the Vision | the GNO | the Team | become a Sponsor |  FAQs

the Vision

The Girl's Night Out you won't regret the next day

On the outside do you look like you have it all together, but on the inside, you’re fighting a soundtrack of negative stories.

Are you rushing through life on a tightrope, keeping your struggles and sometimes even your joys, to yourself?

Despite our picture perfect updates, many women don’t feel quite so put together on the inside. We’re striving to be great at everything, while inside we’re losing touch with the truth about who we really are and who we want to be.

We push even harder to do it all better, never stopping to truly connect, even with our closest friends.  But the truth is, when we live our lives in consistent authentic connection to our girlfriends, it’s so much easier to replace the negative stories we believe about ourselves with Love.

HeartStories is on a mission to help you hear Love louder than all the negative noise in your life.

By first acknowledging that we are all sisters and we’re in this together, we’re creating fun new ways to support each other,

Together, we’re improving the way women think, love, and live.

Are you ready for a new story?

the GNO

Just like any great girl’s night, you’ll enjoy laughter, wine and hors d’oeuvres, but you’ll wake up the next morning refreshed, with more clarity, feeling more connected, and inspired to be more intentional about becoming the woman you know you’re meant to be, with a tribe of women who have your back, right by your side.

more joy.

more connection.

more purpose.

more fun.

It’s time to bring fun and meaningful connection back to this season of our lives.

It’s entirely possible to live our crazy-busy lives with purpose and a lot more joy. But it all hinges on connection.  We have to get reconnected to ourselves and each other and have fun doing it!  That’s why we created a fresh new spin on a Girl’s Night Out.

It’s like a mini retreat in the middle of your week.  

Reserve your spot!

the Team

Powered by a band of believers who are inspired by Crystal’s passion and vision, a team of talented thinkers, doers and creators has come together to support the HeartStories mission.

Crystal is a wife and mother who left a successful career to start HeartStories because she knows what it’s like for women to rush through life on autopilot, losing touch with close friends and the truth about themselves in little pieces along the way.

HeartStories was born out of her passion to help women to hear Love louder than all the negative noise in their lives. Through HeartStories, Crystal is determined to create fun, innovative ways to connect women with more joy and purpose.   Her mission is to inspire them to be all they’re meant to be, while enjoying the journey together, despite their hectic lives.  She hosts monthly GNOs (Girl’s Nights Out) speaks, and blogs  about life and learning on the journey of leading HeartStories.

When she’s not focused on HeartStories, she can often be found exploring the great outdoors, snort-laughing with her girlfriends, or dancing like a maniac with her boys and her husband Scott.

Crystal would love to connect!  Find her on LinkedInFacebookInstagram, & Twitter.



Crystal Gornto
Founder and Chief Love Amplifier

Board of Directors


Keith Jacobs graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and spent the first 5 years of his career working at consulting firms Ernst & Young and Sapient. After the .com bust and a month before 9/11, Keith founded a user-experience design firm called Bright Corner that he grew, merged with Geniant, and eventually sold to EMC in 2007. Although he didn’t have a non-compete or earn-out, Keith worked at EMC for two years before getting the entrepreneurial itch once again. Keith then co-founded another user-experience design firm called projekt202, which was ranked #13 in the 2012 Dallas 100 and #161 in the 2013 Inc. 500. After growing the firm to over 100 employees and three offices, Keith handed over the CEO reins to a fellow investor and has stepped back from day-to-day company operations to focus on growing a handful of companies, including HeartStories.

Keith is also co-founder of Sifter, an online bug and issue tracker used by hundreds of businesses around the world, and is a guest lecturer at the SMU Cox School of Business and at Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. Joanne, Keith’s wife of 14 years, is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and they have two adorable daughters named Emma and Lily, ages 8 and 4.


Keith Jacobs


Dennis Jay Cagan

Dennis Jay Cagan is a noted high-technology industry director, executive, and entrepreneur.  He has founded or co-founded over a dozen different companies, and in addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Mr. Cagan has been a CEO of both public and private companies, consultant, venture capitalist, private investor, and professional board member – 51 company boards.  In 1979 he was the Keynote Speaker at the first COMDEX Show in Las Vegas.  In 2011 he was elected to the IT Hall of Fame – Channel Wing, administered by CompTIA. In 2013 the Dallas Business Journal and NACD selected him as one of 12 Outstanding Directors in North Texas.

In 1976 he founded the David Jamison Carlyle Corp. (his 5th start-up. After being included in Inc. Magazine’s first Inc. 100, he took DJC public (NASDAQ) in 1981. Today, Mr. Cagan is primarily engaged in management consulting through his personal firm Caganco Incorporated. He is a regular contributor of feature articles published in Directors&Boards Magazine, and a speaker on the subject of boards of directors. Feel free to connect with Dennis on LinkedIn.

Rick Gornto, CFP®, CPC is currently is Principal Partner of First Financial Benefits, Inc. and  Managing Partner at DRDA, PLLC CPA’s and works extensively in the areas of Practice Management, Personal & Corporate Financial Planning, Business Consulting, Retirement Planning and Mergers & Acquisitions. He has been nationally recognized by U.S. Congress ,the  Texas Governor and the U.S. President for his work with governmental pension plans over the past 33 years.

Rick has extensive community involvement in local non‑profit organizations and has served as numerous boards in the past and present such as for HCA Clear Lake Regional Hospital, Communities In Schools Clear Lake, The Nolan Ryan Foundation, Child Advocates of Houston  Alvin Community College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board, Houston Society and Alvin National Bank.  Rick’s interests are his grandchildren, golf, biking, skiing, gardening , scuba and reading. He has been married to his wife Janice for 43 years and has two grown children and five grandchildren.


Rick Gornto


Nancy Fares


Nancy is a technology business executive and entrepreneur, a master at creating sustainable business growth and maximizing stakeholder value. Dynamic passionate business leader, with a proven track record at starting and growing profitable technology businesses in complex and global changing conditions. Experience in multiple Technology sectors at both a Fortune 500 company running a $200 million business and as President & Chief Executive Officer of a privately held company. Turnaround leader, known for driving financial success, customer loyalty and improving staff performance. Fluent in English, Arabic and French.





Sandra is a seasoned executive, Wall Street industry expert, author, and public speaker who was CMO for a $3 billion advertising agency and is now CEO of Crawford Creative Consulting. She also serves as COO for 4word, a non-profit that serves workplace women.  She’s also one of the most positive, high-energy women we’ve ever been around.  Red Bull has nothing on her!

Connect with her on LinkedIn.


Sandra Crawford Williamson

become a Sponsor

At HeartStories we LOVE our sponsors. We’re always looking to connect with fabulous partners who believe in encouraging women to connect in community as a path to living out their purpose in the world.  If you’re interested please drop us a line.  We’d love to chat to see if it’s a fit for you to sponsor one of live events or something else we have brewing!

To more love . . . and partnerships!


These FAQ’s are designed to provide a better understanding of HeartStories, our vision, and the resources we provide. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!