Meet the LoveWay team

You will find experienced, dedicated and passionate team members at LoveWay. 

Shelley Becker

Executive Director & PATH Intl. Certified Instructor

Back on staff since Fall 2017
Hometown: Elkhart, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Junior – He is big and strong, yet he instills confidence to all who lead and ride him. He has a kind heart and patient demeanor.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I eat, sleep and shower and then come back. LOL. When I have a few minutes, I am a “m-uber” for my kids.

Fun fact about yourself:
I talk to my animals at home with special voices for each one.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
My bible, my family and my frenchie.

Ryan Eash

Director of Equine Development

On staff since Fall 2018
Hometown: Goshen, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
All of them (not fair Ryan).

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I am also a dad, husband, pastor and I enjoy training my own horses.

Fun fact about yourself:
I used to train dogs.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
Matches, an axe and a bucket.

Arica Freshour

Volunteer Coordinator

On staff since Winter 2020
Hometown: White Pigeon, MI

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Though I love them all, Shanna is the one that has pulled on my heart strings the most! Having been the first horse I worked with when I started volunteering back in 2013, Shanna has always been very patient, kind and friendly to be around!

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I’m very family-oriented and spend a lot of time with my family and friends throughout the week and weekend mostly joining in or hosting game nights! I’m also very involved in my church, Bristol United Methodist, being a Volunteer Coordinator there as well! And though I don’t have any two-legged children to chase after yet, my 4-legged fur babies definitely keep me active and happy!

Fun fact about yourself:
I’m a fraternal twin!

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
A fire starter of some sort, a sharp-ended object, and my Bible to keep me emotionally and spiritually stable!

Jess Shelner

Program Coordinator & PATH Intl. Certified Instructor

On staff since Fall 2018
Hometown: Rockford, MI

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Teddy, or as I like to call him, Theodore (All time favorite was Flirt).

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I get to stay at home with my 3 crazy kids and serve at our church whenever possible!

Fun fact about yourself:
I lived in Vienna, Austria for a short time and have traveled to over 15 different countries.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
My bible, Christmas music, and a speedboat.

 

Brooke Archer

PATH Intl. Certified Instructor

On staff since Winter 2020
Hometown: Katonah, NY

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Dolly!

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
Hang out with my animals!

Fun fact about yourself:
I’m working on getting my Masters Degree.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
My animals, Andrew, and my school stuff.

 

Tim Krecsmar

PATH Intl. Certified Instructor 

On staff since 1993
Hometown: Elkhart, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Junior (although all the Haflingers are really intriguing).

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
Special education teacher.

Fun fact about yourself:
Never heard/knew about S’mores until I was an adult (first time I heard about one I thought it was a joke).

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
Solar powered MP3 player loaded with thousands of songs, crates of my favorite books, crates of chocolate (didn’t say any of this had to be realistic!)

 

Leah Gall

PATH Intl. Certified Instructor 

On staff since Summer 2021
Hometown: Topeka, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Teddy.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I have two daughters and a husband that keep me on my toes. I also enjoy training and competing with my own personal horse.

Fun fact about yourself:
I love to sing. However, God did not bless me with a perfect singing voice. I sing anyway. If I hear a song that I like and I know the words, I’ll sing it, no matter who is around.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
I’d bring a book, an umbrella for shade, and a blanket to lay on.

 

Sydney Blackburn

Instructor in Training

On staff since Summer 2021
Hometown: Three Rivers, MI

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Otto – Because he has an incredibly calm and sweet personality for his age and loves attention. He is also my favorite color of horse!

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
Whenever I have free time I enjoy reading books or listening to audiobooks (so I can get work done at the same time). My favorite hobby is to explore new trails with my horses and go on exciting adventures!

Fun fact about yourself:
I have memorized pi up to the 50th digit.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
I would bring a couple crates of duct tape (because it can be used to make anything), my bible, and my horses.

 

Kevin Ritenour

Administrative Assistant

On staff since Fall 2019
Hometown: Elkhart, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Piper (She’s a cat, but she’s 4-legged so she counts).

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing video games, comic books, etc.

Fun fact about yourself:
I have 32 screws in my pelvis. It makes interesting x-rays.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
My computer, video games, and a very long internet cable to reach the mainland.

 

Angela Kidder

Barn Assistant

On staff since Fall 2019
Hometown: Elkhart, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
It’s hard to choose! But I might have to say Elsa, she likes to nuzzle my jacket and tries to pull my hat off my head when we are doing Equivibe. She makes me laugh.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I’m a home-body so I try to be at home as much as I can. I enjoy doing crocheting, needlework, reading, and baking. But a big part of my life for the last 10 years or so is spent at Red Oaks Farm. I am usually there training for Rated Arab shows, where I compete in mostly hunters, but also do lots of dressage.

Fun fact about yourself:
Christmas is my favorite holiday! I am someone that starts listening to Christmas music in August, because it makes me so happy.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
I would bring my favorite book, a way to make drinkable water, and sunscreen!! (I burn very quickly haha!)

 

Lily Thomas

Barn Assistant

On staff since Fall 2019
Hometown: Middlebury, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Junior.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
Outside of LoveWay, I attend IUSB and study biology. I also train and show Eventing horses.

Fun fact about yourself:
I used to race go-karts.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
My horse, a knife and a fishing pole.

 

Daryl Abbott

Community Ambassador

On staff since Spring 2009
Hometown: White Pigeon, MI

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Penny.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I am very involved with my church, including our Teen Club, Vacation Bible School, Prayer Ministry and greeter.

Fun fact about yourself:
I had a variety of summer jobs while in college; orderly in a nursing home, painter, worker in a couple of RV factories, ambulance attendant and a security guard.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
Cellphone/iPad, bicycle and McDonald’s coffee.

 

Melissa Keller

Barn Assistant

On staff since Fall 2019
Hometown: Elkhart, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
I LOVE them ALL. Gerard because he nuzzles my chest every time I get him to feed. Junior because he is soooo sweet. Bonnie, she comes every single time I call her, she’s excited to see me. Pickles, the barn kitty, she loves to on my shoulder when I’m sweeping the barn and “talking” to me.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I love going to the beach, work in my yard, do new projects on my first home. Creating a calming home for myself and two kitties.

Fun fact about yourself:
I just learned how to change a car tire, hahahaha. I’ve never worked as a barn assistant.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
Food, a boyfriend, and a pontoon.

 

Laura Hanson

Barn Assistant

On staff since Winter 2021
Hometown: Middlebury, IN

Favorite 4-legged team member at LoveWay:
Junior.

What do you do outside of LoveWay:
I am a pharmacy student at Ferris state university and am also pursuing my MBA there as well.

Fun fact about yourself:
I used to be on the equestrian team at Ferris and love to ride and show western pleasure!

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring:
My Bible, Mac n cheese, and a bed.

 

LoveWay Board of Directors

President

April Klein

Vice President

Dawn Fisher

Vice President

Reid Mellott

Secretary

Mark Taylor

Members

Nick Avery
Patsy Boehler
Adam Christoffersen
Chris Clementz
Ross Hougland
Mary Grimmer
Molly Welch-Miller

Ready to transform lives and create miracles — one ride at a time?