a helping hand for friends in need.


Shirley Bender-Gehrt (CEO)
Business Owner-Successful Entrepreneur

A successful entrepreneur and business owner, Shirley Bender Gehrt is one of the originators and developers of IACT self-help programs. She established the first local chapter in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1978. From the outset, she has been dedicated to the organization serving as the chief officer and director of operations.

Shirley's business success started with a small glass company in 1960. That original specialty business provided the first mobile auto glass service in the area. Under her guidance and management, the company, Tri City Glass, in Appleton, Wisconsin, subsequently grew to a multimillion dollar business with locations in several cities and is one of the largest specialty window and door services in a large multi county area. Widely respected for quality and service, the company remains owned and operated by family members.

The path to this success was not easy! Along the way Shirley had a large growing family of seven children, a newly established business and was facing divorce, factors that created demanding stress in her life. Facing these life challenges, she suffered debilitating migraine headaches and emotional stress and needed relief.

Desperate for help, Shirley researched various programs for Rational Self Counseling and Rational Behavior Therapy. And, with her usual dedication and discipline, she refined and developed principles to help manage stress in her life. As a result, she found happiness, fulfillment, and peace.

Finding relief from her emotional pain and stress, Shirley decided to share her insights and practices with others. In 1978, she founded IACT and developed the IACT Clear Thinking Program. Dedicated to the programs, she is a regular contributor, editor, and manger for daily operations.

The mission for IACT has been to provide participants free self-help, stress management programs to manage stress and find happiness in their lives. In its history, IACT has never charged any participant for services or programs and is entirely financially supported by donations from members.