Founder, CEO, Executive Director
Laurie is a bright bubbly blonde who grew up in Minnesota loving children and adoring horses. Although she didn't have a horse of her own until she was well into adulthood, she knew that somehow she had to combine her two passions in a way that would help the world become a better place.
First and foremost a mother and grandmother, Laurie's natural sense of nurture is just one of the attributes she brings to Spirit Therapies. She is entirely invested not only in children's recovery and therapy, but also in their day-to-day lives. Every rider has a special place in Laurie's heart, and if you look closely, it's not uncommon to see a tear fall from her eyes when one of "her kids" has a breakthrough is a session.
Clifford Bynum was born in San Bernardino California in 1953 and moved to Las Vegas in 1967 with his family. Clifford and Debra were married in 1975 and celebrate their 36 wedding anniversary in 2012. They were married 25 years when they adopted their daughter Callie as a new born who is now 12 years old.
Callie has "Anglemans Syndrome" which is a genetic birth defect with symptoms of epilepsy and sensory challenges.
Cliff was employed in the mortgage lending industry for 23 years and since 2006 has been a care giver for his Mother and also involved in the Health industry as the owner of a Juice Plus+ franchise, helping people get healthy with whole food nutrition, changing lifestyles to prevent disease and if they chose to create a very lucrative business of their own. Cliff is also very involved with his church, River of Life Ministries, as a Minister, Worship Leader and heads a Men's Ministry.
I am 46 years old, I moved to las vegas in 2007, started to volunteer in 2010 fall when I started school. I work full time at BrooksBrothers at the Forum shop at Caesars and am a part time student at College of Southern Nevada. My goal is to get a degree in Special Education and to become an instructor at Spirit Therapies.
Spirit Therapies is a great place to volunteer and work, and the more I get involved the more I want to do. I get great rewards from watching the riders as they progress in their riding skills and there has been several times I got goose bumps from seeing how far they have come. I enjoy working with the horses and the riders as well with the Spirit Therapies staff and volunteers. Laurie has done a awesome job getting this far and I am proud to say I look forward to every time I volunteer. Being the new VP on the board will help me broaden my experience and become more involve with the organization.
I moved to Las Vegas from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in August 2009 and found Spirit Therapies my first week here. My husband and I had volunteered for an equine therapy center in Texas and I knew it was something that I wanted to continue to be involved with. I have a disabled nephew and a close family friend who both benefited from equine therapy, and I have long been a supporter. I love being involved in helping disabled children and adults and seeing the progress they make. I am also an animal lover with some horse experience, having "leased" horses for a few years when we lived in central Illinois.
I am a mid-westerner originally from Kansas City, but since I married Jeff nearly 30 years ago, we've moved all over the country. We have 2 grown daughters, one of whom is studying to be a veterinarian. I currently work part-time as an accountant for a property management company. When I'm not working or volunteering at Spirit Therapies, I enjoy playing golf and hiking.
My childhood was spent as a part-time cowgirl in Bakersfield, CA, where I learned to ride horses with the best of them! Following my father's footsteps into the legal field, I pursued a career as a paralegal, working in various types of law. I relocated to Las Vegas in 1997, and continued my legal career at Mpower Communications, a local telephone company, where I managed the Legal Compliance Department. I enjoyed my time at Mpower and loved most aspects of my job. One of the more interesting parts of my job was handling confidential legal investigations, and facilitating wiretaps that were ordered by law enforcement agencies around the country.
Throughout my life, I have had a love of horses, and a soft spot in my heart for helping people in need. I found Spirit Therapies, and it was a perfect fit! I am thrilled to be able to use my love of horses to help the children who come to Spirit for their therapy. As a young girl, I was lucky enough to have been given my own horse, and that horse became my childhood. At Spirit, I see the wonderful relationships developing between the "Spirit kids" and our amazing horses. Watching these bonds develop, and the miracles that occur, truly fills my heart. Volunteering at Spirit Therapies fulfills both my love of being around horses and my desire to help make a difference in the lives of our deserving kids.