MIDDLEBURY — Shelley Becker has been selected as the new executive director of LoveWay, Inc.
Located near Middlebury, LoveWay is a Premier Accredited Center of PATH, International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship), serving individuals with special needs.
“We are excited to announce Shelley’s promotion to Executive Director,” said April Klein-Carroll, President of LoveWay’s Board of Directors, in a press release announcing the selection. “Shelley has a rich history with LoveWay and a heartwarming passion for our mission. The board is confident that the depth of Shelley’s character, experience and motivation will help LoveWay develop in a way that continues to deepen its impact on the community.”
Becker said she is excited to accept the challenges of the position.
“I began as a volunteer who was uncertain of how to interact with horses and special needs persons. Seeing the magical transformation that took place through therapeutic riding moved me in ways that words cannot describe. My love and respect for the riders and horses grew in a way that inspired me to do more and I decided to become a PATH-certified Instructor,” she said.
She noted that “LoveWay has always been more than a ‘job’ to me, it’s been an honor and blessing to work for such an incredible organization.”
Becker holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana State University. She originally came to LoveWay as a volunteer in 2008 and in addition to becoming an instructor she served as development associate, grant writer and fundraising/marketing director at LoveWay from 2011-2015. She returned to the staff in September 2017.
LoveWay was founded in 1973 by Sandy and Gary Weatherwax in memory of their 16-year-old daughter Laurie, who was inspired by therapeutic riding. They began giving lessons in their driveway with the help of specially selected horses and volunteers. LoveWay now serves around 300 riders each year with the help of 150 volunteers, a staff of around a dozen members, and 17 members of its equine team. LoveWay has a heated indoor arena and stable, an outdoor arena, and wooded riding trails at its 29-acre center.