For native Texan, Rhonda Smith, her life's work became clear to her following a near-fatal accident involving an 18-wheeler in 1999. After the wreck, she left her role as Corporate Benefits Manager for Dell and founded Spirit Reins in 2003. Rhonda is a 1994 graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.B.A. in Finance and a professional background in human resources management. She is also a trained Equine Specialist in Natural Lifemanship. She has served on the Board of Directors for both the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and Eagles Wings Retreat Center. Rhonda currently serves on the Executive Committee and Chairs the Investment Committee for One Voice Central Texas. She is fiercely passionate about racial equity and improving the emotional and behavioral health of children who have experienced trauma.
Director of Finance & Technology
Kris has a B.S. in Business Administration from Minnesota State University - Moorhead. A former fiscal analyst for the Texas Department of Commerce and software engineer for IBM, Kris is in charge of the operations of the organization including financial controls, technology, and budgeting.
JILL STEWARD, LCSW-S
Interim Clinical Director
Jill graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and a Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW). She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Supervisor (LCSW-S). Jill brings 20 years of experience in private practice working with a wide variety of issues, including a specialty in working with trauma. She has completed the advanced Natural Lifemanship training. Her horse experience began with Tiny, her pony when she was a little girl. Jill loves to be in nature and around horses, but she especially loves planting and nurturing trees!
SARAH KEY, LCSW
Sarah is a native Austinite and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion for working with children, adolescents, young adults, and caregivers to overcome adverse experiences and circumstances. She has worked as a School Social Worker in the Central Texas area for 16 years, working closely with families to remove barriers to success in life. Sarah is trauma-informed and works from a collaborative, strengths-based approach. She received her bachelor's in science degree in Social Work (BSW) from St. Edwards University and a Master's in Science in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Texas at Austin. Sarah is also a Trust Based Relational Interventions (TBRI) Practitioner, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), and has completed level one of Natural Lifemanship.
DAVID BURKS, LMSW
David graduated from the University of Missouri and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. David has been a committed student of meditation for over 15 years and has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in hospital and university settings. He brings an experiential and somatic approach to therapy, having trained in Hakomi Therapy and also studying Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). David is currently training in Natural Lifemanship and considers himself a student of nature and the healing power of the natural world.
KYM ALEXANDER LIPSCOMB
Before coming to Spirit Reins, Kym served as a founding partner and Executive Director of GRIT, a therapeutic horsemanship a center north of Dallas, that she ran for five years. Kym has completed the advanced Natural Lifemanship training, the Masterson Method of equine massage training, and is a member of PATH (Professionals of Therapeutic Horsemanship), as well as a certified PATH Instructor. Kym considers herself a lifelong student of the horse. She has participated in multiple natural horsemanship clinics, received her certification as a barefoot trimmer and continues her studies of equine health and wellness. Kym's passion is using the relationship with the horse and her spirituality to help others understand their own identity and grow in well-being.
Business Operations Specialist
Ana is a graduate from Texas State University with a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration. From a young age, she showed interest in the healthcare field and pursued studies of healthcare finance, healthcare law and policy, as well as quality improvement. Ana completed an internship with St. David’s Medical Center in the Quality Department where she discovered her love for the clinical side of healthcare. Eventually, she would like to pursue a master’s degree in accounting/finance or nursing. Prior to joining Spirit Reins, Ana worked in the customer service field for six years, spending the last four of those years in management.
Development & Program Specialist
Monica received her B.A in English writing from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. Her love of animals, interest in mental health and equine therapy, and vocation to be of service to others drew her to the mission of Spirit Reins. Monica hopes to continue sharing the incredible and innovative work of Spirit Reins with others through her grant writing and storytelling.
Thomas earned his B.S. in Building Construction from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, 1969, and a Master of Arts in Science Education from the University of Texas at Dallas, 1979. His experience includes: 23 years in Commercial Construction Management, 8 years in steel door manufacturing, 14 years in subcontracting in the commercial construction arena, and 13 years as a ranch hand at Spirit Reins.