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 affordable 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 Flaum, LCSW, MBA

Executive Director


Jenn is committed to community engagement and service and knows that relationships are built on a foundation of trust and transparency. 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 joins the Heartlight Center team with more than 15 years of experience in the field of grief and loss through her experience in hospice and palliative care.  As a hospice social worker, Jenn spent time at the bedside of hospice patients and helped families through the grieving process. She began her career as a hospice volunteer, volunteering with adult and pediatric hospice patients and at a Children’s Grief Camp in Kansas City.  Jenn went on to dedicate her career to hospice and palliative care, working in the field of healthcare administration, before joining Heartlight Center. 

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 a licensed clinical social worker and holds a master’s degree in social work from Kansas University, and a Master of Business Administration from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Flaum earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a Certificate of Ethics Studies from Colorado State University.

You can contact Jenn at jflaum@heartlightcenter.org

Allison Gary, LPC, MA

Program Director


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, and often there is isolation and a lack of support felt during the grief process.

Allison is a licensed therapist, specializing in grief and loss, and brings to HeartLight Center both a diverse professional skill set as well as compassion and caring for supporting bereaved individuals. Allison received her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Regis University and completed her internship training with Agape Hospice. She has a passion for learning and teaching others about grief work.

Allison is dedicated to providing support and services to the community so others can find healing and connection. You are welcome to contact Allison for questions about HeartLight’s Center’s programs, services, and resources.

You can contact Allison at allison@heartlightcenter.org.

Jenn Flaum, LCSW, MBA Executive Director

HeartLight Center Board of Directors

Board Members:

Jamie McConaty, Board Chair

Michael Gold

Stephanie Heitkemper

Effie Kavadas Wilson

June Seppa

Marlene Seward

John Veldkamp

Jen Thomas

Keith Williams