July 20, 2019
Maria Sullivan-Antonioni Is First Exec. Dir. at Strongwater Farm

Maria Sullivan-Antonioni
June 29, 2018 — Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, a nonprofit therapeutic riding center in Tewskbury, recently announced the appointment of Maria Sullivan-Antonioni as the organization's inaugural executive director.

Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center noted that the appointment of an executive director "is a significant milestone that will substantially deepen" its mission to enhance and enrich lives.

“We are delighted with the appointment of Maria Sullivan-Antonioni, who has a wealth of experience that will enable us to reach and serve the many people in northeastern Massachusetts who would benefit from our equine therapy programs,” said David Wahr, Strongwater Farm's board president.

He added, “Her talents will only enhance our equine-assisted activities and programs to serve children and adults with special needs, individuals with behavioral health issues, veterans and individuals with substance use disorders as well as providing recreational riding opportunities for the surrounding communities.”

Most recently, Sullivan-Antonioni served as director of operations for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust (CHRT) of the Archdiocese of Boston, where she and other senior staff developed the operational infrastructure for CHRT, including all policies and procedures, and built out a 10-person team. These efforts helped enhance member benefits while reducing costs.

She earlier worked as an administrative manager for hospice and software companies.

Sullivan-Antonioni completed coursework in business at Gibbs College.

As one of only two therapeutic riding centers in northeast Massachusetts, Strongwater Farm is accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International. Strongwater’s instructors are licensed and certified by PATH Int’l and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located on 12 acres of land, secured by a 99-year lease in 2008 from the state.

Strongwater Farm incorporated as a nonprofit in 1998, one year after a group of local citizens joined together to offer a series of small equestrian events for the disabled youth and adult patients at Tewksbury Hospital. Today, it serves residents of surrounding communities in addition to patients at the hospital.

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center reported $435,000 in revenue, of which $282,000 came from contributions and grants, and $334,000 in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.

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