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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Terra Schaad

Founder & Executive Director

Hunkapi Programs Inc.

Location: Scottsdale

Founded: 1999

Industry: Nonprofit/Mental Health

Terra Schaad reached a point in her career where she had to choose between being a counselor and being the managing leader of her nonprofit. She said it was akin to asking: Which leg would you like to cut off, the right or the left?

“It was an impossible decision for me because I loved both, and each part of me had helped build the business,” Schaad said. “I ultimately ended up choosing to go with the founder and leadership role and hibernating my license because in the end, the company needed my heart, passion and drive more than it needed my counseling. I could hire counselors, but I could never hire another me.

“In the end, it turned out to be a great decision because we had a record-breaking year financially, and eventually state laws changed and I got to resume becoming a counselor again. At the time however, I thought both myself and my organization would suffer without me sitting in the counseling chair, but we didn’t; we just adapted and hired out for the roles that others could fill.”

Schaad’s nonprofit, Hunkapi Programs, works under the mission to teach the world to fear less and love more through equine assisted psychotherapy and somatic healing. “Hunkapi does this by regularly creating fresh experiences for their clients/participants that zing connection from head to toe. Hunkapi believes that facilitated, non-judgmental self-exploration of these physical reactions is the way to an open heart. They encourage people to live right here, right now with openness,” the company said.

Schaad holds a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree from Arizona State University and holds specialty training in somatic experience.

From 2010–2012, Schaad lived in Italy and worked at the University of Iowa’s CIMBA and international MBA program. She led and coached international students and executives through a rigorous leadership development program while researching the effect of applying neuro-biofeedback, psychological assessments and mindfulness on emotional regulation in leadership and the workplace.

Schaad has been honored by the Arizona Capitol Times with the Women Achievers of Arizona in 2019, recognized by Gov. Douglas A. Ducey when given the State of Arizona Commendation in 2020 and was featured in the Phoenix Business Journal’s 20 Names to Know in the Valley for Nonprofits. She also was recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Outstanding Women in Business in 2023.

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

Terra recently purchased the farm in December 2022 which gave Hunkapi Programs a solid base and home for the first time in 23 years.


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