Equest Names Veteran Fundraiser, Philanthropy Leader as Interim CEO

As interim CEO, Lisa Loy Laughlin will "lead the charge" at Equest, which provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities for individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges.

Well-known fundraiser and philanthropy leader Lisa Loy Laughlin has been named interim CEO of Equest, Dallas’ premiere equine-assisted therapy nonprofit. Her appointment follows the departure of Myrshem George.

“Lisa’s unwavering commitment to Equest, passion for our cause, and impressive fundraising experience make her the perfect leader for this pivotal position,” Tim Gavin, chair of Equest’s board of governors, said in a statement. “The decision to appoint her was unanimous among the board of governors, reflecting our confidence in her ability to drive Equest’s mission forward.”

[Photo: Equest]

“We’re particularly excited to see her lead the charge, especially with the upcoming gala, where her expertise will undoubtedly play a crucial role in raising essential funds to benefit the individuals Equest serves,” Gavin added.

Equest provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities for individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges.

The nonprofit seeks to enhance the quality of life for people with diverse needs through interactions with horses. Its programs often include therapeutic riding sessions, horsemanship classes, and other equine-assisted activities designed to promote physical, emotional, and social well-being.

[Photo: Equest]

An over 35-year career in education and nonprofits

Laughlin has had a long career in the education and nonprofit sector that spans more than 35 years, and she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role, Equest said.

She is a distinguished professional with a rich history of advancing the missions of various nonprofits, including Communities In Schools Dallas Region, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and more. Laughlin currently serves as an active Crystal Charity Ball member.

“I’m truly honored and thrilled to accept the position of Interim CEO at Equest,” Laughlin said in a statement. “Having been deeply involved as board co-chair, I’m excited to step into this leadership role and continue advancing the mission of Equest. The opportunity to lead an organization that brings hope and healing through equine-assisted activities and therapies is both a privilege and a responsibility that I embrace wholeheartedly. I’m committed to building on Equest’s legacy of making a positive impact in the community, and I look forward to working closely with our dedicated team to further our mission and serve our clients.”

Through her collective fundraising efforts on behalf of Dallas organizations, Laughlin has raised millions of dollars for the city’s most paramount issues and initiatives, Equest said. As the former board co-chair of Equest from 2022 to 2023, demonstrated her commitment to the organization’s mission by actively engaging individual members, facilitating meetings, and providing crucial support to the executive team, the organization said.

The board said it was unified in selecting Laughlin as the interim CEO to lead it through the next key fundraising phase with its marquee Annual Blue Ribbon Gala on April 27.

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