Meet our Amazing Team

Lisa Michelangelo; Founder, Executive Director, Physical Therapist

Lisa Michelangelo, MPT

Founder / Executive Director / Physical Therapist

Lisa is the founder of Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center.  The idea was born when she discovered she could combine her love of horses with her passion for physical therapy.  So, with the encouragement and support of her husband, Danny, and daughters, Nina and Sophia, the farm opened for business in 2014.

Lisa holds a master’s degree in physical therapy from Duquesne University and has been practicing for over 25 years.  She has experience in clinical and non-clinical environments as well as working with adult and pediatric populations.

As a child, Lisa spent a lot of time at the racetrack with her grandmother cheering on the family’s racehorses.  She loves sharing the stories and backgrounds of our therapy horses and seeing the special relationships that are formed between our horses and our participants.  When you see Lisa at Derby Day, ask her about the illustrious acting careers of Soldier Boy and Illusion.

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Lora Clements, BA

Director of Operations

Lora’s path to Emerald M was a bit curvy. It started with her simply being the parent of a participant.  We later invited her to join our board of directors.  She then worked with us as a business consultant, which resulted in her being hired as our director of operations.

Lora graduated from Florida State University, and she brings a great deal of professional experience to the farm.  As a product of a military upbringing, she is extremely adaptable, organized, and excellent at building relationships. 

Her favorite horse at Emerald M has always been and will always be Calvin.  When she’s not at the farm, Lora enjoys time with her family, cheering on her beloved Florida State Seminoles, and traveling.  Next time you see Lora, ask her about her first experience grooming a horse.

 

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Nina Michelangelo; Bookkeeper

Nina Michelangelo, BA

Bookkeeper

Nina is the eldest daughter of our founder, Lisa.  She has been present since our inception and has filled many roles at the farm over the years.  However, she’s recently moved from the barn to the office as her primary responsibility is our bookkeeping and financial management.

She is a graduate of St. Leo University where she earned her bachelor’s in accounting with a minor in business management.  Nina is working towards her Master of Science in accounting to obtain her CPA license. 

She has been riding horses for over 17 years and competes in dressage with her horse Cleo.  She also enjoys painting, drawing, and photography.  The next time you see Nina, ask her about the history of our logo.

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Sophia Michelangelo

Barn Manager

Sophia, the youngest daughter of our founder, Lisa, grew up with Emerald M as her backyard and is now responsible for managing our barn, which is a role she does not take lightly.  Her mindfulness, work ethic, and drive are unparalleled, and we love the energy she brings to the team. 

She is studying social work at St. Leo University and intends to obtain her counseling license upon graduation.  Her role on the farm continues to evolve and we look forward to what the future holds.

Sophia has been riding horses since the age of seven and used to ride competitively, but now rides for the simple pleasure of it.  She is an avid baker (her favorite thing to bake is pecan pie made with homegrown pecans), a thoughtful gift-giver, a frequent movie watcher, and she loves spending time with her family.  If you get a chance, ask her about her hidden talent…hula-hooping.

Sophia Michelangelo; Barn Manager / Horse Caretaker
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Megan Ogburn; Child Development Specialist

Megan Ogburn, BSEd

Reading Interventionist

Megan came to Emerald M through our volunteer program, she then interned with us, and we loved her so much we couldn’t let her go.  She has been working with us since 2020 and has grown in her role as a leader and educator.  Megan is a graduate of the University of Florida where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education sciences and completed the prescribed course of study for the certificate of Dyslexia.  She is also certified in Horse Powered Reading® and is responsible for implementing and growing this program at Emerald M. 

Megan brings extensive equine experience to Emerald M with her 20+ years as a hunter jumper.  Also, she’s a big fan of Calvin and S’mores, but she will never let the others know.  

When she’s not at the farm, Megan enjoys saltwater fishing and cheering on her beloved Florida Gators.  She also has an affinity for chicken nuggets, especially from Chik-fil-a, and chocolate.  Next time you see Megan on Derby Day, ask her to show you some of her dance moves.

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Avery Tulley, MMS, BS, PTA

Physical Therapy Assistant

Avery started with Emerald M as a volunteer and then became an intern while going to school for her PTA at Rasmussen University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience from Colorado State University and a master’s in medical sciences with an emphasis in neuroscience from the University of South Florida.  Her background and experience in neuroscience have been a tremendous addition to our team’s skillset.

She has been around horses her entire life and was trained in showmanship, western pleasure, and rodeo before deciding that the fast pace of rodeo was what she enjoyed most. She started competing in barrel racing at the age of five, on her big bay named “Joe”, and has been hooked ever since.

What Avery loves most about Emerald M is being able to watch our participants develop relationships with our horses, which allows them the opportunity to gain insight into who they are through their interactions with our horses.  The next time you see Avery, ask her if she has a favorite horse at Emerald M.

Avery Scott; Barn Manager / Horse Handler
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Laura Henn

Laura Henn, ATC, PTA

Certified Athletic Trainer / Physical Therapy Assistant

Laura’s journey to Emerald M began as a volunteer in 2022.  Her experience as an athletic trainer and physical therapy assistant has been a fantastic addition to our team.  Few things surprise Laura at Emerald M given that she grew up on a farm in Indiana, has been riding horses since childhood, and participated in 4H for 10 years.

She attended the University of Evansville where she earned her associate degree in physical therapy and her bachelor’s degree in exercise science.  She is responsible for creating and implementing various equine-assisted programs at Emerald M and always thinks of new, creative ways to engage our participants.

Laura has two daughters, is a passionate hockey fan, and is an even more passionate Disney fan.    When you see Laura on Derby Day, ask her about her favorite travel destination.

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Raven Perkins

Barn Assistant

Raven’s journey to Emerald M is exceptional because she started as one of our participants.  Her love of horses, diligence, and team mentality make her an excellent Barn Assistant.  In addition, her experience in our programs gives us the unique opportunity to gain insight through the eyes of a participant.

She is a native Floridian, loves pineapple, and hails from a large family, which is quite helpful when prioritizing tasks.  Raven is a member of 4H where she shows prized pigs and cows. However, when you ask her to pick her favorite, it’s always the cow!

Although Raven is partial to Rambo, she loves all the horses at Emerald M and her favorite thing about the farm is being a part of our participant’s growth!  When you see Raven on Derby Day, ask her to tell you when her birthday is.

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