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Dr. Denna Chenette Ph.D.

Denna Chennette is a lifetime New Englander. She was fortunate enough to be raised in the 70s at her Grandfather's off grid camp in Central Maine before the age of technology. Her favorite memories of those formative years were sleeping out under the stars and riding the Shetland ponies her family kept. In adulthood, Denna would instill that passion for the outdoors in her children (Will and Emily) around the mountains and woods of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. In 1986 she received her bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Southern Connecticut State University. During her Postgraduate studies at SCSU she was lucky enough to be able to hike a large portion of the Appalachian Trail. The start of her post masters’ professional career was spent working in grass-roots organizations as well as multiple non-profits including Paul Newmans’s renown, “Hole in the Wall Gang Camp'' as a single mother. Denna quickly moved into grant development for these organizations and excelled in seeking grants pertaining to Recreational Therapy, Grief Counseling, Traumatic Brain Injury, and the American Disabilities Act. During the early 2000’s Denna would also expand her grant experience while working as a research assistant at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) for quantitative and qualitative projects across the country. In 2005 she was conferred a doctoral degree from UCONN for her dissertation, “Exploring the role of therapeutic recreational service professionals in palliative and hospice care.” 

After her Doctorate, Denna continued to expand her grant writing experience working as an NPRA grant reviewer. She is perfectly suited for working with the Liberty Tree Ranch, given her success in obtaining significant funding for the “It’s All Good” project which specialized in helping veterans with PTSD in an agricultural environment (to include vocational rehabilitation services). Further following that passion for the outdoors she was accepted to a competitive educational program with the Northeast Organic Farming Association at Yale University which certified Denna in Organic Farming and Organic Land Care. Most recently, she works at Belle Reve Senior Living as the “Memory Care Unit” Director. She is a member of the ALZ Association and in that capacity acts as a support group leader who facilitates family caregiver educational workshops and leads bereavement support group at her church. She loves spending time with her Granddaughter, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, ballroom dancing, watching NFL games, hosting themed parties, dog sitting, volunteering, and participating in church events. Denna is very excited to join the Liberty Tree Ranch team and help drive the mission of the Ranch’s 501(c)3, “The Pioneer Alliance”.

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