Restoration Ranch is pleased to announce the promotion of Derek Knapp to Executive Director effective April 1, 2018. Derek joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and has served as Vice President and Operations Manager since 2016. He will be taking over the role of senior executive from Beth Rand who co-founded and led the organization since its inception in 2012. She will continue to serve in her role as President of the Board of Directors.
According to Rand “I can think of no one more prepared to lead this organization into the future than Derek both as a horseman and as a veteran who served in the Post-911 era as a Captain and Army Airborne Ranger with deployments to Afghanistan in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He has been instrumental in carrying out our mission operationally for the past four years and could not be more prepared to assume the role as a leader, spokesperson, community liaison and strategic visionary for the organization. He has the full support of our Board of Directors.”
Derek is a 5th generation Texan with a heritage of cattle ranching and horsemanship. He holds a BBA, with a minor in Marketing and Military History from Texas A&M University.
He served for close to a decade as both a combat arms enlisted service member and an Infantry Officer. Some of his military awards include two Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Army Commendation for Valor and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He is a graduate of the US Army Ranger School, earning the coveted Ranger Tab. He was also air assault, pathfinder, and parachutist qualified.
His experience with extreme combat conditions gives him the ability to share a first-hand perspective of the needs of veterans, particularly in regard to the incredible benefits that horse-assisted therapy and peer-to-peer mentorship has for our veteran community. He is a certified Equine Specialist with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).
In addition to Derek’s military experience, he served as a senior manager for Flex International specializing in customer facing, strategic planning, operations and new customer relations.
Please join us in congratulating Derek on his new role.