Meet our Team
Sydney Knott is the President/CEO and Founder of Horses4Heroes, an organization that was started in 2006 in her family’s backyard. In 2017, Ms. Knott was named the Equine Industry Vision Award Winner by Zoetis and American Horse Publications. In addition to her love of horses, Ms. Knott is an award-winning public relations professional with more than 40-years experience in all facets of public relations, including media relations, special event planning, fund-raising and donor relations. She is graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Public Relations. A Southern California native, she is married, has three daughters and has lived in Las Vegas since 1994.
William Cunningham is the Director of Operations for the Las Vegas Family Equestrian Center, our HQ and Flagship Facility. He has more than 50 years experience in retail management, retail sales and customer service. His career includes owning a men’s retail clothing store in Pasadena, serving as Managing General Partner of a privately owned men’s retail clothing store, and 17 years in the transportation industry. He served two tours in Vietnam with the Seabees (US Navy) in the 1960’s. Bill was a volunteer member of the Tournament of Roses Committee for 25 years. A native of Southern California, Bill is married, has two sons, five grandchildren, and has lived in Las Vegas since 1999.
Libuse “Libby” Bugl is the Director of Health & Wellness Programs at the Las Vegas Family Equestrian Center. Libby has been actively involved in Horses4Heroes as a volunteer and instructor, and has assisted during EAL/EAP sessions and workshops prior to being named the director in 2021. She is certified through the O.K. Corral Series. Libby has family members who serve and have served as First Responders and understands first-hand the challenges faced by wives, mothers, daughters and children, as well as the First Responders themselves.
Liana Neville is the Director of Educational and Recreational Programs at the Las Vegas Family Equestrian Center. Liana has been affiliated with Horses4Heroes since 2010, when she started as a volunteer. As a horse owner and rodeo mom of four, she has always had an appreciation for all animals and the discipline horsemanship requires. Liana also has empathy for Law Enforcement Officers and their families, understanding first-hand the challenges that come with serving community and country. Liana loves sharing her knowledge of horses and farm animals with children and educating them about our the importance of preserving our western heritage and farm life for future generations. Liana is a Las Vegas native.
Mary West is the Associate Director for Equestrian Programs at the Horses4Heroes’ Las Vegas Family Equestrian Center. Mary has been living in Las Vegas most of her life and grew up spending her time volunteering at local animal shelters. Mary started as a volunteer with Horses4Heroes in September 2022. Mary also coordinates our Social Media activities.
Jenna Markl is an intern with Horses4Heroes and serves as the assistant to the Director of Health and Wellness programs at the Las Vegas Family Equestrian Center. She works with the director to plan and facilitate EAL programs for center clients and works as a ride staff assistant, helping with recreational and instructional programs. She is a certified yoga instructor and is working to obtain her LMHC. Jenna is a Washington native and has lived in Las Vegas since 2018.
Diann Dunn Friedman
Diann Dunn Friedman is an equestrian with more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of horse care, horsemanship, training, coaching and instructing. Diann serves as the advisor to the ride staff and is the Interim Director of Equestrian Programs and Activities. She oversees all instructional, educational and recreational equestrian activities as well as overseeing the care of the horses who call our center home. A Brooklyn native, Diann has lived in Las Vegas since 2003.
Jean Fajardo, LCSW
Jean Fajardo, LCSW, is an advisor to the Horses4Heroes health and wellness team, assisting with equine assisted learning programs and activities for Veterans, First Responders, recovering addicts, survivors of domestic abuse, violence, trauma, trafficking, and at-risk youth teens. She also advises programs with college students working on bachelor and advanced degrees in social work. Jean is a Seattle native and has lived and worked in Las Vegas since 1993.