Kids in Focus is a community of passionate volunteers and generous supporters, who are dedicated to opening the eyes of at-risk youth to their own potential. We are committed to inspiring youth to see beyond their circumstances and create happy productive lives.
Cindy Bryant’s life took a dramatic turn in 2012 when she suddenly lost her son, Daniel. As a boy, Daniel saw the world from a unique perspective. As a high school freshman, he enrolled in a photography class and was captivated. School cameras, however, were not allowed off-campus, and at the time, his family could not afford to purchase one. When Daniel’s aunt loaned him a 35mm camera, his creativity flourished. As time passed, Daniel became more confident and began sharing his amazing photographs. He went on to create beautiful art, most notably the Phoenix Haboob of July 5, 2011, which was featured as a 3-page spread in the September issue of National Geographic.
Photography gave Daniel a voice, and Cindy wants other young people to find theirs through the power of photography. She is passionate about working with KIF, not only as a way to honor her son but also as a way to transform kids’ lives by putting cameras in their hands.
Cindy is a co-founder and managing partner of Momentum Financial Partners in Tempe, AZ.
Mike Buchheit is an author, landscape photographer, fundraiser, public speaker on the topic of park-based education, and a nonprofit consultant. He spent nearly thirty years as the Director of the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute. Mike brings with him decades of youth-based experiential education through the Field Institute, and the Canyon Field School residential camp (a GCC/National Park Service collaboration).
Colleen Katz has been living in Scottsdale since she was 5 and has been volunteering since she was a teen. She has a love for all philanthropy and helping others and has served on many Valley not-for-profit Boards and been involved in charitable events for over 25 years.
A mother of 4, she raised her kids to be involved in the community too which led to many youth-based organizations. She learned photography when taking her 4 to local studios for holiday pictures became a nightmare. Starting with doing her own family photos, then friends, then for organizations she was involved with lead to starting her own business Pictures in Pixels.
Chatting at a reunion, she found out about Kids in Focus and after going to photograph an Exhibit Opening for Karen, Colleen fell in love with the organization. She has been a mentor for 6 years, Co-Chaired the 2nd Noche para los Ninos fundraiser, and is honored to now serve on the Board.
Tom is responsible for many aspects related to Kids in Focus’ business operations, and as Treasurer he oversees finances with a focus on the growth and stability of the organization.
After working in the real estate business, Tom found his calling in the cable industry. Tom and his partners were pioneers in the private cable industry by having the foresight to serve the multi-housing industry with cable services before the big franchise companies began. He and a partner founded Satellite Management Services in 1985, becoming a leading provider of services to the private broadband industry. The business is still in operation serving commercial and governmental customers.
Retired from the day to day operations, he now owns and manages a portfolio of single-family rental properties in the Arcadia area. Tom is the proud father of 3 grown children who have all have established their homes very close to home.
When Lenna Bien was fourteen years old, her home and family business burnt down. With such a big loss, Lenna became an at-risk youth within her community. Organizations such as KIF helped propel her life to where it is today. In 2021, Rotary selected her to conduct a youth exchange and Lenna received a full ride scholarship through Daniels Fund. Without the help of these two organizations, Lenna could have had a much different outcome to her adult life.
Lenna works in Commercial Real Estate and Finance, and giving back to her community remains a priority in her life. She has been involved with KIF since 2018 and is also a member of Rotary.
Ryan’s experience crafting exceptionally communicative and thoughtful designs comprises two decades. As the Design Director at Highnoon Digital Marketing Agency in Tempe, he plays a leading role in all things creative. His current focus is on the development of talent within the agency.
As a long-time resident of the Valley and father of 2, he has a vested interest in the growth of the community and strives to help everyone succeed.
The brainchild and driving force behind Kids in Focus, Karen has been an extremely active volunteer for kids and families in need since the mid-1990s. Built upon on the foundation of two-decades of serving at-risk youth, Karen founded KIF in 2012 to equip vulnerable youth to build the self-worth and resilience they need to overcome their challenges.
Alongside her years of service, Karen has worked as a freelance commercial photographer for advertising clients, photographing people and places for an array of global, national and regional brands. Karen’s personal photography work has been exhibited internationally and her commercial work has won industry awards.
Karen’s three-decade photography career has continually reminded her of the power of seeing outside oneself. Her passion for life is a testament to seeing beyond one’s circumstances. Karen loves adventure and exploring this incredible planet, from mountain tops to ocean depths.
Leads KIF in building relationships with individual and corporate donors, developing fundraising marketing plans, writing and managing grant proposals, and coordinating special events. She has extensive background in fundraising and development, and a degree in advertising. She has held positions with local and national nonprofit organizations for over 25 years.
Creates dynamic and impactful KIF programs by building and measuring the social and emotional well-being of the kids we serve. She has doctoral training in Psychology and Creativity throughout development and 20 years of experience evaluating the impact of cultural and arts engagement on individuals and communities. She is also the Vice President for the Friends of the Tempe Center for the Arts Board and an educator at Phoenix College.
Sha’s love story with the nonprofit world began right after the military service. While backpacking and exploring the world, he landed on his first nonprofit job and knew he was born to serve. Before joining Kids In Focus, Sha filled senior nonprofit positions and consulate nonprofits nationwide.
Shahar (Sunrise in Hebrew) is an Israeli born and raised, a father of an incredible boy, Lev (heart in Hebrew), a Husky dog Pine, and a Hockey a Ragdoll cat. They love the outdoors and enjoy traveling together! Sha currently serves as our Senior Director of Operation, and together with a great team of directors and volunteers, they carry the Kids In Focus mission to success.