WHO WE ARE
Our mission is to care for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of children, adults, Veterans, first responders, and their families through the healing power of horses.
Victory Therapy Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides services to improve the quality of life of individuals through equine therapy.
Founded by Doug and Vivian Newton as Rocky Top Therapy Center in 1992, Victory offers the benefits of equine-assisted therapy and hippotherapy for individuals with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities and challenges. For many years the operation was located on a working ranch in Keller, Texas. In 2013, an opportunity was identified to relocate to the town of Roanoke and build a new facility to expand its service offerings and have an even greater impact on the lives of its clients and their families.
VICTORY THERAPY CENTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2020
The board of directors is responsible for general oversight of our operations and is responsible to the stakeholders and the communities we serve. Our directors are a diverse and talented group of individuals from various backgrounds that show passion and commitment to the success of Victory Therapy. They are responsible for setting policies, monitoring operations, and serving as a public figure for the organization.
Larry Anfin, Chairman | Retired Owner/President/CEO, Coors Distributing
Frank Tabone, Vice Chairman | Retired Sales Executive, AT&T, SITA
Don Bowden | Retired Owner/CEO, Fresherized Foods
Linda Engle | Retired
Jennifer Voelinger, D.V.M. | Owner, Precision Equine Veterinary
Doug Tonne | President/COO, Debt Education and Certificate Foundation
Michael Nacarato | Sr. Director of Vendor Management & Procurement, Transamerica
Staff members consist of highly trained PATH, Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructors and physical therapists. The team is committed to providing customized care and is supported by a strong and talented volunteer base. The most critical part of the team are 24 gentle, sensitive horses whose gifts include caring attention and nurturing of individuals in need.
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, and became Managing Director in March 2019. She is a PATH Int’l certified therapeutic riding instructor and a CHA certified Instructor for Riders with Disabilities with a Level 2 Physical and Level 3 Cognitive.
Becky was born and raised in the non-profit sector as her parents were house-parents for a Children’s Home. She began raising and showing Limousine and Angus cattle at a very young age and showed until she graduated high school. Horses were always in her life as well. Her love for horses began when her parents bought her a little white pony named Whitey and continued to grow throughout the years as she began barrel racing and competing through Texas High School Rodeo Association. While living at the children’s home, Becky noticed a difference in the kids that lived at the home while at the barn with the animals. It didn’t matter if it was cows, sheep, pigs, horses… there was a difference. Seeing the bond and trust that was built between the child and the animal is indescribable. Becky is joining Victory Therapy Center with a background in Volunteer Management and Community Engagement.
Annadee started volunteering at Victory (Rocky Top Therapy Center) in 2008. She quickly began to grow a passion for the therapeutic riding industry. She started by teaching beginner lessons in summer camp and then proceeded to work under the supervision of a licensed Equine Specialist in the Mental Health and Learning Department. It was there that she began to grow her knowledge and love of horse behavior and herd dynamics. Throughout the years she has studied under PATH Instructors, CHA clinicians, ESMHL, Equine Directors, and Equine Veterinarians. She has assisted on numerous accounts in facility and pasture maintenance, herd management, equine health and equine nutrition. She became a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2018.
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 is a PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a CHA Certified Instructor for Riders with Disabilities with a Level 2 Physical and Level 2 Cognitive.
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 PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a PATH Int’l Registered Therapist.
Becca started working at Victory Therapy Center in September 2018. Becca graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science: emphasis in Equine Assisted Therapy, a certificate in Equine Science: emphasis in Equine Assisted Therapy, and a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor certification. Becca was diagnosed with mild spastic cerebral palsy around age two. She has grown up in the therapeutic riding community since age six. She began competing in Equestrians with Disabilities (EWD) show events in January 2007 and has been competing in various shows and classes ever since. That first show was Chisholm Challenge, were she won a belt buckle and sparked the thrill of competition and desire to learn more about all the horse world has to offer. Competing with horses has allowed her to feel able bodied and each show since has allowed her to expand her horse world knowledge and improve personal skills in order to share what she learns with those around her. Working with horses has shown her that we really aren’t that different from one another. Horses are silent teachers and building bonds with them takes time and trust, but if we take that time, there’s nothing they can’t teach us or we could teach them. That unspeakable and unexplainable bond that someone has with their horse is the key to freedom, it’s everything. It’s for these reasons, amongst others, that Becca has wanted to be a therapeutic riding instructor since age 12 and help others the way she’s been helped over the years.
Stacia began as a volunteer at Victory Therapy Center in 2017. She is originally from California but came to Texas in 1994 and has never looked back! A friend’s invitation and her love of horses is what initially brought her to Victory. With her outgoing personality, it didn’t take her long to form a working relationship with many of Victory’s riders. Her passion for therapeutic riding and its many benefits grew quickly. In November of 2019, she became a PATH Intl Certified Riding Instructor. Stacia is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. When not at Victory, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
After a successful business career, Tammi began pursuing a life long interest in horses. For the past 20 years she worked in equestrian centers in almost every capacity. Eventually, she discovered competitive horse showing and currently competes on the AQHA circuit. She began volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility in 2016 and found her calling. A year later, her passion for equine therapy led her to become a PATH Intl Certified Riding Instructor. Growing up in an Airforce family, Tammi’s understanding of the sacrifices made by our military inspired her to create a therapeutic riding program specifically for veterans. As a new team member at Victory Therapy Center, Tammi now spearheads our Horses 4 Heroes Program.
Rebecca started as a volunteer at Victory Therapy Center in 2018 and became a PATH Intl Certified Riding Instructor in 2019. Previous to that time, she worked as a pharmaceutical and diagnostic representative for 26 years. As a young girl living on a ranch in Oklahoma, she frequently rode her horses in the pasture for hours and would help round-up cattle with her brothers and dad. She also barrel raced in the local rodeos. She has always had a love of horses but found a new passion when she started working as a volunteer and decided to become a riding instructor.
Gretchen Laffoon serves as the volunteer coordinator and would love to visit with you on how you can become part of the volunteer family! Gretchen became acquainted with Equine Therapy when her oldest son, now a middle schooler, started utilizing its healing power when he was in first grade. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Gretchen attended the University of Kansas and it still an avid Jayhawk Basketball fan. Gretchen has a true passion for volunteering both in her professional and personal life. She has served on numerous non-profit boards of directors and is very involved in Scouting. When not camping, you can find Gretchen at home with her beloved family – husband Gary and sons Jackson and Austin.
Dallas native, Ashley Elms, fell in love with Victory the first time she brought her son to the center for therapy in November 2018. After seeing the transformative power Equine Therapy had on her autistic son, she was hooked and soon started volunteering. Before joining the Victory family, Ashley taught special needs from the ages of 5 to 17 years old for 10 years. She is a graduate from Texas Tech University and currently resides in Roanoke, TX with her husband of 13 years and her 5-year-old son. Ashley is the friendly voice that answers the phone and can be found in the Administrative building to answer any question you might have. Ashley is currently studying to get her Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification through PATH so she can be even more beneficial to the Victory family.