SONJA WINGARD / Director & Founder, Instructor
In 1999, Sonja Wingard, Abby Soley, and Gwen Hunter founded ANT with encouragement from Catholic Community Services. Sonja, BSN, is ANT’s Executive Director, and brings more than 30 years of experience working with people and animals as a registered nurse, 4-H leader, equine specialist, and riding instructor. She has a special love for young people and the elderly and enjoys bringing them together through ANT’s intergenerational programs. Sonja is a PATH Intl. Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, and holds additional horsemanship credentials. You can find her spending time in the garden, playing with her grandchildren, and enjoying trail rides with her beloved horses. Read More
JAIME ARNETT / Director of Operations
Jaime Arnett is a Whatcom County native that graduated from Blaine High School and Western Washington University. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors. Her nonprofit career began a decade ago with Habitat for Humanity, where she held every position from Volunteer Coordinator to Assistant Director, working in both Washington and Oregon State. In the private sector, Jaime was the Executive Administrator for the Boundary Fish Company in Blaine. She is passionate about governance and politics and is also a former Blaine City Council Member! In 2015, Jaime began grant writing for ANT as a way to stay meaningfully connected to her community. She was drawn to ANT for our natural approach to mental and behavioral health services and, being and avid animal lover, was especially curious about the benefits of human-animal interactions. She has a deep appreciation for ANT’s culture of compassion, the spirit of our animals, and the brilliance of our staff.
KATIE ROHWER / Program & Volunteer Coordinator; PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructor
Katie first was a part of the ANT family as a mentor for youth programming. She graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, received her Therapeutic Riding Instructor (TRI) certification from PATH Intl. in 2017, and has been instructing ever since! Katie loves to share her passion for horses with the people she works with, and is usually the first person to engage with families and volunteers at ANT. She has a cat named Murphy and a horse named Scotty. She loves craft beer, a good novel, deep conversations with friends and experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Kelsy Hartmann / Barn Manager
Kelsy joined the ANT team in 2016. She graduated from WWU with a Bachelor of Science in biology (pre-veterinary emphasis) in 2017. She has cared for many animals in previous work and now enjoys being out in the barnyard caring for ANT’s herd of animals. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, hiking, spending time with horses, and snuggling with her bunny. Kelsy especially loves the way the animals at ANT are viewed and treated- as amazing facilitators for healing. She thinks it is incredible to work with these creatures as they offer healing and joy to those in need.
Haley Didier / PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructor
Haley’s love of horses from a young age propelled her to study Equine Sciences at Colorado State University, where she graduated in 2010. Since then she has worked on various ranches, farms, and animal facilities and has always had an interest in animal therapy. In 2017 Haley completed rigorous training to become a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and now hopes to pursue an Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning certification. Upon moving to Bellingham in 2016, she was instantly drawn to ANT and enjoys the tender, respectful, and reciprocal relationships fostered between animals and humans. She feels extremely honored to be a part of this work and a witness to the immense healing capacity that animals have! If you can’t find Haley in the barnyard, you can find her exploring the beautiful wilderness surrounding Bellingham, mountain biking with friends, playing in lakes & rivers, or setting her creativity free through her love of painting. Haley also has a passion for traveling in search of adventure and experiences that feed her sense of wonder.
DIANNA MILLER / Instructor
Dianna brings 23 years of horsemanship experience to ANT, having grown up riding horses in Bellingham before receiving a B.A. in Recreation Management & Leadership from WWU. She became a professional cowgirl and has guided all over the United States on private ranches, in national parks, and on wild horse ranches in the Dakotas. Dianna owned & operated a trail riding business in Whatcom County and provided lessons along the Nooksack River. She is passionate about helping people explore recreation & leisure through equestrian experiences, whether observing a wild horse herd in their natural environment, or riding across the badlands on a good saddle horse. She finds that horses and nature promote emotional healing and wellbeing, and she wants to share the joy with others.
JACK AGUIRRE / Therapist
Joaquin (Jack) Aguirre M.A., LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving youth & veterans at ANT. He has provided counseling to at-risk children/adults and their families for 22 years in hospitals, foster care, and private practice settings. He also holds certificates in Biofeedback and Stress Management, and has trained as a Trauma Response Specialist. Joaquin loves to fish and ride horses, and enjoys spending quality time with friends.
SUE SWANK / Bookkeeper
Bio coming soon!