We believe that we can change the world by creating transformative conversations that nurture the spirit of family, promote well-being and prevent violence.

Since 2012, Be Strong Families has partnered with organizations, systems and communities to help families grow stronger from the inside out. We offer technical assistance and trainings to help create peer-to-peer discussions that promote vitality, provide emotional healing and foster peace. These transformative conversations not only prevent violence and fight oppression, they give hope, create amazing leaders and help overlooked communities thrive.



Our values define our culture as an organization and establish the type of relationships we like to have with our partners.


No matter how you define it, we’re here to support it.


We bring our whole fabulous selves to every meeting, activity or project.


We promote freedom, especially when there is oppression.


We promote with enthusiasm the well-being of mind, body, spirit, and soul – for everyone.


We include, we listen and we move forward with solutions that benefit everyone involved.


We are strategic and intentional in order to create amazing quality work.


We don’t do anything without it.


We pay attention to the power of the energy in all of us. That which is intrinsically good and connects us to each other. 



We’re proud of who we are and the work we do. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’re all about:


We are parent leaders, social justice advocates, child welfare experts, early childhood development professionals and community organizers. 


We promote vitality, healing and self-growth to prevent violence and oppression.


We do our work wherever there are vulnerable families and communities.


We do our work when enlightened people engage us to partner with them to counteract the negative effects of trauma, poverty and oppression.


We believe that promoting vitality builds stronger families which lead to stronger communities with less violence.


We use empowered engagement to develop programs, workshops, trainings and technical assistance that nurture the spirit of family and prevent violence and oppression.




At Be Strong Families, we are dedicated to developing the leadership of people who are healing from and thriving after trauma. We are a racially diverse staff with lived experiences with Head Start, child welfare systems, high-stress, low-income communities, mental and physical health issues, teen parenting, substance abuse, domestic violence, children with disabilities, and discrimination. We know firsthand what it’s like to advocate and navigate to get our children and ourselves what we need.


Our Staff

From coast to coast, our team is ready to partner with you to create transformative conversations in your community.  


Dena Chapman
A More Perfect Union Project Lead & Art and Activism Event Coordinator

Paul Czarnowski
Internal Field Support Coordinator

Sara Gonzalez
Senior Trainer

Alexandra James
Senior Consultant

Brenda Griffin Kinsler
Senior Consultant

Robyn Harvey
Central Region Program Manager
Senior Trainer

Candace Hinkle -Fox
Communications and Marketing Manager

Letechia A. Holmes
Training Capacity and Field Support Team Manager
Founding Partner & Senior Trainer

Davina Alexandra Merritt
Training Consultant

Alexis Moreno
Outcomes and Impact Team Lead
Senior Trainer

Tiffany Murphy
Office Manager

Jahaira Navarro
Executive Assistant to the COO/Office Manager

Kareen M. Nunnally
Senior Training & TA Consultant

Celina Ornelas
Finance, Operations, and Human Resources Assistant & Internal Salesforce Liaison

Tarcisio Ornelas-Gomez
Finance, Operations, and Human Resources Manager
Founding Partner & Senior Trainer

Greishen Rodriguez
Child Welfare Program Assistant

Sarita Sashington
Strategic Communications Manager
Senior Trainer

Guy Schingoethe
Chief Operating Officer
Founding Partner

Laverne Smith
Illinois Youth Advisory Board Program Coordinator & Fulfillment Specialist

Takeisha Starnes
Illinois Youth Advisory Board Program Manager

Nadia Washington
Journey to Vitality Project Lead
Senior Trainer

Katthe P. Wolf, MA
President and CEO
Founding Partner

Di Yin
Executive Assistant to the CEO 


Board of Directors

The Be Strong Families Board of Directors works in partnership with staff to manifest the mission, vision, and values of Be Strong Families.

Nina Aliprandi, MA
Board Chair
Director of Program Services
Maryville Academy
Des Plaines, IL

Sandy Baba, Ph.D.
Education Researcher
Bay Area, CA

Fernando Barcelona
CEO/ Creative Director
Barcelona and Friends
Los Angeles, CA

Denise Boston, Ph.D., RDT
Dean of Diversity and Inclusion & Professor
California Institute of Integral Studies
San Francisco, CA

Anne Douglass, Ph.D.
Founding Executive Director
Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation
Associate Professor
University of Massachusetts
Boston, MA

Kassia Eide
Board Secretary
SPARK Family Engagement Coordinator
Fox Valley United Way
Aurora, IL

John Hamblet
Cook RPEA Representative
Chicago, IL

Kenneth Krantz, CFP® APMA®
Financial Advisor
Grezlik, Krantz, and Associates Ameriprise Financial
Chicago, IL

Naomi Mark, LCSW
Director of Educational Programs for The Office of Workforce
Development at NYC’s Department of Social Services
New York, NY

Karelvy Marquez
Consejo de Padres en Acción Representative
Los Angeles, CA

David Ogé-Graville
Salesforce Consultant
Long Island, NY

Scott Reinglass, JD
Board Treasurer
Assistant Managing Attorney
Law Offices of Joseph A. Marciniak Employees of a Subsidiary of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois

Melissa Toby
Philly PLAN Representative
Philadelphia, PA

Carl Totton, Psy.D.
Professor of Psychology
Dept. of School Psychology at Phillips Graduate University
Chatsworth, CA

Sylvia Xiaorui Wen
San Francisco, CA

Katthe P. Wolf, MA
Founding Partner and CEO
Be Strong Families
Chicago, IL


Regional Parent Engagement Advisory Groups

Regional Parent Engagement Advisory Groups are made up of parents who are ready to be the architects of change in the lives of children and families.

Consejo de Padres en Acción
Los Angeles, CA

Philly PLAN (Parent Leader Action Network)
Philadelphia, PA

Chicago, IL

Coming Soon:

RPEAs in Oakland, CA; Pasadena-Altadena, CA; Peoria, IL; and Washington, D.C.


Advisory Board

Our advisory board is a group of friends WHO help us develop and grow our curricula and services. 

William Auerbach
President and CEO
Coaching Right Now
Chicago, IL

Alex Burger
Independent Consultant
Los Angeles, CA

Mirlene Dossous
Family and Community Engagement Manager
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago, IL

Dr. Marjorie Fujara, MD
Board Certified Pediatrician
Chicago, IL

Alexandra James
Executive Director
Trinity Family Life Center
Richmond, VA

Leah Landrum Taylor
Former Senator
Arizona State Senate Capitol Complex
Phoenix, AZ

Maria Long
Independent Early Childhood Consultant
Port Orange, FL

Erwin McEwen
Independent Consultant
Chicago, IL


Michele Rosenberg
Child and Family Services Agency
Washington, DC

Anita Shannon
Senior Director, Strategic Consulting
Casey Family Programs
Chicago, IL

Pedram Shojai, OMD
Well.Org, PBC
Lake Forest, CA

Jill Walton
Accounting Services Manager
Elgin, IL

Margaret Williams
Maryland Family Network
Baltimore, MD