Hali – Office Manager
Hali has been passionate about horses from a very early age. She started her lifelong equine career riding at the age of seven, becoming a working student at a show barn by the age of nine. From assisting the vets and farriers, to teaching lessons, guiding trails and managing barns, she has always pursued any and every opportunity to continue learning from and about horses. Hali has a degree in fine arts and frequently chooses horses as her subject matter for paintings. She enjoys the outdoors, from swimming and fishing to playing polo. She also grooms four polo ponies during the season.
Nicole – Practice Manager
Nicole grew up in the Chicagoland area, loving horses and riding hunter/jumpers. She took her passion to Colorado State University where she majored in equine science. Post graduation, Nicole gained experience working in several aspects of the equine industry, including: serving
as an Assistant Breeding and Quarantine Manager on a warmblood farm in Florida; installing and training veterinary clinics on digital radiography all over the US and Canada; and serving as an Equine Specialist and Territory Manager for a major pharmaceutical company.
Nicole and her husband have two boys and an English Cream Golden Retriever, Bodhi. Nicole is thrilled to join the NLEP team and looks forward to meeting you.
Lauren – Veterinary Assistant
Lauren has been passionate about animals all her life. So much so that she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Purdue University. Inspired by and following her older sister’s love of horses, she began riding at the age of eight. While she grew up riding in the hunter/jumper discipline, she is open and willing to try new disciplines.
Lauren has four pets at home – two cats (Zack and Eddie) and two dogs (Baxter and Chase). She loves taking her dogs for long walks and cuddling with all her pets at home.
Kyra – Veterinary Assistant
Hi, my name is Kyra. I have luckily been involved in the equine world for my entire life, which I am beyond grateful for seeing as horses truly bring me the most joy. My parents ran a 15 acre boarding and training operation down near Aurora, IL. I also grew up living on Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton, IL for the first half of my life while my father worked on the property and created and coordinated their Volunteer Program. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by horse people and the equine culture from a very young age and have basically been riding since I was born.
My father has always been an Eventer/Combined Training rider so the love and passion for Eventing has been a constant throughout the years. I currently compete at the Novice level with my chestnut Thoroughbred mare, Ginger.
In addition to riding Ginger, I spend my time hanging out with Indy, my husky/shepherd mix, hiking, biking, checking out new music at concerts and trying new beer at breweries across the Midwest. My favorite brewery is Pollyanna in St Charles where I work on the weekends. I enjoy discussing new spirits and beer made in our distillery with our regulars. I also love using the time to be creative by crafting yummy drinks for all who stop by!
Jase – Veterinary Assistant
Jase grew up in Kentucky and had horses around his whole life. He spent 7 years in human nursing, 10 in retail and event management before moving to Illinois and transitioning to equine “nursing.” He enjoys spending time camping and traveling with his fiancé, Shawn and their two boys, Josh and Gio. They love their menagerie of farm animals. They have two Gypsy Vanner horses, Shimmer and Comet. Country music, Hallmark Christmas movies and Broadway musicals are some of his favorite things
Kristen – Veterinary Assistant
Kristen has been riding since she was 9 years old. She initially started riding western but competed in both western and english pleasure for the majority of her riding career and has since switched over to barrel racing. Kristen studied western equestrian studies at the University of Findlay. Post graduation she became a riding instructor and trainer. She has three horses, Walt, Lilly, and Snook, and a yellow lab, Mickey. Outside of NLEP and horses, Kristen enjoys going to Disney World and building legos.
Ella – Veterinary Assistant
Ella has always loved animals since a young age and got into horses through her neighbors. She started her riding career when she was 8 years old. At 9 years old, Ella became a working student for Norine Manzella and has been with her since. She has played around with a few other disciplines but she has stuck with hunter/jumper for the past couple of years. In her free time, Ella enjoys spending time with family and friends, riding, and traveling
Karla – Veterinary Assistant Emeritus
Karla grew up on a dairy farm in Grundy Center, IA. Owned and operated by her family since the 1930s, Karla assisted with the daily activities of the farm including milking, calving, and farming the land. After high school, Karla pursued training as a dental assistant and worked for a dental office for eleven years, before relocating to Illinois and becoming Dr. Meininger’s assistant. In her spare time, Karla enjoys outdoor activities such as biking and camping, spending time with her husband, and assisting her family on the weekends with farm operations.