Specialized Equine Services
and Therapeutic Riding

SES Board

Ramona Twellman, Co-Founder, Executive Director, Owner Giant City Stables

Giant City Stables, home of SES, is owned and operated by Ramona Twellman. Ramona is a certified instructor with Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) and an International Society of Rider Biomechanics Coach with over 20 years of horsemanship experience. In a past life, Ramona was a PGA and LPGA Golf professional for 18 years before purchasing Giant City Stables in 2002. She brings over 30 years of teaching experience working with kids and adults of various experience levels. Ms. Twellman received her Bachelors of Science Psychology from Central Methodist University

Patricia Nardini, Co-Founder and President

I retired as a Certified Financial Planner and I am a former owner of a small gift store, Patricia’s Gourmet Sweets n More, specializing in gift baskets and gourmet chocolates in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn.

I started taking riding lessons the spring of 1999, and I got hooked on the healing energy of horses and the wonderful people associated with the stable. I have enjoyed developing new friendships, new skills, while delightfully expanding my horizons.

Having been affiliated with Giant City Stables since 1999 makes me the most senior of volunteers, in more ways than one.

Berardino Baratta, Co-Founder, Treasurer

Berardino is CEO of R&B Soft, a local software development company focused on healthcare and analytics. Previously, he was General Manager of the Multimedia Applications Division at Freescale Semiconductor where he turned the business around, achieving profitability and sustained growth with major design wins at Microsoft, Ford, Amazon, Sony and Logitech. Prior to this, he led Strategy, Marketing and Business Development for the $2B Wireless Mobile and Systems Group at Freescale. He began his career with Metrowerks Corporation, a leading provider of Software Development tools, where he oversaw engineering through its growth from startup to public corporation and later acquisition by Motorola Corporation. Baradino received his Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) from McGill University.

Rachelle Gray, Secretary

My name is Rachelle Gray. I am married to my soul mate Sam. We have 2 sons Tony age 16 and Tommie age 13. I graduated from Carterville High school in 1998 and John A Logan College nursing school in 2001. I worked in family practice and respiratory disease clinic till 2009 when I decided to be a stay at home mom.  I love to volunteer and help with in our community. I volunteer at Carterville United pantry twice a week. I am a wrestling mom and a mom to a Special Olympics athlete.  I have helped organize and fundraiser to get wheelchair swings in the tric area. I love to be part of color runs, polar plunge and so much more. I became part of Ses 5 years ago when my son Tommie started riding after hip surgery. It is an amazing program and I am glad that we are part of it. 

Danette Schaefer, Member-at-Large

My husband and three children moved to Southern Illinois from the Bloomington Normal area twenty one years ago.  I am a Registered Nurse and also have a  Bachelor's degree in Social Work.  After retiring I began my volunteer career.  I currently assist at Center For  Medical Arts and have been with SES for three years now.  

I have been very impressed with the commitment of the individuals I have encountered and love being a part of their team! It is a privilege to work along side of them and see the difference the healing power of horses bring to the riders.  I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend at the stables with other volunteers and the horses!  I hope to be a part of the team for many years to come.