Pitzer Spotlights

2004-2005 Spotlight Archives

Sheila Kemper Dietrich '77 Named Executive Director and CEO of NARHA

Sheila Kemper-DietrichDENVER, CO - The NARHA Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Sheila Kemper Dietrich has accepted the position of CEO and Executive Director of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). She comes to NARHA from Kansas City where she has been serving as Executive Vice President and Divisional Manager of Trust and Wealth Management for UMB Bank.

In addition to her outstanding professional credentials which include launching six new divisions at UMB and direct involvement as a volunteer in raising over 70 million dollars for the renovation and expansion of the Liberty Memorial and WWI Museum in Kansas City, NARHA's new Executive Director joins the association with a very strong personal affinity for therapeutic riding. As Sheila wrote, "NARHA is a very special organization that has accomplished so much good. I see it each week when I take my youngest, our daughter Cynthia, to her horseback-riding lesson at Heartlands. This is something she has benefited from since she was two years old. It has empowered her to believe anything is possible."

Dietrich looks forward to leading NARHA in its strategic vision for the future with emphasis on expanding on the value NARHA can bring to its members as a national organization to its members as they provide equine assisted activities to individuals with special needs throughout North America.

The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association was formed in 1969 to promote equine assisted activities for individuals with disabilities. At nearly 800 member centers, a total of 36,000 children and adults find a sense of independence through involvement with horses. These member centers range from small, one-person programs to large operations with several instructors and therapists. In addition to horseback riding, a center may offer any number of equine activities such as driving, vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work, or stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful riding programs. There are more than 30,000 volunteers, 2000 instructors, 5,700 therapy horses, and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at NARHA centers.