Board of Directors



Karen R. Quinn

Karen is the Founder and President of Spirit Horse Connection. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Psychology from Luther College in 1986 and her Juris Doctorate from University of Wisconsin in 1993.


She was Deputy Legal Counsel to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson from 1993-1995, Human Services Policy Coordinator to Michigan Governor John Engler from 1995-1999 and Michigan’s Children’s Ombudsman from 1999-2002.


Karen began her role as president of Spirit Horse connection in 2014 and her interests include spending time with her husband and four children, her dog and seven horses.


She is also an avid yoga practitioner and runner. 

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Board Member

Christopher W. Quinn

Christopher Quinn is the Treasurer of Spirit Horse Connection. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin.

He is the founder of Quinn IP Law, a law firm that focuses on quality & forges long-lasting alliances with clients. 

His Native American heritage inspired Chris and his wife, Karen, to start Spirit Horse Connection to focus on improving the lives and communities of Native Americans.


Cultural Advisor

Basil Braveheart

Basil Braveheart is our Cultural/ Spiritual Advisor for Spirit Horse Connection. Basil is a Lakota elder and keeper of traditional Lakota knowledge.  He is a decorated Korean War veteran who holds two masters degrees.  He is also an author, teacher and activist for the Lakota people. 


Mr. Braveheart serves as an AA counselor and teaches Lakota spirituality to the children of Pine Ridge Reservation as well as to a large non-native audience beyond the Reservation.


He has been instrumental in many Lakota interests, such as the renaming of Harney Peak as Black Elk Peak in 2018 and is featured in Pope Francis’ recent book “Sharing the Wisdom of Time, By Pope Francis and Friends."


He is dedicated to the health and welfare of the Lakota people. 

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Board Member

Dr. Yvette Running Horse Collin

We are honored to have Dr. Yvette Running Horse Collin as one of Spirit Horse Connections' Board Members.


Dr. Running Horse is of Lakota, Nakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Mayan descent on her mother's side, and Cherokee, Choctaw and Scottish descent on her father's side. She received her doctorate in Indigenous Studies from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in May 2017 where her research focused on the historical, cultural, and spiritual relationship between the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and the horse.


She is the founder of Sacred Way Sanctuary, the Native American Horse Trail, and Sacred Healing Circle, a non-profit dedicated to the healing of Indigenous Communities through the use of Traditional Knowledge and Life Ways.

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Board Member

Sean Collin

Sean Collin is the Assistant Professor of Business Law at the University of North Alabama and is the Executive Director of the UNA Institute for Innovation and Technology Transfer

He is of Cherokee, Yuchi, and European descent, and practices the traditional ways of his ancestors.


He has spent 27 years in the field of global law and management and is the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions for his work in the field.


Sean is a frequent speaker at international professional conferences and has served on the board of and aided numerous non-profit organizations, both within the United States and internationally, for decades.


  He has been an accredited United Nations NGO Representative in Geneva and New York and holds an economics and law degree (with honors) from Otago University in New Zealand, and an LLM (with distinction) from Georgetown University.  

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Outreach Specialist
Leah Quinn

Leah is the Marketing and Media Chair of Spirit Horse Connection. 

Leah holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Movement Science from the University of Michigan.  She works at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago as an Intraoperative Neuromonitorist.

Her experiences growing up with Spirit Horse Connection have inspired her efforts to focus on improving the lives and communities of Native Americans.