Officers & Directors

President
Hope Birsh - Maryland Saddlery
Butler, MD
Retail member
410‐771‐4135 |  Email

Hope opened the Maryland Saddlery in 1989. Since 2006, Maryland Saddlery has opened two additional locations. For many years, Hope has been partnering with manufacturers in developing new products and improving the fit of existing product lines. Hope also specializes in choosing the correct bit for her customer's horses through clinics and consultations.

President Elect
Kelly Herd - President - Kelly Herd Jewelry
Cleveland, TN
Manufacturer Member
423‐728‐4009  |  Email
 
Kelly is the president of Kelly Herd Jewelry, a jewelry manufacturing and wholesaling company that does both their own designs and contract work for the western and the English industries. Kelly saw a need for elegantly designed equestrian jewelry targeting a high-end market and after several years in the retail arena, decided to bring the success his company had enjoyed to the equestrian wholesale market. Kelly Herd Jewelry now services more than 600 retailers globally, including both smaller retailers and chain stores.

Vice President
Barbara Jacobsen - The Engraver
West Chester, PA
Manufacturer Member
Email

Barbara’s lifelong love of horses began with riding lessons at age 6. Today she has 2 horses and rides several days a week. Munchie, a Moldavian Warmblood, is now 25, and she has owned him since he was a yearling. Her newer project is Zoey, an 8 year old off the track Thoroughbred. Much to their dismay, both are learning dressage.

Barbara graduated from West Chester University with high honors, and a BA in History. Her goal was to find a horse job that didn’t involve mucking. In 1982, to achieve that goal, she co-founded The Engraver with her partner, Jack Jacobsen.

The partners have recently started a new division, The Green Hill Collection, specializing in fine leather and canvas goods, all manufactured in the U.S.A.

Barbara has served on the board of the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association, including a term as Finance Chairman. She has been on the board of Dressage at Devon as Exhibitions Chairman for many years.

Treasurer
Annemarie Cochrane - Sales Rep
Elverson, PA
Sales Rep Member
484-432-5338 |  Email

Annemarie Cochrane is an independent manufacturer sales representative in the Mid-Atlantic region, and she lives in Chester County, PA. Annemarie received her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and her Master's degree from Immaculata College. Prior to forming her own business as a sales rep, she worked for Nunn Finer Products. She has been an avid equestrian since the age of seven. Her passion for retail and riding has culminated in her career and also the launch of her blog site, TackCulture.com, where she promotes the stores and lines she represents and shares her own experiences.

Immediate Past President
Carla Perri - President - Perri's Leather & Metal Crafters, Inc.
Manufacturer Member
610-255-4199 x 108 |  Email

Carla Perri graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Carla has been in the tack business since she graduated college in 1986 - first working for a tack store for 13 years before starting Perri's Leather. Perri's Leather will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in March 2010. Carla has been active with horses since she received her first pony at 8-years-old. As a child, she was an active member of 4-H and later competed in the Quarter Horse Circuit as an adult. Carla believes that it is very important to give back to an industry that has given her so much. At Perri's, they focus on helping others in the industry by sponsoring the IHSA, IDA, USPC and the PA State 4-H Horse Show along with many other dealer-related events. When Carla is not working, she and her husband spend time caring for all the animals on their farm, which includes one horse, one miniature horse, two miniature donkeys, three miniature cows, five dogs and a cat.

Directors

Tony Coppola - President - The Tackeria, Inc.
Wellington, FL
Retailer Member
561-793-2012 |  Email  
 
Tony Coppola has been actively involved in the equine industry for more than 35 years. His industry experience includes wholesale and manufacturing, and importing of leather goods and polo equipment. Coppola has ridden horses for 50 years and played polo for more than 40 years. He is on the Board of the Polo Hall of Fame and Museum, the Board of the U.S. Polo Association and the Polo Training Foundation. His son also competes in shows and polo.
 

Melissa Hamlet - SmartPak
Plymouth, MA
Retailer Member
774‐773‐1119 | Email

Melissa joined SmartPak in 2003 and is currently working as Vice President of Merchandising where she is able to combine her passion for horses with her career. She grew up in Virginia, started riding at the age of 7 and has been riding and competing in Hunter/Jumper horse shows ever since. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Andrews University in North Carolina where she rode on the IHSA team and then went on to obtain her MBA from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Melissa is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Birdsong Farm, a non-profit providing educational services for children in the foster care system. Prior to joining SmartPak, Melissa worked in Procurement at State Street Bank. 

  Tony Lang - Cashel Company/Equibrand
Cranbury, TX
Manufacturer Member
360‐791‐0900 | Email
 

Sharon Lilien‐Zwiebel - Kathryn Lily Equestrian
Miami, FL
Manufacturer Member
305‐873‐3925 | Email

Sharon grew up riding and showing and has always had a love of horses. After finishing her MBA she went into the corporate world working for a large CPG company doing various sales and brand marketing roles. In 2010, she started Kathryn Lily Equestrian with her business partner Kate to get back into the horse world she loved, while bringing her corporate experience to the industry. 

Glyn Sandzen – The Tack Shop
Greenville, SC
Retailer Member
Email

Glyn Sandzen showed hunters and jumpers, fox-hunted, and participated in US Pony Club as a child; rode and taught saddle seat, showed American Saddlebreds and hackney road ponies through high school; taught hunt seat and worked at her family’s barn summers during college years. Shortly after earning an A.B. from Duke University with Honors in Economics, she took over management of the family business, The Tack Shop, Greenville, SC – est. 1967, and has owned and operated the store(s) since 1984. Also, Glyn oversaw her farm with 45 head and two leased barns, and managed her indoor horse show facility for four years. She currently serves on the board of the South Carolina Upstate Equine Council, and supports a wonderful therapeutic equine program for at-risk kids in her area. To improve her professional skills, Glyn has taken extensive training in marketing, management and inventory control.

Ronnie Zito – Tri-County Feeds
Marshall, VA
Retailer Member
540-364-1891 |  Email

Ronnie has been professionally involved in the equine industry since 1981. After many years in 4-H and Pony Club, she started as a yearling manager on thoroughbred broodmare farms before moving to Southern States in 1985 as a management trainee and eventually becoming a manager of a retail location and then an equine field sales rep. She next worked with Pfizer as an equine sales specialist and then Bradley Caldwell as a sales representative before coming to Tri-County Feeds (TCF) where she is currently the Buyer/Inventory Manager. Ronnie competed on horse judging teams for 4-H and Virginia Tech and also competed in jumpers, horse trials, low-level eventing, team penning, judged trail rides and trail classes, along with trail riding and horse camping. Ronnie has also been a member of several riding associations, including Pony Club, CDCTA and Trailblazers.