Meet the Staff

Lynn Moore

Co-Founder and CEO

Credentials
MA, LADC, EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Advanced Certified Practitioner, EAGALA Mentor and Trainer
MA in Professional Counseling (in progress)

Lynn co-founded Acres for Life in 2001 with a passion for helping others experience the healing connection between people and animals.
In addition, Lynn provides consulting services to many EAP/EAL practitioners wanting to move their businesses to the next level. She holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Lynn has completed her EAGALA Advanced certification and serves as an EAGALA national trainer and mentor and has over twenty years of business marketing, consulting, online training and client relationship management experience

Sally Jane Mixon

Chief Developement Officer and Equine Trainer / President of Abijah's Hope LLC

Credentials
B.S. Human Development and Family Studies, EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Advanced Certified Practitioner
M.A. Professional Counseling (in progress)

Sally received her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of WI Stout in 2007.  During college, she worked through and won her own battle with Anorexia and Bulimia which gave her personal insight into the world of addictions.  She has over 12 years of experience working with many populations from at-risk youth (residential and non-residential) to adult violent offenders as a drug counselor.  Sally has over 20 years of experience training and riding horses and is passionate in rehabilitating injured and/or behavioral related issues and using the horse in the EAGALA model.  She is currently pursuing her MA in professional counseling and is EAGALA advanced certified.  Sally brings experience and passion for speaking, fundraising, networking, and raising awareness of the power of this work! 

Heather Jeffrey

Chief Operating Officer

Credentials
CTC, EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Advanced Certified Practitioner
M.A. Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders  (in progress)

In 2007 Heather joined the Acres for Life team and has completed her EAGALA Advanced certification.  Heather loves all aspects of EAGALA work including facilitating sessions, herd and facilities care, program development, community outreach etc. Heather is certified as a Therapeutic Coach ®, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation and Biology and has years of experience working with individuals, groups, families and youth in a variety of experiential learning modalities. Heather is currently pursuing her masters degree with the end goal of LADC, LPCC licensure

Janet Westlund

Clinical Director

Credentials
MSW, LICSW, EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Janet received her Master’s of Social Work from the University of St. Thomas in 2011 and also holds a certificate of Trauma Studies from the University of Minnesota.  Janet’s strengths include showing up authentically with empathy and unconditional positive regard.  She enjoys working with those in crisis, and is passionate about working with people around issues related to grief/loss and trauma, as well as dual-diagnosis.   Janet also has a private practice providing supervision for social work licensure

Ray Anschel

Credentials
EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Advanced Practitioner

Ray has been a teacher of writing and literature for 40 years and has served in numerous leadership roles. Ray holds a Master’s Degree and is the recipient of Normandale’s Teacher of the Year Award and the University of Texas’s National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Award for Excellence (NISOD). He also holds Parts I and II Certifications from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).  Ray also serves as EAGALA’s Network Coordinator for Minnesota as well as coordinator for Operation Sanctuary, an initiative to provide equine services for veterans and their families.

Anna Grimm

Credentials
MA, LMAFT, EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Anna graduated from Bethel Seminary in 2005 with her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She was thrilled to learn she could combine her lifelong love of horses with her career and became certified through EAGALA in 2011.  She joined the Acres team after she and her family moved to Minnesota from Michigan in the fall of 2015. She works with kids through adults, individuals, couples and families.
When she isn’t at Acres, she’s either seeing her private practice clients in their homes or the community, pursuing another lifelong love of photography, spending time her husband and kids, or enjoying time with her beloved Boxer Trinity

Sara Larson

Credentials
EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Sara began volunteering at Acres in 2012 having over 13 years of equine experience and in 2014 became certified in the EAGALA model.  Currently Sara is in the EAGALA mentoring program and working towards her Advanced Certification.
Sara loves learning and believes in natural horsemanship techniques, focusing on reading the horse’s body language, ground skills, and building trust between horse and human.  Sara has had a passion for horses since she was child and is very excited to be bringing people and horses together for healing, growth and learning.

Julie Neuman

Credentials
B.S. Special Education, K-12
EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Julie graduated from MN State University Moorhead with a B.S. degree in Special Education (K-12), teaching in both private/public schools. She is EAGALA certified and currently working toward her advanced certification. Julie’s deeper understanding of horses came when she found herself in the pasture desperately finding answers to her daughter Madi’s depression/anxiety during her middle and high school years. Julie is co-leader of AKA Sisterhood, a pilot project for girls grades 4-8 that provides the tools needed to help navigate relational aggression (bullying) during the pre-teen/teen years incorporating horses, nature, art, improv/role play and community.

Carmen Franzmeier

Credentials
MA, LMFT (in progress) EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Carmen graduated from St. Mary’s University – Twin Cities in 2015 with her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition to working at Acres for Life she has a private practice in Saint Paul. She develops a relationship with each client built on trust and mutual respect, and establishes a safe therapeutic environment that empowers each person to uncover their true potential and live a happier, more satisfying life. Carmen enjoys being able to combine her passion for helping people heal with her love of nature and animals.  Carmen joined the Acres team in the summer of 2015. She works with kids through adults, individuals, couples and families.

Andrea Kurilla

Credentials
MA Public Health and Nutrition, Registered Licensed Dietitian

Andrea has worked in the field of eating disorders for 7 years, spent one year as Wellness Coach for Optum Health Care, and returned to the field of eating disorders this last January. She has always been a horse lover and sees how they can be amazing instruments used within the healing process.  Additionally she has coached snowboarding for the last 10 years. She is married to her husband, Ryan and they have an adorable 2 1/2 year old son named, Miles.

Kelsey Kirkwood

Credentials
MA, LPCC (in progress) EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Kelsey recently graduated from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School with a master’s degree in Addiction Studies: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders. At the age of 8, Kelsey fell in love with horses, and learned firsthand the healing that can come from these amazing animals. At the age of 16, she began her dream of wanting to work with horses to help people experience healing in the same way she had. Kelsey has several years experience in working with children, at-risk youth, and men and women who are struggling with addiction. Through her experience in working with women in a family treatment setting, Kelsey developed her passion for helping families begin to heal from the impact of addiction and co-occurring disorders. When she is not working, Kelsey can be found somewhere in the world traveling and experiencing life in different countries, or at home with her rescue pup, Ty.

Audra Hanson

Credentials
B.S. Corrections from Minnesota State University – Mankato, with emphasis in Psychology, Alcohol & Drug Studies and At-Risk Youth
EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner

Audra has spent her life with horses starting at the age of 5 when she got her first pony.  Years later, in high school, she began showing Arabians, spending time with her family trail riding, and camping with their horses. She has always had a love of horses and a special place in her heart for the rescues.  As a result, for the past 15 years, her pastures have been home for many rescue horses and ponies whom she has spent countless hours with while in the barn, pastures, and trails.   And, as she has done for these rescues, she believes they have done the same for her as they have helped bring clarity, understanding, and healing in her own life.   Upon finding Eagala and Acres for Life, she realized her life’s purpose to share the healing power of the horse.  Audra has experience working with violent juvenile and adult offenders, in both the community and in secure facilities. She has also worked with youth and adult victims of violence, trauma, and abuse.  Audra has been Eagala Model Certified since 2013, and joined the Acres team in 2017.  She has a passion for our youth and is looking forward to providing many different services, including programs related to self-esteem and bullying.