Rhonda Fritzshall has spent the last 30 years devoted to helping families and children heal and recover from addiction. Rhonda began her career in early childhood education as a Certified Montessori Teacher. Her passion for helping children and families led her to Wayside House in 1989, where she began facilitating a support group for the children of mothers in treatment. Rhonda became a Certified Parenting Educator and went on to create and implement the first parent program for mothers struggling with addiction.
Rhonda completed Addictions Professional Training at the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach and went on to become board-certified as a mental health professional in the state of Florida. In 2006, Rhonda was privileged to earn a certification as a Children’s Prevention Specialist, training with Jerry Moe, National Director of Children’s Programs at the Betty Ford Center. In 2013, Rhonda fulfilled another lifetime goal by becoming a Certified Equine Professional through EAGALA, the leading international association for professionals providing equine assisted psychotherapy and learning. During her time as a Certified Equine Professional, Rhonda has successfully built an equine program serving the recovery community.
Among other honors, Rhonda was asked to present at the national EAGALA conference in Kentucky on the subject of equine therapy and addiction recovery. Rhonda was also the recipient of the 2015 Sierra Tucson Spirit Award.
In addition to serving as Co-Executive Director of the HERD Foundation, Rhonda founded Equine Assisted Healing, LLC five years ago, providing equine therapy for several treatment centers in Palm Beach County.
Nongae Johnson brings more than 30 years experience in equine studies and farm management to the HERD Foundation, a non-profit she co-founded with friend Rhonda Fritzshall.
In addition to her role as Co-Executive Director at the HERD Foundation, both running the
organization and working as facilitator; Nongae is the owner of Johnson's Folly Horse Farm in
Delray Beach, managing every aspect of the farm. She is a PATH International Certified therapeutic riding instructor, and equine specialist in mental health and learning.
At Johnson's Folly Horse Farm Nongae also facilitates equine therapy for Equine Assisted Healing Inc., an organization that provides equine therapy sessions to various rehabilitation centers.
She provides a safe environment for both horses and clients. She has named a portion of the property Tara, "The Farm That Heals" for the primary use of equine assisted activities and therapies. Nongae studied horsemanship at Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center in Waverly, West Virginia and Parelli University in Reddick, Florida.
Karen Woodbury is a three-star licensed Parelli professional who is a horse lover, behaviorist, advocate, and educator of both horses and humans. She is a passionate learner, researcher, and experimenter of the science of how horses and humans engage. It has been her life-long pursuit to educate, inspire, and motivate horses and humans. Karen brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to her teaching style, as well as a fresh approach to observing and listening to the horses.
Sarah Loretangeli is an intern who is currently enrolled in the Human Services/Addiction Studies Program at Palm Beach State College. As part of HERD’s E-Team, she is co-facilitating equine assisted therapy sessions as well as assisting in the development of exercises for, and building rapport with, our clients. Sarah began her career in 2013 as a Counselor’s Assistant, working with people with substance use issues at a local treatment center. She majored in Equine Studies at Centenary College in 2007-2009. Concurrent with her current collegiate endeavor, she is pursuing a Certified Addictions Counselor certificate. Sara’s internship at HERD has allowed her to merge her two passions of working both with horses and humans.