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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 served as Deputy Legal Counsel to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, Human Services Policy Coordinator to Michigan Governor John Engler and as Children’s Ombudsman for the State of Michigan.


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 horses.


She is also an avid yoga practitioner. 

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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, and is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan. 

His Native American friends 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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Media Specialist
Leah Quinn

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

Leah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Movement Science from the University of Michigan.  She works in surgery as an Intraoperative Neuromonitorist in Phoenix. 

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

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