Jill Haag, Executive Director
Jill grew up in Virginia horse country and relocated to the Memphis area in late 2014. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech, and was previously employed as the Executive Director of EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program in Virginia Beach. She was the founding Executive Director of the We Promise Foundation, and served on the Board of Directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern Virginia, as well as the Virginia State Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Jill is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and has been actively involved in the nonprofit industry since 1996.
Jill is married to Doug, and they have two boys, Jack and John. She continues to ride and enjoys spending time with her thoroughbreds, Rhett and Bender.
Sara Zurenko, Program Director and Head Instructor
Sara is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. She studied Business Administration and Economics at Central Piedmont Community College and has been an avid equestrian for more than two decades in a multitude of disciplines, including riding, showing and training. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, mentor and is certified as a PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.
Sara enjoys spending time with her son, Ellison, and daughter, Charlotte.
Kanette Keough, Director of Development
Kanette is a proud graduate of Collierville High School, and she furthered her education by earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Among Kanette's favorite childhood memories are the days spent riding across Collierville on her Appaloosa quarter horse, Swanee. Throughout her professional journey, Kanette has taken on many diverse roles, from owning a successful business to serving as the Vice President of Marketing for The Orpheum Theatre, the President of the Collierville Chamber, and the Executive Director of the West TN Home Builders Association. Beyond her professional pursuits, she has served on various community boards and councils.
Family remains at the heart of Kanette's world. She cherishes every moment spent with her four wonderful children: KellyeAnn, Hanna, Jason, and Haley, and often finds joy in the lively escapades of her beloved Border Collie, Shep.
Lizzie Cash, Marketing and Event Manager
Lizzie was born and raised in Germantown, TN, and moved to the Nashville area in the fall of 2018 after graduating from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing Management. While in Nashville, Lizzie pursued her passion for marketing by gaining experience in the healthcare and IT industries before moving back closer to home. Lizzie has loved horses from a very young age, and has experience volunteering for numerous organizations benefitting individuals with disabilities.
Outside of work, Lizzie enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and walking her dog, Millie.
Meredith Massa, Volunteer Coordinator
Meredith grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and she moved to Memphis in 1987 to attend Christian Brothers University where she graduated with a degree in Telecommunications and Marketing. She worked at Baptist Memorial Health Care for 11 years as a sales representative in their managed care department before becoming a stay at home mom to her 2 boys.
Meredith started riding horses with her parents when she was 2. She began volunteering at Southern Reins in 2019 and enjoys being with our participants, horses and wonderful volunteers.
Meredith lives in Collierville with her husband Joe and two boys, Parker and Carson.
Diane Kirksey, Communications Assistant
Diane was born and raised outside of Memphis in Germantown, TN. She attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville where she received a degree in Recreation and Sport Management with a Therapeutic Concentration with a Minor in Psychology. Diane became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist and has focused on working with adults with various disabilities. Moving back to Memphis, Diane began working as a Recreation Therapist with SRVS serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She began volunteering at Southern Reins where she saw a whole new side of therapeutic activities, and became a PATH Intl. CTRI Instructor in August of 2018.
Diane is married to Reed and they have a son named Logan.
Virginia Roberts, Therapist
Virginia was born and raised in Kingsport, TN. After moving to Memphis for undergraduate studies at the University of Memphis she attended the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where she received a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2009. Since graduating summa cum laude, she has worked in several settings including adult acute care, community-based mental health, home health, and inpatient pediatrics. She, her husband, and their seven children live on their family farm, Maranatha Farms.
Virginia provides occupational therapy services at Southern Reins utilizing equine movement as an effective treatment tool to improve function in daily skills. She has received specialized training through the American Hippotherapy Association and is a PATH Intl. Registered Therapist. She received her AHCB certification in October of 2022.
Alicia Lartigue, Barn Staff
From New Orleans and raised in Memphis, Alicia credits the horse for many life lessons learned. Alicia spent several years at Shelby Farms Stables where she led rides through the wooded trails and helped develop summer camp programs for children to learn the basics of horsemanship and share in the fun of riding. She enjoyed caring for the entire herd of horses at Shelby Farms, as well as for the four resident horses at Graceland, and found it inspiring to see visitors of all ages experience so much joy from interacting with horses.
Alicia began volunteering at Southern Reins as a Sidewalker in January 2019 at both the Collierville and DeSoto campuses, and joined the program as a member of our barn staff in August of 2019.
Austin Cash, Barn Staff
Austin was born in Memphis, TN. He attended the University of Memphis and received his Bachelor of Business Administration with a degree in Management. After graduating college, he knew he wanted to be in a career that helped people. He went to school to become an advanced emergency medical technician and worked for a local fire department.
In 2023, Austin began volunteering at Southern Reins and realized that he had a real passion for working with horses and children. He joined the barn staff at Southern Reins in June of 2023 and is working toward his PATH Intl. CTRI certification.
When he is not at the farm, Austin enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, watching movies, working out, and taking care of his dogs, Pepper and Buddy.
Kasey Brewer, Barn Staff
Kasey is a lifelong Memphis resident and will be graduating from Tennessee Online Public School in May of 2024. Her passion for equestrian sport began when she was 5 years old. She is an avid equestrian dedicated to nurturing the next generation of riders as a children’s riding instructor and camp counselor at several local horse stables.
She is the proud owner of Gideon, a beautiful red roan Appaloosa gelding, who she competes with in hunter/jumper shows throughout the Mid-South.
Outside of her busy barn life, Kasey showcases her artistic side as a talented bass player and singer with the School of Rock in Memphis. She aspires to further her equestrian career as a professional horse trainer and riding instructor.