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Drea Bowen - Chair, Board of Directors

Drea is a, Certified Counselor (WA), Board Certified Life and Health Coach, MSW candidate, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, minor in trans-species Psychology. Drea’s lifelong passion for non-human animals, nature, and the environment along with her commitment to empowering people to heal their relationship with self, each other, our animal kin, and the natural world led to the creation of the trauma-informed nonprofit; One Heart Wild Therapeutic Sanctuary and ROOTS Institute. ROOTS Institute certifies therapists, educators, and others working within the human-animal interface, in Animal/Equine Assisted and Nature-Based Therapeutic Services. ROOTS Institute meets the American Counseling Association facilitator competencies for Animal-Assisted Intervention training. Drea has worked full time with youth, teens, and adults since 2010, prior to that she spent decades managing and volunteering for nonprofit organizations. Drea’s advocacy to end suffering and heal psychological harm for humans and our animal kin is highlighted in One Heart Wild’s humane education programs. Trans-species psychology teaches us that social animals are more alike than different from us, and it calls us all to heal the connections between nature, humans, and non-human animals.

Brenda Newell - Vice Chair, Clinical Director, Board of Directors

Brenda Newell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her background and extensive training includes: serving the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, working with individuals impacted by abuse and violence, individuals living with HIV/AIDS, individuals seeking support for significant life transitions, holistic approaches to wellness, and bringing humans and horses together for healing through Equine Experiential Learning and Psychotherapy. Brenda is a Sexual Minorities and Gender Specialist for the LGBT community, a Certified Children’s Mental Health Specialist and a Certified Human Equine Alliance for Learning & Psychotherapy Facilitator. Brenda is a certified volunteer for RedRover Readers humane education reading program.

Brenda grew up in small mountain communities in Idaho and Utah surrounded by animals, both domestic and wild, and feeling most at home in their presence. Some of Brenda’s greatest joys have been her relationships with the horses, dogs, cats, and goats that became beloved friends. Non-human animals have modeled authenticity, trust, loyalty, compassion and mutuality in relationship and she believes sharing those experiences with her clients can be life changing. Brenda feels blessed to continue the journey of connecting humans with horses and other non-human animals; increasing self-awareness, emotional healing, empowerment and resiliency. Brenda has spent her career supporting community and social service nonprofits and has been a tireless volunteer and board member for many organizations.

Roby Snyder- Community Outreach, Board of Directors

Roby's work experience included 4 years as an elementary school teacher; 22 years with Lockheed Martin in various capacities, and facilities around the country, including group lead, staff to 3 division managers, and 3 Directors.

Head of Administrative Staff in charge of researching and writing all administrative procedures for a new LM venture based on corporate and customer requirements; setting up financial controls including proposing, negotiating, creating, and managing a $2.6 million direct and indirect budget which also included creating a charge number structure and timekeeping system, and daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports and presentations for upper management.

After teaching first and second graders for three years on the island of Guam, and then working 22 years with Lockheed Martin, Roby stepped into living two long held dreams; developing her artistic talent and hanging out with horses. Time with Drea, along with her horses, and her passion for creating relationships in connection with our authentic selves, other humans, non-humans, and our environment, profoundly changed the quality, activities, and trajectory of Roby's life. As a dedicated member of the board of directors, Roby brings her own passion and commitment to being an advocate for animals, our fragile environment, and the children and adults who are served by OHW. Roby is a certified volunteer for RedRover Readers humane education reading program.

Roby is currently OHW's artist-in-residence, using her new-found artistic abilities to create special OHW cards to sell in local venues to raise money for OHW scholarships, and to capture in graphite and watercolors, the individual beauty and character of the non-human residents of the Sanctuary.

Gabrielle Youngker- Sanctuary & Volunteer Manager, ROOTS Institute Executive Director, Board of Directors

Brie is an experienced, relational, lifelong equestrian and an integral part of our  Animal Assisted Therapeutic Services team.

Brie is a chairperson on the board helping to cultivate programs for the non-profit and also trains volunteers in safely working on the Sanctuary and caring for the animals. Brie is the Executive Director of ROOTS Institute. As a One Heart Wild therapeutic service provider Brie holds the following certifications: Equine/Animal Assisted Self Development practitioner 2017, Suicide and Self Harm in Our Youth, Motivational Interviewing: Evidence-Based Skills to Motivate Clients Toward Change, Covid-19 Health Crisis- School Social Work in a Changing Climate, Heart Math- Clinical Certification for Stress, Anxiety, and Self- Regulation utilizing scientifically validated techniques and technology, Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) University of Washington evidence-informed intervention that aims to help survivors gain skills to manage distress and cope with post-disaster stress and adversity, and RedRover Readers humane education reading program.

Brie studied Equine Science and has a background that includes many years as a horse rider, showing in Hunter/Jumper rings and training. She has volunteered in several programs including Therapeutic Riding for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities, children’s summer horse camps, and fundraising for these causes. 

Donna VanRenselaar, Board Member (currently on leave of absence)

Donna is a Certified Marine Naturalist, Artist, and Education Professional experienced in the design and implementation of groundbreaking programs for K-12 students and educators.  She specializes in arts-infused and brain-based learning, humane education, and systems-based organizational change. As a volunteer with One Heart Wild, she has been integral in the development of Animals and Empathy for elementary students.

Donna developed and led the largest arts education program in Arkansas, was a member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program; led Dr. Robert Ballard’s JASON Project, and was one of 30 national arts education professionals invited to participate in the National Arts Education Leadership Institute. She also taught courses in Arts Integration and Critical Thinking for undergraduate students.

Donna studied Visual Art, English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Washington, and earned her Master of Education degree from the University of Arkansas.

One Heart Wild also relies on the invaluable efforts of Assistants, Interns and Volunteers that support day-to-day operations. Click here to learn how to apply to become a volunteer or intern.


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