Board of Directors
Dr. Gregory Daniel
Some people have great ideas. Others make things happen. Greg Daniel, a proven entrepreneur and visionary, is one of those rare individuals who does both. With more than 20 years of medical, business and real estate development experience, Dr. Daniel brings a unique mix of skill, experience, knowledge, and a keen business sense to his role at Nidus Development.
In 2000 Dr. Daniel founded The Exigence Group, an organization that grew to comprise 40 business entities--from emergency medicine management and staffing and urgent care centers-- to real estate development. He served as the group’s CEO until 2012 when The Exigence Group joined TeamHealth as Exigence Division of TeamHealth. Under Dr. Daniel’s guidance, Exigence expanded its footprint, enhanced its reputation and became known for strong management and fiscal responsibility. With attention to detail and an eye on the future, he stressed the importance of innovation within the organization to meet emerging client needs.
Dr. Daniel earned his doctorate of medicine and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is licensed to practice medicine in eight states. He earned his MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and was named “Best Leader” in his class. He was a member of the board of governors for the Catholic Independent Practice Association of Western New York (now known as Catholic Medical Partners) for 10 years, where he served on the negotiation and compensation and utilization committees. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, retiring at the rank of Major.
Peggy Sue Shiesley
Executive Director
Peggy, a native of Clarence, NY, has worked with horses for over 35 years. Peggy began this new role of both Barn Manager of Legacy Equestrian Farm and Executive Director of legacy Therapeutic Riding Center in 2020 with the hopes of increasing Legacy’s outreach within the community to identify new groups and individuals that can benefit from therapeutic riding. In 2017, Peggy received high recognition for her passionate work in developing a therapeutic program catering to the needs of disabled veterans that suffered from PTSD and substance abuse. Peggy has duplicated her learnings and this program to the Legacy Therapeutic Riding Center so that others in WNY can benefit.

In her spare time; Peggy enjoys being a grandmother, participating in outdoor activities, and tending to her own small farm.

Raymond G. Brady, CPA
Ray, a native of Houston, TX, has 13 years of public accounting experience and has been active in the Western New York community since arriving in late 2013. He has managed the books and records for Legacy Equestrian Center since 2019, in addition to overseeing the accounting practices and procedures for various real estate, medical, development and construction entities. He has previously served on the board of the Williamsville Business Association and on the Tax Institute Planning Committee of the New York State Society of CPAs. Ray is passionate about helping others t reach their potential, and he feels therapy through horse riding is so valuable to the Western New York Community.
Ellen Beiler
Special Adviser
Jennifer Vallis
Physical Therapist
As a PT and Lifelong Equestrian, Jennifer feels some of the greatest physical benefits of therapeutic riding has to be the close relationship between human gait and the movement the rider experiences on the horse. This applies through all age ranges, as well as the physical and neurological state of the client. The sequential forward and diagonal motion of the pelvis, hips and core of the body of the rider happens in such a coordinated pattern, and is so reinforced and strengthened by that activity, that it carries forward into a stronger, faster and more stable walking ability for that person. This is something that is very difficult to replicate through other forms of exercise. While you may strengthen all of those same muscle groups, you will not have that correct, coordinated, sequential pattern of muscle firing, so an improvement in gait is difficult.
There are many more benefits of therapeutic riding, from a physical standpoint. The heat of the horse can relax muscle tension and ease spasticity in a neurological involved client, as can the rhythmic and predictable gait pattern of the horse. The client who suffers from weakness from either a neurological source or through illness or injury will gain strength to improve function. There are also a number of balance-based exercises to be done on the horse.
Whether a client is a child, adult or senior with a neurological or physical problem from illness, injury, disease or just deconditioned, therapeutic riding can be an important part of their treatment and rehabilitation. A program can be customized to the client based on his or her needs, with the goal of improved walking function and balance, and Jennifer is that person to achieve this!
Hellen Knab LCSWR
Mental Health Therapist and School Social Worker
The benefits of therapeutic riding are not limited to the physical. There are a great many mental health benefits which are associated with the interaction and riding of horses. Studies have suggested people gain concentration and improved ability to trust through horseback riding. Horses are unbiased and are responsive to human behavior and intent. As horses sense anger, fear and stress, students must learn to interact in a calm, confident manner. Therapeutic riding can result in a student gaining confidence and empowerment. Stress relief is a major benefit of therapeutic riding as is forming a bond with a powerful beautiful animal--not to mention, it is just plain fun.
Hellen is a licensed Clinical Social worker with Masters in social work. She is a school social worker and has a private practice--in addition to being involved in the equestrian community for over 20 years.
Hellen has seen the many benefits of therapeutic riding, from a physical and emotional standpoint.
Cindy Swartz
Nurse Practitioner
Cindy Swartz has been an active member in the horse community for over 25 years, riding for her own personal enjoyment as well as competitively-- showing with their daughter throughout the country.