Florida State Co-Chairs
|North Florida||South Florida|
Melissa K. Yarbrough, BCBA
Hello North Florida PATH Members and Centers. I am so excited to have been appointed your state co- chair representative. Along with Kim Minarich (South Florida Co-Chair), we will work hard to share ideas, coordinate resources and represent the 44 and growing PATH centers and numerous members throughout the Sunshine State.
I have been the program director at Saddle Up Riding Club in Pinellas Park since 2008. I am now starting a new adventure with Kiddy Up Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center in New Port Richey. I have been a PATH registered instructor since 2001, when I was with Freedom Ride in Orlando. My passion for horses started at the early age of five with riding lessons. This passion continued with my family owning racing thoroughbreds and my own hunter jumper show horse. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in 1997 in Animal Science from Purdue University specializing in Equine Reproduction and Behavior. I continued on in my education after seven years in the zoological/ animal training field, and acquired my Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of South Florida. I am currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
I am blessed with an amazing husband, a horse crazy four-year-old daughter, 2 adorable Puggle dogs, and a fantastic Haflinger gelding that is used for dressage, carriage driving and therapeutic riding.
I look forward to assisting in any way I can, so feel free to email or call me with any questions, concerns or ideas.
Hello South Florida PATH Centers! I am honored and excited to serve as your state co-chair. I will work hard on our behalf to coordinate resources, share ideas and bring a unified voice from Florida to PATH headquarters. Florida boasts one of the largest numbers of PATH centers, and I believe we have a lot to offer. I am delighted to coordinate my efforts with Florida Co-Chair Melanie Yarbrough (Saddle Up Riding Club in Pinellas) who will be representing centers located in north Florida.
I have served as the executive director at Naples Equestrian Challenge (Naples) since 2012. My interest and involvement in Naples Equestrian Challenge began in 2009 when I joined NEC’s Board of Directors. I have been a long time equine enthusiast, having two horses of my own, and felt a strong affinity toward NEC’s mission. In 2011, NEC was looking for a barn manager and I was looking for a “retirement” job. I eagerly joined the NEC staff and within six months was appointed the executive director. In addition to my horse knowledge and sense, I bring extensive leadership, fundraising and business experience to NEC and you. I have a strong background in public relations, marketing, market research and analysis as well as strategic planning.
I have made Naples my home since 1981 and now that my children are out of college and have families of their own, I am an avid competitor in endurance riding with my two mares.
I am ready to help in any way I can, so please feel free to call me or email anytime with questions, issues or ideas!
Local Advisor Team
Mike has a business background and many years of experience regarding not-for-profits (forming, structure, IRS status, etc.). I am an attorney and have extensively researched Florida's liability laws, particularly relating to minors, in order to draft the best possible liability releases. (Also such things as media releases.)