Alliance180, a peer-to-peer, purpose-driven program that aims to prevent suicide for veterans, first responders and frontline healthcare workers facing the effects of trauma through a transformative equine experience, has hired its first executive director.
Denise Romeo, former executive vice president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, was named to the position.
“Denise brings over 23 years of experience of leadership in nonprofit work within Saratoga County and we are thrilled she has joined our team at Alliance180. There is no doubt Denise will bring integrity and passion to this role,” said Bob Nevins, founder of Alliance180.
She will oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization, as well as organizational strategy, fundraising and community awareness of the power of this program to change lives.
Todd Shimkus, president and CEO of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, said “I had the pleasure to work with Denise for more than a decade. She rose from a vice president to executive vice president in recognition of the leadership she provided within our organization and externally in the community.”
“I am both honored, and humbled, to accept this position,” Romeo said. “Bob Nevins has been a hero of mine since the first time we met over ten years ago. A decorated Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, Bob certainly knows and understands the trauma of war. He knows that suicide amongst those ranks is extremely high and has been determined over three decades to uncover a real, and proven successful, equine experience that re-regulates the autonomic nervous system. It will be my job to carry out both the vision and mission of A180 along with others on our team.”
The methodology at Alliance180 utilizes the unspoken communication between the veteran and the horse to reestablish the bond of trust, creating a union where horse and human intersect. The organization says it creates a physiological response that participants have often described afterward as doing a 180 or “resetting
The experience offers peer-to-peer interaction, private accommodations and classroom training to learn the language of the horse, and a round-pen interaction with the horse as the final culminating event. Through the lens of the horse, participants learn to communicate with another powerful but very different species, most often resulting in a heightened awareness, changed perspective and renewed outlook.
A180 is provided at no cost to participants. The cost of all accommodations and travelare covered by donors.
The group can be reached at 518-415-0206 and its website is www.alliance180.org.