President and Founder of Western Wishes
In 1994, Donnalyn recognized a void in the western culture and founded Western Wishes, asking, “Why can’t we start a program like Make-a-Wish for cowboys and cowgirls, and extend it to kids with critical injuries or physical and mental challenges?” Always making terminal kids a priority, but realizing that kids without life-threatening situations fall through the cracks, Donnalyn set out on a mission.
Born in Oregon and raised in a rodeo family from the Northwest, Donnalyn was married 20 years to world champion bull rider, John Quintana. She knew the western world well and always wanted to find a way to make a difference. After a cancer scare and successful surgery, and dealing with the end of her 20-yr marriage, she set out to parlay her extensive contacts in the western world into an award-winning national program that brightens the lives of kids faced with adversity and who love the western lifestyle.
With no background in non-profit management but a strong passion, her vision was clearly defined and sure enough, it trumped experience in the field. She created a national program with over a dozen chapters including Australia.
Knowing the vision was placed in her heart for a reason, she conquered fear and pressed on with Western Wishes and in its inaugural year, she won the JC Penney’s Golden Rule Award in the Youth Humanitarian category for the state of Nevada.
Donnalyn has two grown children and three grandchildren in Texas and Australia who are the “love her life.”
With Donnalyn’s self-deprecating sense of humor, she admits there is not an administrative bone in her body, relying on good people with great hearts to stand in the gap. Staying true to her roots, she continues to be president of Western Wishes with a passion and excitement to finish the race and celebrate the 20th Anniversary in 2014…..and embark on writing her memoirs, “Diary of a Dysfunctional Fairy-Godmother.”
Peter S. Ford
Australian CEO, author, and former journalist
Mr Ford was a television news anchor in the 1980’s and 1990’s in Australia and the USA; known in Australia for working at the Seven Network, and in the USA as a founding anchor at CNN’s Headline News service, and NBC and its affiliates as a news anchor and journalist.
As a journalist, Mr Ford specialized in technology, medicine and military affairs. He provided live coverage at historical events such as the Space Shuttle mission at the Kennedy Space Center, and reporting live from the White House and the Pentagon on military and foreign policy. As a foreign correspondent for NBC and its affiliates he reported live from Moscow, the Vatican, the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Shield, and Operation Desert Storm; as well as from Afghanistan immediately after 9/11.
While at CNN, Mr Ford became a computer analyst on the first team to develop microcomputers for rehabilitation and communications for people with disabilities at the VAMC Rehab R&D Lab in Atlanta, GA. He worked with Principal Investigator Gary Wynn Kelly in writing “Joy Writer2”, an Apple-based program that enabled persons stricken with neuromuscular disease and spinal injuries to replace a computer keyboard with a joystick controller. He has also published a novel, “The Keeper of Dreams”.
Today, he is the founder and CEO of Control Bionics (http://www.controlbionics.com), a neural systems technology company, and the inventor of Neuro Switch, an EMG (electromyograph) based communications and control system for people with profound disabilities. Neuro Switch enables a person with quadriplegia and loss of speech to control a computer, communicate with text and text-to-speech (TTS) and control environmental systems, television and personal media internet access, emails, and SMS (mobile texting).
Check out this amazing video from ABC’s Australian Story about Peter Ford: http://www.controlbionics.
Deve Swaim, MS, is president of Heart Zones Education. For 40 years Deve has been a health education advocate, teacher, and innovator. Her teaching and training experience extends from middle school through the university level, with expertise in curriculum development. She has won numerous educational awards, served at the executive level of many professional organizations such as the Northwest District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the Oregon Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She has shared her knowledge at numerous seminars and conventions across the country and internationally. Deve is a past director of the Oregon Health Promotion Foundation and represented Oregon on the National Coalition of Health Promotion Foundations. She currently teaches in the Graduate Teacher Education Program at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
President of American Hat
Keith Mundee was born and raised in Southern California, where he was a partner in several different business ventures; including a ranch and commercial team roping arena. Keith has been married to his wife Terri, for 29 years. They have two grown and married daughters, Lindsey and Brittany; as well as three wonderful grandchildren.
In 1997, Keith and Terri moved to Nampa, Idaho and Keith took a position with Miller International; the parent company of Cinch, Cruel Girl, Rockies, Southern Thread, and Miller Ranch. He spent 11 years with Miller International, starting as an Account Manager, and eventually became President of the company.
Keith is President of American Hat and lives with his family in Bowie, TX.
Media Department Manager
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
Raised in Littleton, Colorado, and competed in junior and high school rodeo. In the early 1970’s, Sherry worked for Frontier Airlines as a flight attendant.
Sherry has been employed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) for 34 years, working in all areas of media during that time. The PRCA’s Media Department is responsible for the production of the ProRodeo Sports News, PRCA Media Guide, souvenir ProRodeo Programs, Annual Report, Contract Personnel Directory, Wrangler National Finals Rodeo program, Committee Guide and content for prorodeo.com. The PRCA Media Department also produced the book called “The Finals”, a complete history of the first 50 years of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Beginning in 1978, Sherry’s husband Kenny was hired as the Operations Manager of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was instrumental in the design, fund-raising and all of the collections, which included traveling 124,000 miles across the nation.
Kenny and Sherry made their home north of Colorado Springs, along with roping horses and steers; raising a son Beau, and a daughter Courtney. After 36 years of marriage, Kenny passed away in August of 2010. Sherry has 4 wonderful grandchildren.
“I am thrilled to be involved with Donnalyn Quintana, along with her endless enthusiasm and vision for Western Wishes.”
Former World Champion Bull Rider Founder and Executive Director, Western Harvest Ministries
Scott is a PRCA World Champion Bull rider, husband and father, and ordained Pastor of Western Harvest Ministries. Every month, he produces bull riding camps. Participants are from age 12 to all the way up to 30+. They come from all over the country to participate in the camps.
Western Harvest Ministries is dedicated to reaching the youth of America, and to all that love the Western heritage. We desire to share with individuals and families through, the unconditional love of God, the life skills necessary to be a productive, positive influence in their communities, while participating in the sport they love. It is our goal is to transform the lives of those young people as they are able to perform in a sport that they love.
We have purchased property in Weatherford, Texas, that will serve as our headquarters. This property will allow us to produce many types of events. For the past several years, we have operated throughout the United States conducting Christian Bull Riding Events and training camps. We also have special youth and Ministry speaking engagements in the cities we stop at.
Watch this important interview with Scott Mendes by Larry Mahan.
National Wish Recipient Director, Registered Nurse
Robyn brings more than 27 years clinical nursing experience to her position as Western Wishes’ National Wish Recipient Director. She has enjoyed a wide array of positions including 8 years as the medic for Gary Leffew Bull Riding Schools, home health, and school nursing. Along with Western Wishes, she currently works as a visiting nurse for Nurse Family Partnership, a non-profit organization that provides Maternal & Early Childhood Health to low-income, first-time moms. Robyn has also served on 6 Medical Mission trips to Haiti. She is actively involved with Meals on Wheels, and Habitat for Humanity and spends much of her spare time with her husband, 4 children, who range in age from 19 to 32, and two grand children. Her hobbies include snow skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, and is an avid photographer. Robyn is a native of Glendora, CA who spent her youth showing hunter/jumpers and currently resides in Rifle, CO.
Lee Quintana Leach
International Outreach and Membership Director
Lee Quintana-Leach, as Donnalyn’s daughter, has shared a passion for Western Wishes that spans the lifetime of the organization. In addition, she is an accomplished marketing and promotional professional, having graduated from the University of Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelor’s in Business Marketing. Lee created the “What Will You Say?” media campaign, which is integrated into the Western Wishes music video. She has extensive knowledge in TV production, management, copy writing and editing; as well as a strong background in the rodeo/western/horse industries. Her husband, Robert Leach, a natural-born Australian, is a very well-known horse trainer and they now reside in Australia with their 2 year old son, Grant; who will soon be coming out with his very own blog, “Grant Leach’s Pony Training Tips”.
Lee knows the Western Wishes program like the back of her hand and always has the organization’s best interest at heart.