Board of Directors

Meet Our Board of Directors

Mary Illing, BS, OTR/L
President & Program Director
As a founding committee member of Walk On; Mary is a Licensed Occupational Therapist, PATH Certified Master Level Instructor, and Meredith Manor Horsemanship Certificate holder. She has been involved in Equine Assisted Therapy for over 30 years and is an experienced equestrienne in second level dressage and training level eventing.

Previously, Mary has managed and instructed at Acorn Hill as well as at Friends of Handicapped Riders & Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities.

Currently a member of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International; formerly NARHA), Formerly a NARHA Instructor Certification committee member, a NARHA Workshop Committee member , 1994 National Conference Co-chair, and NARHA Illinois State Representative for a number of years.

Mary is a published author and lecturer on Therapeutic horseback riding topics.

Faith Witt

Faith, unlike so many of our leadership, is not a natural “horse person:” by her own admission, “What I knew about horses [before Walk On] was confined to a few years of summer camp and some recreational riding as an adult—in short, next to nothing!” However, she’s committed herself to twice-a-week volunteer sessions, then joined the Fundraising Committee, then actually volunteered for the Board.

Faith has a B.A. in English Composition/Journalism from DePauw University and enjoyed a 40+-year career as an advertising copywriter, primarily in the financial services industry—most recently 15+ years at Discover Financial Services (Discover Card) where she specialized in marketing both credit cards as well as real estate and home equity financing. She is also an actively engaged site coordinator with her church’s PADS (homeless) mission as well as a retail-store volunteer with WINGS, serving survivors of domestic abuse. In addition, Mary often says Faith has “hearts and flowers flying right out of her head”—so, yeah, she’s a softie who routinely addresses our horses as “Cupcake,” “Love Buttons” and “Muffin Buns.”

Barbara Cunningham
Barb is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Barrington. Formerly a Cultural Arts Chair for Roslyn Road School, a volunteer with the Fox River Valley Pony Club Trails and a Girl Scout leader

An active member in the Barrington horse community; member of two hunt clubs and a member of Barrington Hills Riding Center, active fundraiser for Relay for Life and an avid equestrienne.

Jan Nestrud
Active in the Barrington horse community and mother of three. Attended University of Iowa, worked as Medical Research Assistant and Executive Assistant to President of a manufacturing company. Jan has been extremely active with the United States Pony Clubs, both locally and nationally in numerous leadership positions. Organized and facilitated numerous seminars at USPC festivals and annual meetings; facilitated national contests, organized Combined Training Rallies and Horse Trials.

Jan is actively involved with the Barrington Countryside Park District, the Riding Club of Barrington Hills and the Barrington Hills Country Club. Currently, a Steward for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County for Prairie Restoration, Citizens for Conversation and Spring Creek Basset Hunt. Jan was named a Legenary at the 2004 USPC 50th Anniversary Celebration and also received the Governors Cup in 2006 by US Eventing Association. Jan is an avid equestrienne.

Nancy L. Schmid
Active member of the Barrington community. An avid equestrienne and breeder of Warm Blood horses and on the Board of Directors of the North American Selle Francais. Was a member of the Board of Directors of the Fox River Valley Pony Club and an elected commissioner of the Barrington Countryside Park District as well as on the Management Board. Currently, Nancy is the President of Schmid Tool and Engineering.

Carolyn Springer
Carolyn was Born and raised in Herkimer N.Y. She has lived in Barrington Hills for 37 years. A Graduate of State University of New York, graduate studies at City College NY, and Fellowship in Developmental Biology for Teachers at University of Chicago. She retired from teaching Biology in 2005.

Carolyn has volunteer experience with PTO at Barrington Schools, Cub Scouts, Fox River Valley Pony Club, Fox River Valley Horse Trials. She is a member of the Riding Club of Barrington Hills and former Management Board member Countryside Park District. Currently she is a social member of the Fox River Valley Hunt, member of the Spring Creek Bassets, and a Deacon of the Presbyterian Church of Barrington.