Naples, Fl – Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC), a not-for-profit equestrian center that provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-related programs for children and adults with special needs, social interaction difficulties and physical challenges, is pleased to announce the promotion of Melissa “Missy” Saracino Lamont to Executive Director.
As Executive Director, Lamont will now serve as chief administrator and report directly to the Board of Directors. In her new role, she will provide administrative leadership for the daily operations of the Center which includes staff, financial and program management. She is also responsible for the delivery of the Center’s quality programs and services and advancing the organization’s mission.
Lamont’s love of horses began when she started riding at 8 years old. Her passion continued in college where she was a member of the Pennsylvania State University equestrian team. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Commercial and Community Recreation.
Lamont started her career with Naples Therapeutic Riding Center as a volunteer in 2008. Later that same year, she was hired as a part-time staff Volunteer Coordinator for therapeutic riding lessons. In 2010, she became a full-time Program Administrator and was then promoted to Program Director in 2012. During this time, she managed scheduling and coordinating sessions, matching up riders with trainers, participant outcome measurements, partnerships with other local charities and an army of 400 volunteers and 500 participants.
During her eight-year tenure with the equestrian center, Lamont has helped NTRC become a major therapeutic player in the Naples area. Some of the major accomplishments achieved under her leadership include the launch of several equine-facilitated learning and psychotherapy programs in collaboration with organizations such as David Lawrence Center and Pace Center for Girls. She also launched outreach summer camps in collaboration with organizations such as Youth Haven, St. Matthew’s House and Shelter for Abused Women and Children. Lamont was also instrumental in the development of Operation Strides, a program for Military veterans.
Most recently, Lamont was part of the successful execution of the Barn Raising Capital Campaign which ended in 2016 with a $4 million expansion that included a new covered arena, multi-purpose training room and new stables.
Prior to joining NTRC, Lamont served as the Tennis and Sports Program Coordinator at the Marco Island Family YMCA and Regional Program Manager at the American Hospitality Academy.
Lamont is a certified Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Riding Instructor and currently serves as the association’s South Florida, Region Five Chair. She is also certified in Adult and Children Mental Health First Aid.
Lamont’s community involvement includes being a 2015 graduate of the Leadership Collier Foundation GAIN Program, serving on the Board of Directors for Able Academy and as a volunteer for the Naples Children and Education Foundation and Leadership Collier Foundation. Her work with the Leadership Collier Foundation includes serving as a committee member for the Youth Leadership Collier program and Get Involved Collier Volunteer Expo.
In 2014, Lamont was named a Top 40 under 40 by Gulfshore Business Magazine.
About Naples Therapeutic Riding Center
Established in 1995, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a mission to improve the lives of children and adults with special needs through therapeutic riding and equine-related programs. With a dedicated staff and group of volunteers, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center, a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Premier Accredited Center, provides therapeutic riding, equine- facilitated learning and equine-facilitated psychotherapy to more than 660 participants per year. Through fundraising efforts, the organization is able to provide this vital therapy to those who need the service most, regardless of income level. Services are provided in partnership through local non-profit organizations and physician referrals for individuals living with special needs and a range of emotional, learning and developmental disabilities. For more information on programs or volunteer opportunities, visit NaplesTherapeuticRidingCenter.org or call 239-596-2988.