UFI Executive Team

Kelli Houghton

Kelli Houghton, UFI President

Kelli Houghton has been an active member of United Families International since 2000 and currently serves as the President of UFI. She has served as a member of the UFI Board, Vice President of Family and Youth Programs, the Director of International Voice for Youth (IVY) and Director of the International AIDS program, Stay Alive. Kelli has attended various United Nations conferences in New York, NY and Geneva, Switzerland. She has presented at the International Global Health Conference in Washington, DC, at United Nations events, and directed the Emerging Leader Program at the World Congress of Families IX in Salt Lake City.  Kelli has a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and has a great interest in policies and programs related to preserving families and protecting children. Kelli and her husband, Dr. Carl Houghton, have been married for 25 years and have four children.

As Internet Media Director, Linda coordinates the calendaring of our talented writers and interns to insure that articles are written and posted to our webpage.  She also works with our volunteers who search the internet for news articles that impact the family.  These articles are posted on our World Family News sight, giving our readers a “one-stop-reading” to all the most important Family News across the globe. Linda has been actively involved with United Families International since January of 2005.  Representing UFI she and her husband, Cecil, moved to New York City where they attended UN conferences advocating for family values. Two and a half years later they returned to Mesa, Arizona, where she is actively involved in her community and is a board member of Spalding International.  Linda and Cecil have been married 41 years.  They have five children and 10 grandchildren.

Linda Ash Photo

Linda Ash

Marcia Barlow

Marcia Barlow

Marcia Barlow, Director of International Programs, 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.

Carol Soelberg, 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.

Carol Soelberg

Carol Rice photo - Communications & Outreach

Carol Rice

Carol Rice is new to the UFI family.  Joining us as Director of Communications and Outreach she helps us tell our story.  Her career in sales and marketing has specialized in training and using the power of story.  She has helped thousands of organizations and individuals share their stories.  For over ten years she ran her own, successful on-line publishing company and has worked with the most prestigious storytelling organizations in the country; as Finance Chair for National Storytelling Network, Outreach Executive Director for Timpanogos Storytelling Institute and in Business Relations with the International Storytelling Center. Her favorite stories are the ones that come from home, alongside her husband, Scott and their family.

Michelle Stone is the UFI Director of UN Relations.  She’s been an active member of UFI since 2000 when she started attending and speaking at UN meetings.  While attending BYU Idaho, Michelle introduced a program that brings BYU-Idaho students to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) each year.  In addition, she helps to plan UFI’s Parallel Events during CSW.  Michelle also organizes and coordinates the UN Mission visits, which enable UFI volunteers and and interns to meet individually with the Ambassadors and delegates of many nations.  She has served as the UFI Stay Alive Director, an HIV/AIDS prevention program, in conjunction with Reach the Children.  Michelle also serves on the Board of The American Campus Corporate, which is currently starting a U.S. based university in Mauritius, Africa.   Michelle and her husband, Karl, have been married for 25 years and were blessed with five amazing sones.  When one son was married, they finally gained a daughter and could not be happier.

Utah Portrait and Wedding Photography

Michelle Stone

2016 Judene Spiel photo

Judene Spiel

Judene Spiel, Internship Director, is responsible for placing interns with the correct UFI executive team member.   UFI has developed very positive relationships with many universities and colleges and offers a variety of internships for college students. Mentoring and training the rising generation of leaders to promote marriage and the family is a vital part of the UFI mission, and Judene is key in helping make this happen.   She has a degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University, is the wife of Bob Spiel, and the proud mother of 4 boys and 2 girls who are all making their positive mark on the world now.  In her spare time she  is a family historian…but her favorite activity is being with any of her 9 grand children.

Tori Black is the Director of on-line media for United Families International.  She recruits UFI bloggers and makes sure quality articles are posted every day.  WorldFamilyNews.com is made better because Tori makes sure the latest news articles related to family issues are posted there. She also oversees the intern program – working with some of the finest young – and old – adults on the planet.  She and her husband, Rob, are empty-nesters with three grown children and six grandchildren. Tori’s passion is helping others to understand the importance of family.


2016 Tori Black cropped

Tori Black


Esme Weathers

Esme Weathers 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.