Category: team

team members

Annie Groat

Annie Groat

Annie moved to Aiken from Chester Co, Pennsylvania, with her family in the 1980s. Growing up, Annie and her sisters enjoyed riding in Hitchcock Woods and going to local schooling shows. Annie is the daughter of Jeannie and Steve Groat, who were the founders of the Aiken Bluegrass Festival, which was established as a fundraiser

Wendy O’Brien

Past Chairman Wendy O’Brien is an accomplished equestrian with a lifelong dedication to equestrian disciplines, farm life, business ventures, and community causes. Her equestrian pursuits include Radnor Hunt Pony Club, horse showing, foxhunting, steeplechase racing, three day eventing, breeding and training. She is a competitive Combined Driver, and was on the U.S. Pony Team in

Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan

Vice Chairman Michael Sullivan served on Great Oak’s predecessor board and he is interested in helping Great Oak grow to a scale sufficient to serve a broad population. Michael is a graduate of Williams College and he received his MBA from Vanderbilt University. After Michael graduated, his interest in finance took him back east, where

Shawna Dietrich

Vice ChairpersonShawna Dietrich grew up in Houston, Texas, “on the back of a horse.” When her family moved to Kentucky, she started showing hunters and jumpers in the Midwest, graduating into teaching and training on a professional level. Personal events led to a change of direction, and into the business world of equine insurance. Dietrich

Jeannie Groat

Jeannie Groat

Jeannie grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and attended Hiram College, studying history and art history, and performing in musical theater and concerts. Her marriage to Stephen Groat brought her to Aiken, where Steve taught at the Aiken Preparatory School and Jeannie studied at the University of South Carolina. In 1971, the Groats moved

Judy McConnell

Judy McConnell

Judy McConnell joins Great Oak after 18 years of involvement at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, including three years as the President.  She and her husband, Chuck, have three children and six grandchildren.  They retired to Aiken and reside in Three Runs Plantation with her two horses and Schnoodle.  Judy actively hunts