Staff and Board Members

Meet the staff and volunteers at the heart of our organization.

We are currently accepting applications from certified mental health and occupational therapists to join us. Contact us if you are interested.


Kristi Bieschke

Program Assistant

  • Equine Training and Management - Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls, Iowa May 2006
  • Bachelor of Science in Business – Doane College, May 2011
  • Equine Program Director – Timberlake Ranch Camp, Marquette, NE
  • Wholistic Hippotherapy Center, Hastings, Nebraska (5 years)
  • Volunteer at various 4-H and therapeutic riding centers

Dan Lyon

Equine Specialist

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Industrial Arts Education - 1984
  • EAGALA certified since 2014
  • Worked with at-risk youth for 25+ years
  • TRANE Technician
  • ​Kearney Regional Hospital

Nancy Lyon

Equine Specialist & Executive Director

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Elementary Education Degree - 1980
  • K-12 School Counselor Degree - 1996
  • HorsePowered Reading Certificate - 2015
  • EAGALA certified since 2014
  • Former Title One Math & Reading Instructor
  • Worked with at-risk youth for 35+ years

Board Members

Greg Gangwish

Greg Gangwish has worked with children and youth most of his personal life and professional career. He has a heart for helping them become who God created them to be. He personally enjoy horses and have great respect for the role they play in BraveHearts to impact the lives our youth so positively.

He is married to Carol Gangwish and recently moved back to Kearney from Minnesota in the spring of 2015. Carol and Greg have two grown daughters who are married and each have 4 children which adds up to 8 wonderful grandchildren!

Melanie Zweiner Klingelhoefer

Melanie Zweiner Klingelhoefer is a native of Pleasanton, Nebraska. She currently resides in Amherst. Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Secondary Education-History, Psychology and Social Sciences from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She also obtained a Masters of Science in K-12 School Counseling from UNK.

Melanie is a K-12 school counselor at Elm Creek Public Schools in Elm Creek, Nebraska. She enjoys community theater, sewing, gardening, photography, reading, and coaching softball & basketball.

Donna Posusta

Donna Posusta has been a life-long resident of the Riverdale area. She has raised and trained horses all her life.

Donna has assisted as a rodeo advisor for the Spectacular Rodeo with UNK students and has been involved with 4-H Horse Programs and the Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic for many years.


We are seeking an additional person to serve on our board of directors. Could this be you?

Meet: Quarterly (Either in-person or via ZOOM)
Expectations: Help with local events
Qualifications: No need to be "horse-minded". Just a willingness to help our
nonprofit grow to be the best version it can be.
Skill Sets: Accounting
Love working with people and/or horses

Please contact us and we would love to have you join our team!

Nancy Lyon

Nancy Lyon & her husband, Dan, are co-founders of BraveHearts. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren.​ Her hobbies include riding motorcycles & horses, crafts, and spoiling her grandchildren.

Nancy received a K-6 grade teaching degree and a K-12 school counseling degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has recently retired from teaching at-risk youth. Her passion is creating equine-assisted educational and behavioral programs.

"Horses have a unique way of getting to the heart of the matter in an instant."