Learn more about the people behind the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy.
Erin Brown, known as The Concrete Cowgirl, began her riding career at the Fletcher Street Stables and has been competing horses for nearly 30 years in both the hunt seat and stock seat riding disciplines. She has extensive experience managing stables and is a strong advocate for riding programs serving her local communities. Brown has also worked with the Police Department’s Mounted Patrol unit in Philadelphia.
Ricky is the founder of Neighborhood Film Co., a Philadelphia-based film production company started in 2011. He is a founding board member of Working Film Establishment, Neighborhood’s sister non-profit organization that trains and employs men coming out of incarceration, providing a meaningful avenue to thriving careers in competitive industries. He is also a film director who is deeply connected in Philadelphia to a variety of valuable partners in the legal, fundraising, philanthropy, and film fields. He is also deeply linked to the riding community in Philadelphia, directing a feature film in tandem with the riding community in 2019.
Dan is the co-owner of Neighborhood Film Co., a Philadelphia-based film production company started in 2011. He is also the Executive Director of Working Film Establishment, leading the organization since 2012. He has extensive experience in non-profit organizational structure, fundraising, educational and curriculum development, managing a board of directors, complying with government requirements, and developing strategic organizational partners. He is also a film producer who is deeply linked to the riding community in Philadelphia, producing a film in tandem with the riding community in 2019.
Staci is a Location Manager with 20+ years of experience working in the Philadelphia area film industry. Her experience has garnered meaningful relationships across a host of civic, commercial, organizational and educational spaces. She is well acquainted with the horse riding communities in Philadelphia, having managed several commercials and films about them. Her in-depth knowledge of land and real-estate agreements makes her an outstanding asset to the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy, and her wide-spread relationships across the city make her an excellent catalyst for fundraising and community engagement.
Shadaria A. Shuler
Shadaria has been a close friend and partner to the riding community for 20+ years. She just recently graduated from Jefferson Univ. as a Pharmaceutical Doctor. She has been riding horses for 28 years and competing on a professional circuit as a low level Hunter and Jumper. She is also a respected horse trainer and riding instructor.
Ryan has a passion for Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, their history and its real estate. This passion, coupled with almost 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in building maintenance, construction and real estate development ignited his firm belief that no distressed property should ever remain in an inhabitable, unsafe condition. Spak is one of the co-founders of Spak Group. Spak Group is a Philadelphia based, vertically integrated real estate management and Development Company with a Mission that aims to create profitable real estate holdings that prioritize the rehabilitation, repositioning and revitalization of highly distressed, under-utilized properties with a focus on building more equitable developments.
Beverly attended Philadelphia public schools and currently is a certified counselor serving her community. Over the years she has received numerous awards and accolades for her passionate dedication to Philadelphia urban youth including the Senate Community Award presented by Senator Vincent Hughes. Other recognition’s include the Dr. Ruth W. Hayre Service Award, The School District of Philadelphia Superintendent’s Special Recognition Award, The Unsung Heroine Award, and The Humanitarian Award presented by the PA Association for College Admission Counseling “In Recognition of Outstanding Service in Support of Students”.
Brian is a retired Philadelphia Police Officer and also a former Mounted Police Officer. He has also been riding horses his entire life. His civil connections throughout the city along with his equestrian expertise are a huge benefit to PURA.
Sharon grew up in Philadelphia, riding and competing since her early childhood. Along with being a Social Worker for the juvenile courts, she volunteered many of her adult years to neighborhood youth of the Strawberry Mansion section of north Philadelphia, where she taught them how to ride and care for horses.