ALIGNING VETERANS’ STRENGTHS WITH HORSES’ FREEDOM FOR HEALING

We are recruiting Veterans and Service Members to participate in an equine mental health intervention aimed at treating trauma and the impacts of military service.
There is no cost to U.S. Veterans and Service Members. All the work is ground-based; no riding or horsemanship taught.

Soul to Soles Connection is dedicated to the mental health of our military and their families. While being supported by the horses and our professional facilitators, participants are offered the time they need to heal and overcome challenges.

The Mission of Soul to Soles Connection is to offer ground-based equine assisted psychotherapy and learning to all active-duty military, retired, reserves and their families at no cost.

We honor all branches of our military and their families by providing a nonjudgmental, supportive haven – a place where concerns and struggles can be explored. The experiential nature of working with horses through the Eagala Model engages military veterans in their own healing process, with solutions that meet them squarely on their own terms. 

CORE VALUES + VISION

Soul to Sole Connection is committed to respecting the integrity of those who fought for our freedom and offering them their time to heal.

Core Values: Commitment | Trust | Faith | Courage

 


H
– HONESTY

O – OPENNESS

N – NATURE

O – OWNERSHIP

R – RESPECT


Aligning Veterans Strengths with Horses’ Freedom for Healing

OFFICERS:

PRESIDENT

PETE STAUNER

Pete Stauner served in the U.S. Army and is now the CEO/Owner of Computer Support Group. He is also active in our local community: F3 Davidson Group, 3 Hands Realty, and the Cornelius StormWater Committee. Peter is an advocate of community involvement, believing in bringing positive and measurable change. He strives to make his community a better place for families and businesses to thrive and grow.

VETERAN SPOTLIGHT

VICE PRESIDENT

MATTHEW BARONE

Matthew Barone currently serves as a full-time Reservist in the U.S. Air Force at the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte. Matthew balances his full-time career as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician on the C-17 with his other job as the owner of Barone Aerial Drone Services. Matthew dedicates himself to the service of others and fostering positive changes for his community. 

VETERAN SPOTLIGHT

 

TREASURER


PAUL KELLY

Paul Kelly served a variety of firms as a financial analyst, controller, and bookkeeper until his retirement in 2019. He has worked in banking, insurance, medicine, real estate, construction and convenience stores. He devised systems at the bank and at the construction firm which modeled their economic structures. His typical assignment was to observe chaos and devise orderly reorganization. At the same time, he served for over 20 years as an Ordained Anglican deacon and then priest, preaching and counseling since 1996. Since then, he has given his time for the 2020 Census and served as tutor for his grandchildren. He had three children, two of whom entered military service, both serving honorably and valiantly. He lost his 1LT son to an accident while on active duty on Fort Bragg. He strongly supports all services which seek to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life after their military postings. He seeks to bring peace and joy to his community.

SECRETARY

DeAnn Denzer

A veteran of 22 years on active duty, DeAnn served as an administrator throughout her career as well as acting first sergeant. Her assignments include tours at Holloman AFB NM, Incirlik AB Turkey, Myrtle Beach AFB SC, Andrews AFB MD, Nellis AFB NV and Charleston AFB SC. Her experience includes working with operations, security police and civil engineers to include special duty assignments to Presidential Pilots Office (Air Force One), USAF Air Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds and Combat Camera. Currently, DeAnn works as an Executive Assistant at Trane Technologies in Davidson NC. It’s an honor to be here helping our veterans, many who feel a barrier or a stigma in asking for help.

 

CLINICAL DIRECTOR

MARIA RUSSELL LCMHCS

Maria Russell, our Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor and the Clinical Director for Willow Equine and Soul to Soles Connection. She has been a clinician since 2008 and has a desire to help clients experience healing and life change through trauma-informed, faith-centered therapy. Maria is an Advanced Eagala certified mental health professional with her Eagala Military Designation. She has experience in working with a wide range of struggles to include trauma, depression, anxiety, interpersonal relationships, and marriage. Along with her Eagala certification, Maria is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Restoration Therapy, and utilizes the Enneagram in her work with clients.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

KATIE STANKIEWICZ, CPC

Katie Stankiewicz is the founder, equine specialist and business coach at Willow Equine and Soul to Soles Connection. She is an Advanced Eagala certified equine specialist with her Eagala Military Designation. Katie is a certified leadership coach (iPEC), Sacred Money Archetype coach, as well as a certified 48 HR Breakthrough coach & trainer. Her work allows clients to look beyond “their box” and onto their higher self. Her intuitive passion lies with embracing Horse Medicine for Higher Purpose and balance. Katie’s unique skill sets, combined with the power of the horses, drive clients across the finish line in life and business!

PATRIOT SPOTLIGHT

BOARD MEMBERS:

GREG TRIMBUR

Greg Trimbur served in the U.S. Army and Navy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army 26 1/2 years ago. After Greg retired, he returned to the Navy as a civilian Comptroller. He enjoys spending time with his family, boating and fishing on Lake Norman.

 

DAVID DAUGHERTY DMin, MA

David Daugherty is a veteran advocate managing veteran programs in nonprofit and government. He served in the Army as a Special Forces medic (18D) and in the Air Force as a PJ. David has dedicated his life to helping veterans. His wife (also a vet) and him have several projects going under a faith-based nonprofit we call “Tikkun Pastoral Foundation.”

SHANON GERGER

Shanon Gerger works as a NC State Bar Certified Paralegal in the Office of the Secretary for the NC Department of Administration. In addition to her role as a paralegal, she is the Agency’s designated Rule-making Coordinator and temporary Grant Administrator and assists with drafting policies and the Agency Strategic Plan. She has worked as complaint paralegal with the State Ethics Commission, litigation paralegal with the NC Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Liaison Section and as a legal specialist for the US Marine Corps up until her honorable discharge in 2002.

RHANA KURDI

Rhana Kurdi served in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Officer and recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. She currently serves as the Executive Director for LaunchLKN and is also in the process of starting her own business where she does international consulting with a specialty in assisting businesses in the Middle East.

VETERAN SPOTLIGHT

DONTAVIOUS THOMAS

Dontavious Thomas is an Army Veteran and a Strategic Partner at Schooley Mitchell. He is the coolest guy EVER! Like, cooler than the other side of the pillow, cool! Husband, father of one, Jaden! A devout father and the best husband a wife could ask for. Barbie would be jealous she settled for Ken! Dontavious is a chill guy that doesn’t take life too seriously! Helping veterans is a passion of his and he looks forward to helping as many as he can! 

VETERAN SPOTLIGHT