Meet Our Board of Directors
Erika McEneny is the founder of Changing Leads Foundation, an idea that is rooted in years of horseback riding and helping others. Erika has loved horses and riding since she was 10 years old, a passion that she incorporates into her life even today. Growing up, her youth was spent in the barns of New Jersey as she learned the value and skills of not only riding horses, but also taking care of them. As she continued to grow, so did her love of the world of equestrian. Following high school she attended Lehigh University where she rode on the Northeast circuit and competed in the Medal and ASPCA Maclay Finals at the National Horse Show in 2004. She attributes her extensive experience caring for horses, as well as training and competing in shows, for developing her sense of drive, passion, and empathy. The confidence and independence Erika learned from the equestrian world has been instrumental in shaping the woman she has become. Erika currently works in Investor Relations at Mudrick Capital Management, L.P. a distressed credit hedge fund based in New York City.
Jessica Herlihy grew up riding horses in Middletown and Colts Neck, New Jersey. She volunteered at Special People United to Ride throughout her youth and was awarded as Junior Volunteer of the Year in 2001. She attended Lehigh University, where she was the co-captain of the equestrian team and graduated with a major in International Relations and minors in Business and Journalism. Jessica earned her J.D. in 2013 at the University of Virginia School of Law, and is now an associate in the Asset Management Group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York City.
Ashley Forbes grew up in Westchester, New York and has always had an affinity towards horseback riding, taking lessons from the time she was three through her early college days. Although not involved in competition, she enjoyed being with the horses and the excitement brought through being with these animals. Ashley attended Lehigh University and was a member of the horseback riding team under the leadership of fellow board member, Jessica Herlihy. She graduated from Lehigh with a major in Marketing and double minor in Mass Communications and Graphic Design. Since graduating from Lehigh in 2011, Ashley has been working at Discovery Communications and is currently Senior Manager, Corporate Relations. Ashley brings her event planning expertise to various elements of Changing Leads and has brought the Changing Leads Foundation organization to the next level.
Ashley Simon grew up riding horses and competed throughout her life, from the short stirrup all the way to the Maclay Finals at Madison Square Garden. Ashley spent most of her “junior years” training with top hunter professional Scott Stewart out of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York. Having spent so much time at the barn and horse shows in her formative years, Ashley knows firsthand the numerous benefits that can be derived from horses and horsemanship and is passionate about Changing Leads’ mission! Ashley graduated from Columbia University in 2004 where she completed a double major in Economics and Art History. She is a Senior Consultant at Navint Partners, specializing in Investment Bank Regulatory Compliance. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Scott and daughter Daley.
Sara Africk graduated from Cornell University in 2010 with a BS in Operations Research and Information Engineering. Sara’s interest in riding is long seeded; she started riding and competing at age 5, and continues to ride and compete her two horses, Maggie and Vana, year round. The passion for horses spreads across her family, as her mother and sister also ride and compete. As for other activities, Sara is involved in the IMentor program, a school-based mentoring program that empowers high school students in low-income communities to graduate high school and succeed in college. She is currently in year four of her partnership with her mentee. Originally from New Jersey, Sara now lives in Chelsea with her sister.
Carter Mann grew up in Richmond, Virginia and was introduced to horses at a young age. She started riding at age 5, and was competitively showing by age 10. Carter rode throughout her time at University of Virginia and also volunteered with an independent non-profit organization that introduced children with both physical and cognitive needs to the many benefits of horsemanship. Although finding time to ride in New York has become more difficult, she continues to stay involved at every opportunity. Carter graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007 with a B.A in Economics and a Minor in Sociology, and currently works at Mudrick Capital Management, L.P. as an Executive and Marketing Assistant.
Katherine Baggett Thornburgh
Katherine grew up riding horses in Tallahassee, Florida, competing as a junior in hunter-jumper and equitation competitions around the Southeast. During college, Katherine competed on the equestrian team at the University of Virginia where she earned a B.A. in Economics and spent her summers as a counselor and riding instructor at Rockbrook Camp for Girls in Brevard, North Carolina. She earned her law degree at Vanderbilt University in 2004 and is a partner with the law firm Engel Thornburgh & McCarney LLP in Manhattan. In her free time, Katherine serves on the Animal Law Committee for the New York City Bar Association, volunteers with various local animal rescue and adoption groups, and continues to compete in show jumping competitions throughout the Northeast and in Wellington, Florida.
Emily grew up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where she was first introduced to horses. She spent most of her childhood at the Dhahran Stables, participating in Pony Club, training with European professionals, and competing in dressage, show jumping, and cross country events. She has great memories of her summers spent riding in Ireland on the fields of Castle Leslie. Emily saw what a positive impact horses had on her upbringing and personal development and is passionate about enabling other children to experience firsthand how horses help build character, leadership, confidence, as well as provide a great sense of community. Emily graduated from Lehigh University and currently works at Russell Investments where she is focused on helping Non-Profit Organizations develop comprehensive investment solutions that closely align with their underlying missions. Previously, she was a Vice President at BlackRock within the Global Client Group. Emily lives in Greenwich, CT with her husband, Chris, and two daughters, Lilly and Molly.
Caitlin has loved horses from a young age. She started riding on a trail around Hyde Park in London at the age of 8, and, after moving back to the US, rode competitively on the hunter and jumper circuit. She worked at barns during the summers in high school and college, and has seen and felt first-hand the benefits of working with horses. She attended the University of Notre dame, where she served as co-President of the equestrian team, and graduated with a degree in English and Political Science with a minor in French. She earned her J.D. in 2013 at Boston University School of Law, and her Masters of Science at the University of Oxford in 2014. She currently works at Writers House, a literary agency, and lives in New York City.