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Get in touch with us

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Address

4953 Vine Street
San Diego, CA 92465

Office hours

Workdays at
9:00am – 6:00pm
Call us
(815) 555-5555

Let’s get connected

Get in Touch

Our Team

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

Chairman

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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

Board Member

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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

Board Member

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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

Board Member

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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 Williams

Board Member

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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.

Dr. Jenet Erickson

Advisory Team

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Heather Sandstrom

Advisory Team

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Wendy Wixom

President

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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

VP Policy and Senior Advisor

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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 Gallart

UN Mission Coordinator

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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 Hunsaker

VP Org Dev/Homefront

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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, Int’l Policy

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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, Finance

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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

Intern Coordinator

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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

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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

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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.

Chalea Marker

Homefront Mentor

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Chalea Marker is a volunteer with United Families International, and currently the World Family New Supervisor.  She began with United Families International as an intern, and wrote for the International Voice for Youth website. She has continued volunteering with United Families International by helping on the World Family News website. Chalea received her Bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She and her husband love spending time together and it is through building her own family relationships that Chalea finds inspiration to help others to protect and strengthen families.

Lauren Bone

Homefront Mentor

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Lauren Bone is a student at Brigham Young University of Idaho majoring in marriage and family studies. She is currently an intern with United Families International. Lauren is passionate about the family, freedom of religion, and helping others. Lauren has been married to her husband for 8 years, and they currently have four young children. In the future she hopes to be a marriage and family therapist or a clinical mental health specialist.

Yalaina Griffin

World Family News Supervisor

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Yalaina Griffin graduated from BYU-Idaho in Marriage and Family Studies, where she first learned about United Families International. Because of a child and family advocacy class, she was inspired to begin volunteering for the organization after graduating in 2019. She currently enjoys serving as the World Family News Supervisor. She is passionate about defending the family, life, and freedom. Yalaina loves spending time with her husband and family, learning, outdoor activities, the fine arts, and nurturing children.

Shannon Wixom

World Family Newsletter

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Shannon Wixom, World Family Newsletter Coordinator, earned a B.A. in International Business from Westminster College in 2000. She put aside career aspirations in 2002 to become a full-time mother, and has since felt there is no more rewarding calling than raising her four wonderful children with her husband, who is her best friend. She has many hobbies, including aerial dance, writing, reading, gardening, hiking and promoting pro-life, pro-family and pro-faith teachings in a world full of confusion and commotion.

Sarah Sabin

HomeFront Contributor

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Sarah Sabin, is a Senior Marriage and Families Studies Major at Brigham Young University Idaho and will be graduating spring of 2019. She has been married for 6 years and has four little boys ranging in age from 5 years to 11 months. As a mother of four little children, Sarah has learned about how it takes effort and hard work to live up the responsibility to care for her children. She has also found that there is joy to be had in teaching those little ones to work and become more responsible each day. Sarah can be found working hard on different projects with the help of her children.

Sandy Howard

Facebook Contributor

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Sandy grew up fascinated with history and how it always repeats.  She has used her history degree from BYU to teach her six children the importance of freedom and being involved in the community.  Sandy has twice served as her precinct county delegate, volunteered at her local elementary schools, and currently volunteers with United Families International posting news stories relevant to strengthening marriage and families, right to life,  and religious freedom on their Face Book page.  Being a stay at home mom has been her number one priority.  She loves reading, teaching piano, and has been happily married to her husband Quinn for 26 years.

Heather Eschmeyer

Research Specialist

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Sarah Davenport-Smith

Policy Advisor

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Emily Judkins

Research Specialist

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Emily graduated from Brigham Young University of Idaho with a B.S. in Marriage & Family studies and is working towards a M.S. in Family Therapy. She started working with UFI as an intern and discovered her passion for family advocacy. She has co authored an Universal Periodic Review of Iceland’s parental rights and gathered information to help voters understand the legislative process of their state. Emily picked up embroidery during the pandemic and loves stitching away while listening to podcasts about the family. She is married to her best friend, Tyler, who is the best thing to happen to her.

Emily Labrum

Intern

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Emily Labrum is an intern with United Families International and a student at Brigham Young University – Idaho. She will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies in April 2021. She enjoys running, skiing, exercising, hiking, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have been married for three years and together they have a beautiful baby girl. Emily is passionate about child and family advocacy, the sanctity of life, religious freedom, and promoting and strengthening the family unit. She is very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of United Families International and hopes to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Nicol Abernathy

Intern

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I am a Senior at Brigham Young-University and will graduate with a degree in Marriage and Family Studies. I have been married for 8 years and have a 6-year-old son and an almost 3-year-old daughter. I love to spend time with family and enjoy going on hikes and campouts. I plan on getting a masters in Marriage and Family counseling and would love to provide counseling in the Spanish community. I believe family advocacy is of great importance and is something that needs to get acknowledged more in society. I am very excited to be a part of United Families International.

Camry Bennion

Intern

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Camry is a senior at BYU-Idaho, graduating this year with her bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies. The perfect afternoon for her looks like going to the park with her husband, their baby, and a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Nothing beats good family time, bonus if there’s some sun exposure. She also enjoys roller skating with her husband, appreciates painting, and tries her hand at photography!  She aspires to be an avid reader someday, but for now will stick to her goal of reading 3 books this year. Camry has a bleeding heart for family & children advocacy, and hopes to be involved in the foster care system in the future.

Lexi Flake

Intern

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Lexi is a senior at BYU-Idaho and plans to graduate this April with her bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies. She has been married for 3 years to her husband and has a 1 year old son that she adores. Lexi loves to spend time with her family, travel, and go boating! After she graduates she plans on continuing to grow her family and eventually get her masters degree in elementary education so she can teach. She is excited to work with United Families International to help improve her own family and hopefully other families lives as well!

Chelsey Jones

Intern

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Chelsea is an intern from Brigham Young University-Idaho and is pursuing the Marriage and Families Studies degree. She has been married for six years and is the mother of four including 18-month triplets. Chelsea enjoys reading parenting and marriage books while applying all she learns from her studies in her family life. She is excited to join the front lines of advocating the five pillars UFI stands on and defends!

Ashlee Kendell

Intern

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Hello! I am Ashlee Kendell. I am a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho and will graduate in April with my degree in Child Development. I got married to an incredible man in December and am loving every second of married life with him! Throughout my life, but especially in the past year, I’ve grown to truly understand the importance of family and believe very strongly in strengthening and advocating for the family unit. I understand the importance of marriage with complete fidelity and want others to understand and recognize it, too. I also love to read, cook, play sports, and do anything outside. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to work with UFI and can’t wait to take part of its mission.

Oriane Courage-Stewart

Intern

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Oriane Courage-Stewart is a senior at BYU-I, she will be graduating in December 2021, with a bachelor degree in marriage and family studies and a minor in psychology. Oriane is the mother of two bilingual children and loves going on adventures with them whether it is hiking, biking, or playing badminton, soccer or basketball. In her spare time, she likes cooking, baking, reading and staying active, but also enjoys quiet time with her children. After graduating, she is planning to teach for a few years and eventually go back to graduate school to either pursue a master in education or counseling. She is happy to work for UFI this semester and learn more about different topics related to the family and marriage and how to be a better advocate for it.

Mckenzie Hammond

Intern

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Mckenzie Hammond is attending Brigham Young University- Idaho pursuing a degree in marriage and family studies. Her greatest love in life is her family, which led her to choose her current major. She and her husband have been married for one year. In her free time, she loves running, learning fun facts, decorating, and spending time outside. Mckenzie is passionate about child and family advocacy and loves the five pillars of UFI. She is excited for the experience to learn more and participate actively in advocacy.

Kaylee Agalzoff

Intern

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Kaylee Agalzoff is our social media intern.  Currently based along the Wasatch Front in Utah, Kaylee is married and a mother of two boys.  She will finish up her B.A. in Marriage and Family Studies this semester.  She is passionate about helping strengthen relationships and she is a certified marriage prep and enrichment facilitator.  Her greatest contribution is her ability to throw all of her energies into developing others and making a lasting difference in people’s lives.  When not working, you can find her going on walks, enjoying time with her littles, at High Fitness, Café Rio, or learning or reading something new!  She has an appreciation of beauty and excellence.  She believes in living life through your values.

Melissa Rappleye

Intern

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Melissa Rappleye is a Brigham Young University – Idaho senior, graduating in April 2022. She is a Marriage and Families Studies major who is specializing in advocating and current issues that are affecting families. Her focuses are pornography, divorce, transgender medical practises, and mental health. She was raised in Alaska and loves hiking, fishing, snowboarding, and photography. She’s married to her best friend and they have two children. As a family they love to take road trips and explore new places as a family and read books aloud in the car.

Raylene Angelo

Intern

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Anna Pearson is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho and will graduate this year with her undergrad in Marriage and Families Studies.  She has been married for eight years and is the mother of four boys. Anna is an advocate in defending the family. She is excited to join the front lines of advocating with United Families International and making a difference one small step at a time.

Anna Pearson

Intern

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Anna Pearson is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho and will graduate this year with her undergrad in Marriage and Families Studies.  She has been married for eight years and is the mother of four boys. Anna is an advocate in defending the family. She is excited to join the front lines of advocating with United Families International and making a difference one small step at a time.

Sara Jo Mecham

Intern

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Sara was born and raised in Utah, but has also lived in Arizona and California prior to returning to Utah five years ago. She is a senior with BYU-Idaho online completing her bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family studies. She received her associate’s degree in the same field this year and is excited to be moving towards the next goal of her higher education. Prior to returning to college in 2018, Sara has a 13-year work history that includes having held senior-level positions with almost every company she joined. Despite being in differing industries, her focus was always centered on helping clients build their self-worth and inner confidence. Her passion remains the same as she shifts into a family and life educator focus that she will continue pursuing in a future master’s program. Sara is excited to be joining the team at UFI beginning in January and cannot wait to learn from her peers and the leaders of UFI.

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