TROT Staff

Executive Director

Jeff Copfer

Executive Director

Jeff has been married to his wife, Amy, for 29 years, and they have three children. They live only five minutes from TROT with their two horses: Ernie who is an Arabian/Saddlebred mix and Bert who is an Arabian.  

Jeff was born and raised in West Berlin, Germany.  After completing High School in Germany, he joined the US Air Force and finished his nearly nine-year career as an Instructor at Vandenberg AFB in California and then transitioned into law enforcement.  

For 26 years, he was a deputy sheriff with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department ascending to the rank of Captain. He ended career in law enforcement as the Administrative Division Commander responsible for strategic oversight and guidance of the 160-million-dollar department budget, recruiting, human resources for the over 1,400 employees of the department and the training section responsible for the police and corrections academies.  He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University, Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, U of A Southwest Leadership Program, FBI LEEDA Command and Executive Leadership Institutes, and the Arizona Leadership Program. 

With over a decade of mid to executive level experience in budgeting, human resources, project management, strategic planning, and organizational leadership, TROT is the home he always yearned for. #StrongerTogether

TROT Team Member Since January 2021
Email: jcopfer@trotarizona.org
Ext. 601

Administrative Staff

Margaux DeConcini

Development Director

Margaux is a native Tucsonan and her belief in the power of TROT first stemmed from her volunteer experience at TROT when she was in high school. Margaux has always been involved with horses through 4-H and local shows. Margaux is an Apprentice Graduate of Al-Marah Arabian Horses where she studied Equine Husbandry and Training. Margaux has always understood the healing properties of the human-horse connection leading her to complete a Master of Social Work degree through the University of Southern California. Margaux focused on social change and innovation with a specialty concentration in equine-assisted therapies. Her experience in grant writing, program evaluation and events will help to propel TROT’s legacy.

 

TROT Team Member Since October 2019
Email: mdeconcini@trotarizona.org
Ext. 602

Laura Bissing

Volunteer Coordinator

Laura grew up in Tucson, AZ and after traveling across the country for her degrees, has returned to the desert. She holds a B.S. in Communications from NAU and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Elon University. Throughout her life, she has been very service minded with a wide breath of volunteer experience ranging from animal rescue and therapeutic riding to pro bono services and youth recreation programs. She is always eager to learn new things and believes some of her best teachers have been the four-legged and furry kind. She is excited to put her skills to good use as a Volunteer Coordinator at TROT.

TROT Team Member Since September 2019
Email: volunteer@trotarizona.org
Ext: 612

Carolyn Ohrel

Administrative Associate

Growing up in Alabama, horses were the focal point of Carolyn’s life, including a passion for riding in the woods, jumping, pony club and eventing.

As time went by, she migrated to Arizona and graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Sociology and English. Later she continued her studies at Pima College with an A.A. degree in Sign Language Interpreting. She bacame a certified interpreter and worked as a classroom interpreter for hearing-impared students in the Special Needs Department at Pima College. In a couple of years, it was back to school again at Pima College for another A.A. degree in teh legal assistant training program. She workled for ten years as a legal assistanct in the area of probate and estate planning. 

In 2002, Carolyn left the legal field with a longing for change and a more personally meaningful career. This eventually led her to TROT where her daughter, Sierra, was an instructor. She started out with sign language interpreting and side walking in ASDB classes. Before long, Carolyn had her dream job at TROT where her passion truly lies. 

TROT Team Member since January 2006
Email: info@trotarizona.org
Ext: 600

Program Staff

Dora Kafkaridou Brown

Program Director

Dora was born in Cyprus and has been a Tucson resident for the last 25 years. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and has dedicated her career to non-profits.  Dora was involved in behavioral health for over ten years, working extensively with children in the foster care system providing behavioral management, de-escalation training, as well as grief and loss work.

Dora fell in love with horses as a toddler and began riding as a hunter-jumper at age seven.  She continues to ride today and has had the pleasure of training as well as caring for horses, both her own and within program settings.  Dora has held certification through Eagala as an Equine Specialist, and in 2017 she was the program director for Desert Dove Farm, a non-profit equine-assisted psychotherapy program.

Dora began her involvement with TROT as a volunteer, and in 2018 she became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH Intl.  Dora’s passion for her career and her unique skill set helps our participants reach both their riding and personal goals while ensuring that our TROT programs adhere to the highest PATH Intl. standards.

TROT Team Member since January 2019
Email: dkafkaridou@trotarizona.org
Ext: 608

Melissa Radtke

Full-Time Instructor

Melissa, a native Tucsonan, has always been an avid animal lover. She grew up caring for family pets, participating in 4-H clubs, and riding neighbors’ horses. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in music performance, Melissa began volunteering at TROT. She started as a horse handler and side walker and soon added the roles of team captain and schooling rider. 

Melissa is a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH Intl and enjoys teaching classes at TROT. Her previous experience as a piano instructor gave her teaching skills that she uses every day, whether she is instructing participants or training volunteers. Her love of teaching and passion for animals are combined in her work as a therapeutic riding instructor.

TROT Team Member since March 2022
Email: mradtke@trotarizona.org

Tara Whaley

Part-Time Instructor

Tara became involved at TROT as a volunteer in January of 2019. Since then, she has been a side walker, horse handler, instructor-in-training, and has assisted with ground schooling and under saddle schooling. TROT gives Tara the opportunity to serve her community while filing her soul with outside time with TROT horses, participants, volunteers, and staff. In summer of 2021, Tara became a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and now teaches part-time at TROT. 

With a veterinarian as a father, horses and many other animals have always been a part of Tara’s life. She began putting down her roots in Tucson in 2013, when she was transplanted from the South (Tennessee by way of North Carolina) after completing graduate school. Now, Tara, her husband, and three bonus children are working on their mini-menagerie with two dogs, a cat, two Nigerian dwarf goats, and two desert tortoises.

TROT Team Member since September 2021
Email: tleingang@trotarizona.org

 

Rachael Radtke

Part-Time Instructor

Rachael grew up in the Tucson area and first discovered TROT while in high school. After taking a break to complete a degree in Piano Performance at the University of Arizona and to focus on her career as a piano teacher, she returned to TROT. Rachael began volunteering in August of 2020, allowing her to hone her skills as a horse handler. Then in June 2022, she was able to fulfill her dream of becoming a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH Intl. In her spare time, Rachael enjoys a variety of activities including: gardening, spending time with family, and taking hunter/jumper lessons. 

TROT Team Member since July 2022
Email: rradtke@trotarizona.org

Coco Hames

Part-Time Instructor

A Native of Central Florida, Coco grew up around horses, learning to ride in both English and Western disciplines. After more than a decade touring the world as a musician, she rediscovered her passion for horsemanship volunteering at Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy in the Memphis Tennessee area.

Upon relocating to Arizona, Coco began her involvement with TROT as a volunteer in 2021 and became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH Intl. in 2022.

A graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Coco has a Montessori teaching certifiction and has previously worked developing programming for The Children’s Museum of Memphis. She also founded the Mashville-based 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue, Tennessee Hollow.

Coco lives in Oro Valley with her husband and her Bichon Frise, Jojo, and keeps her registered APHA gelding, Tuco, nearby.

TROT Team Member since July 2022
Email: chames@trotarizona.org

Sierra Ohrel

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), PATH Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist

Sierra has been in the presence of horses all of her life and knows from experience their healing powers.  She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Equine Assisted Mental Health.  She is an Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH).  Sierra has presented both nationally and internationally related to Equine Assisted Therapies.  Horses are barometers that provide feedback to allow humans to explore the mind, body, spirit and emotions.  Sierra has extensive training in somatic therapies, meditation, yoga, and dance.  In addition, she is trained in Eye Movement and Reprocessing (EMDR).  Her office is mostly outside in the beauty that is all around, and the horses are her co-therapists.  The horses allow for co-regulation, felt sense, and non-verbal communication in a supportive manner.   It is through the partnership with horses that Sierra is able to guide people on their journey.  A horse can change the way you see the world. 

TROT Team Member since July 2007
Email: sierra@trotarizona.org
Ext: 605

Barn Staff

Jennifer Greer

Barn & Facilities Manager

Jen has been a horse enthusiast for over 40 years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri. Jen has a very diverse background including: having been a horseback riding instructor; a wrangler at dude ranches; a convenience store owner; Activities Director at a senior care facility; Behavioral Health Technician in an integrated care setting for mental, medical health and substance abuse services; a tack store manager; and owning a residential and commercial cleaning business. Jen is adept at tackling all kinds of challenges and has a passion for horses and helping people.

TROT Team Member Since March 2022
Email: jgreer@trotarizona.org

Kim Kime

Part-Time Barn & Property Manager

In early 2018, Kim became involved with TROT as a volunteer and soon thereafter, Assistant Barn Manager. She grew up in the Phoenix area and holds a B.S. degree in Zoology from Northern Arizona University. After relocating down to Tucson with her husband in 2017, Kim was looking to fill her time by volunteering at another equine rescue. “I was looking to connect somewhere and share my recent passion in caring for horses. TROT came up on my search, and I had no idea what therapeutic riding was all about but thought I would give it a try. I was hooked!”

Having already raised a family of four children and worked in her career field as a small animal vet tech and wildlife biologist for the Arizona Game & Fish Department, Kim now gets to do something for fun that she absolutely loves. Between volunteering and working, Kim spends 4 to 5 days on the property. “We all have a role to play in the TROT mission and mine is caring for these wonderful therapeutic riding horses, so they are at their best when working and connecting with the riders.” 

TROT Team Member Since February 2018

Aliza Jung

Barn Assistant

Aliza grew up on her parent’s farm in Minnesota and recently moved to Arizona. Aliza will be attending college online to receive an A.A.S. in Business Management and plans to graduate with two degrees and three other certificates.

Aliza fell in love with horses when she was four years old after her first pony ride at a fair.

She likes starting the day at TROT which brings back memories of her parents farm. Aliza enjoys both the early morning and the hard physical work at TROT which she considers to be therapeutic. 

TROT Team Members since June 2022