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Staff

We can't wait for you to come and meet our team!

Administration

Jackie Ross
Executive Director
Joining The Bridge Center in 2016, Jackie first started in the Program Coordinator position. Now in 2018, she has become the Executive Director, focusing on creating sustainable recreation and leisure programs for individuals with disabilities. Through sustainable programs, The Bridge Center will be able to grow and change as the clientele population does as well.

Jackie is a Springfield College graduate, with her focus in Therapeutic Recreation. She comes from a clinical background, working as a Recreation Therapist at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children. She has always had a passion for community based recreation programs; volunteering, coaching, and interning with the Special Olympics Massachusetts for over 10 years.

With a passion herself for the outdoors and recreation, she hopes to drive The Bridge Center forward and continue to improve the quality of life for many individuals, for years to come.
ext. 23  |  JRoss@thebridgectr.org
 
Karen Ellis
Finance Coordinator
Karen has been involved with The Bridge Center since the early 1980s, first as a volunteer and now as a full-time staff member. She has served The Bridge Center in every possible way, from providing direct services for our children to overseeing the office operations. No matter the role, Karen’s favorite moments come from seeing joy on the children’s faces. In her spare time Karen enjoys knitting and spending time with her family.

Contact Karen with questions regarding payments, scholarships, and billing concerns.
ext. 10  |  KEllis@TheBridgeCtr.org
 
Laurie Kalivas
Registration Coordinator
Laurie is responsible for coordinating the Registration Process at The Bridge Center. Laurie has been part of the Bridge Center Family since 2005 when she enrolled her son Zachary in horseback riding lessons. Laurie started with us as a volunteer at the barn and joined the staff in March of 2009.

Contact Laurie with questions about program registration, CampMinder account set up, and facility rentals.




ext. 17  |  LKalivas@TheBridgeCtr.org


Year Round Programs/Summer Camp

Abby Ross
Year Round & Summer Camp Program Coordinator
Abby has been part of the Bridge Center team for six years, and is now joining us as the Program Coordinator!
Starting as a camp counselor, Abby quickly was promoted into leadership roles; specifically the co-director of our Saturday Recreation Program, and our co-director of Camp Discover.
Through her time here, Abby has continually seen the positive impact that therapeutic recreation can have in the lives of people with disabilities.

Abby graduated from Bridgewater State University with a degree in Special Education with a focus in educating those who have significant needs. Through this program Abby gained a greater understanding
and passion for educating, creating inclusive opportunities, and developing friendships with people of all abilities. Abby has spent the past three years working at North River Collaborative as a teacher's assistant,
and as an in-home ABA Therapist. Abby is dedicated to working with this population, and feels grateful to be continuing to do so at The Bridge Center.
ext. x12  |  aross@thebridgectr.org


The Riding Center

Trish Gosselin
Riding Center Program Director
Married with 2 sons ages 19 and 12. Brings to The Bridge Center her 35 years of hands on horse knowledge and experience including 26 years of being a MA Licensed Horseback Riding Instructor. She owned and operated an equine facility for 15 years in which she provided the daily care for equines, created and ran many youth programs, including summer camps, that included participants with disabilities. Before having her own farm she worked for many horse trainers over the years learning multiple techniques with regards to working with equines and teaching clients how to ride their horses.

Trish’s educational background includes: The Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program, Strategies to Children Behavior--Fisher College, Teaching Parents of Young Children--Fisher College--Curriculum in 12 sessions on working with children and their parents, just to name a few. Trish was also a 4-H member for 10 years where she competed in all equine activities and competitions, and then went on to be a volunteer leader and mentor for many years.

ext. 14  |  TGosselin@thebridgectr.org
 
Kate Pooler
Lead Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Lesson Coordinator
Kate started as a therapeutic riding instructor here at The Bridge Center in 2009. Her passion for horses began as a young child, and she pursued riding through college at Johnson & Wales University where she obtained an AS in Equine Studies and BS in Equine Business Management. She was a member of the IDA riding team from 2006-2009, competing all across New England, and spent a summer semester in Germany, riding and working in one of their state riding schools. Kate owns two horses: her childhood pony, Rhiannon, and competition horse, Wally. She took a break from horses to have children in 2014 and 2016, and is very excited to be back at TBC teaching therapeutic riding.
ext. 11  |  KPooler@thebridgectr.org
 
Amanda Taylor
Riding Instructor, EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist
Amanda has taught horseback riding lessons since 2006. During this time she has taught in traditional, therapeutic, residential, and camp settings. She is also an EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist. Amanda started teaching at The Bridge Center in 2017.


Volunteers

Peggy O'Neill
Coordinator of Volunteers
Peggy started at The Bridge Center in February 2016. Peggy was enrolled in an on-line Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate Program through the Animal Behavior Institute in North Carolina. She completed her volunteer placement hours here at Bridge’s Therapeutic Riding Center and obtained her Certificate in Spring 2017. She continued to volunteer until she joined our staff in September 2017.

Peggy brings to the Coordinator of Volunteers position many years of experience in working with both youth and adults who present with an array of social, psychological, behavioral, medical and educational special needs.

Peggy obtained her Masters in Counseling in Bridgewater State University and has utilized this education, along with years of continued professional development in positions at Massachusetts’s Department of Children & Families; Community College of Rhode Island and several Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Programs, most recently at Bristol Community College in Fall River.

In addition, Peggy is thrilled to join the team at the Therapeutic Riding Center and participate in the recruitment, training and support of the volunteers who assist in the equine assisted activities & educational programs; therapeutic & recreational riding and horsemanship programming.

ext. 19  |  MOneill@thebridgectr.org