Board of Directors
Yvonne Rockwell - President
Alfredo Mendoza - Vice President
Alfredo Mendoza, regional director for the Starbucks Coffee Company, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2018. Having attended Heart of the West in recent years, Alfredo’s goal is to strengthen the partnership between Starbucks and Carousel Ranch, specifically when it comes to the Ready-to-Work Program.
“As the father of a son who is on the autism spectrum, I am passionate and committed to finding ways to support and give back. We were so fortunate to have so many great people help us through a very challenging time. Our son Dylan is doing so well, but we never lose sight of those people that supported us. Carousel Ranch is an opportunity for me to keep paying that forward.”
Margie Shaffer - Secretary
Margie Shaffer, a Broker Associate with Re/Max, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2018. She has a personal connection to the children at the Ranch. Her older brother was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy at a young age. Her childhood involved staying vigilant for seizures, going to various therapies with him, and standing up for her brother when kids made fun of him. Today, the son of one of her dearest friends battled his own disease, which is how Margie was introduced to Heart of the West 10 years ago.
“The work that is done at the Ranch is one of a kind. To see the kids on the horses with the smiles on their faces is priceless. From that first visit a decade ago, I knew that I would one day be helping out here.”
Evan Faucette - Treasurer
Evan Faucette, partner with KKAJ Certified Public Accountants and a member of the managing partner group, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2019 and serves as the organization’s Treasurer. He brings his expertise in accounting and tax-related matters to the board, as well as a heart for the mission of bettering the lives of children and young adults with special needs.
“In the short period of time I’ve been involved with the Ranch, I have been amazed with not only the mission it seeks to accomplish, but also by the diligent effort made by everyone associated with the organization to ensure this happens. From its equestrian therapy to the Ready to Work program, I value the Ranch’s efforts to make life more enjoyable and meaningful for the riders and students, as well as their families. The satisfaction and fulfillment employees and board members realize are simply a byproduct of accomplishments of those they serve.”
Missy Carter, Director of Membership and Marketing at The Saticoy Club, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2019. She brings her enthusiasm and talent for fundraising to the organization.
“From the first time I stepped foot on the Ranch I knew I wanted to make a difference. It’s a magical feeling when you are at Carousel Ranch; I am so impressed with the therapy and the results achieved for the children and young adults with special needs. Joining the Board was a natural next step.”
Marianne Cederlind - Immediate Past President
Marianne Cederlind, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Banking Officer with Mission Valley Bank, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2011. She has served as the organization’s president for three 2-year terms. Through her leadership, Carousel Ranch is stronger and more sustainable than at any other point in its history. Marianne led Carousel Ranch through a successful Capital Campaign for a covered arena, launched the Annual Giving Campaign, and began the Ready to Work and Ready to Grow programs giving vocational training and workplace skills to young adults with disabilities.
“I share in Carousel Ranch’s vision and passion for making a difference in the lives of children with disabilities. My goal is to bring Carousel Ranch to the next level in its evolution, creating long term sustainability and continued growth in the years to come.”
Wayne Crawford has been a supporter of Carousel Ranch since near its inception, playing a vital role in procuring the organization's permanent home in Agua Dulce. A tireless campaigner for the Ranch, Wayne is responsible for raising the Ranch's public profile and connecting it to the community it serves. Whether he is getting his hands dirty on a tractor helping grade the property or driving fundraising efforts, Wayne is always there for Carousel kids.
“My wife, Dianne, and I are proud that our youngest grandson, Caynen, is able to benefit from the amazing therapy opportunities available on the back of a Carousel Ranch horse.”
Briana Kochen, a Senior Director of Salon Development at John Paul Mitchell Systems, became a member of the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2023. In addition to her role at JPMS, she is a small business owner in the local community and is actively contributing to its well-being.
Briana is known for her love for animals and her commitment to charitable causes. She brings a valuable aspect of diversity to the board, ensuring a wide range of perspectives. She strongly believes in maintaining an open line of communication with individuals who are underserved and lack resources due to their disabilities. Briana aims to give back to the community in any way she can, utilizing her position and resources to make a positive impact.
"As a parent with a child who has a disability, the therapy done at Carousel Ranch and how they improve these children's lives deeply touches my soul. I truly believe a life lived helping others is a life worthwhile, which is what I saw when I came to the ranch for the first time. Being invited to be a part of that is an absolute dream."
Stacy Nochenson, a commercial Interior Designer specializing in healthcare and ADA requirements, is a Founding Board member of Carousel Ranch. Her love of entertaining, desire to please and provide the best experience for those attending Carousel Ranch events has led to 20+ years coordinating and overseeing the dinner at the annual Heart of the West. She is also corporate Secretary of the Board.
“These children face challenges I didn't even know existed, yet they experience great joy. My heart is overwhelmed by the incredible smiles this simple recreation brings. It has always been a privilege to serve on this board and participate in the incredible service Carouse Ranch provides.”
Bryan Steiner, a financial advisor with Thrivent Financial, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2015. He has been instrumental in crafting a succession plan for the organization so Carousel Ranch can continue helping children generations into the future.
“For anyone not familiar with the work of Carousel Ranch, I highly recommend a visit to see what they do first hand. It was after seeing and hearing from parents the impact Carousel Ranch has had on their children's lives that I knew I wanted to become involved and help support their work.”
Steffanie Stelnick, founder of the Law Offices of Steffanie Stelnick, directs all civil litigation operations at The Law Offices of Steffanie Stelnick. Ms. Stelnick is personally involved in every case and ensure that each client receives impeccable representation.
Ms. Stelnick’s core belief is that focusing on the client is critical to the litigation process. Insurance companies, as well as negligent doctors, manufactures and corporations all benefit from strong legal representation. A client without an attorney who aggressively pursued their client’s rights will rarely operate on an even playing field in court. Our clients’ needs remain paramount every day of practice at The Law Offices of Steffanie Stelnick.
Eric Stroh, Vice President of Santa Clarita Concrete, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2006. He served as president of the nonprofit for five years, vice president for six years, involved in the signature Heart of the West event, and created and chaired the How the West Was Won Trap Shoot event the past 10 years raising nearly $300,000 from that one event. It was his daughter Jolie’s obsession with horses that first brought Eric to Carousel Ranch. Together, they have given hours of love and support to the Ranch. Under Eric’s leadership, the ranch overcame numerous challenges and changes. He led them through their property purchase, renovations and improvements, and the building of the long-awaited covered arena.
“It would be impossible to say ‘no’ to the kids of Carousel Ranch, and I love spending time on the Ranch. Everything about this special place represents a labor of love from the students to the horses to the community supporters and donors.”
Teresa Todd, founder of Point of View Communications, LLC and adjunct professor, joined the Carousel Ranch Board of Directors in 2015 serving on the Communications Committee and Heart of the West Auction Committee. She assists the Ranch with public relations, social media, and consults on community outreach initiatives.
“Each time I watch a child with special needs achieve greatness on the back of a horse, it takes my breath away. There is an unspoken bond between horse and human that makes even the most challenging disabilities become invisible. It is difficult to express the depth of emotion I feel toward Carousel Ranch.”