Julie Baumgardner, Board Chair
Julie Baumgardner is the President of First Things First, an award-winning, grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening families in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The success of the FTF initiative has sparked interest in duplicating the FTF model in cities across the country and internationally. Julie has worked in the fields of marketing and counseling for over 20 years. Julie frequently speaks on family, parenting and marriage issues. Her weekly column on family issues in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press reaches hundreds of thousands. Julie serves on the boards of a number of community and national organizations. She currently serves as Chair of the National Association of Relationship and Marriage Education. She and her husband, Jay, have been married for 22 years and they have a nineteen year-old daughter, Ashley.
Joneen Mackenzie, Vice Chair
Joneen is the president / founder of the Center for Relationship Education which houses the Healthy Marriage Project in Denver, Colorado. She is also the lead author of the nationally-used REAL Essentials curriculum. Joneen is also a popular national speaker and trainer. Joneen works in the public policy arena with poverty prevention grants and is a consultant for teen pregnancy prevention and positive youth development across the country. She assisted in the formation of Colorado Health Education Content Standards. Joneen Mackenzie graduated from the University of Texas, School of Nursing. She is a former 1st Lt. in the USAF Nurse Corp.
Richard Albertson, Treasurer
Richard Albertson is the Founding President and CEO of Live the Life, a statewide organization in Florida with offices in Lakeland and Tallahassee. Live the Life was founded in 1998 with a mission to strengthen marriages. Since then, the divorce rate in Leon County has dropped 44% and is now at its lowest level in 20 years. Live the Life's WAIT project, which teaches positive youth development, abstinence, and healthy relationships to teenagers, is currently offered to more than 4000 students each year in schools across 16 Florida counties. Richard is the author of the Start Smart comprehensive premarital program, author of the Champions curriculum for High School Boys, and the co-author of the Adventures in Marriage curriculum. He served as Chairman of the Florida Commission on Marriage and Family Support, and Chairman of the Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood. Richard’s background includes working for two U.S. Presidents: he raised money and did media work for Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984; he also worked on the George H.W. Bush Campaign in Florida, and was appointed by President Bush to serve at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Richard married his wife, Elizabeth, in 1988. They have five children, ages 21 and under: Ashley, Rachel, Chip, Katie, and Kimberly.
Deb Wolniak, Board Member
Debra Wolniak serves as a NARME Board Member with a diverse background. She currently serves as a Senior Development Manager for the March of Dimes in Milwaukee WI. She has worked as a Producer for 20 years on the local award winning PBS Television show "Outdoor Wisconsin" Debra also is an on Air Radio Talent for the "Marriage on the Mind" segment airing in 40 cities with Our American Network. The opportunity to serve as Great Marriages' most recent Executive Director has been one of the most impactful experiences of her life as she carries forward the goals and dreams of it's founder, Terry Kohler, of seeing everyone have the opportunity to have healthy family relationships and marriages.
She is married to Bob Wolniak who has worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship almost 25 years. They have 2 children adopted from Russia, Alex,18 and Darya, 16.
Jennifer Murff, Board Member
Jennifer Murff is the President of Millennials for Marriage. She has conducted years of research involving public, private, and non-profit sectors looking at the emerging leaders of today and the families they will produce tomorrow. Jennifer is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University and Regent University where she holds a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership with an emphasis on strategic foresight focusing on millennials and the future of marriage at Regent University’s School of Business and Leadership.
Alicia La Hoz, Board Member
Dr. Alicia La Hoz is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Founder, and Executive Director of Family Bridges. Dr. La Hoz works with the Latino community in the Chicagoland area, where she leads her team in developing and coordinating Family Bridges comprehensive marriage and relationship programs. Away from the office, she spends her time with her two inquisitive children and devoted husband, exploring nature, visiting museums, and building lego-masterpieces.
Jacqualine Thomas, Board Member
Jacqualine Thomas currently works as a Team Lead, Community Readiness Consultant at the Hurlburt Field Airman & Family Readiness Center. As a Certified Family Life Educator, she values and actively promotes the practices and principles of relationship education. She is the Cofounder/ Co-Pastor of R.E.L.A.T.E. Ministries in Milton Florida.