Deenie McKeever - Founder & Visionary Deenie McKeever has devoted herself to helping youth and adults SHINE for decades. Over the years, her gifts as an organizer, volunteer trainer, and event planner have contributed to her legacy.
Since discovering her organizational talents, Deenie has worked to develop vision, camaraderie, and passion in a variety of organizations, institutions, churches, charitable groups, and community agencies. Her zest for life, is matched by her indomitable spirit to make things happen and to bring people together, especially for the enrichment of military personnel, amputees, and prosthetics and orthotic device users. Following in her father's footsteps, (Dan McKeever) Deenie's Carpe Diem spirit has truly blessed people around the world.
This spirit came through in her motivation to help launch league play in ALTA in the 70's, her involvement in various domestic and international missions in how she helped during the 80's, preparations for success of the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta in the 90's, and for the past 8 years, through her funding and foundation of McKeever's First Ride.
Dr. Laurie Johnson - Co-Founder & Community Relations Director Dr. Laurie Johnson is a Developmental Psychologist and motivational speaker who has partnered with Deenie since the earliest days of McKeever's First Ride. Since then, Laurie has offered her skills as an organizer, writer, TEEN McKeever's Facilitator, and caregiving advisor. She is an award winning writer and the author of Dr. J's Field Series: TEENS 101, Vol. 1 and 2 and Marriage 101.
Laurie established the Skills for Living Institute, Inc. in 1988, in order to help adolescents cope with stress and change, while helping adults create the best possible lives, relationships, and careers. She has taught at several colleges and universities, and produced a video series for the Georgia State Department of Education. She has served as a consultant for Piedmont Hospital, North Fulton Hospital, Redmond Regional Hospital, Floyd Medical Center, and the Heyman Hospice Center. She can be heard twice weekly, on the "Skills for Living" show on WLAQ TalkRadio AM 1410. As Director of Community Relations for McKeever's First Ride, Laurie enjoys helping participants stay connected after their day at McKeever's, for the benefit of fellowship, support, and networking. Her website is www.drlauriejohnson.com.
Ed Dabney - Dabney Gentle Horsemanship
Ed Dabney is an internationally acclaimed clinician, presenting horsemanship and riding clinics all over the US and in Europe. Ed has had over 30 years experience working with horses in the ranching, training and movie industries, including the award winning tv show Sleepy Hollow.
In 2007, Ed was named Champion of the East Coast Trainer Challenge Series by Equine Extravaganza. Ed was honored to have been selected by the University of Georgia to teach their senior level Young Horse Training course. His training articles have appeared in many major national magazines. Ed produces instructional videos and the “Gentle Horsemanship” TV program which has been seen on RFD-TV and Blue Highways TV.
Ed's blending of natural horsemanship and classical equitation has made an indelible mark with students all across the United States and now also in Europe, drawing the attention of serious riders searching for the lightest touch and the deepest connection with their horses irrespective of breed or discipline.