Board of Directors
Nancy Cook, Board President: Nancy is currently the interim president of Touchstone Farm. She has been affiliated with both Pony Farm and Horsepower for the last 35 years, helping Boo establish Horsepower in 1989. Nancy is a lifelong rider having competed in both three-day events and dressage.
Nancy has her master’s degree in Special Education and is a New Hampshire certified School Psychologist working in a local school district in grades 7-12. She is currently enrolled at Plymouth State University pursuing her certificate of advanced graduate studies in psychology. She also teaches in the Horsepower Instructors Training School, specializing in the areas of learning disabilities, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and attention deficit disorder. Nancy is member of the National Association of School Psychologists, Learning Disabilities of America, CHADD (Children and Adults with learning Disabilities), and the Association of Specialists in the Assessment of Intellectual Functioning. She has coached and volunteered for Special Olympics for over 15 years.
Sara Firmin, Juris Doctor, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Psychology Bachelor of Arts, Pennsylvania State University
Sara's relationship with Touchstone Farm began as a Pony Farm camper twenty years ago, and she has since acted as a summer camp staff member, completed the Instructor Training School, and was employed as the Pony Farm Program Director. She currently volunteers with Horse Power and joined the Touchstone Farm board as an interim member in May 2011.
Neal Goldman: Neal's background encompasses 25 years of marketing, product management and business development experience at a variety of technology vendors. He is currently a Principle Product Manager at EMC. Previously, he was Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Gryphon Networks and was director of an industry analyst group covering application infrastructure at the Yankee Group. Prior to being an analyst, he was vice president of business development for both Smarterkids.com and Dr. Solomon’s Software, where he managed strategic alliances, technology licensing, and mergers and acquisitions. Neal held a variety of senior marketing and product management positions at such companies as Akamai, FTP Software, Liant Software, and Symantec. He is the author of "The Complete Idiot's Pocket Reference to the Internet." Mr. Goldman holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Alan Greene, Treasurer, is the Executive of Monadnock Developmental Services in Keene, NH. He has held this position for the past 15 plus years. Previous to this he held several other positions in this agency, which serves people with developmental and related disabilities. These included Director of Finance and being privileged to be of the first ten case mangers in the state to transitions individuals out of the state institution for the mentally retarded and back into their home communities. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Drew University in Madison, NJ and an ABD in Educational Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA where he also earned a Special Education Teaching Certificate. He has worked in both the public and private sectors and volunteered his time in a variety of activities in his community and region. He lives in Dublin, NH with his wife and enjoys the company of his two adult children.
Christy Greene, BA double major in Sociology and Psychology at Drew University, Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently Clinical director of Antrim Girls’ Shelter, a state run facility for troubled adolescent girls which attend Horse Power classes. Christy is a presenter for the Horse Power Instructor Training School. Co-wrote and published article in Journal of School Social Work on “Grief and Therapeutic Horseback Riding.” Worked in the field of Child and Family services for the last 30 years. She is a member of Mariposa Museum. Past member of Conval School Board for 8 years, Peterborough Youth Soccer League, Living Network, Inc Youth Services of the Monadnock Region for 10 plus years, Dublin Board of Adjustment.
Joan Griffin is a Boston trial attorney with over 20 years experience trying civil and criminal cases. In her criminal practice, Joan earned national recognition for bringing the first successful challenge to the scientific basis of expert ballistics evidence. Joan is a popular speaker at forums nationwide on “Innovation v. Inertia” based on her experience challenging widely held but unsubstantiated assumptions underlying forensic evidence. She has made frequent appearances on New England Cable News Network (NECN) providing analysis of high profile cases.
Joan began riding as an adult and has since been making up for lost time. She is also a novice carriage driver and a member of the Touchstone Farm Driving Club. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Joan is the author of Women at Play: a girl's guide to every day outdoor exercise to look good, feel good, sleep well and be happy. Joan earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1986 and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Yale College in 1983. She lives nearby in Dublin, NH.
Kelly Murphy, Treasurer is a 25-year corporate marketer, recently turned entrepreneur as owner of interior decorating franchise “Décor&You”. Volunteering time to Horse Power as a marketing consultant during 2009, she joined the Horse Power Board of Directors in January 2010, providing business acumen, financial guidance and marketing strategy to the organization and the Touchstone Farm transition efforts. Kelly is a member of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce and Business Networkers International and a past member of the Network for Work and Acton Networkers Group, The New England Direct marketing Association (NEDMA), Marketing Professionals Network, and Direct Marketing Association. Kelly lives in Brookline NH with her husband, is an avid photographer, adventure traveler and outdoors enthusiast, including riding.
Shilo Porter: Shilo leads Worldwide Strategic Communications for HP’s Enterprise Services Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing organization. In this role Shilo manages a diverse team of professionals who deliver specialized communications to 54,000 employees. A highly experienced leader, Shilo has expertise in developing and executing international communication strategies, mentoring and developing senior leader’s presentation skills, and delivering a wide variety of leading edge, multi-media communications. Shilo began her career with Digital Equipment in 1981 as a film and video producer. In 1995 she became a full time speechwriter for c-suite executives. In 2001, she took on the role of Worldwide Communication Manager. Shilo has been a life-long equestrian. She has held riding instruction positions in Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has competed successfully through the Preliminary level at Horse Trails throughout New England. She was a founding member of Horse Power, where she served both as instructor and the first Program Director. Shilo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology from Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri. She is currently the New Hampshire Volunteer Representative for Heifer International.
Mark Rowat has twenty-five years experience within Institutional Trust Banking and has fulfilled multiple roles within Bank of Boston, The Boston Company, Mellon Bank, Investors Bank and Trust, and State Street Bank. His most recent role was Managing Director within the Alternative Investments Services division at State Street and was responsible for Client Service in Boston and Hong Kong. Mark left State Street in 2012 to pursue other interests. He is married and has two daughters, one of which is a Counselor in Training at Touchstone. Mark holds a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College, a MA in Political Science from Boston College and an MBA from the American Graduate School for International Management (Thunderbird). He welcomes the opportunity to help expand the services currently offered at Touchstone.
Larry Schwartz graduated from the University of Illinois with an engineering degree, but eventually transitioned into the world of finance. He is currently an independent financial consultant, a life insurance agent, and a Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP). In his spare time, he runs an IRS sponsored free tax preparation operation that has generated more than $1,000,000 in refunds for low and moderate-income filers two years in a row. Larry is the official Money Coach for two non-profit Family Resource centers in New Hampshire. Hobbies include golf and carpentry.
Phyllis Strickholm, Secretary lives nearby Touchstone farm and has a keen interest in the farm’s programs and prosperity for many years. She is a member of the Touchstone Farm Driving Club and participated in many of the driving clinics at Touchstone Farm. Last fall she tested for and passed her Level I Carriage Driving Proficiency certification and now supports the farm by teaching driving on weekends.
Phyllis has four Morgan horses and has spent a lifetime around horses, having raised and trained 28 horses and also taught centered riding as a sideline to her profession as a Business System Analyst. She also ran the riding program at Camp Killooleet in Hancock, VT during summers while in college.
Lindsay Vail is a Pony Farm alum hailing from Chicago, IL. After years as a camper and staff member at the farm, her involvement with Pony Farm and Horse Power continued into her adult years as Co-Director of my family's private foundation, the Nancy Allison Perkins Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from DePaul University in Chicago, and has 8 years of experience in the accounting and investment management field. Lindsay currently works at the University of Minnesota on the Financial Services Team, and is very much looking forward to applying her business knowledge and deep-rooted passion for horses to the efforts of Touchstone Farm. Many of her most cherished childhood memories were created at 13 Pony Farm Lane, and she is honored to be joining the Touchstone Farm Board of Directors.
Board Memberd Emeritus:
Howard H. Russell, Ed.D, BA from University of Denver, BD University of Chicago, MS Communication Research of Boston, MA, Minister of the First Congregational Church, Instructional Designer and Developer for the Northeastern Division for the Congregational Church. Howard has served as a management consultant for Insurance Companies, designing staff training and development materials. Currently, he is Chairman of the board for the Littleton Council for the Aging, and on the Board of Fleur De Lis, a not-for-profit girls’ camp in Fitzwilliam, NH. Howard presents for Horse Power Instructor Training School and a variety of Horse Power Business workshops. Howard is an avid carriage driver, often helping with the Horse Power Therapeutic Driving Program.
Harry Healer: Harry Healer has a distinguished career in the financial industry focusing on venture capital. Educated at Harvard and Babson Colleges, he worked at First National Bank of Boston both as an Investment Analyst and as Vice President of the Bank’s Venture Capital subsidiary. Harry was Co-founder of The Venture Capital Fund of New England, from which he is “mostly retired.” In conjunction with his professional activities, Harry made investments in over 60 small start-up businesses and sat on the Boards of 39 private and 12 public companies. He currently serves as Trustee for 3 Non-profit organizations.