Staff

Randi Gardner, Interim Director/Hunt Seat Team Coach

Randi GardnerRandi 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 many 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/Events Coordinator

Carolyn KillewaldCarolyn 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.

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. When not in the Held Center office, she can often be found out working with her young horse in the barn. Killewald currently resides in Concord, MI with her family.

Adam D’Agostino, Western Team Coach

Most recently an Associate Lecturer in Equine Business Management and Business Management and the Head Western Coach of the Equestrian Team at Cazenovia College (NY), Adam D'Agostino joined the Held Center team in July of 2018. Most recently, he coached the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Individual Open Reining National Champion, who also placed third in the AQHA High Point Rider competition and advanced the Cazenovia Western Team to AQHA Trophy competition at the 2017 IHSA National Championship.

Under D'Agostino's direction, Cazenovia also advanced riders to the NRHA Derby Collegiate Cup and the AQHA World Show Collegiate Challenge.

A graduate of the University of Findlay, D'Agostino got his start in coaching as an intern with the Western Team that captured the 2010 IHSA National Championship and coached the junior varsity Western team for two seasons at Findlay. As a collegiate rider, D'Agostino was a member of the Western teams that finished as the Reserve National Champion in 2008 and the National Champion in 2009. Individually, he was the National Champion in AQHA Advanced Western Horsemanship in 2008 and 2009.

A member of several equestrian organizations, including the AQHA Professional Horsemen's Association and Markel American Paint Horse Association (APHA) Professional Horsemen's Association, D'Agostino owns a business specializing in all-around performance horses for show competition and has trained a number of national-level champions and year-end award winners. He has worked for distinguished AQHA Professional Horsemen Nancy Sue Ryan, Scott Jones and David Miller, as well as FEI Driving trainer, Darren Menkins.  Adam also judges Open and 4-H shows and provides clinics on a multitude of topics in the Western industry.

Randi Heathman, Recruitment Coordinator

Randi HeathmanRandi C. Heathman is a 2003 alumna of Albion College. She graduated with a degree in English and a concentration in Mass Communication, then earned her MA in Communication from Spring Arbor University in 2011. Employed in the Albion College office of admission from 2004-2010, she was responsible for recruiting students from a variety of territories across Michigan and along the eastern seaboard, as well as serving as liaison between admission and the equestrian program. In 2010, she transferred to the Held Equestrian Center to assume full responsibility for recruitment and marketing operations, a role she held until 2012.

Since 2012, Heathman has worked in private practice as an independent educational consultant, a job that has allowed her to expand her understanding of both college admissions and intercollegiate equestrian programming – knowledge she brought back to Albion with her in 2016 when she assumed the role of equestrian recruitment coordinator. The job divides her time between the Bonta Admission Center and Held Equestrian Center as she aids communication between prospective students and the equestrian center staff, helps coordinate tours of the equestrian facilities, and plans on- and off-campus recruiting events and outreach. She is also the Equestrian Club's staff advisor.

Outside the office, Heathman competes at FEI dressage aboard her longtime partner Ricochet, with whom she secured her USDF bronze and silver medals and has accumulated a number of local and regional championships. She also assumed the challenges of young horse ownership in 2015 with the purchase of Kashmir H and looks forward to bringing him through the levels. She and her horses reside on her family’s farm in Horton, MI.

Brandon Fuller, Assistant Stable/Grounds Manager

Brandon FullerBrandon Fuller first began working in 2008 at the Held Equestrian Center working as a member of the part-time barn crew. In 2010, Fuller was promoted to the full-time position of assisant stable/grounds manager at the Center. He is responsible for maintaining the grounds and equipment at the facility, coordinating the hay baling operation, mowing and snow removal, and doing much of the general maintenance on the property. His experience working with and around horses is especially useful during much of his day-to-day work, and he often pitches in with barn chores and helps to drag and maintain the arenas.

Ray Ripple, Stable Manager

Kelsey McNair, Assistant Stable Manager