About HeartLight Center

Since 2001, the HeartLight Center – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – has welcomed thousands of grieving people just like you.  Together, we have created an open, compassionate community that offers strength, peace, and the support you need to move forward.

Through support groups and education, we are committed to giving you the resources you need to help you feel heard, seen, and validated.

Our mission at HeartLight Center is to provide meaningful and accessible grief support and education to the community.

The HeartLight Center Story

After working with grieving individuals, families, and those who care for them, Jennifer McBride became acutely aware that a great need existed for a program that would serve those who did not fit into what our community offers for care.  She presented this to Valerie Horan, a funeral director for Horan and McConaty Funeral Services.  Valerie had a likeminded vision and shared with Jennifer her hope for a candle in the window that would welcome grieving people to come and share their stories.  Together, with the full support of John Horan and a dedicated board of directors, Jennifer and Valerie developed HeartLight Center, and opened its doors to the community in 2003.

Starting with just one monthly group for grieving people, offering community and support during some of the most difficult times in their lives, HeartLight Center programs have now grown to more than 10 center-led support groups, a number of community-run support groups, special events and workshops, and education and training for professional and volunteer caregivers.

Jennifer McBride retired as director of Heartlight Center in 2020, and continues to be a champion for the needs of the bereaved individuals and families in our community. Under the direction of our Executive Director, Jenn Flaum, HeartLight Center continues with our mission to grow and serve.

Meet Our Team

Jenn Flaum, LCSW, MBA

Executive Director

Jenn entered the field of grief and loss support as a hospice volunteer in 2004.  She continued as a hospice volunteer, serving grieving children, adults and professionals for six years while pursuing her MSW at Kansas University.  In 2010, Jenn decided to dedicate her career to hospice work.

Jenn worked in hospice and palliative care for over ten years before joining HeartLight Center.  She was drawn to HeartLight Center’s mission to provide community grief support and education for anyone impacted by grief, regardless of their role, experiences or timeframes.

Jenn enjoys working as a group facilitator and presenter, offering grief support and education to individuals, professionals and caregivers.  She has experience in individual counseling, group facilitation, program development and healthcare administration.  Jenn is committed to community engagement and service and knows that relationships are built on a foundation of trust and transparency.

Jenn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Regis University in 2017.  She has worked in non-profit organizations the majority of her career and served on government boards.  Jenn is looking forward to continuing to serve the community through HeartLight Center.

You can contact Jenn at jflaum@heartlightcenter.org

Jenn Flaum, LCSW, MBA Executive Director
Allison Gary, a licensed therapist, smiling

Allison Gary, LPC, MA

Program Director

Allison is a licensed therapist in private practice who specializes in grief and loss counseling, and brings to HeartLight Center a diverse professional skill set for background operations work as well as compassion and caring for supporting bereaved individuals.  Allison’s personal history with grief and loss brought her into the field of mental health, and she recognizes that while grief is a universal human experience it is also a very unique experience to each individual.  She recognizes that often there is isolation and a lack of support felt during the grief process, and is honored to work within the community to provide support during vulnerable times in the lives of the bereaved.

Allison received her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Regis University and completed her internship training with Agape Hospice under the guidance and supervision of Karrie Filios where she began gaining experience and knowledge specific to doing grief counseling work.  Allison continues to further her education and has a passion for both learning as well as teaching others more about grief work.

Dedicated to helping to provide support and services to the community to help others find healing and connection, Allison has been a natural fit for joining the HeartLight Center team to help with administration support, coordination of programs, gathering and connecting people to resources, as well as facilitating groups here at HeartLight Center.  You are welcome to contact Allison for questions about programs, services and resources at allison@heartlightcenter.org.

Our Facilitators and Volunteers









Emmy, Jackie, & Vicki
Administrative Volunteers

HeartLight Center Board of Directors

Jamie McConaty, Board Chair
Michael Gold
Stephanie Heitkemper
Effie Kavadas Wilson
June Seppa

Marlene Seward
Jen Thomas
John Veldkamp
Keith Williams