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Our Directors & 
Advisory Members

P. Pearl O'Rourke, M.D.


(Patricia) Pearl O’Rourke grew up in Bristol, attended Bristol Eastern High School before going to college and Harvard Medical School. She worked as a pediatric intensive care doctor in Boston and Seattle until 1998 at which time she accepted a position at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) in health policy. In 2001, she returned to Partners Healthcare in Boston as the director of the legal and ethical oversight of research involving human participants. She recently retired from Partners and is splitting her time between Boston, MA and Plymouth, CT. She comes to the Board of Directors with a long-held interest in horses and experience in healthcare and research.

Larry Gonzalez

Vice President

A native Floridian, Larry moved to Connecticut to attend graduate school. He became involved at the farm in part because of his interest in the thoroughbred industry. He’s an attorney who works for Allied World Assurance Company in Farmington, and has lived in Bristol for more than 15 years.

Amanda Malkowski


Amanda joined the board in 2022. She lives in Farmington and has two children. Her daughter has been riding at Shepard Meadows for several years.  A graduate from Baker College with a bachelors degree in Business Administration, she is self-employed as both a business consultant and accountant.  In her spare time she enjoys travel, cooking, fitness, and spending weekends in Vermont.

Mark Davison


Mark became involved with the center in the fall of 2020 when he participated in our Veterans Program. He is a US Marine Corps Veteran. He values his time at the center so much, that he is now a dedicated volunteer helping in program and he takes horseback riding lessons on a weekly basis.  He joined the Advisory Board in 2021 and became a member of the board in 2022. He is also Indy’s biggest fan!

Tyler Archer

Board Member

Tyler credits his wife, who was raised out West, for his love of horses.  They currently live in Simsbury with their three children, who anxiously await their first trail ride.  Tyler is an attorney at Shipman & Goodwin LLP and practices environmental, land use, and agriculture law.  He became involved with Shepard Meadows in 2022 as part of the effort to secure a long-term lease of the farm. 

Michael Higgins

Board Member

Michael is a Bristol resident born and raised.  He is also a 20+ year member of the Bristol Public School System serving as an English teacher, a High School Assistant Principal and currently as the Principal of Bristol Eastern High School.  Michael began frequenting the farm with his daughter in the summer of 2020 and they continue to participate in programming that the farm offers year round.  His wife Nicole is a real-estate agent in town and an active supporter of the farm, helping to sponsor Lola this past year.

Andrea Lanese

Board Member

Andrea is a lifelong horse lover and credits her grandmother for introducing her to her herd of palominos at age six.  Andrea showed her first horse, Honey as a hunter–jumper through her teenage years. After building her career as a Human Resources executive, and with her family now grown, she wanted to return to this earlier passion. She began volunteering with Shepard Meadow in ’22 and started riding again this past year, gaining some dressage skills with her favorite mount, Moses. Andrea, her husband Brian, and Daughter Jillian live in Wolcott.  She currently is a Human Resources executive with Barnes in Bristol, CT. Andrea is also a Board Member of the Main Street Community Foundation.

Michael Suchopar

Board Member

Michael, a former resident of Bristol, and former President and CEO of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club with a background in consulting, executive management, psychology and nursing.  Michael has been leading the Shepard Meadows strategic planning initiative.

Daniel Zakin

Board Member

Daniel, an engineer and resident of West Hartford, CT, Daniel became involved with Shepard Meadows as a volunteer with Facilities, then Program, as a rider and finally as Board of Director. 

Bryan Cassidy

Advisory Member

Bryan resides in Burlington and helps maintain the website and provides other technical guidance to Shepard Meadows.  He was awarded Hartford Business Journal's C-Suite Award in 2023.  Bryan served on the Board of Directors from 2022-2023.

Brett Kroh

Advisory Member

Brett is an accountant working with Adams Samartino & Co PC in Bristol. He served as the organization's Treasurer from 2020-2023.

Liz Lefrancois

Advisory Member

Liz was awarded the 2020 Volunteer of the Year for PATH, Intl. Region 1 which covers the U.S. Northeast and Eastern Canada. A Bristol native, Liz is a retired Guidance Counselor from the Bristol School District. She has been volunteering at the center for over 10 years in a variety of capacities. She helps with facilities, program and even takes riding lessons under our volunteer/community riding program.

Matt Ragone

Advisory Member

Former Treasurer of the Board, Matt is retired from the family real estate business in Manhattan. He is a resident of Westchester County and Cape Cod, he provides strategic guidance to the organization.

Kim Rencurrel

Advisory Member

Kim has been our Farmyard Party event Coordinator and Chair for the past five years. She resides in Bristol and works with several different businesses from operations to development. Kim joined the Advisory Board in 2023.

Thomas Ward, M.D.

Advisory Member

Tom and his wife Christine live in Bristol, CT.  As a local pediatrician, he understands our work and how we are a resource to children in the community.

Jon Rondeau

Honorary Member

Jon and his wife Shelby live in Burlington, CT, and in his spare time he swings the mallet and plays some polo. Jon always has apples for his favorite equine, Moses.

Christopher Weber,

Honorary Member

Dr. Weber practices out of Salmon Brook Veterinary, he and the practice have cared for our therapy herd since our inception. A graduate of Tufts Veterinary School, Dr. Weber is the 2021 PATH, Intl. Veterinarian of the Year for Region One, and we couldn’t be more proud!

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