Who founded the agency? Why did they do it and Why did they choose the setup that there is?
The answer - kindof simple.
The founder's name is Dennis Carl Gleason, born in August of 1970 by two working class parents in Portland, Oregon (Bill and Dianne). Raised mostly in Portland/Troutdale, Oregon with a two year stint in Fargo, ND and 2 years in Corbett, Oregon.
Dennis attended various grade schools including Corbett Grade School and ending with Sweetbriar Elementary (Troutdale), moving through Rockwood Middle School (now closed) and then finally graduating with the final class of Columbia High School (Troutdale - Now the consolidated Reynolds High School).
In 1988 while still in high school, Dennis created a landscaping and horticultural sales company calledy Dynomite Enterprises.
After high school, Dennis went to college part time which is where his journey to this foudation really got it's start. He attending Mt. Hood Community College located in Gresham, Oregon - literally across the street from Troutdale city limits, where he stumbled up the DECA club on campass.
He joined DECA while taking classes in business and law enforcement and to add to his swimming letter from high school sports, became lifeguard certified. He moved out on his own living with various roommates - working at 7 - 11 at night and was a lifeguard and instuctor for the YMCA in Portland.
He even was able to rise to the challenge of being a chapter vice president and later a the Oregon Collegiate President of DECA with several 1st and 2nd place competition awards.
Continuing to pursue his law enforcement career to mirror many of his relatives that had chose either police or miliary including his father and step father, uncle and three of his brothers that were old enough at the time, he took advantage of advanced lifesaving and water rescue programs. He was jumping out of helicopters to prepare for a possible long term career in either search and rescue or the Coast Guard.
In 1994 seeing that the name Dynomite was not getting any traction and everyone was mis-spelling it like the word Dynamite, plus the addition of non-landscaping services, he changed it to similate his child cartoon hero Darkwing Duck - so Dark Wing International was born - part time when he could - taking steady and consistent over unsure and inconsistent income of course.
Before long, making ends meet become more and more difficult. The idea of going into the military was dampened by the thought of having to pick up and move at the whim of the government, settled on just pursuing law enforcement.
He became an intern through Mt. Hood Community College when he was going to school there and for over 15 years, volunteered and or interned with the Oregon State Police, Milwaukie Police Dept. and the Washington County Sheriff's Dept. and participated in over 100 ride-a-long patrols between some 15 agencies around OR and ND.
Keeping involved with the DECA program, Dennis was married in 1995 and acquired the son of his then wife (Gabe). He was working at JC Penney as an Account Manager when the Wells Fargo / First Interstate merger took place and decided to make a change like many other co-workers had.
In October of 1996, he began his career at Wells Fargo, first in collectons, then recovery and finally where he is as of 2014 as a senior test lead managing software changes for Wells Fargo's consumer lending division.
KATU Channel 2 Ultimate Volunteer Dennis Gleason
1998, with the realization that his adopted son wanted to pursue entertainment, he created the Dark Wing Productions division of the company that, for various reasons, became the parent company in 2013. His wife at the time left him mere weeks after the notification that the adoption had gone through so he was once again single, but with child support payments.
In 2004, Dennis became a TV producer through the TVTV station in Beaverton, OR (now TVCTV) and helped produce or direct hundreds of shows - some times doing 5 shows in a single week. He also took custoy of his neighbor's son (Kyle) to raise as his own in 2006 at his own expense and in 2007, his adopted son came to live with him.
2008 rolled around and in February, he had the chance to produce for TV, a local pageant. That followed up with the winner being the host of a show he later poduced. That's where he met his current and final wife, M'chel Bauxal-Gleason.
Thoughout all of these employment years, Dennis volunteered for various nonprofits such as DECA as a state and national judge, served on the board of directors of the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA), Oregon League of Minority Voters (OLMV) and the Westside / Beaverton Police Activities League (Beaverton PAL and Westside PAL depending on year) and the Nortwest Bicycle Safety Council (NWBSC).
In addition, he helped serve on many committees or help with events for popular Oregonians such as Amy Roloff, Michael Allen Harrison, Michael Harper, Patrick Lamb, Julianne Johnson and helped with scores of other events including the multimillion dollar Classic Wines Auction were he is the Runner Lead for going on ten years.
He also acquired the Portland Teen Idol program from the City of Portland's Parks Bureau in 2011 after having volunteered in 2008 to film the program and was the video services company for their Director messages for the Movies in the Park program.
2013 came and Season 7 of the Portland Teen Idol program started to come together. At first thought to be way ahead and due to complications, end up needing last minute work due to budget cuts.
So finally, in May, Dennis decided that it was time to make a bigger difference than he could do essentially on his own - meaning with minor funding and the wonderful volunteers. So not being able to fundraise as a community program, decided to move all of what he has been doing into one nonprofit foundation, and provide production and management support.
So that is where we are at. A dedicated civil servant that has spent the last 20 years helping others more than himself trying to work smarter and not harder by making a foundation primarily for teens to flourish and grow.