Meet the Staff

Carrie Perry

Director

Carrie began her career with Benchmark in 2004 as a program coordinator in the Day Services program.  She was quickly promoted to Assistant Director of Camp Red Cedar and then to Director in 2008.

Education: 
Perry holds a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.  She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS) and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), International and Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) certified horseback riding instructor.

Off the Clock:
Perry enjoys time with family, horseback riding, sports and anything outdoorsy.

Personal Theme Song:
“The Hope In Everything” – Attaboy


Shelly Detcher

Assistant Director, Human Resource Recruiter

Shelly began her career working with students in special education setting while finishing her undergraduate degree. She joined Camp Red Cedar in 2007 as a Field Supervisor, and quickly rose from seasonal to full-time employment in the Assistant Director role. Detcher prides herself on leading staff by example and is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  She values maintaining employee and camper safety all while having fun in an outdoor setting.

Education:
Detcher holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University of Fort Wayne and is a certified Red Cross lifeguard and USA Archery Level One instructor.

Off the Clock:
Shelly likes to stay active by hiking, riding horses, and playing volleyball. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Personal Theme Song:
“Cowboy, Take Me Away” – The Dixie Chicks


Theresa Prentice

Facilities Manager

Theresa has been the barn manager and now facility manager at Camp Red Cedar since 2009.  She has owned horses for 25 years and has worked with horses in many different capacities including; trail guide, barn manager of a breeding facility, showing, and now therapy and conventional riding lessons at Camp Red Cedar.  She also brings a wide range of knowledge of horse care and products from working for many years in supply sales.

Education:
Studied in commercial art, Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne

Off the Clock:
Prentice enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and art.

Personal Theme Song:
“Free Falling” – Tom Petty


Cyndi Niezer

Riding and Volunteer Program Coordinator

Cyndi is originally from Overland Park, KS and has been in the Fort Wayne area for almost 3 years. Most recently, Cyndi was the Events Manager for a local non-profit. Prior to moving to Fort Wayne, Niezer’s experience ranged from working with children with special needs to event management.

She has 3 human children, 2 of the canine variety and also enjoys keeping bees, working in her yard, and watching her kids play sports.

Education: Attended Baker University in Baldwin, KS

Off the Clock: I enjoy working on projects around our house, playing with our newest family member, Ice, going to the lake with my husband and our 3 kids, keeping bees, cooking new recipes, hanging out the friends around the fire pit and cheering for my kids’ as they participate in various activities.

Personal Theme Song: “Three Little Birds” -Bob Marley


Nathan Smith

Camp Program Coordinator/Office Manager

Nathan is very excited to be back at Camp Red Cedar serving as the Camp Program Coordinator and Office Manager. He is happily married and is a proud father of two

Education: Nathan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Saint Francis. He has experience in management, leadership, and communication.   

Off the Clock: He likes to spend time with his family and participate in outdoor activities.  He also likes to partake in activities at his Church.

Personal Theme Song: God’s Not Dead”-Newsboys


Ashley Shaner

Certified Recreational Therapist and Certified PATH Riding Instructor

Ashley has 17 years of horseback riding experience and has taught riding lessons the past 2 year. Shaner has always had a passion for horses and perused a career in working with individuals in an equine setting.   She is focused and looks forward to meeting new and experienced riders seeking recreational therapy. Ashley joined Camp Red Cedar in May of 2015.

Education:
She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS), Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Certified Riding Instructor, Small Water Craft Safety Certified, and Adapted Aquatic Assistant Certified.

Off the Clock:
Ashley enjoys horseback riding, volleyball, and spending time with family and friends.

Personal Theme Song:
“Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim McGraw


Natalie Kovets

Certified Recreational Therapist

Coming soon…

Education:

Off the Clock:

Personal Theme Song:


Colleen Esterline

Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Colleen started riding when she was 4 years old, and started taking horseback riding lessons when she was 6. Colleen is the girl who never grew out of her “I love horses” phase! She’s tried it all including; english riding, jumping, western riding, and contesting, and has shown in the Allen county 4-H for 7 years. Colleen became a camp counselor in the summer of 2014, where she started assisting with lessons in all of the Range Rider camps. She has joined the team as a riding instructor in 2015 and received her PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) certification in the summer of 2016.

Education:
Colleen graduated with an applied science degree in agriculture from Ivy Tech in 2016.  She currently works full-time in her area of study.

Off the Clock:
Off the clock Colleen loves being outside, spending time at the lake, spending time with family and friends, practicing for barrel shows with Quincy, and trail riding.

Personal Theme Song:
“Turn & Burn” – Sam Riggs Band


Rachel Smith

Certified PATH Riding Instructor

Coming soon…

Education:
Off the Clock:
Personal Theme Song:


Mallori Bigelow

Riding Instructor

I’ve been working at Red Cedar for almost 2 years. I’m Frisky’s mom and treat lady. I’m 23 and have been riding and working with horses for almost 15 years! I have experience with multiple riding disciplines. I may live downtown but the wide open spaces are where my heart belongs. I love working with new riders of all ages and really enjoy the opportunity to do what I’m passionate about. 

Education: I am a Registered Behavioral Technician/ABA Therapist working with children with autism and currently pursuing my PATH certification.
Off the Clock: Besides riding horses I enjoy traveling anywhere. Whether it’s a day road trip to Chicago or a flight to London I’m always up for an adventure! I love spending time with family and friends and being around animals of kinds!

Personal Theme Song: My personal theme song is “Sleep on the Floor” by the Lumineers. It’s a song about being brave to do what makes you happy, while enjoying traveling adventures! 


Mallory Leatherman

Certified PATH Riding Instructor

Mallory has been a riding instructor at Camp Red Cedar since 2012. During her years at Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW), she rode on the IPFW equestrian team during college.

Education:
Leatherman holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and has an Indiana teaching license.  In Spring of 2014, Mallory acquired her Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), International certification.

Off the Clock:
Leatherman enjoys spending time outside with her husband and their golden retriever.

Personal Theme Song:
“Overcomer” – Mandisa