Running Down A Dream

Our Team


Shawn Barnett 

Founder & Director

After growing up, surrounded by runners as a young kid, and a longtime running coach in Austin, Shawn founded Running Down a Dream so that he could change the lives of young kids, the way running changed his. He founded Running Down a Dream soon after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied Political Communication, and Business & Public Policy. He has since begun law school at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, Tx. He spends many of his weekends running and exploring around Central Texas. Shawn has run 4 full marathons and 8 half marathons, but his goal is to run at least 1 marathon in all 50 states.


Jeff Barnett 


Jeff graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Management and a BA in Government. Then he went to law school at Drake University Law School.  After moving back to Texas and passing the bar, he became licensed to practice in state and federal courts of Texas. His legal practice focuses primarily on business entity formations, mergers & acquisitions, contracts, collections, wills, trusts, estate planning, and probate.

 When he is not practicing law, Jeff is also an avid runner, marathoner, and Marathon Coach.  He has completed over 37 marathons in more than 15 different states, and he has a goal of finishing a marathon in each of the 50 states. Beyond that, he aspires to complete a marathon on all 7 continents, having already completed 2, Europe and United States. He has been a Marathon Coach and Summer Training Program Director for Austin Fit (USA Fit Austin) and has also been a Marathon Coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. 


Gayle Rosenberg 


Gayle graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in English. Over the years Gayle has served on the board of directors for multiple charities including the American Cancer Society of Jasper County, the Freeman Hospital Foundation, and the Southwest Missouri Arts Council. 

She has also served on numerous committees such as the Chamber of Commerce Cultural Affairs Committee in Joplin, the Foxfire Farms Project for the Childrens Miracle Network, the Autism Advocacy Committee, and on the Public Relations Committee for one of her local community health clinics, which serves members of her community that cannot afford private medical services.

She has served on the board of multiple businesses, including but not limited to, the Ladies Board of Directors for a local Country Club, during which she established an “Art on Loan” program. This program allowed artists to display their paintings for one month at a time on the walls of the club,  giving them exposure to possible buyers who could contact the artists to buy paintings and support local artists.  

When she was not working with charities and organizations, Gayle has long enjoyed taking yoga courses, Stotts Pilates, and walking around her neighborhood. She is married to her husband Jay and they spend time living in both Joplin, Missouri and Austin, Texas