Danielle Menteer, Director/Instructor
Previously an instructor and coach at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, Danielle Menteer joined the staff of the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center in July of 2007 as associate director and was named director in 2012. She holds a B.S. degree in Equine Studies from Lake Erie and represented the Lake Erie Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) hunt seat team at the National Finals during her time as a student there.
Prior to her arrival in Albion, Menteer worked in eastern Ohio as a professional trainer and stable manager, working with horses and riders in dressage, hunters, and jumpers. Her experience is extensive: she has successfully competed on the Florida winter circuit, shown hunters and jumpers in "A" rated shows, and earned her United States Dressage Federation (USDF) bronze and silver medals in recognized dressage competitions, competing through the FEI level. Most recently, she graduated from the USDF "L" education program with distinction.
Menteer's duties at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center include development of the programs and facilities, event coordination and planning, oversight of all equestrian staff, recruitment of future students, and instruction of current students. She is also the coach of the Albion Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team. Under her leadership and tutelage, the team earned National Finals berths in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013, and individual riders were selected in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Randi Gardner, Associate Director/Instructor
A Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) master-level instructor, Randi Gardner joined the Held Center staff in October of 2011. Previously an instructor, stable manager, and team coach at YMCA Camp Letts Equestrian Center just outside of Washington, D.C., Gardner has a wealth of experience working with horses and riders in multiple disciplines, including hunt seat, western, eventing, dressage, and even polocrosse. Prior to her work at Camp Letts, she was the barn manager and head riding instructor at Reverie Acres Riding Academy, the first United States Pony Club-approved riding center in Maryland. Gardner was also the center administrator for the USPC program at Reverie Acres, as well as the leader for the stable’s 4-H club.
Gardner’s role as associate director includes ongoing support of the director’s responsibilities, lesson instruction, oversight of the barn staff, and marketing expertise for recruitment purposes. She is also the coach of the Albion College hunt seat team. Since coming on board as coach in 2011, Gardner has had individuals and the team compete at the IHSA regional, zone and national levels. The Albion College hunt seat team was the champion regional team in 2013 and 2014, and Gardner coached the team's first individual rider to IHSA Nationals in 2014.
Carolyn Killewald, Office Manager/Show Secretary
Carolyn Killewald is a graduate of Albion College and holds a B.A. in English. She was previously employed as a magazine editor for a trade association in Jackson, MI before being hired at the Held Equestrian Center in August 2008. Killewald's role at the Held Center includes planning events and projects, marketing, recruitment, accounts receivables, purchasing, and serving as a liaison between the Center, students, community members, and faculty/staff of Albion College. During horse shows at the Held Center, Killewald serves as the show secretary, coordinating competitors' entries and fees, issuing awards, and tracking results. She also serves as the advisor for the Albion College Equestrian Club.
A lifetime equestrian, Killewald competed in the U.S. Pony Club and eventually placed her focus on dressage. She has competition experience in eventing and USDF recognized dressage shows and regional championships. Killewald currently resides in Concord, MI with her family.
Denise Webber, Instructor
Denise Webber brings over 45 years of riding experience to her role as coach of the Albion College western team. As owner and head trainer of Nottawa Paint Horses, LLC in nearby Marshall, Michigan, Webber is active as both a trainer and a judge for 4-H, open, and Pony of the Americas (POA) horse show circuits.
As coach of the Albion College team, Webber's riders have won multiple high point and reserve high point awards not only as a team, but also as individuals. Riders from the Albion College western team have competed at IHSA Nationals as individuals in 2009, 2012 and 2014. Webber's students have also made appearances at the IHSA Semi-Finals every year since 2009. In just a few years, Webber has built the western program into a top contender in IHSA Zone 6, Region 4, consistently qualifying her riders for post-season competition in the Regional, Zone, and National finals.
Eve Newton, Instructor
Eve Newton was hired by Albion College in September 2012 as a riding instructor specializing in the hunter/jumper discipline. She divides her time between the Held Center and also teaching lessons at Windsong Stable in Battle Creek and Fox Brush Farm in Dewitt, MI. She has been an instructor at these two facilities since 1991, during which time her students have consistently qualified for various national hunter and equitation finals (USEF, ASPCA Maclay and USET).
As a rider, Newton has had numerous successes in the competition arena, winning awards in Junior Hunter, Junior Jumper, and Equitation throughout the Midwest. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Bowling Green State University, and she worked as a math teacher before focusing all of her attention on teaching riders and horses. Newton currently resides in Okemos, MI with her family.