About Emerald M Board of Directors                                                             

By Lisa Michelangelo, MPT, Executive Director


The Board of Directors of Emerald M are a talented and knowledgeable group of individuals who clearly understand and are committed to the mission of Hope, Renewal, and Growth- through the use of equine assisted therapies.  Each board member is willing to share their professional expertise and time to facilitate, maintain, and develop the programs we offer to our communities.  

We are indeed fortunate to present:


Lisa Michelangelo

Executive Director

“When I realized there was a facet to my profession where I could combine my love for horses with my love for Physical Therapy, I was all in.” 

Lisa graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1998 with a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences and a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy.  She began her professional career in Florida where she has practiced in a variety of settings for nearly 21 years. 

Motivated by her love of horses, Lisa extended her education by attending the Level 1 Hippotherapy Course through the American Hippotherapy Association.  That was the beginning of Emerald M.  In 2014, with support and encouragement from her husband and two daughters, Lisa decided to combine her passion for physical therapy with her love of horses.

“Many times, incredible things happen here that we cannot always explain.  Emerald M is a bridge.  Our participants come here seeking physical and/or emotional help.  When they arrive, many don’t have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish or how to get there.  Over time, they see hope, they have found people to guide and support them, and they begin setting clear goals.  We provide Hope to anyone who walks through our gates.”

Bob Letzeisen

Vice Chair

“When lightening struck at the farm and some of the most treasured assets were lost, it was clear I needed to help. I knew in my heart something above and beyond was needed to help with the recovery. So I started a Go Fund Me Page to support the work of Emerald M and the deserving children it serves.”

Bob’s commitment to serve on the board was born out of his love of children especially those who need some extra support. As a Veteran, an active member of his Church, St. Mark the Evangelist in New Tampa, and as a member and Past Faithful Navigator of the Knights of Columbus, all helped fuel his desire to contribute his considerable experience and expertise to help achieve the vision of Emerald M.

Bob has been involved in Information Technology since 1985. He has a wide range of experience from Sales to CEO.  As an entrepreneur, Bob founded two software firms in the Tampa Bay area.  PatienTree, was the
first ADA 508 compliant platform of its kind dedicated to in-patient care and entertainment services at the hospital bedside. The second, Technology Fusions, focused on automating field service business process.

Bob’s wife, Cynthia, also serves on the Emerald M Fund Raising and Event Committees.  Both utilize their vast array of skills in the telecommuting workforce. Cynthia is a Regional Sales Director with Cathedral Corporation in Rome, NY. Bob is a Software Executive with Mi-Corporation in Durham, NC.  Bob is a US Navy Veteran who server aboard the USS Independence CV-62 as a Machinist Mate and extremely proud of their son who is serving in the US Air Force. They also have two married daughters and are now officially, “empty nesters” –except for Sam, their German Short Haired Pointer.

Jim MacAulay


“I have a strong belief in the mission of Emerald M, the services they provide, and their goal to expand services to veterans. I believe my deep experience in vocational rehabilitation as well as veterans services can help to enhance and enrich the work of Emerald M in this area.”

James MacAulay held the position of Chief of the Vocational Rehabilitation Section of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS) at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida until his retirement in 2014. James was appointed to the Veterans’ Administration Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation National Advisory Board from 1993 to 2004 representing vocational rehabilitation services within the VA Healthcare System. He has specialized training and work experience in the provision of vocational rehabilitation, benefits, services and resources to active duty service members, veterans, and their families.

“I hope to be able to apply the knowledge and skills I have acquired over the course of my entire career to provide education and outreach to veterans activities and programs at Emerald M.”

 Jack Somoano


“I am a first-hand witness of how Emerald M has helped people with a wide variety of challenges. I wanted to do my part to help in any way I could. So, I accepted the invitation to join the Board of Directors.”

Jack Somoano has been a respected member of the Wesley Chapel business community for 11 years. After being a stay-at-home-dad for 9 years, Jack decided that he wanted to follow his passion for fitness and start helping others achieve their goals. Eight years ago he started his own fitness company, 1 Hour Fitness, Inc.

Jack enjoys seeing his clients transform their lives mentally and physically. Jack is always ready and willing to help those who also have a passion to serve others in need. He joined the Board of Emerald M to be a part of a volunteer community dedicated to helping others. 

“My personal experience as a father of a child with limitations has helped me to develop different perspectives and strategies on how I can best serve Emerald M achieve their goals.”

 Chuck Savko

Board Member

“Lisa Savko Michelangelo, Executive Director of Emerald M, is amazing! Of course I might say that but she truly is amazing in our region. She sets a goal and one way or another, she makes it happen, regardless of how much work and effort is required.”

Chuck is a retired businessman who has learned that skills transfer. He is an entrenapeur. As a retired businessman from Columbus, Ohio, and after selling his businesses, he relocated to Wesley Chapel, Florida. Now anxious to contribute to Emerald M, he continues to apply many of the principles of business management to his work on the Board.

Now retired, Chuck and his wife Gina, proud parents of two daughters and grandparents of four grandchildren, are witnesses to the extraordinary vision and capacity of the Executive Director Lisa Savko, their daughter. “Lisa and her amazing volunteers bring hope and a renewed sense of self and growth to numerous children. I am witness to the fact that miracles happen.”

Mary Jo MacAulay

Board Member

“I accepted the invitation to serve on the Board of Directors of Emerald M in order to support the mission of this amazing organization and to assist with finding ways to broaden the outreach of services provided.”

Mary Jo retired in 2009 from a position in Healthcare Management with emphasis on accreditation activities, standards compliance and quality management, a position she held for 15 years at the VA Boston Healthcare System.  Prior to this, she held positions as Staff Physical Therapist, Chief of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Service Coordinator with the Department of Veterans Affairs providing direct patient care and physical therapy services. Her entire professional career was spent with the VA at hospitals in Syracuse New York, Tampa, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts.  With a BS in Physical Therapy and a Masters in Public Health, Mary Jo has extensive academic preparation and practical experience.

Mary Jo is a seasoned community volunteer.  She participates with St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and Advent Health Wesley Chapel.  Her volunteer activities now extend to Emerald M as she assists with identifying ways to broaden the outreach of services to veterans.  “With my background in serving veterans for 35 years through the VA Hospital System, I hope to assist in expanding Emerald M services to veteran populations

Candy L. Nathe

Board Member

“I have personally witnessed the transformation of Emerald M and its programming from the beginning. I feel privileged to be a part of that transformation. I have accepted the invitation to join the Board because this is where God wants me to be.”

Candy is the Broker/Owner  of Florida Heritage Real Estate Group, LLC. She is a native Floridian whose family settled in the Pasco, Hernando, Sumter County area in 1864. She is an expert in real estate with a history of success and a reputation for integrity.

“I have helped with the ‘ground work’ from the beginning. I believe my knowledge of the area is an asset to the work of Emerald M.”

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