA certified Instructor for Riders with Disabilities with a Level 2 Physical and Level 2 Cognitive.
Karey Bourgeois | office manager/executive assistant | Email: karey@victorytherapy.org
Karey began working at Victory Therapy Center in October 2015. She is responsible for the first impressions of Victory Therapy Center. She greets guests, volunteers, and clients and provides friendly assistance to all incoming phone calls. She oversees all incoming donations and manages the donor database. She also provides administrative support to the Executive Director. Her experience includes over 20 years office administration, bookkeeping, and medical insurance billing. She has been attending TCC since 2013 pursing a degree in special education and is working on her certification in American Sign Language.
 
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