Centaur Stride Board of Directors
President & Co-Founder: Claudia Monroe
A resident of Westfield since 1974, Claudia is a physical therapist (since 1989), specializing in pediatrics and neurological disorders. Together with husband, Harry, they founded Centaur Stride Therapeutic Horseback Riding.
With a passion for community service and the belief that all people are charged with the social responsibility of making positive contributions to society, Claudia has taken the roles of Girl Scout Leader for 6 years, Jaycee Member for 10 years (President for 2 years), Kiwanis Member for 2 years, and President of Centaur Stride since it opened (1991). Claudia is pro-active, and together with many great and creative friends, nurtures and develops ideas to address community needs and facilitate the next step... to make ideas become reality. She is the mother of Karlyn and Simon.
Vice President: Karlyn Monroe
Originally from Westfield, NY, and moved to White Plains, NY in 1999, where she currently resides. She brings extensive marketing experience to the organization and holds her Bachelors in Business Management with a minor in Marketing. She grew up with horses- and is an experienced equestrian. Karlyn currently works in NYC in the Brand Management field. She is President of The BIJOU Group, LLC. and Founder of The Chautauqua Bon Vivant- A Luxury Experience of Culinary, Wine & Spirits.
Treasurer: Claire Tomassini
Currently resides in Jamestown, NY, with her husband Ray and two children, Megan and Matthew. She works FT at the Arthur R. Gren Co. and has been with the company for over 20 years. Claire has also served as corresponding secretary for Lincoln Elementary School PTA, a member of the JHS Girls Soccer Sports Booster Club, Co-Chaired the 2006 JHS After-Grad committee and for 11 years helped with whatever was needed for the Lakewood YMCA Gymnastics Team--including hosting Nationals in 2002 at the Niagara Falls Convention Center.
Her son, Matthew, is a rider at Centaur Stride where he receives weekly therapy while riding and is also learning how to care for the horse (and is thoroughly enjoying himself!)
A resident of Dunkirk, Connie is office manager for her husband’s automotive business. Connie is an active Girl Scout Leader, parent of a child with a disability and very active in community service. Connie has a special interest in optimizing opportunities and capabilities, as well as acceptance, of people with disabilities. Connie has been a volunteer at Centaur Stride since 2003.
Jennifer Smith is the mother of two special needs boys. Since 2009, she has watched their joy and personal growth with each ride at Centaur Stride Therapeutic Horseback Riding. As a board member, she hopes to utilize her training in public relations and writing to raise awareness and funding to ensure that other families can benefit from Centaur Stride for years to come.
Born in Dunkirk and a resident of Chautauqua County her entire life, she is a wife and mother of 4, grandmother of 8. Rody works in customer service for an international dental materials company. She has been a volunteer at Centaur stride since 1995 and loves the interactions of riders, staff, horses and families. She has witnessed the growth, joy and therapeutic benefits first hand over the years and believes the possibilities at Centaur Stride are phenomenal.
Willowe earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Forensic Anthropology from Mercyhurst College. A resident of Clymer since 2000, she and her husband Scott, have two daughters, Rose and Holly. Rose has spina bifida and has been a rider at Centaur Stride for the past 8 years. Willowe is very involved with family, community and church. She has held various officer positions in community and church organizations and is active in fundraising projects. Like other parents of children with disabilities, Willowe knows what a special place Centaur Stride is to all of the riders and families and is committed to helping the programs grow, along with the riders, to their full potential.
Meet our Centaur Stride Staff