Cortney Gumbleton, Executive Director
Cortney originally hails from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, yet has lived in Fort Worth for nearly a decade. She had the pleasure of serving two honorable tours in the World's Finest Navy, first serving as a military police officer following the attacks of September 11th, and then as a Plane Captain and aircraft mechanic on F/A-18 Hornets and C-130 Hercules aircraft. After losing her best friend to suicide in 2008, Cortney made a personal commitment to provide those around her with the educational tools to further prevent loss.
Cortney completed her undergraduate work at Texas Christian University and earned a Master's degree in Social Work, specializing in Community and Administrative Practice at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her professional experiences include implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention strategic plan for a $250,000 federally funded grant resulting in the creation of a permanent university position; cultivating professional relationships with key stakeholders and raising over $100,000 in donations for campus suicide prevention; and managing a team of 23 QPR Gatekeeper Trainers, who collectively provided over 135 suicide prevention trainings to more than 3,500 TCU students, staff, faculty, parents, and community members.
Cortney has a passion for vulnerable populations. She loves brainstorming high-impact, low-cost strategies to fulfill community needs, and seized the opportunity to replicate TCU's successful program by increasing the scale for Tarrant County. Cortney is an emerging leader with an impressive history of building innovative programs that communities value, strategizing high-impact, low-cost approaches that work, developing authentic messaging that inspire, and delivering metrics that show meaningful community change.
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Dyar Bentz, Program Director
From nearby small town Grandview, TX, Dyar’s winding, wandering path has led him around the world and back, just in time and perfectly prepared to head the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation’s ambitious Light the Trail cycling journey.
While studying English literature and child psychology at the University of Texas Dyar partook in the Texas 4000 for Cancer charity bike ride from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK, the first of a series of long adventures across the globe. Upon graduating he set off to Mexico and China with a non-profit media production team which produced a series of documentary videos and articles highlighting the unique stigmas surrounding cancer survivors in other nations. And after a year living abroad & teaching English in Japan, joined by three filmmaker/photographer friends, he embarked on his biggest journey yet, a 21 month, 14,000 mile self-supported cycling venture from the top of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina.
Now back safely from South America, Dyar is thrilled to apply his experience with long distance bike travel and media production toward honoring Jordan, one of his closest friends and a fellow giddy globetrotter. Among his myriad compulsions: film photography, Premier League football, jazz & hip hop, absurdist literature, and urban hammocking.
Kara S. Rariden,
Kara, a native of Graham, Texas, has made Fort Worth her home for the past 15 years. During that time she has been an active volunteer for a number of local agencies and even served on the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth and Junior League of Fort Worth.
Kara graduated from Texas A&M University and holds a B.B.A. in Marketing. She is a licensed attorney, having completed her J.D. at Texas Tech University. Kara’s career has been spent with law firms in both Dallas and Fort Worth specializing in probate and bankruptcy. Kara is also a graduate of the 2013 class of Leadership Fort Worth. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Ciera Bank.
Kara serves as the primary point of contact for all of our community partners. If you have any questions, she is your gal!
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