Board of Directors
The Youth First Texas Board of Directors
Richard Gordon is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and has been working with LGBT social organizations for more than 25 years. While attending Oklahoma State University, Richard was President of the Gay & Lesbian Student Organization; chaired the campus GLB Student Speakers Bureau; and was the OSU student representative on the Board of the Tulsa Oklahomas for Human Rights Organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before joining Youth First Texas in 2000, Mr. Gordon was involved with the Hope Youth Program in the Mentoring Program as an adult mentor to GLBT youth.
Mr. Gordon was on the first Youth First Texas Board of Directors after the organization’s inception and served on the Youth First Texas Board of Directors for over 6 years, volunteering in various capacities for three additional years. Along with co-authoring the New Volunteer training curriculum with Bob Ivancic in 2000, Richard also facilitated youth support meetings and facilitated the Volunteer Training program for over 7 years. He was instrumental in every relocation of the organization over the course of its history; scouting locations, fundraising for improvements, and providing design services for the interior construction and design layout. Richard headed the establishment of the first YFT computer center and training lab at the previous Maple Avenue location.
“We are working with the future of the LGBT Community. The youth who attend our meetings and utilize the programs & services will be the next generation to fight for GLBT justice. The potential impact they can have on tomorrow is AMAZING!
Richard is an Interior Designer with a Dallas firm and enjoys art, architecture, photography, and travel.
Cathy Gonzalez served as YFT Board of Director co-chair during 2008 to 2010. She has been a volunteer and supporter of YFT for the past six years. Previously Cathy had served as the program sponsor and lead facilitator for the University of North Texas’ Ally Program which ensures the university is a welcoming and diverse campus. In the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, she has spent the last six years working towards reform in the Catholic Church through educational efforts and ministry for Catholic parents who support and esteem their gay children. Cathy has participated in awareness training for school safety issues in local school districts, and met with state representatives to lobby for GLBT equality in various Texas districts.
Cathy is currently employed by the University of North Texas (UNT) System in the capacity of Assistant Director for Communications, Marketing and Training for IT Shared Services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNT and a Master of Science in Human Relations and Business. Home for Cathy is Little Elm, Texas, where she lives with her dogs, Crickett and Fritz.
Chris served on the YFT board from 2005 to 2008, serving as a regular board member for awhile then as president for two years and vice-president for two years. While on the board, YFT became a BTD beneficiary and moved from a small location on Butler to an expanded location in the same complex. We also hired our first full time youth director and full time administrative person as well during this period and expanded from being open only one night a week to 5 days a week.
Chris then returned to the board in 2010 for two years serving as development director and community liaison.
In his spare time, Chris works a full time job as a PeopleSoft Projects Manager at Alliance Data in Plano, and continue to take Spanish lessons as a hobby and is part of an investment club as well. Other interests/hobbies include taking yoga and working out on a regular basis, going to see movies, and traveling. Chris is planning a trip to Argentina next year.
Director of Programming
Renee has been active as either a YFT volunteer or board director since 2006. She has been a past facilitator of a number of YFT youth classes and youth groups over the years. Renee now provides counseling services to youth as a volunteer. She is also the YFT Collin County liaison to North Texas Youth Connection in Allen, TX where she works as a Family Counseling Case Manager and where the Collin County meetings are held.
Renee holds a recent Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Amberton University. Renee also holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UT Dallas, where she was a research scientist and faculty member. Renee enjoys good friends, books, photography, nature, cats, chocolate and movies with buttered popcorn!
Lee Dewey is an APICS certified operations and supply chain professional and has been an active volunteer in the Dallas LGBT community all her adult life. She began with Youth First Texas in 2000 where she was a weekly volunteer with the youth’s “big group”, a youth trip chaperone and was the first adult to facilitate the young women’s group of YFT. Lee previously served on the Youth First Texas Board of Directors 2002 – 2006.
Facilities and IT
Loras Freihoefer is a senior software developer working at Willow Creek Consulting in Allen, Texas. Loras joined the YFT family around 2002 as a volunteer at the Youth Center located on Maple and Bulter. He was immediately put to work on the many varied computers that YFT utilized at the time. His volunteer duties also included helping staff the front door at the center, organizing Thanksgiving Feasts and the Pride Parade.
Loras took over the accounting & bookkeeping duties in 2005 and in 2007 joined the board for the first time, becoming the Board Treasurer, while continuing his other volunteer and bookkeeping duties.
Loras was also responsible for bringing together a team of donors from Hewlett Packard who used their corporate generosity to donate a total of 12 identical HP desktop computers with very stylish 22 inch flat monitors. In so doing, YFT was able to provide a consistent computer environment to the youth. This simplified the tasks of keeping the computers up to date and allowed YFT to add tools that the youth could then utilize to support their needs.
In 2009, Loras worked closely with the constrcution team of the YFT Center on Harry Hines. Along with his partner, David Northway, they were responsible for running all of the networking and phone cables for the Center allowing YFT to save money. They insured that the new computer lab at the Harry Hines Youth Center was up and running for the grand opening of the center. This included the additional of new HP printers for the center, again using the HP software donation program.
Loras stepped off of the board of directors in 2011 but remained active in supporting IT operations at the Youth Center.
He rejoined the board in 2013. His duties on the board include keeping the center operational and the computers up and running. He is also involved in the development and support of the YFT web site and other technological concerns of the organization.