Meet The Team
Co-Founder, Executive & Managing Director
Jennie began her professional career as a middle school mathematics teacher in inner-city Baltimore. She then served for over sixteen years at Harford Community College where she held executive positions such as Associate Vice President for Student Development and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs. Jennie completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Goucher College where she received a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry followed by earning her Master of Education degree. She is currently completing her dissertation at Notre Dame of Maryland University in the Higher Education for Changing Populations PhD program. Jennie is an avid equestrian; currently competing in the jumper ring, her earlier experiences include being actively involved in 4-H and riding on the intercollegiate level at Goucher College. She is a co-founder of Saddle Up Scholars and is excited about the potential for empowering the goals and dreams of young horse enthusiasts by co-leading this promising new nonprofit.
Co-Founder, Educational & Development Director
Win's teaching career began at Oldfields School in Maryland before she became an English professor at the Community College of Baltimore County. Most recently, she has tutored student-athletes at Palm Beach International Academy who were enrolled in full-time, online school programs while they competed at the top levels of their sports. Prior to her teaching work, Win also developed an international college admissions program at EF Education in Boston, MA. Win completed her undergraduate studies at Emory University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in English. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from Towson University. A lifelong horsewoman, Win continues to compete in the jumper ring, foxhunt, and help with her family’s Thoroughbred breeding and racing program. Win is a co-founder of Saddle Up Scholars with a vision to help channel the benefits of working with horses into success for young riders who have been historically marginalized and do not have access to equestrian activities or educational opportunities.
“As equestrians and educators, we both know how academic support and a connection with horses can give kids a leg up in life. ”
Dominick’s success story is one of the inspirations behind the creation of Saddle Up Scholars. Originally from Baltimore City, Nick attended Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland where he was introduced to Jennie Towner through the My College Success Network, a student empowerment program at HCC, after his academic coach connected them through a mutual interest in horses. As a result, Nick began his equestrian career with Chris and Kevin Boniface from Bonita Farm where he became an exercise rider. Nick now works for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and strives to inspire kids to pursue their passions and to follow their dreams no matter how far away they may seem. We are grateful to have him on the team as a mentor who can connect with our students and share his story and guidance.
Dominick "Nick" Merritt, Mentor
Sophie Gochman, Intern
Currently a junior at Harvard University, Sophie is working remotely over the summer and during her school year to help us with building our educational programs as well as researching and writing grants. Sophie is an accomplished show jumper whose competition results include an individual gold medal at the North American Youth Championships in 2019 and team gold at the FEI Nations Jumping Nations Cup Youth Final in Belgium that same year. Sophie has been instrumental in advocating for inclusion and equity in the horse show world, including her family’s Gochman Grant for the USEF Pony Finals and her own personal activism for increased representation of BIPOC in equestrian sports. We are excited to have Sophie on board, as she offers a fresh perspective and sense of passion about our mission.
Saddle Up Scholars is grateful for our board members who lend their time and expertise to our success
Hannah Ong, MD
Hannah is a Chief Psychiatrist at Project Chesapeake in Annapolis, MD. Hannah holds her B.S. and M.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began her professional career in Baltimore at Sheppard Pratt and has held positions at the University of Maryland Medical Center and Clifton T. Perkins Medical Center, was the Director of Psychiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Hannah’s understanding of the emotional and psychiatric needs of youth from at-risk backgrounds provides Saddle Up Scholars with a wealth of resources for reaching our students. In addition to her work, Hannah runs and owns Cheshire Run Farm in Davidsonville where she competes in three-day eventing with USEA leading lady rider Sally Cousins.
Kim is the Director of Donor Engagement at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation where she has been actively involved in spreading awareness of the TRF Second Chances Program which partners incarcerated men, women, and juveniles with retired racehorses in correctional facilities in 8 states across the nation. Prior to the TRF, Kim’s professional experience included a range of industries including independent school education, international private banking, technology, export promotion, foreign direct investment/ economic development, venture capital and trade association management. Kim holds two B.S. degrees from the University of Virginia as well as an M.B.A. through the Mason School of Business, at the College of Williams & Mary. Kim grew up riding and competing show hunters in southern California, and her love for horses has remained a constant anchor for all her professional and philanthropic pursuits.
Libby Andon is the VP of Operations at Attune Agriculture. Prior to her work at Attune, Libby grew TIC Gums into a multi-facility operation committed to local growth and economic stability in Maryland as well as overseas. Libby’s experience growing a local family business into an international corporation allows her to share her expertise in streamlining operations and expansion to Saddle Up Scholars. Returning to the saddle after years away from horses, Libby is looking forward to being involved in an equestrian-based philanthropic endeavor.
Elizabeth M. Harrison
Betsy is currently the VP, Finance for Scoutlogic and is an experienced finance professional with a history of success in the startup & technology industries. Betsy brings her skills in management, process improvement, audit, and financial analysis. As a strong accounting professional with an active CPA & an MBA from the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, Betsy provides a host of services to the Saddle Up Scholars board. Prior to her professional career, Betsy competed at the FEI level in three-day eventing, where she also managed the stables of U.S. Olympians Karen and David O’Connor. Today Betsy still enjoys riding and foxhunting in the Greenspring Valley of Maryland.