23 April 2018

GallopNYC Announces New Executive Director

Press Release – GallopNYC Announces New Executive Director

GallopNYC, a therapeutic horseback riding program for New Yorkers with disabilities, is pleased to announce that Nicole L. Cicogna has accepted the position of Executive Director of GallopNYC, effective July 1, 2018.

For more than twenty years, Nicole L. Cicogna has built a successful career across both the private and nonprofit sectors. Ms. Cicogna began her career in the private sector, spending more than a decade specializing in business development within the consumer market research industry. She quickly advanced through a series of promotions with several national companies, moving from Account Executive to Vice President of Sales. In these roles, she honed her skills in strategic planning, financial management, and business development. In the summer of 2008, Ms. Cicogna began her work in the nonprofit world as the Director of Development of Hartley House. Soon after, she became the Interim Executive Director, and Ms. Cicogna was then appointed Executive Director of Hartley House in January 2009. Over the next ten years, Ms. Cicogna collaborated with the Board and staff to fulfill Hartley House’s mission, while increasing its capacity, expanding its programming, and diversifying its funding mix. She has been appointed Executive Director of GallopNYC effective July 1, 2018.

Ms. Cicogna is a cum laude graduate of Fairfield University’s Charles F. Dolan School of Business. She is an active United Neighborhood Houses member, served on the Henry Street Settlement Senior Companion Program Advisory Council for five years, currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Breast Treatment Task Force, and is on the Advisory Board of Thomson Safaris. She is now working on her PATH International Certification.

Alicia Kershaw, a founder and the current ED, announced last fall that she would step down as of June 30, 2018. Alicia’s commitment has led GallopNYC from a small grassroots volunteer organization to a New York institution serving thousands.

James Wilson, GallopNYC’s current Director of Operations, will continue in a key role as Director of Operations, Finance, and Administration. Virginia Terry will continue as Director of Development.

Suzy Marquard GallopNYC Board Chair, said:

“We are delighted Nicole will join us. She is an excellent choice, with the right background to lead GallopNYC to the future we all envision, building on the strong foundation of the past decade. With James, Virginia and Nicole we have a dream team for achieving GallopNYC’s strategic mission, to make therapeutic horsemanship programs available to all New Yorkers with disabilities”.

From GallopNYC’s earliest days, in 2005, Alicia saw the potential for horses to improve the lives of thousands of New Yorkers. Alicia and her fellow co-founders’ vision for GallopNYC was that every child with a disability in New York City would have access to therapeutic horseback riding.

“I’ve always believed founders should move on. Over the past few years, I have worked with our staff and Board to prepare GallopNYC for this step. Now that we operate two stables, GallopNYC is entering a new era and I believe the time is right. Nicole is a great choice and under her leadership, with James and Virginia on her team, GallopNYC will thrive!” – Alicia Kershaw

About GallopNYC:

GallopNYC brings the proven benefits of therapeutic horsemanship to children and adults with disabilities in NYC. Therapeutic horseback riding provides measurable benefits for people with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Through weekly riding sessions with PATH-certified instructors, we help riders walk, talk and learn, inspiring them to live their lives as fully, independently, and productively as possible.

Today GallopNYC serves more than 500 riders each week, and operates two dedicated full-time therapeutic riding facilities, GallopNYC Forest Hills and GallopNYC Sunrise Stables. GallopNYC is committed to serving low-income and middle-income families and provides therapeutic horsemanship fee waivers to 80% of their riders.

Board of Directors:

Suzy Marquard (President), Sol Reischer (Vice President), Carla Pehowski (Secretary), Hendrik Laverge (Treasurer), Audrey Abbott, Anne Marie Chance, Gavin Case, Abigail Corcoran, Paul Hinton, Constance Hunter, Natalia Kory, Derek Manwaring, Soledad Mills, Julie Napolitano, Lisa Paige, Sheila Patel, Alicia Kershaw (Executive Director)

Council of Advisors:

Danielle Barth, Jessica Bent, Georgina Bloomberg, Michael John Carley, John E. Franzreb III, Iris Gold, Frances M. Green, Chris Irwin, Alexis Papageorge, Ken Paterno, Judith Place Sloan, Vince Smith, Kim Walker.

For further information contact: Alicia Kershaw, ED [email protected] 917 602 1733 or visit