Our web site is currently being updated. Exciting updates are on the way, please check back soon!

Meet the Staff

“You cannot teach a man anything; You can only help him find it within himself.” ~ Galileo Galilei

Hope Farms Project offers programming in the wide open spaces of Elbert County, Colorado near the town of Elizabeth—just minutes from Parker and Aurora. On these high plains of Colorado we have spectacular views of the Front Range that extend from Pike’s Peak to Longs Peak and beyond. Just wait till you see the sunset!

Come visit us!

The staff at Hope Farms Project come from a multidisciplinary background. Some of us are social workers, nurses, world travels, and mothers, but we are all committed to serving our community. Collectively, we work together to develop unique and individualized programming that meets the needs of our diverse clients. Each one of us is committed to empowering our clients by recognizing and building on their existing strengths, while challenging them to explore and grow into new opportunities. Each member of our staff has experienced the healing power of the human-animal bond and we are excited to develop evidence-based programming that allows humans and animals to learn, grow and heal together in nature.

Now, let’s meet our team!

Lisa Kramer, Executive Director/Founder

Master of Social Work, University of Denver;
Bachelor of Arts: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder;
Animal and Human Health Certificate, University of Denver;
Registered Psychotherapist;
EAGALA-Dual Certified, Mental Health Professional & Equine Specialist
Former Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council Member.

Inspired by her son who suffered a stroke before birth, Lisa is committed to offering children, youth and adults with disabilities an opportunity to live up to their fullest potential. She believes that nature, nurtures. Lisa’s personal experience watching her son grow and heal in nature with animals has motivated her to leave the political job she loved and pursue her passion for animal-assisted social work. Hope Farms Project is the result of that decision and she has never looked back.

John Derrick, Clinical Director of TimberNook

Bio and picture coming soon!


Peggy McMillon, Transportation Manager

My name is Margaret McMillon. I go by “Miss Peggy” – I’m the “Transportation Person.” I’m a Colorado native and was born in Sterling. I’ve been married to my husband Rick for 48 years. I have 4 daughters, 7 granddaughters, and 3 grandsons. I love music and playing with flowers by arranging them into different bouquets.  I’ve worked for Hope Farms since it started and have been providing transportation since 2014. I’ve personally seen such a difference in the folks that go out to the Farm. They are so excited to work with the animals, collect eggs from the chickens, and plant seeds in the garden. They learn how to work with each others, respect each others’ disability and honor each other’s strength.

Gianna Lishman, Day Program Manager

Master of Social Work, Denver University

Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate, Denver University

Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Minor in Creative Writing, Virginia Tech

Day Program Manager at Hope Farms Project

Gianna is a life-long learner and horsewoman.  During her undergraduate years she studied psychology, animal behavior and learning, and was a member of the Virginia Tech Intercollegiate Dressage Team. Gianna has 20 years of experience owning, riding and managing horses, and she still continues to learn more every day! Her love for animals and helping people has led her to a career in social work with an emphasis on animal-assisted interventions. Her social work practices emphasize the empowerment of her clients, as she operates from a strengths-based and trauma-informed perspective. Her goal with any client is to put herself out of the job. Gianna is thrilled to be a part of the Hope Farms Family! She has recently discovered the therapeutic benefits of pigs and you’ll frequently find her spending a quiet moment in the pig pen with her new best friends, Pickles and Petunia.


Ashleigh Dyer, Program Staff

Picture and bio coming soon!


Marisa Hill, Program Assistant


Bio coming soon!


Cynthia Hellman Hope Farms Project


We are lucky to have a group of talented and highly motivated students working with us on the farm. And we couldn’t do it without them!

We are excited to have two highly qualified interns from the prestigious University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work joining us this Fall 2017. Check back soon for their bios and be sure to say hello when you see them on the farm!

return to top