The Board

Our board consists of a specialized group of wild horse advocates whose professional experience includes finance, marketing, and business. Not only are we all committed to saving and educating the public about the talents and attributes of the wild American horse, but we are all active volunteers working on and off the ranch with the horses.

Patricia Griffin-Soffel

Patricia Griffin-Soffel
- Founder

Patricia Griffin-Soffel is the founding member of Sweetbeau Horses. She is a retired Silicon Valley Entrepreneur having sold her company in 2015. Her passion has always included the well-being of the equine in our society, and has focused in recent years on the plight of the wild mustang...

Patricia Griffin-Soffel is the founding member of Sweetbeau Horses. She is a retired Silicon Valley Entrepreneur having sold her company in 2015. Her passion has always included the well-being of the equine in our society, and has focused in recent years on the plight of the wild mustang. Under the threat of the wild mustang becoming extinct in the next 10 years, she is dedicated to generating awareness, education, training programs and adoptions to help them thrive in a domestic environment.
Prior to founding Sweetbeau, Patricia was a foundational financial contributor to the rescue of 900 horses in South Dakota, known as the ISPMB (Int’l Society for the Protection of Wild Horses and Burro’s) rescue.

In 1997, Griffin-Soffel founded the Silicon Valley, Tech-enabled Services company, ICon Professional Services. As one of the pioneers in Independent Contractor regulatory compliance and consequences of misclassifying workforce categories for tax purposes. Griffin-Soffel was recognized with prestigious awards, including: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, a six time recipient for Fastest Growing Private Company in Silicon Valley /Bay Area, HR Executive Product of the Year, and numerous Client Excellence Awards. In 2015, Griffin sold the company and retired to pursue her passion of horse rescue.

Prior to ICon, Griffin-Soffel held Senior Executive positions with the largest global staffing company, Adecco, offering extensive international business and travel experience.
Griffin-Soffel has served on the board of Entrepreneurs Inc. and Grace Foundation Rescue as well as served as fundraiser for Leukemia Society of America. She is a continued sponsor, advocate and supporter of veteran equine therapy programs addressing PTSD.

Griffin-Soffel is married with an active life that includes travel, equine sports, skiing, scuba diving and other outdoor activities.

Michael Soffel

Michael Soffel
- Founder

Michael Soffel is the founding partner of Sweetbeau Horses. Soffel had a demanding career in the transportation and technology industry, retiring from their Silicon Valley company in 2016 after a successful sale and transition. His corporate career has expanded over 25 years...

Michael Soffel is the founding partner of Sweetbeau Horses. Soffel had a demanding career in the transportation and technology industry, retiring from their Silicon Valley company in 2016 after a successful sale and transition.

His corporate career has expanded over 25 years with a primary focus on partnering with large enterprise clients to deliver business solutions on a national and global basis. In 1990, Soffel moved to the SF Bay Area from New Jersey to launch his professional career in the international transportation industry. Over the course of a decade, Soffel held various positions for Sea-Land Service Inc., a subsidiary of CSX Corporation.

Living in Silicon Valley it was just a matter of time until Soffel decided to venture into the technology field. In 1999 he joined ICon Professional Services. Soffel has held various management positions and responsibilities including new client deployment, account management, program management, solution design, client acquisition, and channel partnerships. Soffel was a key member of the executive management team that assisted ownership through an acquisition in 2015.

Soffel has been a member of various equine clubs in the SF Bay Area and has been a strong supporter of equine therapy for veterans with PTSD. He has participated and fundraised for various charities including The Leukemia Society, Breast Cancer, Equine, and Veteran Charities. He is active in equine sports, an avid golfer, and enjoys skiing, scuba diving and other outdoor activities.

Soffel joined his wife Patricia Griffin-Soffel in founding and managing Sweetbeau Horses in 2017.

Soffel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Widener University.

Robert Mishler Finance/Accounting

Robert Mishler
- Finance/Accounting

Robert Mishler began his professional career after receiving a degree in Education & Business from the University of Akron, Ohio in 1971. He first worked as an auditor for the State of Ohio, Franchise Tax Board. In 1979, as a result of wishing to live in a warmer climate, Bob relocated to Dallas, Texas. During his time in Dallas, he was employed as a staff manager at Baylor University Medical Center...

Robert Mishler began his professional career after receiving a degree in Education & Business from the University of Akron, Ohio in 1971. He first worked as an auditor for the State of Ohio, Franchise Tax Board. In 1979, as a result of wishing to live in a warmer climate, Bob relocated to Dallas, Texas. During his time in Dallas, he was employed as a staff manager at Baylor University Medical Center. While living in Dallas, he also attended the University of Texas, focusing on Business Management and Finance.

Bob eventually fulfilled his dream to go even farther west, and in 1987 moved to the Bay Area of Northern California. He found employment very quickly with KG Land California Corporation, a large overseas based real estate construction and development company, where he worked as a staff accountant and payroll specialist. He was soon promoted and became a senior accountant, sharing responsibility for several large regional construction projects, primarily the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame, California. From 1988 through 1993, Bob was temporarily transferred to Burbank California, where he specialized in the accounting for the construction of two major projects, The Burbank Tower in Burbank, and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences complex in North Hollywood. Upon completion of the projects, Bob returned home to the Bay Area. He continued to work for KG Land through most of 1997 as a senior accounting manager. When the company decided to relocate to New York City, Bob declined the offer to move, deciding instead to remain in the Bay Area.

Later in 1997, Bob accepted an opportunity to become the accounting and payroll manager for ICon Professional Services, a new company which began earlier that year in Foster City, California. Bob was excited to be a part of the new company and took an active role in its financial structure and development. He was responsible for the day to day financial operations, and payroll and accounting activities of ICon. Bob worked very closely with company founder and president Patricia Griffin-Soffel. Bob remained with ICon for nearly 15 years and retired in 2012.

In retirement, Bob continues to consult with local companies, is an avid mountain bicycle rider, and enjoys attending to a large annual vegetable garden. In addition, Bob is serving as president of his community homeowner association for the sixth year, and takes an active part in local area senior and civic activities.

Gina Rayfield Social Media / Events

Gina Rayfield
- Social Media / Events

Gina Rayfield has over 30 years of marketing experience in both high tech and the music industry. Upon graduation in 1988 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Graphic Communications, Gina worked in the computer industry marketing products for both Hewlett-Packard and Xerox Corporation. Seeking a more creative industry Gina became part of the Windham Hill Records...

Gina Rayfield has over 30 years of marketing experience in both high tech and the music industry. Upon graduation in 1988 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Graphic Communications, Gina worked in the computer industry marketing products for both Hewlett-Packard and Xerox Corporation. Seeking a more creative industry Gina became part of the Windham Hill Records marketing team, and worked in retail, advertising, and tour promotions before retiring to raise her two children and continue her pro-bono marketing work for non-profit organizations.

As a childhood equestrian she has finally realized her dream of coming back to her love of horses through trail and endurance riding as well as her work in advocating for our American mustang. Gina and her husband Mike are now proud parents of their own Sweetbeau mustang, The Duke.

karentillman

Karen Tillman
- Marketing / Communications

Karen Tillman has more than two decades of experience, managing corporate communications for global technology companies such as Oracle and Cisco, and is currently the Chief Communications Officer of GoDaddy. Karen and her family are passionate about all-things equine. While Karen’s passion has historically been rooted in western and trail riding, her daughter’s passion is for...

Karen Tillman has more than two decades of experience, managing corporate communications for global technology companies such as Oracle and Cisco, and is currently the Chief Communications Officer of GoDaddy. Karen and her family are passionate about all-things equine. While Karen’s passion has historically been rooted in western and trail riding, her daughter’s passion is for show jumping warms bloods, so they are now happily teaching and sharing their respective interests with each other.

The opportunity to work with Sweetbeau is truly a soul-gratifying experience, as equine rescue is something of which Karen is deeply passionate. Bringing to bear her experience in communications, community outreach, and marketing, Karen hopes to raise awareness of the plight of American Mustangs, and find new levels of support for Sweetbeau Horses.