United Families International is fortunate to have a board and staff , from all walks of life, who are dedicated to the cause of family.
Bob Spiel, UFI Chairman of the Board, acts as a catalyst for the organization to help facilitate the energy and creativity of the UFI leadership team, as well as help guide its strategic direction. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University where he specialized in finance and operations management. Bob is a consultant, author and nationally sought after speaker on leadership and customer service. Throughout his career he has worked as a hospital CEO, surgical center CEO, as well as an operations director and COO for two mid-cap companies and a venture capital firm. Bob is the founder and CEO of Spiel & Associates, Inc., a healthcare management consulting firm. He and his wife Judene are the parents of 6 children and the grandparents of 13.
Phil Marriott has served on United Families International’s Board of Directors since 2007. Phil has been involved in many entrepreneurial activities, including real estate development in Texas and Utah. He has worked primarily as a securities financial advisor and has provided insurance solutions as well. Mr. Marriott has served on numerous boards and commissions and been involved with various non-profits, including the CAMIE Awards – an organization that rewards Character and Morality In Entertainment. Mr. Marriott and his wife Cheryl have been married 37 years, and they have five children and seven grandchildren.
Carol Soelberg, UFI Board Member and Vice President of Organization Development, oversees UFI’s volunteers, internship program, and development of chapters. She has been with United Families International for over ten years lobbying at the UN, attending and speaking at World Congress of Families, organizing chapters, serving as state chapter leader, and as past President of UFI (2006-2008; 2010-Sept, 2013). Carol is the wife of J. Glade Soelberg, mother of 13 married children and grandmother to a growing number of grandchildren. She has a B.A. in Education and Home, Family, and Child Development.
Brad Wixom holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. Brad has worked in the computer industry, and as CEO/President of a start-up company with sales worldwide. Brad moved into the Energy Industry to work more closely with his family serving as a Director and co-owner of two different organizations. Brad has spoken internationally at United Nations meetings and the World Congress of Families. Brad coauthored a chapter for publication in the book Family Capital and the SDGs: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Above all this, Brad views his biggest accomplishments as his marriage of over 30 years to his best friend, Wendy, and the close relationship with their five children, spouses, and grandchildren.
Camille Stilson Williams (J.D., M.A., Brigham Young University) worked as part of the Family Law Research Project at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, and has taught family law for undergraduates. Her research interests are related to women’s and family issues. Her publications have supported the sanctity of human life and the necessity of the natural family for the flourishing of individuals and societies. She currently works as an assistant city attorney. She and her husband, Richard, are the parents of five, and the grandparents of twenty-four.
Before joining UFI, Wendy served as the United Nations Policy and Projects Coordinator for International Organization for the Family and has also been on the leadership team of Sustainable Families. In these roles she has traveled the world meeting with UN Ambassadors and Delegates, attending meetings, sharing materials, and speaking in defense of those things that strengthen the family. Wendy is passionate about the family and religious liberty. She, and her husband Brad have five children and have loved moving into the grandparent stage of life. Wendy finds her greatest pleasures spending time with her family, or becoming familiar with the different beauties, cultures and people of the world.
Marcia Barlow, Vice President of Policy and Senior Advisor, oversees “all things UN” for United Families International. She directs the development and updating of the UN Negotiating Guide and oversees research and policy analysis on domestic, as well as international issues. Some of Marcia’s favorite UFI projects are the Guide to Family Issues series and UFI’s new “Discussion Group” curriculum. She’s particularly interested in the Religious Freedom issue and you’ll often find her testifying at municipal and legislative hearings around the country. Marcia holds a Master’s Degree from Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government) where she specialized in public policy. She and her husband, Greg, have three children and six grandchildren and she’ll tell you that it doesn’t get better than being a grandma.
April H Gallart, Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Coordinator and Director of Mission Relations. April attends CSW every year and coordinates UFI team member visits with delegations from around the world. April often serves as mission leader on many of these visits, during which UFI team members present materials which assist ambassadors and counselors in promoting the inclusion of family-friendly language in UN documents. April maintains and develops relations with missions and delegates through out the year. April is bilingual and speaks English and Spanish. She worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher for 2 years and frequently uses her Spanish speaking ability during mission visits. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from CSU Long Beach and a California Teacher’s credential. Issues that she is passionate about include parental rights and religious freedom. She and her husband, Henry, have 4 children.
Teresa, Vice President of Organization Development, is responsible for the planning and development of the United Families organization. She also organizes and supervises the work of the student interns that accompany us at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Teresa has spent many years as a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with the Extension Service and has extensive experience volunteering with many organizations, including: the women’s success program at Utah Valley University, rape recovery groups at Orem Crisis Center, several community boards, as well as orphanages in Romania. Teresa is fluent in American Sign Language, shares her musical talent as an organist in many venues. Teresa’s greatest accomplishment, however, is her role as a mother. She loves everything that has to do with home and family.
Susan Roylance, Director of International Policy and Social Development, is the author/compiler of several books on international family policy, including the UN Negotiating Guide, The Family and the MDGs – Using Family Capital to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals and Family Capital and the SDGs – Implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Susan participated in many international conferences – and traveled to forty-four countries – visiting orphanages and street children programs, and helping develop family-based care for orphans. Susan is a founder of United Families International (1978), and has been actively involved in many pro-family organizations. She was the CEO/Manager of Roylance Publishing. Susan was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from Washington State, and chaired several initiatives and referendums in Washington and Oregon. She authored a blog for the Deseret News, a Utah daily newspaper, titled: “Families around the World.” Susan and Robert are the parents of seven children, thirty-four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Esme Weathers, Director of Finance, is in charge of UFI’s administration affairs and oversees the organization’s finances. She graduated from Brigham Young University Hawaii with a B.S. in Accounting and minor in Organizational Behavior. Esme has been with UFI ever since she was an accounting intern. She was able to join the team in action for CSW 2012 in United Nations and knows how important UFI’s work is. She is from Malaysia and is fluent in 4 languages. Esme enjoys diversity and loves learning about different cultures and traditions. Her belief and personal background has lead her to have a great passion for protecting and strengthening the family. Esme and Matt, her husband are enjoying and learning the ropes of parenthood with their little ones.
Kristen Hackett, Executive Team Assistant and Intern Coordinator, became involved with United Families International while studying at BYU-Idaho. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Marriage and Family, and completing an internship with UFI, Kristen wanted to stay involved. The 5-Point Mission of UFI: family, marriage, life, parents, and religious liberty are passions for Kristen which she feels strongly need defending and strengthening. Most important to Kristen is her own family. She and her husband, Ryan, have 5 children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, one amazing grandson, Carter, and will soon welcome another grandson. Kristen loves doing anything with her family, but especially vacationing. She loves visiting new places and being exposed to new cultures. One of her favorite pastimes is reading. Most summer days you will find her sitting by her swimming pool, watching kids play and reading a good book!
Jessie Keller, Social Media Coordinator, grew up on Colorado’s Western Slope where she played softball, rode horses, and learned life skills from the strong women in her family. Later she moved to Utah where she started her family, ran her own business, and immersed herself in volunteer and advocacy work for the East Millcreek community and Granite School District. As a transplant to Dallas, Texas in 2012, she quickly found a perfect fit volunteering in the Plano Independent School District. Jessie has over 15 years of experience as a volunteer and advocate for children. Jessie graduated from Brigham Young University, Idaho in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies. She followed her degree up by earning her certificate in Human Resource Management, also from Brigham Young University, Idaho in 2020. She celebrated her 23rd wedding anniversary in the summer of 2021 and has three children. Jessie now lives in North West Arkansas with her husband and youngest child.
Miriam Merrill, Lead Policy Analyst, Human Rights Council Projects feels passionately about advocating for the family on a daily basis in small, yet significant, ways. Some of her more notable recent efforts including working with The Sutherland Institute as a Policy Intern, interning with Family Policy Resource as a Legislative Intern, and attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women with United Families International. She has a Bachelor of Science with an Emphasis in Family Advocacy and Policy and is currently working on her Masters of Public Administration, where she is studying the ins and outs of non-profit management and local government involvement. When she isn’t writing or researching, you can find her performing, singing, and making happy memories with her husband, Sam, and puppy, Jimmy Stewart.
Brandy Burningham is an intern with United Families International and a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She will graduate with a Bachelor degree in Marriage and Family Studies in April 2024. Brandy has been married to her wonderful husband for 29 years, they have 5 children, 2 by marriage. Brandy loves to spend time with my family, playing games, and traveling when they can. Their favorite spot to vacation is Disneyland. We also like to go camping. I look forward to working with United Families International as an intern this semester. God bless you and take care!
Savanah is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho and will be graduating at the end of this year with a Bachelor's degree in Marriage and Family Studies. She has been married for 6 years. And are the proud parents of a 4 year-old son and are now expecting their second child, arriving next spring. Savanah loves spending time with her little family. Their favorite things are cooking and baking together, family movie nights, and being outdoors. They love to play sports, hike, and go camping together. Savanah has loved studying Marriage and Family Studies and has learned so much about the importance of marriage and families for individuals and communities. She is excited to work with and learn from United Families International.
Olivia Loughran is a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho, studying Marriage and Family Studies. Olivia will be graduating from the University in Spring 2024. In her free time, Olivia enjoys hiking, watching movies, embroidering, cooking healthy meals, and spending time with family and friends. Family has always been important to Olivia, and that is what first drew Olivia to her major. Olivia has a passion for advocacy, and hopes to make a difference. As an intern at UFI, Olivis is excited to connect her passions togethers and stand up for truth and gain experience in advocating for what she believes in.
Chris Kiefer is attending Brigham Young University-Idaho pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Studies. Since childhood and into adulthood, Chris has always had a passion for marriage and family, and helping families, marriages and parents. Over the course of his studies, Chris has developed an additional love for promoting, educating, and advocating for the principles of families to the community and to a larger audience. Chris loves the five pillars of UFI and how specific they are. In today's world, we need to be specific when we articulate the principles we protect and champion.