Wendy Wixom – President. 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 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 is set to graduate from Brigham Young University, Idaho in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies. She celebrated her twentieth wedding anniversary in July of 2018 and has three children. Outside of her important work, Jessie enjoys photography, good food, and the baseball games.
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 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 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 Linford graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies. She is passionate about helping and strengthening individuals and families. Yalaina is the second oldest of seven girls and loves spending time with her family and friends. Some of her other interests include horseback riding, hiking, cooking, baking, dancing, logic problems, and Sudoku. She currently works as a nanny and is pursuing a career in life coaching.
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.
Rebekah is an intern with United Families International. She is pursuing a bachelor’s in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University- Idaho and plans on graduating in December. She enjoys reading, creative writing, and making creative new dishes with her husband. She is passionate about defending and building up the family and looks forward to helping others do the same.
Stephanie Batty is working on finishing her degree in Marriage and Family Studies at Brigham Young University in Idaho. She has been married for almost twelve years and has two daughters ages nine and six. She enjoys writing, photography, reading, and doing things with her family. Over the years Stephanie has learned a great deal about the importance of family and children. She wishes everyone can learn more about how vital families are to society and how to keep them strong.
Kirsten is a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho with plans to graduate in December of this year. She enjoys reading, writing, drawing and painting, but she loves being with her family more than anything. She has been married to her childhood sweetheart for five years, and together they have three beautiful daughters under the age of four. Kirsten is passionate about the family, religious freedom, and the rights of the individual, and feels grateful to be able to take part in family advocacy for UFI.
Sinikka is a student at Brigham Young University Idaho pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Studies. Her and her family love to travel, and have lived in many different places around the United States. She currently lives in Kaysville, Utah and enjoys spending her extra time out in her garden, planning her next trip to Disney World, or crafting things for her home.
Tirssa Plaine is currently an intern with United Families International. She is working on her bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho and anticipates graduation this year. Tirssa is passionate about strengthening and improving marriage and family relationships. She enjoys spending time as a family with her husband and their three young daughters. She also enjoys cooking, baking, canning, and playing the piano.
Danielle Williams is currently an intern with United Families International as well as a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Danielle is finally finishing her degree in Family and Home Studies. She was recently married, in August and residing in Georgia. Danielle is passionate about helping others and advocating for the freedoms of others.