One Page Bio

Who is Gary?

Gary Eagleton was born in a small, rural community that his family settled in the late 1800s (Barrett Station, Texas). He has dedicated his life to “creating a climate for change” within communities, faith-based organizations, individuals, and families across the country. He has emerged as a highly respected and popular speaker on the circuit today. Gary integrates research- and evidence-based strategies with an engaging professional presence that audiences find captivating. Through aha! Process Gary provides training and consulting services for A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Bridges Out of Poverty, and Guarding the HEARTS of Minority Boys. His affiliation with nationally recognized models such as 40-Developmental Assets (SEARCH Institute), Six Seconds (Emotional Intelligence), the National Network of Partnership Schools (Johns Hopkins University), and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have made him a trusted and popular source for professional and personal development guidance throughout the United States. Gary is married with four amazing adult children and six talented grandchildren.

Gary’s credentials

  • Nonprofit Executive Management Certification, University of Houston, Graduate School of Social Work, Continuing Education
  • B.S. in Behavioral Science, University of Houston Clear Lake, Texas
  • Combat Veteran, United States Army

Associations and certifications

  • National Alliances for Mental Illnesses (NAMI) State Trainer
  • Nationally Certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)Trainer
  • Texas State Certified Recovery Coach Trainer
  • Texas State Certified Community Health Worker Instructor (CHWI)
  • Regional Operation Resilient Families (ORF) Facilitator/Trainer
  • Certified Anger Resolution Therapist (CART)
  • Level I, Six Seconds Social-Emotional Intelligence Coach
  • Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets
  • Active Relationships Active Communication, Active Relationships Center
  • Family Wellness Survival Skills Trainer/Facilitator

Gary’s aha! moment

While working in Goose Creek ISD (in the late 1990s), I was involved in the implementation of the city’s first Gang Activity Prevention program (GAP) and was invited by Dr. Ruby Payne to attend a presentation on A Framework for Understanding Poverty. The materials presented provided me with a powerful connection to theory and my practice wisdom. That body of work (ever since) has been beneficial in every aspect of my personal and professional life.

Gary’s passions

I enjoy landscaping and container gardening in my spare time. I value the quiet time I get to spend at the beach on Galveston Island’s west end. My world view is broadened by spirited debate with my wife Cynthia, a licensed master school-based social work administrator. Professionally, I am energized by using a blend of motivational, experiential, and targeted instruction methodologies to convey curricula.

Gary’s best training

I absolutely love facilitating the Framework workshops! Time after time, workshop participants will wait around after the workshop is over to express their individual aha! moments. Many times they share their personal connection to the information. “Now I understand why my mother-in-law does that,” or, “I will no longer judge that behavior as undesirable,” or, the most touching of all: One school administrator said, “The work is spot on. My wife came from a middle class, intact family, and mine was the total opposite. My wife taught me the hidden rules needed to make the adjustment to middle class.”

What does Gary do for fun?

I love to dance. I love contemporary gospel, jazz, and blues music, but my most fun things to do would involve my wife, children, and especially grandchildren, spending time together at the EAGLE’s Nest, their favorite place on Galveston Island.

What are people saying about Gary?

“Gary is a calm, clear presenter who engages the participants in the learning. He answers questions, understands the frustrations, and provides for the resolution of the difficulty. His approach to the participants is one of respect and service. I recommend Gary without reservation.”

–Dr. Ruby K. Payne

“The speaker was able to communicate clearly and captured the class. He has mastery of the subject.”

“Mr. Eagleton gave a very powerful presentation today that has opened my eyes and given me a better understanding of how to approach and connect with boys.”

“Gary’s knowledge and understanding of nonprofit organizations, working with individuals from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds, and interpersonal dynamics was apparent from the beginning. I was impressed with his engaging personality, his professionalism, and, at the same time, his ability to put us at ease as we explored our concerns. His honest feedback during our debriefing session confirmed some of our observations regarding an employee. Through his recommendations, we were able to assist the employee in alleviating some of the behaviors that were affecting their work.”

“Came in not sure what to expect … leaving with a better handle on how to reach my boys!”

“I really enjoyed the workshop. As a special education teacher, it will give me additional strategies that I can use with my students.”

“You were great! You took the time to address each and every concern that emerged but at the same time provided input when you saw areas we didn’t. I had a wonderful time and feel motivated to move forward in my work and contribute to the team.”