Meet The Team

What is LeadQuine?

LeadQuine was co-founded in 2016 by Ellen Patnaude and Danielle Leach while looking for a way to bring together their strengths and experiences. While Ellen had been working with clients on leadership development under her own business name since 2005, it was time for rebranding and a fresh approach. Learning from the Horses, more formally known as Equine Guided Learning, was the perfect blend of Ellen and Danielle’s skill sets. It seemed fitting to find a name that incorporated both skill sets as well—Leadership with Equines, shortened to “LeadQuine”. They sought certification from a legend in the business, Tim Manson of Innovative Horizons, rounded up some cast-off horses and minis, and got started. Prior to this, Ellen had been using the AcuMax Index® assessment tool to create insights for clients about how they are hard-wired to interact. As the workshops with the horses developed, it became clear that using the AcuMax Index tool would make them even more unique and relevant to participants’ daily lives. Today, most of LeadQuine’s services use this psychometric assessment to facilitate deeper insights and answer the question, “Why do people do what they do, the way they do it?” And just as importantly, what can we do about it? LeadQuine’s offerings continue to expand and grow every year, so visit us often to see what’s new!

Our Founders

meet those who started leadquine

Ellen E. Patnaude


Ellen Patnaude has always been fascinated by how a person’s hard-wiring, life experiences, and unique perspective causes them to interact with the people around them. She is a Detroit native, and graduated from Alma College in 1995 with a BA in Biology & French. She thought she wanted to be Jacque Cousteau, but her first few science-based jobs pointed clearly towards working with people. She worked for several years as a community organizer in other midwestern states. Returning to Michigan in 2005, her reputation followed her for challenging people to see and be a better version of themselves, and the phone started ringing. Since then, Ellen has built a business facilitating group workshops and sessions for individuals interested in being challenged to create new roadmaps. Becoming certified in Equine Guided Learning has brought an expanded set of tools to her toolbox, and she loves bringing teams a whole new experience with the horses. In December 2019, Ellen completed a year-long program with the Center for Executive Coaching to become a Certified Executive Coach. She received the ACC credential from the International Coach Federation (ICF) earlier this year. Ellen also holds credentials from the AcuMax Index Assessment and MRG’s Leadership Effectiveness Assessment (LEA) 360.

Danielle M. Leach


Danielle M. Leach started working in the manufacturing industry in 1995, where her informal study of effective leadership styles began. She began training with leadership and motivational experts in 2002 and built an impressive library of knowledge in the field. Implementing the very skills she now teaches, Danielle was able to move up through the ranks in her industry, often attaining positions requiring formal education that she lacked, simply because of her mastery of key leadership skills. Her one-on-one coaching skills are exceptional, and her level of insight into what’s holding back her clients from greater success is highly acclaimed. Her love of horses began at age 6 when her grandpa brought home her first pony. She learned everything she knows about horses from just jumping in there with them and trying it all out. She has a keen ability to read their body language and signals, and has been breaking and training them for most of her life. Danielle is a natural in the arena with the horses and with our clients, and she is so pleased to have found a way to bring together two of her passions through the Equine Guided Learning certification. Danielle’s sense of humor, energy and insight keep LeadQuine grounded, and ensures every client interaction is exceptional.

Our Team Members

Our team Taking Blinders off your team

Cynthia Coy

Cynthia Coy has made a lifelong study of people and horses. She grew up riding horses from the time she could walk. Like her sister Danielle, she developed a keen ability to read their body language from an early age, which has given her great insight into human body language and unspoken signals as well. Cynthia has worked in the school system where her children attend since the time they both entered it, including work with children with special needs. She spent a summer working as a team building facilitator with the Bear Lake Camp in Lapeer, Michigan. Cynthia is excellent at reading body language and assessing how to quickly make everyone around her feel at ease. She participated along with Ellen and Danielle in the program for Equine Guided Learning certification.

Chris McNeany

Chris McNeany has been a presentation skills and leadership development instructor for the past ten years. He thrives on being able to see his clients achieve their potential by maximizing an individual’s strength and finding strategies to overcome weaknesses. He also teaches team building events with a focus on philanthropy to better connect companies with their communities and allow participants to have fun in the process.

Chris is also an experienced improviser, having studied at The Groundlings in Los Angeles.

Fiona Dawson

Fiona Dawson is a passionate believer in the power of soft-skills. She grew up in a rural area outside Boston, Lincolnshire, U.K. where farms and horses were a staple. Since 2000 she has been facilitating a broad range of curriculum from energizing team building events, insightful team culture workshops to presentations skills classes. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and adept at customizing programs for diversity & inclusion awareness. After leaving England in 1998, Fiona lived and worked in Bangladesh and Portugal before emigrating to the U.S. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and has several continuing education credentials. Fiona’s eclectic career in education, non-profit and corporate sectors provides the perfect foundation for helping people know themselves and work better together.

Stacie Champeau, MA, LLPC

Stacie Champeau has experience working with teens, young adults, adults, and the geriatric population. She received her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University with a concentration in interpersonal communication and health, and her Masters in Counseling from Oakland University.

She enjoys working with men and women facing life difficulties, students in college.  She has worked with individuals facing stress/anxiety, depression, social and communication problems, academic stressors, and behavior modifications. She has a great deal of experience working with grief and loss, bariatric evaluations, weight control, anorexia, and wellness. Stacie specifically also additional training in testing and assessments, eating disorders, bariatric evaluations, weight control, grief/loss, and wellness counseling.

Her approach to therapy is patient-centered and strength based, with a relaxed and personalized style. Stacie builds trust easily with clients seeing things from their perspective and is empathetic. She uses an integrative approach and believes therapy is about exploring the past, discovering the present, and evolving into your future.

A Horse and A Pony

Duke, the Palomino Arab mix, is the herd boss. He is curious but wary of new situations and will be the first one to head back to the barn if something scary happens, like the cows next door moving too fast. He’s a benevolent leader, most often making his wishes known by moving his ears and head, rather than using his teeth. Roger, the Icelandic black and white pony, is by far the most playful and mischievous member of the herd. He absolutely loves people and doesn’t hesitate to invite himself into your space. He is never far from Duke, whom he adores, much to the irritation of Lily, our mini mule. 

Three members of our herd have moved on to their next homes recently, leaving a couple of vacancies. Stay tuned for updates on newcomers!

Small Packages

Variety is not only the spice of life, but the reality of every team we’ve ever encountered in the workplace. And so, we have variety in our team, too! Meet Lily, Daisy and Glory. Daisy and her daughter, Glory, are mini donkeys. They have sweet dispositions and are very loving once you get to know them. Being donkeys, they have a different nature than the horses. They are a little on the shy side, but can take you by surprise with their playfulness. They stick closely together and are definitely the most stubborn members of the group. But they are also the most affectionate and loyal. Lily is a mini mule, which is a cross between a mini donkey and a mini horse. She can most often be found near Duke, as she fancies herself co-leader of the herd with him, and also plays quite a bit with Roger. She loves to keep everyone informed of everything, so she very vocally announces anything happening in the pasture.

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