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Debra VanderBand - EAD Founder & Executive Director

Debra VanderBand, PEC ES, is an EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist. Deb lives in Kentwood, MI with her husband and youngest daughter. She has four grown children and ten grand children. In 2000, she embarked on a journey of not just owning her own horse (her childhood dream), but rescuing horses from compromising situations. VanderBand became certified as an Equine Specialist in 2006 from the nationally acclaimed EAGALA organization (to learn more visit:


She also graduated from a Professional Empowerment Coaching program from Grace Bible University shortly thereafter. In 2010, VanderBand combined her passions, horses and serving people and co-founded Equine Assisted Development and in 2017, obtained non-profit status. Through life experience, training and education, she has built EAD from the ground, up. With tenacious spirit and unwavering love, she works to restore hope in the life of each person that comes to the farm.


Scott Shaw - EAD Board Chair


Dr. Scott Shaw is Professor of Human Services at Grace Christian University. Scott was clinical supervisor & therapist at Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, from 2000 to 2010. Previously, he worked for seven years at Hope Network Behavioral Health (Grand Rapids, MI), serving adults with chronic mental illness in various residential, clinical and administrative positions. Scott is a graduate of the 38th Police Academy at Grand Valley State University, and has worked in local and county law enforcement.  He is nationally board certified in counseling (NCC), a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association, and a Certified Professional Empowerment Coach (CPEC) through the Grace Center for Empowerment Coaching.

Scott is a 4th degree black belt and certified Taekwondo instructor (ATA) who leads the Grace Christian University Taekwondo Club. Scott also holds a 1st degree black belt in Shinsei Arnis jitsu (stick & knife) and has trained previously in Pukang Tang Soo Do, Aikido, Shorin Ryu Karate, Krav Maga and Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT). Scott has trained in PPCT’s basic subject control curriculum including GAGE and bladed-weapon defense, and is a certified Instructor of PPCT’s “SHARP” (Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention) women’s self-defense curriculum, offered at Grace Christian University every semester.


Ashley Chrysler - EAD Board Member

Ashley is an attorney at Warner Norcross + Judd LLP. Ashley has owned and ridden horses her entire life, and has volunteered for several different equine therapy programs throughout the state of Michigan. Through these experiences, Ashley has had the opportunity of seeing and experiencing firsthand how life-changing equine therapy can be. She joined the EAD Board in 2022 and is excited to bring her passion for horses and equine therapy to the Board and to help advance EAD’s vision and presence in the West Michigan community.


Ashley grew up in Midland, Michigan and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Saginaw Valley State University and her juris doctor from Michigan State University College of Law. She currently resides in Ada, Michigan with her husband, Joe, and their two horses and dog.

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Darrin Door - EAD Board Member

Darrin is a proud Michigander from Wayland.  From West Michigan, he joined the U.S. Navy where he served on active duty from 2009 to 2019.  Darrin was a nuclear machinist mate on the USS Abraham Lincoln and worked for Navy’s Recruiting Command as a Nuclear Field Recruiter in Michigan and Indiana.  While in the Navy, Darrin met and married a pretty little lady from Texas, Katlyn. Together, they have two young boys and the best dog, Ike.  After active duty, Darrin moved his family back to his roots, where they now call Wayland home.

Darrin has decided to pursue his goals of becoming an educator; he is currently a student at Grand Valley State University and works part time at Wayland Union Schools.  Darrin’s heart is for others, and strongly believes in serving the community around him.  He coaches youth football, basketball, and volunteers at New Life Church in Wayland.  As EAD’s veteran board member, Darrin strengthens our team with his military experience and desire to serve his veteran brothers and sisters.


Craig Koetsier - EAD Board Member

Craig Koetsier is a husband, a father of four, and a grandparent. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he graduated from Reform Bible College (Kuyper College) and obtained his bachelor's in Religious Education. He worked in a boy’s home and is now one of the co-owners of Koetsier’s Greenhouse, a multi-generational, family business that has been operating for over one hundred years. He was also a missionary in Chichicastenango, Guatemala from 2016 to 2020.  After returning to Grand Rapids he was introduced to the good work done at EAD and joined the board. 


Mikala Vanderband - EAD Board Member


Was voted onto the Board of Directors in 2020. Mikala is the daughter of the founder of EAD, and has had the privilege to watch a dream and vision become a reality and impact the lives of thousands. Through this experience of volunteering in different programs and doing horses her entire life, she brings a unique skill set to the Board in a fundamental way. Her youth also speaks to the generation EAD is most often in contact with and gives insight and intuitive observations for growth in our vision.

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