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Community profile: Stephanie Melchert
Flower Mound Leader - 1/2/2018
Stephanie Melchert is the executive director of Victory Therapy Center, a facility in west Flower Mound that uses equine therapy to help veterans and people with disabilities. Below, Melchert talks about Victory and her passion for horses, even though she wouldn't describe herself as a typical "horsewoman."
How long have you been at Victory Therapy Center?
I have been with Victory Therapy Center since June of 2015.
What are some of your duties at Victory?
As the executive director, reporting to Victory's Board of Directors, I assume responsibility for the management of all human and financial resources needed to achieve Victory's mission. Overall responsibilities include maximizing earned and contributed revenue; cultivating audience and community relationships; and overseeing all administrative, operational and financial activities to ensure the continued success of Victory. As the public face of the organization, these multifaceted responsibilities call for demonstrated organizational and leadership skills; nonprofit management experience; and an ability to collaborate with our clients, administrative staff, board and community members.
How did you become interested in the therapy center?
I was fortunate to have an employment consultant bring this opportunity to my attention, and then once I interviewed for the position I just could not get it out of my head as I felt there was so many opportunities that this organization could offer the community.
What do you like best about being a part of this program?
As we serve people with disabilities, veterans and first responders it is seeing the victories that happen daily on our property. It could be a non-verbal child that speaks for the first time, a young teen who found a best friend, who just happens to be a horse, and an older adult who calls Victory their social hour, a Veteran that rebuilds trust through the eyes of our horses, and/or a first responder who accepts their new disability and turns it into a new ability.
How did your love for horses begin?
I have always loved all animals as a little girl. My poor parents ? I would somehow find all these "stray" animals. They were mainly dogs, but my father had several clients who had huge horse farms. So I would go with him on a visit here and there and get to brush and sometimes ride the horses. I am not your typical "horsewoman," meaning I did not grow up with a horse, nor did I have riding lessons etc. But, I have always had a passion for them, just never the opportunity to be this up close and personal with them.
How many horses do you have, and what are their names?
Our Victory hers consist of 21 horses and one mini, Badger. Our horses' names are as follows: Aksel, Anara, Annie, Bailey, Bella, Big Bug, Chachi, Chanel, Chevy, Coushatta, Godiva, Harley, Hunter, lady Bug, Lexi, Peaches, Rebel, Richie, Skipper and Zip.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
I am going to have to say it was from my mentor and amazing father. PMA,
Positive Mental Attitude! You have to have a positive attitude in all cases. Attitude is everything and having a positive mental attitude will make you soar like an Eagle. I know my mother and father are watching over me and instilling the PMA daily all over Victory.
Where is your favorite place to ride your horse?
I hope someday I will learn to ride, and then I would love to go on a trail ride.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my adult son Parker, my best dog ever, Cowboy, my family and friends. I love football and baseball, pretty much all sports. You can find me at a gun range, target practicing, going for trail walks and hikes, working out, antique shopping and finding quaint and or "hole in the wall" great restaurants. Chilling with a good book or you can catch me watching movies.
Who's your favorite singer/band?
Bruce Springsteen, and that just dated me. Ha ha
I prefer a home-cooked meal, as I love to cook, with my family and friends.
Any talents away from the ranch?
Gardening, turkey hunting, cooking, planning events and or small parties and decorating. Pinterest is my friend.