Maura Weis, Chair and Executive Director
Maura Weis founded Hannah and Friends in 2003 in honor of her daughter Hannah who has global developmental delays. Maura serves as the Chair and Executive Director of Hannah and Friends and led the development of Hannah and Friends Neighborhood with her vision of a community of acceptance and compassion for individuals with special needs. Maura established Hannah’s Helping Hands grants as a program to aid people with special needs from disadvantaged families all over the country. She has authored a book, “Miles from the Sidelines”, about the lessons she has learned from Hannah. Maura has two passions besides her family – special needs and animals. She is an avid horse rider, and an advocate for individuals with special needs—always promotes the mission of “Awareness of Compassion” so that all individuals with special needs are treated with love and respect.
Tiffani Amberg, Tour Coordinator and Spokesperson
Tiffani Amberg grew up in Granger, IN. She graduated from Clay High School in 2005 and then completed the young adult program at Eggleston School. She started coming to Hannah & Friends in 2012. Tiffani joined the Hannah & Friends staff working as the Tour Coordinator and Spokesperson and currently holds both of these positions. In her spare time she enjoys participating in ballroom dancing with the Special Olympics and holds the 2012 and 2014 Miss Amazing Indiana pageant titles. In 2014 she went on to compete at the national level and came in third place at Miss Amazing Nationals. She strives to promote the Hannah & Friends mission and ongoing campaign of Awareness & Compassion. She is also a proud aunt of four nieces and nephews.
Meghan Greve, Community Outreach Coordinator
Meghan Greve graduated in 2015 from St. Mary of the Woods College, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Business Management, and a Minor in Psychology and Business Administration. She competed on both hunt seat and western equestrian teams, where she was in charge of organizing and managing all of their horse shows in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Her passion for horses and people with different abilities grew from 5 years of volunteering at Reins of Life, eventually becoming an Intern as a riding instructor in 2013. Meghan joined the Hannah & Friends team as a Barn Manager in 2016, and is currently working in the office and barn during the week as the Community Outreach Coordinator.
Kayle Sexton, Director of Operations
Kayle Sexton graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a concentrate in Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing. She played Division III tennis for Saint Mary’s College, and served as captain her senior year. Kayle served as President of Friends with Sisters during the 2014-2015 academic year and Vice President in 2013-2014. Friends with Sisters is the largest campus club connecting approximately 100 Sisters of the Holy Cross to Saint Mary’s students. Kayle served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for 3 years and served as Vice President and Secretary her senior year. Kayle volunteered at the Center for the Homeless from 2012-2014. While she was there she created a class for children between the ages of 6-10 teaching participants about public communication. In 2014, Kayle interned at Hannah and Friends, focusing on media marketing and event planning. At Hannah & Friends, Kayle currently works as Director of Operations.
Courtney Strychalski, Barn Caretaker and Groundskeeper
Courtney Strychalski grew up with neighbors who had horses so most of her childhood was spent next door. Around the time she turned 10 she started asking her parents for riding lessons, which they graciously let her take both english and western ones. Those lasted about two years, from there she decided to try volunteering at Reins of Life, therapeutic horseback riding. During her 7 years there she earned a lot of her horse knowledge plus received a whole new outlook on life. After graduating high school she picked up a few jobs at different horse barns, one of which she currently still works at. The light of her life is her three and a half year old paint gelding named Howie, he is the biggest puppy dog you’ll ever meet!
Wes Ward, Barn Caretaker
Wes Ward joined the staff of Hannah and Friends in 2009 as our Barn Manager. Being raised on a farm, and owning his own farm in LaPorte County, Wes brought with him the expertise of tending farm animals, growing and harvesting a successful organic garden, managing all barn equipment, supplies, and feed for all of the animals. As an added bonus, he brought his talents as an excellent handyman, groundskeeper, and strategic planner for the needs of the animals and everything related to the barn. When Animal Club became one of our weekly programs, Wes supervised this activity. He very patiently taught participants and residents about each of the animals and how to properly groom and feed them. Burt and Bart, our Percherons who pulled our wagon were guided by Wes who is a very experienced wagoner. Wes retired in August of 2014. He has returned part time to help us out each Wednesday with wagon rides and other barn related activities.