The Board

Who We Are

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Tony Harris

Founder & President

He has worked with youth for many years as a coach for high school and college track athletes.   He has a passion for just being a kid and loves to mentor youth.  He has handled many aspects of ranch life in dealing with cattle and other livestock over the past 30 years.   He has a heart to serve others.  

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Dawn Patterson

Vice President

Dawn has owned and worked with horses for many years.  She owns her own Barbering business, and has taught dog obedience in Hawaii for several years prior to joining Heart Ranch as a Director and mentor.  Dawn has worked as a veterinary technician, a volunteer at Hale Anuenue Restorative Care, a volunteer at the Hawaii Humane Society , and as a volunteer with (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Service.   Dawn has worked with youth as well, as a piano teacher, a volunteer at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, as a volunteer for a variety of youth programs at her church, New Hope, Hilo.  Dawn is also a member of the Hawaii Island Dressage Eventing Association (HIDEA), and has attended many clinics in Hawaii.  She currently teaches and works with participants at Heart Ranch and has a passion for horses and teaching kids how to care, love and respect animals.

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Fronda Harris

Founder & Director/Secretary

She holds a license to teach in the State of Hawaii, and has previously held licenses to teach in Oregon and California.  She taught high school health as well as physical education at the elementary school level and served as the Education Director for her private career school.  She was a Hawaii 4-H leader, and taught private horse riding lessons to students for several years prior to Heart Ranch’s inception.

Saverio Macrina

New Board Member

Rio grew up in Florida and went to college at West Point in New York. He became an Army Officer in 2017 and was stationed on Oahu. Rio heard about about Heart Ranch when he began dating Tony and Fronda’s daughter, Lyndsey. Rio and Lyndsey moved to the mainland in 2021, got married, and are preparing to start an MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Rio hopes to help the board with long-term planning, so that Heart Ranch can continue to grow and support its community well into the future.

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Staff 

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Virginia Dunn

Youth Volunteer Coordinator

Virginia has been a volunteer for Heart Ranch since 2018, and we consider her a precious unpaid staff member. When she came along, we were underutilizing youth volunteers, so she started our youth volunteer group, Impact! She organizes all youth volunteers, leads their biweekly meetings, leads mentorship sessions, and manages our social media pages. Even though she didn't know much about horses when she came, her 20 years of experience working with teenagers at various churches made her a valuable member of the team. She strives to provide a safe, encouraging environment where teens learn responsibility, self-confidence, and teamwork. Her husband does a great deal for the ranch, and her daughter, Mercy, is a youth volunteer.

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Marleena Sheffield

Program Assistant

Marleena is our first paid staff member ever. She started out as a volunteer and graciously accepted the job of helping us write grants to fund the ranch, and keep the horses in shape. We are so excited to have her on our team, and we know the horses are too!