Executive Board

Neda DeMayo
Neda DeMayo Founder/President
Neda has provided care and rescue for horses and animals throughout her life and has advocated against horse slaughter since the 1970s.

With a formal back-round in holistic healing modalities as well as theatre, film and fashion design, it was the expose’s in the Associated Press in the mid 1990’s that inspired a complete commitment to explore and model solutions for wild horse preservation.

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Jack Carone
Jack CaroneVice President
Jack joins RTF with a broad background in animal rights and protection. He was Co-Director and Media Spokesman for Los Angeles-based Last Chance for Animals (LCA) and now serves on its Board of Directors.

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Kevin Beckmen
Kevin BeckmenBoard Chair
Dr. J. Kevin Beckmen serves as Chief of Staff for the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Health System and is a prominent and active member of the local community.

Kevin has 4 horses including 2 Choctaw Tribal strain horses adopted from Return to Freedom.

Robert Redford
Robert RedfordDirector
After a long standing relationship, respected actor and conservationist, Robert Redford joined forces with Return To Freedom in 2014.

Robert Redford is dedicated to supporting Return to Freedom’s vision for a Wild Horse Wilderness Preserve and viable solutions for wild horse and burro preservation on the range.

Elizabeth Hines
Elizabeth HinesSecretary
Liz Hines is a certified Shorthand reporter, freelance deposition reporter and court reporter. But aside from that, Liz is an avid photographer and a dedicated volunteer for Return to Freedom!
Tony Stromberg
Tony StrombergDirector
A celebrated published equine photographer, Tony joins RTF’s Board of Directors with not only a deep understanding of Return to Freedom’s mission and wild horses, but expertise in ranch and business management, managing a private horse ranch with a full staff and a multi-million dollar a year budget for 8 years in New Mexico.

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Honorary Board Members

Diana DeMayo -Brown
Diana DeMayo -BrownCo-Founder Emeritus, Honorary board member
Diana received her B.F.A. degree in Drama from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Diana has faciltated various special youth programs at the sanctuary since it’s inception.

Diana teaches acting and is head of production for the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Hollywood California.

In Memorium:

William DeMayo - Co-Founder
William DeMayo - Co-FounderCo-Founder- 1922-2014
Bill began his career as a field examiner for the IRS and is a retired partner of Ernst & Young. Turning attention to education, he then became a full professor at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, where he also served as Treasurer and a Planned Giving Officer. He has served and been honored by numerous professional associations devoted to taxation, financial management, and estate planning. Bill is a graduate of the Wharton School, holds an M.B.A. in taxation, and is a C.P.A.

On May 4th of this year the DeMayo and Return to Freedom family said goodbye to
Bill DeMayo, who leaves a legacy of joy and brotherhood, love and perseverance. Read More about the Legacy of Bill DeMayo here.

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Advisory Board


  • Virginie L. Parant, ESQ., Attorney
  • Laura Moretti

Honorary Board Members

  • Wendie Malick – Advocacy
  • Diana DeMayo-Brown


  • Carolyn Resnick, Dances With Horses
  • Angelique Midthunder, Media
  • David Midthunder, Native American Cultural Advisor


  • Michele Cardela
  • Pat Hines
  • Andrea Eastman
  • Wendy Wilkinson

Equine Wellness & Conservation

  • Dr. Chris Pankau, Inland Equine Medical Center
  • John Fusco, Choctaw & Tribal Strains
  • Casey Jones, Equine Dentist, Holistic Dentistry
  • Dr. Gus Cothran, Genetics

Habitat Restoration

  • John Bechtold
  • Natasha Lohmus, Fish & Game, Santa Barbara, CA


  • Youth Ambassadors: Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Luke Gossett

Wild Horse and Burro Wilderness Preserve Committee