Getting LHBH’s message out to a wider audience is one of our strategic goals, and Susan Robisch will play a key role in this effort. Susan brings to LHBH nearly 30 years of hands-on experience in communications and marketing. After receiving a B.A. Degree in Communications from Miami University of Ohio, she began her career with a small advertising agency in the Chicago area. Remaining in the Windy City for the next two decades, Susan worked at several other advertising agencies and also spent seven years running her own media consulting business, SAR Media Services. In this phase of her professional life, she focused on developing marketing plans for a wide range of companies in the hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, publishing, technology, manufacturing and retail industries.
It was during her time in Chicago that Susan took a three-year sabbatical from her business career to help launch and do fundraising for The Buffalo Prairie Gang Camp, a nonprofit sleepaway camp for children with cancer. In addition to serving as the camp’s senior development officer, she also handled event planning and media and public relations.
Susan moved from Chicago to the Tucson area in 2004. An experienced horse woman, she not only oversees LHBH’s outreach program but also is one of our volunteers working with seniors and special-needs kids. Susan’s commitment to helping others makes her a great fit at LHBH.
LHBH’s specially trained miniature horses are one of our most important assets. As their vet and someone who possesses an encyclopedic understanding of equine health issues, Dr. Jen Baltrus is a valued member of the Little Hooves family. Jen grew up on a small family horse farm in New Jersey. In 1999 she moved to North Carolina, where she received her undergraduate and veterinary degrees from NC State University. In order to finance her education, Jen started Freedom Run, a hunter-jumper show barn, which she managed until moving to Tucson in 2010. Her husband, David, is a professor at the University of Arizona. Jen is part owner of the veterinary practice Freedom Run Equine. In her limited spare time–she’s also the mother of two young children–Jen enjoys riding and showing her horse.
A Scottsdale native and Arizona State University graduate, Cathie Cuda has volunteerism in her DNA. Before joining the Little Hooves Advisory Board, Cathie volunteered at both St. John Catholic School and Notre Dame Preparatory High School, and later served as NDP’s Assistant Director of Development. Cathie’s background in event planning is being put to good use at Little Hooves; where she helps organize our fundraisers.
Cathie traces her empathy and sense of purpose in life to her father, a caring family doctor who went out of his way to make a difference in the lives of his poorer and less fortunate patients. Having assisted with her father’s practice through high school and college, Cathie experienced firsthand the blessings of helping others.
In describing what makes Little Hooves so special, Cathie points to “the power of compassionate and competent people working together for a good cause.” She’s clearly right at home at LHBH.
The newest member of our advisory board, Marie Vinyard brings to Little Hooves an exceptional combination of academic training and practical experience as a therapist for children with disabilities. Marie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Speech Pathology from Northern Arizona University. She has been a speech/language therapist at Copper Creek Elementary School in Oro Valley since 2000 and has held a similar position at Casas Christian School in Tucson. Marie is also associated with the Speech Therapy Group of Tucson, where she works with children referred to her by the Arizona Department of Developmental Disabilities.
Marie has always valued a collaborative, team-oriented approach to therapy, working closely with occupational and physical therapists and family members to treat the “whole child.” Her holistic approach aligns perfectly with LHBH’s goal of helping special-needs children get to a better place in their lives, both physically and emotionally.
Marie holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a Speech-Language Pathology License from the Arizona Department of Health Services and a Professional Non-Teaching Certificate from the Arizona Department of Education. Born and raised in Arizona, Marie is the proud mother of two young children.