OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
Molly Scannell, Executive Director
Molly was a volunteer with the program in her youth. She has an Animal Science degree from Cal Poly, and served an internship with Hoofbeats, a therapeutic riding program in Virginia. She came back to Halleck Creek as a part-time instructor, working her way up to Program Director in 2007 and Interim Executive Director in December 2016. She brings a long history of community service, horsemanship and passion for therapeutic riding to her position. She is Certified in Therapeutic Riding from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
Brenda Falco, Program Director
Brenda is a CHA certified riding instructor, teaching both English and Western disciplines. She is certified as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Mentor, and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. She brings over 30 years of equine experience to Halleck Creek, including teaching, riding, training and leading trail rides. She enjoys spending time riding on the trails of Marin with Reno, the Quarter Horse she has owned since 2010. Her favorite part of being on the Halleck Creek team is seeing her students succeed in achieving their riding goals and feeling confident with their equine friends.
Sara Gallagher, Development & Communications Manager
With a background in marketing and design, Sara has worked with numerous non-profits focused on underprivileged youth and the arts and humanities. With experience as a volunteer, Board Member, and Co-Founder, she’s loved her work in program development, fundraising, and community outreach. A Bay Area native, she moved to Nicasio in 2016 where she rapidly fell in love with West Marin. In 2020 she joined Halleck Creek Ranch as their Volunteer Coordinator before moving into her new role as Development & Communications Manager in 2021. A dedicated artist, she connects to others through her interactive community projects, discussions, and visual storytelling. Music being another passion, you can catch her playing around the Bay Area, including at one of her favorite venues – Rancho Nicasio!
Dana Cook, Volunteer Coordinator
Dana was born and raised in the San Geronimo Valley where she began riding horses at the age of three. She rode, competed, and trained horses into her early 20s riding a variety of disciplines, but competed primarily in hunter/jumpers. After high school she began a career in the fire service working as a seasonal firefighter and paramedic for Marin County Fire Department, eventually being hired full time with Pinole Fire Department. An on the job injury lead to her having to retire from the fire service in 2007. Wanting to get back to working with horses, Dana started volunteering with Halleck Creek at the start of 2021 before moving into the role of Volunteer Coordinator. When not at the ranch she can often be found hiking the trails in West Marin with her rescue puggle, Chester.
Sarah Coukos, Ranch Caretaker
Having volunteered at Halleck Creek Ranch nearly every Saturday from 2007-2011, Sarah discovered a wonderful place to gain confidence with her horsemanship skills and be involved in the local horse community. As a senior in high school, she purchased her first horse, and by college she was taking equine science classes, focusing on equine anatomy, adaptive kinesiology, and hoof structure. Today, Sarah is excited to return to the HCR community and works closely with both the horses and the volunteers to keep our ranch in working order.
Saga McIsaac, Instructor
Born and raised in West Marin, she joined Pony Club and took her first lesson shortly after she was four. She has been teaching lessons and working with horses for over 24 years and owns a rescued horse named Daisy. In 2017, she became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Horses have been in her life for a long time, and she hopes they will always be.
Robyn Moyer, Instructor
Robyn was fortunate to grow up with horses and benefited from their strong, loving and generous spirit. In her youth, Robyn was involved with 4-H and enjoyed Western Pleasure horse shows as well as riding her horse Lily on the hills of Novato. Coming to HCR almost four years ago, Robyn has enjoyed the opportunity to share that experience with so many others. Robyn says that witnessing the joy and confidence the riders feel and show through their smiles is simply the best! In 2017, she became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Robyn says she can’t imagine doing anything else, anywhere else.
Timothy Dempsey, Instructor
Tim served in law enforcement as a San Francisco police inspector and Sonoma County district attorney investigator for over 35 years, combined. He volunteered at Equi-Ed (Therapeutic Riding Program) for 5 years, helping them with their facilities construction and maintenance. He is now semi-retired. He has a professional certificate in Equine Science, is a sitting board member with the California Mounted Officers Association and is on the statewide mounted police training staff, certifying new officers to mounted patrol duties. He is an avid rider, competing in extreme cowboy challenge races, team penning, team sorting, ranch cutting and trail trials.
Nicole Klemas, Instructor
Nicole has worked in adaptive riding, hippotherapy, and equine-assisted learning programs since 2010. She joined Halleck Creek Ranch in 2016 after moving to Marin County from New Jersey. As a child she grew up around horses and was an avid 4-H member and competitor on the local English show circuit. Nicole is especially enchanted by the powerful medicine of physical movement in the natural setting, and she loves sharing it with students at Halleck Creek and beyond: in addition to teaching adaptive riding she is also a certified yoga instructor, and teaches exclusively outdoors in an effort to help others connect with the healing power of nature. When not at Halleck Creek, Nicole is the Managing Editor of Hippotherapy Magazine, the Journal of the American Hippotherapy Association, which provides clinical information for practitioners who include the horse in therapy.
Shannon Sullivan, Instructor
Shannon has been involved with therapeutic horseback riding as a volunteer, volunteer coordinator, and instructor since 2005, serving programs in Virginia, Arizona, and California. Before starting as a riding instructor in 2018, she taught high school science for six years, primarily in East Oakland, and also supported at-risk college freshman transitioning from high school to college as an academic advisor. She is passionate about expanding access to the healing power of horses for people of all needs and backgrounds, but especially survivors of personal and intergenerational trauma. When she is not at Halleck Creek, she loves tending to her small urban farm in Berkeley with her preschool son, and rehabbing rescue horses in the Oakland Hills.