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Our Team. Meet our Board Members​

The board of directors at the Big Hoof Foundation is comprised of like minded individuals who are dedicated to helping the mission of saving as many of the draft breed horses from going to slaughter. Each board member brings a specific quality and makes this team special.  

Julie Fletcher
President/Founder
Julie Fletcher

President/Founder

For over 20 years, my career was in the Construction Industry working for electrical contractors as an Executive Assistant/Project Support. I reported to all levels of management and corporate executives. My background consisted of assisting Electrical Project Managers/Executives on small and capital project ranging from $50K to $20M. I have experience in all aspects of project management, operations, accounting, purchasing, proposals, contract administration, inventory, records managements, scheduling, and document control. Later in my career I took a position as Director of Operations which included supervising field personnel (crews of 5+) during large trade show booth and low voltage installations. 

 

In my spare time and because I have a love for all animals, I started volunteering with a local animal rescue group while living in Las Vegas, Nevada. So many animals were neglected and I wanted to help change that somehow. I worked with the Churchill Foundation and met some amazing people along the way.  They taught me that you can’t save every animal but the ones you do save you change their fate and give them a chance to live. While living in Kentucky, I volunteered with an organization that rehabbed injured or abandoned wildlife. When the animals were big enough to be released and be on their own we offered to let them live in the woods behind our house and helped them transition to living in the wild. These animals included raccoons, squirrels, opossum and a spoiled groundhog.

 

Working in animal rescue, I learned that in the United States countless horses end up abandoned in kill-pens. Kill-Pens are holding areas for horses until they are shipped to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. These horses some healthy, while others are sick, endure abuse and starvation along the way before being inhumanely killed. I wanted to change what was happening to these animals as no living being deserves this treatment.

 

My whole life I always dreamed of owning horses but I was never in a position or location to have them. When Cory (my husband) and I purchased 43 acres in Amarillo, Texas things changed! In 2022, I decided to give up my corporate job and follow my passions for animal welfare/rescue and we started Fletcher Farms Amarillo. We wasted no time and rescued six Belgian Draft Horses and two donkeys from shipping to slaughter. No animal deserves to be neglected and abandoned at a kill pen. I wanted to make a difference for the animals I could help and change their fate.  

 

At the end of 2022, we knew if we wanted to continue rescuing Belgian Draft horses we were going to need help financially. Cory and I started the Big Hoof Foundation along with three of my close friends (Kara, Jeannine and Michelle) who are amazingly talented and bring a plethora of knowledge to this organization. My vision for this foundation is to give these abandoned, neglected horses a loving, nurturing, and healthy place to retire in dignity and grace.

I have learned through the years that life is too short to not live your dreams and follow your passions. Steve Jobs once said "The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do." And I might be that crazy!

Cory Fletcher
Vice-President
Cory Fletcher

Vice-President

Kara Wray
Secretary

Kara Wray

Secretary 

I grew up in central Illinois and could always be found playing and working outside. I was always playing in the dirt, working in the garden, and loving animals of all kinds. In addition to my love of being outside I also had a passion for helping others. I was constantly volunteering with the local hospital, soup kitchen, Special Olympics and anyone in need. 

 

I attended college at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and earned a Bachelor of Science in physiology with minors in chemistry and psychology. I then went to Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and earned my Master of Science in molecular, cellular, and systemic physiology and an additional certificate of human anatomy. During college, my passion for serving others grew and before I knew it, I found myself teaching at the college level. As a college instructor, I have found my passion in teaching others about what I love but also helping students navigate through difficult times.

 

Julie and I met through mutual friends when she and Cory lived in Kentucky. In 2022 my husband, Jacob, and I moved to Amarillo, Texas and Julie and I rekindled our friendship. One night she and Cory proposed the idea of the foundation. With a soft spot in my heart for animals, I was all in. I love these horses and it breaks my heart to see so many abused and neglected animals. I hope that we can help educate others about the terrible treatment these horses endure and that we can save as many as possible from the harsh conditions they experience. 

 

Living in Amarillo, I have had the honor of working with and loving each horse that has been rescued. Since “horse snuggler” is not an official position, I am serving as the foundation’s secretary. I am responsible for much of our communications, tracking meetings and events within the foundation. If you ever need anything from the foundation, please reach out to us and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can!

Jeannine Residori
Treasurer
Jeannine Residori

Treasurer

I was raised in a small farming community in Southern Illinois. Early on in my life I loved all animals, especially horses. I attended University of Phoenix later in life and obtained an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting and also a Masters in Business Administration.  Out of all the accounting positions I have had in the past, the most rewarding position is working for a Non-Profit organization.  My current career position is Director of Finance for a non-profit in Illinois for the non-furry type along with being the treasurer and Board Member of the Big Hoof Foundation.

 

Julie and I have been friends for over 20 years. We met while working for the same electrical contractor when she was still living in Illinois. Life takes you in many directions and we both ended up living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our professional relationship grew when we started volunteering with new non-profit dog rescue organization in Las Vegas. We assisted in helping start the new organization and learned all the ins and out of how to set up a new organization. We also worked events to raise money for the dog rescue. 

 

On my first visit to Texas, Julie talked to me about her aspiration of starting a foundation to rescue abandoned Belgian Draft Horses. Since we had experience starting the dog rescue and Julie being the animal lover she is, when she asked me to be a part of the foundation…I was like ok...I am in! We have had some pretty crazy ideas and adventures in the past, I wasn’t going to pass this one up!!!  Visiting a few times a year my passion for horses has grown exponentially. Hearing their stories on how they end up in a slaughter pen breaks my heart a million times over.  

 

So…what I bring to the table is not only my accounting/management experience, but also my aspirations of creating a safe haven for these beautiful creatures and hopefully spreading the word so loudly that laws will change and all horses are not treated so inhumanely!  

Michelle Raney
Development Director
Michelle Raney

Development Director

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