Our Team

More than 165 people have dedicated their lives to serving children, families, and the community at Christian Family Care. Some of us were foster children or adopted ourselves, making this calling especially personal.


Mark Upton
President / Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining Christian Family Care in 2007, Mark served as the Executive Vice President and Provost of Phoenix Seminary. His professional experience also includes over 20 years of real estate management and development. Mark currently serves on the boards of Pinnacle Forum Arizona and Arizona Life Coalition.

Pam Giardina
Chief Programs Officer
Pam’s passion is to bring help, healing, and wholeness to hurting children and adults through the opportunity of experiencing quality social and clinical services. She has worked with Christian Family Care for more than 26 years in several different roles including Program Coordinator, Director of Social Services, and Vice President of Programs in our Tucson office.

Tamara Koch
Director of Development
Tamara came to Arizona from Southern California where she has spent her career focused on relationship building. Her development not for profit experience has spanned the past 14 years where she served most recently on a team with Forest Home Christian Camps bringing a $23M capital campaign to fruition. She also serves as a consultant with Safe Families for Children CA Council and Likewise Worship, Inc.

Gary Miller
Director of Marketing & Advancement
Gary brings over 35 years of marketing, development, design, and communications to Christian Family Care. Gary founded and acted as President/Creative Director of The M. Group, a graphic design and identity management company. He currently serves as director of the boards for both Family Matters and The Be Kind People Project.

Dan Utrera
Director of Clinical Services
Prior to starting with Christian Family Care in 2016, Dan served in various behavioral health, social service, and educational roles for over 23 years. His prior employers include NurseWise Crisis Call Center, Cenpatico Schools, and The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Nicole Salusky
Director of Foster Care
Prior to becoming the Director of Foster Care, Nicole served as a Foster Family Specialist, Coordinator, Supervisor, and then as the Program Manager. Before her employment with Christian Family Care, she spent 13 years at A New Leaf serving youth in residential programs. She earned her bachelors in Psychology and her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.

Rachel Lohrman
Director of Family Services
Before her role as Director of Family Services, she served with CFC as a Pregnancy Counselor. Rachel was licensed as a therapeutic foster parent for several years before joining CFC in 2015. Her professional experience also includes roles as a Behavior Management Specialist at Casa De Los Niños and a Residential Supervisor at Arizona’s Children Association.

Douglas Klingenberg
Director of Operations and Training
Before starting with Christian Family Care in 2019, Doug worked in various capacities for 21 years at University of Phoenix, with his most recent role being Vice President of Operations. Doug also spent time acting as a consultant for operations and strategic planning for both for-profit and non-profit partners.

Obed Escobar
Director of Community Relations and Office of Hispanic Ministry
Obed began working with Christian Family Care in 2019. Prior to that, he worked as the Regional Alliance Director for Alliance Defending Freedom and Community Relations Director for Center for Arizona Policy. He has served as a Multicultural Pastor with Christ’s Church of the Valley and is currently a member of Child Safety and Family Empowerment with the Council for the Office of the Governor in the State of Arizona.

Jenifer Zylwitis
Director of Finance
Prior to moving to Arizona to work with Christian Family Care in 2014, Jenifer served as the Business Administrator for the Mascenic Regional School District in New Hampshire and was also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of New Hampshire. Her other experience includes Lead Financial Analyst at the Deluxe Corporation and a Senior Auditor/Accountant for Ernst and Young.

Board of Directors

  • Steve Whiteman, Board Chair
  • Dennis Wilson, Vice Chair
  • Bob Stave, Treasurer
  • Brad Edson, Secretary
  • Michael Hunter
  • Julie Bartolini
  • Linda Bowers
  • Huron Claus
  • Sheila Mengarelli
  • Doug Napier
  • Pastor Burke Montoya

Southern Arizona Advisory Council

  • Warren Braun
  • Evan Carlson
  • Robert Davis 
  • Jen Anderson

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