Founder and Executive Director
For native Texan Rhonda Smith, her life's work became clear to her following a near fatal accident involving an 18-wheeler in 1999. After the wreck, she left her job as Corporate Benefits Manager for Dell Computer Corporation and founded Spirit Reins in 2003.
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Kris has a B.S. in Business Administration from Minnesota State University - Moorhead. A former fiscal analyst for the Texas Department of Commerce and software engineer for IBM, Kris is in charge of the operations of the organization including financial controls, technology and budgeting.
Gaylen has a B.S. in Regional & Community Development from the University of California, Davis. She served as Director of Constituent Relations at Rice University for 6 years where she managed the Campaign Communications and Donor Relations offices. Prior to joining Rice University, she was the Director of Annual Giving at UC Davis for 5 years. Gaylen is also a former chef who operated her own catering business in San Francisco, has a passion for horses, and a deep appreciation for how mental health care can transform lives.
LCSW - Clinical Director
Debbie Okrina has her MSSW from the University of Texas. She is a Clinical Social Worker and a Board Approved Supervisor. She has been providing trauma therapy for 19 years and has been doing equine assisted psychotherapy for 8 years. Before working at Spirit Reins, Debbie was Clinical Director at the Houston Area Women’s Center, Clinical Director at Lone Star Behavior Health, and a therapist at Promises Austin. She is trained in EMDR. Debbie is a Senior Faculty member for The Daring Way and incorporates Brene Brown’s shame resiliency work into her practice.
Clinical Services Administrator
Amanda has over six years of experience in the customer service field working with clients face-to-face and over the phone. She has a passion for problem solving, organizing, office work and loves thinking of ways to make a process easier for everyone involved. Amanda has immersed herself in the medical billing field and has become Spirit Reins' resident Medicaid expert.
Ryan earned his B.A. in Psychology from Texas Wesleyan University and his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from St. Edwards University. Prior to Spirit Reins, he served as Program Manager for Communities in Schools of Central Texas.
MA, LPC, NCC- Therapist
Mallory graduated from Texas State University with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has her M.A. in Professional Counseling from Texas State Unversity. She is trained in Community Counseling, Family Counseling and Play Therapy and has provided crisis intervention and trauma therapy for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse as well as group therapy in schools. Since childhood, she has competed in team roping and breakaway roping.
LCSW - Clinical Therapist
Paula has been a psychotherapist for over 40 years and a horse lover all her life. Her work has always focused on children and trauma in one way or another. She began her career as a child protective social worker and then worked in a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. For the last 20 years she was in private practice and the director of a Bereavement Program in San Antonio. She is trained in several trauma treatment modalities, including EMDR, and has been a Registered Play Therapist. Paula is currently working toward her certification in Natural Lifemanship and is devoted to providing equine assisted therapy to traumatized children and adults and their families.
MSW - Equine Professional/ Co-Therapist
Jenna has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University and a MSW from The University of Denver. She has six years of case management experience working with youth and and years of horse experience. Before Spirit Reins, she served as an Employment Specialist at LifeWorks.
Kate Van Norman