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The Board

Janet is honored to be the full time executive director for Horse and Buddy. Janet grew up in Indiana, took a quick detour to Tucson, and has now lived in NC for 30 years. She has a Bachelor's in Computer Science and an MBA from Duke. Janet lives on her farm in Siler City with “too many” furry creatures. In her free time, she likes to hike with her dog and work on projects at the farm.

Rick was raised in Summit, MS and joined the US Army at the age of 17.  Rick has lived around the world and has traveled as a salesman to more than 100 countries over the last 10 years.  He is a small business owner who lives in Holly Springs with his wife Kathy and their 14 year old daughter Emma.  Emma has been riding with Horse and Buddy for 4 years. 

Originally from Morehead City, NC, Hewitt moved to the area to complete high school at NC School of Math & Science in 1992. He attended and graduated NCSU receiving his bachelor’s in Math with a physics minor. He put down roots with his wife, Laura, in Chatham County.  Hewitt has two sons: Coyt age 12 and Jace age 9.  Over the years of living in the country, he and his family have grown a small hobby farm of horses, a menagerie of barnyard fowl, dogs, and cats. They hope to expand their farm in the coming years.  Hewitt became involved with Horse & Buddy through TowerCo in 2011.  Hewitt currently works with TowerCo as the VP of IT.  Hewitt joined the board in 2017.

Marlow is a Raleigh native who graduated from North Carolina State University in 1993 with a degree in pre-medicine.  He started every game for the Men’s soccer team all 4 years with the team winning the 1990 ACC Championship making the NCAA Final Four.  He went on to play professionally for 5 years.  Marlow and his wife, Tiffani, have 3 children; Justice, Sydney, and Jackson.  Marlow has been in the insurance business since 1999 and owns a Nationwide Insurance and Financial Services business in Apex.  He is also the Director of Club Development and Partnership for NCFC Youth.  Marlow joined the board in 2018.


Dina Fiorentino was born and raised in the Chicago, IL suburbs. Dina graduated from Illinois State University with a double major in Business Finance and Organizational Management. She has worked in the high tech industry for 30+ years for companies such as SAS Institute, GTE Wireless, and Apple Computer in leadership roles in marketing, business operations and customer service. Dina was first introduced to Horse and Buddy when her daughter was a rider, almost 10 years ago.  She experienced the amazing impact being on the farm makes to the rider and the family and appreciates the opportunity to support the Horse and Buddy mission as a board member.  Dina currently lives in Apex, NC with her son and daughter.


Jim Rappl is originally from Buffalo, NY. He has called the Apex area home since 1993. Jim founded and ran Exceptional IT Services for 13 years before it was acquired by WorkSmart in 2015. He now does Business Development for WorkSmart here in NC. He became a Horse & Buddy volunteer in 2006 and enjoyed many Saturday mornings side-walking. He is blessed to have a group of awesome friends & family who have pitched in over the years to help Horse & Buddy in different ways, including establishing a Rider Scholarship Fund. This is Jim’s second term on the board after a several year hiatus.

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