Valerie A. Jackson Chairman of the Board. Grew up in Western Washington and graduated high school in Port Angeles. She has lived in Alaska, Massachusetts and Colorado, moving back to Washington in 2002. Her education and experience in the electronics industry eventually lead to a career in Gaming. She is now the Slot Manager of 7 Cedars Casino. Valerie has been in love with horses for as long as she can remember. One of her earliest memories is as a five year old sitting on her dad’s lap in tears because she hadn’t been born a horse. Her father, made a comment that she would never forget, he said, “ if you had been born a horse you might not get a nice owner, but since you were a person you will be able to help horses instead” that statement helped shape the woman she was to become. She received her first pony at the age of 9, a Shetland named Shorty. A pony will teach a child many things, among them are trust, patience and large helping of humility, they can make or break a horse person for life. When Valerie met Diane Royall in 2005, they instinctively inspired each others calling to help horses. Together, from their own back yards, horse trailers, trucks and household budgets, they have helped approximately 200 horses get out of neglectful or unwanted situations; providing medical help, rehabilitation and placement into new homes. They have helped many horse owners as well; from assisting with basic understanding the their horses needs, to not being able to afford to feed them or just having too many to care for themselves.
Diane Royall Vice Chairman of the Board. At the age of ten Diane received as a gift an untrained Shetland pony named Corky. That was the beginning of her love affair with horses. She joined 4-H and other local riding clubs and learned as much as she could about the care, feeding and training of horses. Diane has also been involved with horse rescue and equine related education for most of her life. Diane’s first rescue involved a barn full of horses and a pony. Too young to know what was wrong with the horse, Diane sought help and discovered the horses were in different stages of colic from being fed silage, which is not a proper feed. Thus began Diane’s life-long mission to help horses in need, a mission that has spanned over forty-five years and thousands of dollars of her own money. In 1989, Diane began working with Barbara Cross of the Life is for Everything (LIFE) Foundation. The foundation, working with holding facilities in Ridgecrest, California, was involved with the plight of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustangs. Diane’s facility, located nearby, received mustangs that did not qualify for adoption due to illness, injury or temperament. She also took in slaughter bound horses and many donated or relinquished horses. Diane also offered her services to several county wide Animal Control facilities as well as Animal Shelters—assisting them with collecting larger animals and at risk horses. Sometimes those animals would be returned to the owners, some were held at Diane’s facility pending court resolution, and others would be permanently removed from their abusive owners. Diane always made room at her facility to lessen the burden on local agencies—it made the difference between a horse doomed to abuse or worse–slaughter or a horse living out its life in a loving home. Diane moved to Washington in 2005 with the intention of retiring from the business of rescue. She wished to enjoy her life with a few of her own personal horses on eight acres of paradise in Sequim, Washington. But there is always a need and Diane inevitably got involved with rescuing horses all over the Olympic Peninsula. With the help of our volunteers and the public, ETS and O.P.E.N will offer education and therapy for all who are interested. Watch our calendar to keep tabs of this busy woman as she attends other equine related seminars, classes and continuing education programs all with the sole purpose of helping horses and humans live fuller more productive lives. Of course this all started with a little Shetland pony named Corky.
Steve Lange Treasurer After four years in the Navy, Steve graduated from the University of Arizona with an accounting degree in 1965. His business career included working for Goodyear, Abbott Laboratories and finally General Tire (now Continental Tire), with assignments in Sweden, Jamaica, Venezuela and Tanzania. He also traveled extensively to Mexico, Ecuador, Morocco and Ireland while working as an international auditor. Steve and his wife Julie moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 1999, and achieved one of their main goals by developing a small organic farm here on the Olympic Peninsula. Since arriving on the Olympic Peninsula Steve was Finance Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula for over 2 years, and has been providing accounting services to several area nonprofit organizations for the last 10 years. Steve took up running with his wife some years ago, and has run several marathons and numerous other races. He expects to keep running for many years.