Our Staff


Michelle Bailey

Michelle was hired in 2017 as part-time Communications Coordinator. In this role, Michelle gathers information to share Renew’s story, purpose, and progress. She manages Renew’s blog and helps with small projects. Michelle originally began with Renew in 2013 as an Intern for her Master of Social Work program, which she completed from Western Michigan University in 2014. Michelle loves to travel and enjoys eating healthy. Contact Michelle: communications.renew@gmail.com

Allison Carns

Allison, one of our PATH Intl. Riding Instructors, first began volunteering for Renew in 2013. From 2016 to 2018, she also served as our Volunteer Coordinator and helped to develop our volunteer program. Allison became certified in 2015 and has been teaching lessons for our program since then. Allison and her husband farm over 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans and thus are especially busy in the Spring and Fall.

Melissa Conner

Melissa is the first Executive Director of Renew, having been hired in late 2013 after moving to Holland from Williamsburg, Virginia. She is also a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist for Mental Health and Learning, Lead Site Visitor and Faculty member for PATH Intl. She first became a certified professional with PATH Intl. in 2005 and helped to develop another Premiere Accredited Center in Virginia. Two of her horses, Silk and Nobie, serve alongside her as part of the herd at Renew. Contact Melissa: renewriding@gmail.com

Phyllis DeHaan

Phyllis is one of our Certified Riding Instructors and received her PATH Intl. certification in 2010. She currently holds the position of President of the Board of Directors and serves on various committees in the organization. Phyllis has been a consistent part of Renew since the beginning, when she came alongside her daughter, Jodi Geerlings, as one of the founders of Renew. You can find Phyllis trail riding, boating, and spending time at the marina pool.

Abby DeZeeuw

Abby is a PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructor and received her certification in 2017. She began volunteering for Renew in 2014 and began working toward her instructor certification shortly after starting at Renew. She received her Master of Divinity degree in 2018, and also teaches Hebrew classes at Western Theological Seminary.

Jodi Geerlings

As a graduate student, Jodi had a dream of combining her love of horses, teaching, and serving students with disabilities. As a result, she partnered with others in the community to found Renew Therapeutic Riding Center in 2009. She and her mother, Phyllis DeHaan, became the first certified Riding Instructors with PATH Intl. in the Holland area in 2010. Jodi owns a dairy farm with her husband and you can often find her showing her dogs and horses.

Kelly Leikert

Kelly began as our Volunteer Coordinator in August, 2018, and manages all aspects of the scheduling and education related to our volunteers. She began with Renew when she was a freshman at Hope College in 2013. Kelly is also one of our PATH Intl. Certified Instructors and began teaching lessons in June, 2018. Kelly is one of our awesome in-house bakers and her horse, Dailee, is one of our beloved therapy horses serving in the program. Contact Kelly: volunteer.renewtrc@gmail.com

Deb Mast

Deb is one of our PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructors. She began with our program as a volunteer in 2015, as she was drawn to help others through horses after being a lifelong rider and a cancer survivor. She became certified through PATH Intl. in August 2016 and has been teaching lessons for Renew since that time. Deb is a proud mom of 3, she is an avid bass fisher-woman, and loves being on the hospitality team at her church.

Kayla Tuinenga

Kayla began as the Barn Manager in 2015. She is responsible for the health and maintenance of our herd of therapy horses, coordinates needed services for effective stable management, and communicates horse needs to staff and volunteers. In April 2016, Kayla became a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and since that time has been consistently teaching many students, in addition to taking care of the horses and facility. She began with Renew as a volunteer in 2010 and served on the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2015. Kayla is a lifelong horse lover, and is also pursuing a nursing degree.

Shaina Strikwerda

Shaina was first hired in 2012 as a part-time PATH Intl. Certified Instructor after graduating from GVSU with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She joined our full-time staff as the first-ever Program Manager in March, 2018. She is now the primary contact for Renew’s direct program services including lesson schedules, documentation, intake assessments, and development of new programs. She also oversees the needs of our therapy horses. When not at Renew, you can find Shaina mountain biking, trail riding, and downhill skiing. Contact Shaina: programs.renew@gmail.com