A Message from the StableStrides Board of Directors

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces that Shannon Mitchell is stepping down as our Executive Director, effective May 21, 2021.


StableStrides hired Shannon in 2015 to take the organization to the next level. Shannon has helped the team accomplished that and much more. Her inspiring leadership and deft management have played an important role in the growth of StableStrides and its impact on the lives of many people. We are grateful for her six years of dedicated service, which involved many significant accomplishments, including:


  • Growing the operating budget from $440,000 to over $1,200,000.
  • Increasing the number of people served each year from 65 per week to over 190 per week.
  • Building a culture of community and inclusion
  • Instituting organizational systems and processes to lay the foundation for growth
  • Raising the visibility of the organization in the community and in the equine assisted services industry.


Shannon leaves the organization in a strong position, both financially and programmatically. StableStrides has a devoted and capable staff that will continue the vision shared across the organization. They, together with our committed Board of Directors, will help ensure that the organization continues to serve Southern Colorado with the highest quality care possible.


Over the next several months, our Board will be conducting a thorough search to find StableStrides next Executive Director to lead the organization moving forward. It is our priority to find a dynamic leader with a true passion for StableStrides’ mission: To significantly improve the wellbeing of individuals through a connection with horses. We will share the job announcement soon and ask for your help in identifying candidates who can help StableStrides take its next steps.


It is our priority to maintain a stable and effective organization. During the transition period, effective May 24, Brittany Williams, Development Director, will serve as the Acting Executive Director. She has worked closely with Shannon in all of the operations of the organization, and we feel confident that she will be able to manage the day-to-day logistics and support the rest of our programming and staff during this time.


Shannon will be greatly missed by the staff, board, volunteers, clients, and our partners. We look forward to staying in touch and following her future endeavors. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition, please feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected].




Jeff Mandarich

President, Board of Directors


A Letter from the Executive Director

 Dear Friends of StableStrides,


After 6 years with StableStrides, it is with mixed emotions that I have made the decision to step down as Executive Director at the end of May. I did not arrive at this decision lightly, as I care a great deal about this amazing organization, the clients, our staff, our volunteers, our board of directors, our donors, and our community partners. Most importantly, I care deeply about the work we do to ensure people in our community have access to the care they need to heal and grow.


I will be taking some time off to spend the summer with my kids and then I plan to start a coaching and consulting business that I can do from home part time. It has been a tremendous honor to serve StableStrides for the past six years, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with all of you.


When I first joined the StableStrides team as Executive Director in 2015, the organization was experiencing some growing pains and ultimately went through program cuts to ensure long term sustainability. Yet, despite the setback, we came together as a community and thrived. The challenges we faced in those tough years were the force that drove us closer together, taught us how to do better, and lead us to dream bigger.


Today, as I look around our multiple facilities, I am still amazed at the resiliency of this organization: the clients who excel despite difficult life circumstances, the volunteers who spend countless hours supporting every facet of the organization, the staff members with their immeasurable passion for the mission, the donors who give even in the toughest of years, and the Board of Directors, who not only set the strategic direction of the organization, but is all-hands-on-deck to find new connections and opportunities for the organization.


I have no doubt that I am leaving the organization in capable hands – because I could not have led the growth of the organization without the support of volunteers, staff, clients, donors, and the Board. I am extremely proud of all that StableStrides has accomplished during the past six years and hold dear the relationships I’ve built during my time as Executive Director.


I want to give my deepest gratitude to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years. Without you, the organization would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am so honored to have been the leader of this incredible organization and will watch with much excitement and anticipation as it continues to fulfill its mission.


I will be working closely with the Board of Directors to find a new Executive Director that can passionately and successfully lead StableStrides going forward. Additionally, our amazing staff are well equipped to ensure the organization remains successful during the transition and beyond.


Thank you for the passion, enthusiasm, and wisdom that you have imparted onto me over the years.


Yours in health and healing,


Shannon Mitchell

Executive Director