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Board of Directors

Dave Desmarais

President

Dave has been with the Center since its inception in 2004, as one of the original founders. He is a retired Deputy Fire Chief of West Hartford FD, and former Bristol resident for over 35 years. He is a craftsman and our in-house facilities expert!

Larry Gonzalez, Esq.

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.

Brett Krohl

Treasurer

Brett holds a Master’s in Accounting and is a C.P.A. candidate. He became involved with Shepard Meadows in the fall of 2018 and has been a tremendous resource as we set our strategic plan in place. He is employed by Adams Samartino, Certified Public Accountants.

Daniel Zakin

Secretary

Daniel became involved with Shepard Meadows as a volunteer with facilities, then program, as a rider and finally as Board Secretary. A resident of West Hartford, he’s an engineer at Pratt & Whitney.

Liz Lefrancois

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.

Jon Rondeau

Member

Jon is the President and CEO of New Wave Industries, Inc. He and his wife Shelby live in Burlington, and in his spare time he swings the mallet and plays some polo. Jon always has apples for his favorite equine, Moses.

P. Pearl O’Rourke, M.D.

Member

(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 and Plymouth, CT. She comes to the board with a long-held interest in horses and experience in healthcare and research.

Kimberly Lebron

Member

Kimberly is the Senior Vice President, Chief Credit Officer at Thomaston Savings Bank, where she is responsible for the credit quality of its loan portfolio.  Kimberly has over 30 years of commercial, consumer and residential lending experience. Kim has served as a board/committee member at various organizations over the years and is currently a committee member of the Business Women’s Forum in Waterbury; and a board member of Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury.

Kimberly lives in Middlebury with her husband Jose.  She has two children, Joshua, who resides in Burlington, Vermont and Jordan, who is currently a student at SUNY Cobleskill studying Therapeutic Horsemanship.  She and Jose are veterans of the United States Army.  Her hobbies include traveling and photography.

Matthew Ragone

Advisory Board

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

Christopher Weber, D.V.M.

Advisory Board

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!

Bryan Cassidy

Advisory Board

Bryan is the Chief Information Officer at Torrington Savings Bank.  He became involved with Shepard Meadows in 2019 by helping to redesign the website.  In his spare time he stays active with running, photography, and chasing his toddler around the house.  He and his family live in Bristol, CT.

Mark Davison

Advisory Board

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 is also Indy’s biggest fan!