Georgia Bay: Executive Director and Advanced Instructor
Georgia has been involved with Lift Me Up! since 1995, when she began volunteering as a sidewalker. Eventually, she became more involved with the program and went on to serve as volunteer coordinator, board member, board secretary and board president. Georgia missed working with the riders, volunteers, and horses and in 2004 attended the Equest Therapeutic Riding Instructor Course where she received her certification at the Registered Instructor level. She returned in the spring of 2005 and earned her Advanced Instructor certification. Georgia has completed many hours of post-graduate work in education and has spent a great deal of time teaching and working with children as a Girl Scout leader, Sunday school and Vacation Church School teacher, Team Mom, Cheer Mom, and classroom volunteer. Now that her two children are grown, Georgia directs her attention to leading Lift Me Up!,as the Acting Executive Program Director. Riding since she was six, Georgia now owns an American Saddlebred and a Welsh pony. She has taken lessons in Saddle Seat, Hunt Seat, Dressage and Western riding, and most recently begun training and competing in Eventing.
Veronica: Laughman: Registered Instructor
Veronica joined Lift Me Up! as an intern and has been teaching since October 2005 when she also received her certification as a NARHA Registered Instructor. As a lifelong horse enthusiast she has been in the saddle since she was a child. Veronica began taking hunter/jumper lessons in exchange for barn work, riding, grooming, and assisting with vet and farrier visits often on a daily basis. She learned of therapeutic riding at the age of 13 when she volunteered at Sebastian Riding Associates in Collegeville, PA. After moving to Northern Virginia in 1993 she continued her affinity for all things equestrian, dabbling in dressage and even polo. Finally, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and certification as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, she has found time to pursue her goal to become a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Veronica also works full time as a recreation therapist at the Northern Virginia Training Center for adults with special needs.
Kristin Meaney: Registered Instructor
Kristin joined the Lift Me Up! staff in April of 2007, and has loved every moment of working with our amazing riders, horses and volunteers. Before joining Lift Me Up!, she taught dressage and jumping at a riding stable in Connecticut. Kristin also worked as a volunteer at High Hopes therapeutic riding, which sparked her desire to become a certified instructor. Kristin has worked around horses her entire life, from cleaning stalls and assisting veterinarians, to being a trail guide with the cowboys in the Utah mountains and competing. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences.
Merriam Mashatt: Registered Instructor
Merriam became a registered instructor with PATH International in 2014. She enjoys working with both adults and children as well as Wounded Warriors and Back in the Saddle (BITS) riders. Prior to becoming a PATH Instructor, she spent three years as a volunteer. During this time she saw how beneficial riding was for the riders and their families and became inspired to become an instructor. In addition to working at Lift Me Up!, she also currently serves on the PATH International Quality Assurance Task Force charged with improving PATH instructor certification and center accreditation procedures. Merriam has been working with horses since she was 10, riding English, Western, basic dressage and hunter/jumper. She owned a horse for many years and enjoyed competing. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Duquesne University and her Master’s Degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. During a 24 year career with the Federal Government she had the honor of working with military colleagues at the Department of Defense and the United States Institute of Peace. Having been deployed to Iraq twice she enjoys working with our Wounded Warriors and the BITS riders.
Elle and Mew: Pest Control Engineers
Elle and Mew, named after “LMU”