Board Members & Ambassadors

Board Members & Ambassadors


Kristy Chambers


Spurred on by her efforts to help her husband, a disabled vet,Kristy has been working for the past 18 years to help veterans.

While in college, Kristy worked at the Red Cedar Center in Allen County, Indiana, as a North American Riding for the Handicapped Association instructor.  There, she helped children suffering from a severe handicap or disability find relief and joy through riding therapy.  Kristy has organized benefit shows and Easter Seal programs in schools to raise funds to sustain the programs.

Kristy went onto become the Director of the Equestrienne Program for Girl Scouts of America, Camp Merriewood in Plainwell, Michigan, a program that helps provide opportunities to underprivileged people to experience the joy of riding of horse.

Kristy currently serves as an Equine Judging Team coach to both the Future Farmers of America program through New Prairie High School in New Carlisle, Indiana, and LaPorte, Indiana, EZ Riders 4-H youth team.

She believes that the work of Anam Cara is incredibly important. She notes that veteran suicide has been a growing problem and that many veterans are unaware of the benefits to which they are entitledKristy seeks to help those veterans frustrated by the cumbersome Veterans Administration bureaucracy and who have consequently had their mental health issues unresolved.

Angela Rose


Angela Rose graduated from Ball State in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and in 2014 with a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. Upon graduation, she married her husband and became an Army wife for his 7 + years of service including multiple deployments. They have two children and currently live in St. Joseph County where Angela works for the City of South Bend as a Senior Planner. She is passionate about assisting combat veterans such as her husband.

Tracey Curtis


Dr Tracey Curtis is a chiropractor, craniosacral therapist, movement specialist and wellness coach who is passionate about offering people tools to help navigate the world with less pain, illness and stress. She believes our bodies are truly the homes we live in, and regardless of our ability level, injury or illness we are each capable of living fuller lives with greater ease, well-being and joy. She believes the human-animal connection is powerful and healing and also believes mental health is a matter of priority for overall health. She fully supports Anam Cara’s mission and vision and sees it as a positive presence in the community and the mental health profession.

Darrell Knowlton

Board Member

No bio yet


Sandy Cogswell

Equine Specialist 

When Sandy was about 5 years old her mom took her to see her first horse…..


Sandy Cogswell was born in Chicago,  lived in the suburbs and later in South Chicago until shortly after her first son of 2 were born. She then moved to rural northern Indiana and is still there.  She knew the country life was for her and thankfully her wonderful husband now married for over 40 years agreed.


When the boys became young men and on their own is when her journey began to learn the horse. She has been around horses since high school age and had a uneasy feeling about the way horses were handled, at least in her world. It wasn’t until her horse reared up and fell on her she realized she had to learn how to train, or better said communicate with the horse or there would not be horses in her life and that was not going to happen, thus began this fascinating subject she cannot get enough of. She has learned the more you know about horses the more you know you don’t know.

This passion is what led her to the realization of horses can help humans other than just riding them. She meet Stacey Garcelon the first time September 2015. Stacey told her of her desire to help people with trauma using horses and psychotherapy. Sandy never heard of such a thing.

They went to their first eagala certification in May 2016.

She is certified in eagala

Certified in Horse Powered Reading.

Completed the non profit leadership course that Healthcare foundation of LaPorte provided.   Completed the fundamentals of serving veterans with Horses.

Carmen Velasquez


An impressive leader, a tireless campaigner, and a committed advocate of health care policy, Carmen Velásquez has changed community health care for the Latino, predominantly Mexican, working-poor, uninsured, and immigrant community. As a former community activist, social worker, bilingual education specialist and founder of a not-for-profit community health center, Ms. Velásquez has spent most of her life advocating for universal health care, comprehensive immigration reform, and for workforce development. As a result of a passionate vision, strong partnerships and the crucial need for bilingual bicultural medical providers for the uninsured and undocumented, Ms. Velásquez founded Alivio Medical Center in 1989 as a bilingual bicultural, nonprofit community health center.

Velásquez has received numerous awards for leadership, vision, passion, community organizing and overall outstanding service and dedication to the community. Most recently in March 2016, Ms. Velásquez received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Mujeres Latinas en Accion.

At the present, Ms. Velásquez is focused on the Healthy Illinois Campaign whose mission is to make quality, affordable health care accessible to all people in Illinois, including the undocumented.As you can see, Ms. Velasquez is passionate about creating healthy communities; she brings her expertise and advocacy to expand healing and healthy communities from Illinois to the Greater Michiana area


Ann Garcelon, M.D.


Ann is a doctor and was a cofounder of the Alivio Medical Center in Chicago with Sister Sheila Lyne, CEO of Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, and Carmen Velasquez, an ambassador for Anam Cara. She served on Alivio’s Board of Directors for 18 years. During that time, Ann was a member on both the Quality Assurance and Finance Committee of the Alivio Board.

Because Alivio serves the Hispanic, predominantly Mexican,community, Ann, who is bilingual and culturally sensitive, had the kind of insight necessary to be a key player in the planning and design of Alivio’s health services and medical clinics. She continues to be available for consultation and has volunteered many hours advocating for Alivio, promoting the clinic’s public health agenda to the medical community, and working with the administration to generate strategic ideas for service expansion.

Upon learning of Anam Cara’s vision and mission, Dr. Garcelonimmediately knew she wanted to be a part of the organization’s efforts to address trauma and to bring holistic healing to communities.

Kathryn Garcelon


Kathryn graduated from California State University Sacramento.  She retired from the California State Civil Service after serving over 25 years; Agencies included, Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning.  Her expertise included development and auditing of legislated programs including sexual assault/domestic violence prevention and juvenile justice and delinquent prevention. She was also actively involved in grant writing, request for funding proposals, as well as program monitoring and review. She now is focused in her retirement in LaPorte, IN to apply those skills to help Anam Cara Stables help individuals, families, and the community heal from trauma. 


Webb Garcelon


Webb graduated from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He has 43 years of Financial Accounting experience in the Energy business in both California and Texas.  The years in California his expertise was managing the accounting of 30 Profit Centers, which included receivables, fuel payables, inventory, and exchanges for the second largest propane company in the United States at that time. The years in Texas were with Enterprise Products the second largest pipeline company in the United States.  He managed the out flow of cash for product purchases that averages 2 billion dollars a month.  Now in his retirement in LaPorte Indiana, he is utilizing his accounting expertise as a way to give back to the community by helping Anam Cara grow and help people heal from trauma.


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Phone: (219) 207-7222


Address: 4298 E 1000 North, La Porte, IN 46350

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