Caroline was born and grew up in a large, old house near Kilcock, surrounded by horses, dogs and cats. She went the usual Pony Club and hunting route into a career with horses. In 1980 she did her BHSAI exams in England and a couple of years later went back to complete the BHSII qualification. The following ten years consisted mainly of instructing and grooming international three day event horses. In 1990, she got sense and started to go into the business side of the equine sector and set out to learn as much as she could about marketing. This led to her working as Marketing Manager for a large leisure company and then for a major riding centre. In 1994, she married Stan and a year later set up Equipeople. In 1997, she and Stan had a son, Logan who is the apple of his parents eye.
Donna has had a very varied and interesting career and has tried her hand at most things. She has worked abroad doing a number of jobs but decided to settle down in Ireland over 20 years ago when working for British Airways. Donna has also has an interesting sideline as an extra in films and on television. There’s hardly a wedding in Fair City that hasn’t involved a part of Donna’s anatomy, usually her arm or shoulder, seldom her face because apparently it cuts down on the extra work if your face is seen too often! Perhaps her most high profile role was as one of the crowd braying for Mel Gibson’s head at the end of Braveheart. Now Donna looks after the employee side of Equipeople and the developing outbound programme. Her interests include the study of crystals and the medicinal values of herbs.
Zoe was born in London and studied Equine Management in Somerset. She travelled extensively in Europe and America before going to Australia to visit her family who, by that stage, had emigrated. She has a wide range of experience having worked with horses and in the hospitality industry. In 2004 Australia once again beckoned but this time Zoe returned with a most unique souvenir, her beautiful baby daughter. Zoe’s passions include horse riding, playing cards with her daughter and encouraging her love of ponies, Marvel and running. Zoe looks after all of the Short-term students and often visit school to talk to the students about what they can expect from their Irish adventure.
Mandy’s job is to look after student placements on the farm-, agro-home- and tourism programmes. Hers is the voice at the end of the line for our students and hosts and one of the friendly faces they could expect to see for their visit. Having worked in Barclay's Bank for over 20 years, some of those in the complaints department, she is well equipped to help new arrivals get around any little ‘settling in’ issues. Mandy came to Ireland in 2007 from Essex in England bringing with her a cat, a dog, and two teenage sons and having ‘finally’ recovered from the journey is happily settled near our Portarlington Office. Since then Mandy has developed a passion for coloured horses and has bred her own out of her mare. When she manages to grab a minute to herself she likes to immerse herself in the pages of a good science fiction or fantasy novel coupled with the essential cup of good strong coffee.
Valérie is originally from France and our resident French speaker. She moved to Ireland in 1994 after getting a work contract as a jewellery designer for an American company who had their manufacturing based in Portarlington.
In 1999, she started her own business here as a fashion designer specialising in bridal wear. During the running of this enterprise, she gained great organisational, management and customer service skills.
She has previously taught art to a class of 18 years old students and also gave sewing lessons to a group of people from disadvantage background.
Valérie is a mother of three sons. Her eldest son is 21 and is working in Switzerland. The next son is 17 and getting ready for the leaving cert, whilst her youngest is a 2 and a half year old toddler, working very hard on becoming like his brothers.
Despite her passion for design and fashion, she has decided to settle down after the birth of her youngest child and was delighted to find a position at Equipeople. You will find Valérie calling you most weeks when you have a short-term student and is available to help with any French translations.
Having been herself a young adult experiencing the joys and difficulties of adapting to a different culture/country and go pass the language barrier, she is well equipped to help our young students make the most of their experience here.
Heather studied Languages & Marketing, European Studies and Cultural Event Management. She worked her college summers in France, learning French and has au paired three times – twice in France and once in the US. She grew up on a dairy farm, married a part-time sheep farmer who is also a full time garden landscaper. She passionately believes that Ireland is a great place to visit and experience. She also enjoys running a part-time Airbnb guesthouse and loves to welcome different nationalities to Ireland. Heather has two teenage daughters who are already travelling abroad to learn new languages themselves.
She loves to travel and often borrows her own parent’s very nice camper-van to hit the open road… In reality she never likes to spend more than one night in the one spot because there’s always more to see and not enough time to see it all….
Contact Equipeople if you wish to talk to one of the team