News, Staff

Missy Lamont as the next Executive Director

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is pleased to announce Missy Lamont as the organization’s new executive director, effective July 1, 2024. Lamont joined the High Hopes team in December 2023 as director of operations. Having worked closely with Interim Executive Director Alison Zack Darrell since January 2024, a seamless transition and continuity in leadership is assured.

A dedicated search committee, chaired by John Catlett, current trustee and former board chair, invested significant time in interviewing and selecting the ideal candidate for this pivotal role. The committee’s diligent and thoughtful process culminated in the appointment of Lamont. According to Catlett, “Missy’s extensive experience in therapeutic riding coupled with her demonstrated leadership skills made her the unanimous choice among the search committee members. With Missy at the helm, High Hopes is well-positioned to embark on our next fifty years, ready to innovate and grow to meet the evolving needs of our participants and community.”

Missy brings over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, including a previous role as an executive director. She has worn various hats, from program development and community outreach to fundraising and strategic planning. Her commitment to the nonprofit world deepened when she obtained a Certificate in Non-Profit Strategies from Harvard Business School, equipping her with essential skills to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of today’s nonprofit landscape and showcasing her dedication to creating a positive impact.

Missy’s journey in equine-assisted therapies began in Southwest Florida, where she worked for over 15 years. Starting as a volunteer at a center in Naples, Florida, Lamont’s love for horses drew her to the field, but it was the transformative impact of horses on human lives that inspired her to stay and become a certified therapeutic riding instructor with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl.). In addition to her hands-on experience, Missy actively contributes to the industry by serving on the PATH Intl. Governance Committee. Her leadership roles as a State Chair and Region Representative further underscore her commitment to advancing therapeutic horsemanship. Missy is also certified in Equine-Facilitated Learning from the HERD Institute.

“I am honored and excited to lead the High Hopes team,” said Missy. “I had admired High Hopes from a distance for years and felt a deep connection to the organization. Its national reputation preceded it, and I am proud to take on this new role in such an outstanding institution. Together, we will continue to create a positive impact through equine-assisted therapy and foster an inclusive community where lives are transformed.”

In reflecting on her time with the organization, Lamont expressed her appreciation for the dedication of the High Hopes staff and volunteers. “Working with the High Hopes team over the past six months has been incredibly rewarding. The commitment and passion of our staff, volunteers, and trustees are the backbone of this organization,” Missy said.

Celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is ready to embrace its future. Lamont’s extensive experience, combined with her genuine love for equine therapy, will lead to significant advancements in the mission. The organization looks forward to the positive impact and growth that will unfold under Lamont’s leadership as executive director.


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