Our Team

More than 125 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.

Leadership

Mark Upton
President / Chief Executive Officer
Mark is a leading advocate in Arizona for children and families. Prior to joining Christian Family Care in 2007, Mark served as the Executive Vice President and Provost of Phoenix Seminary. He currently serves on the Governor’s Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment, the Prevention Workgroup of the Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment, and the Department of Child Safety Community Advisory Committee. In addition, Mark has served on the Board of Pinnacle Forum AZ, Arizona Life Coalition, Bible Education Legacy Fund of Phoenix Seminary, Arizona Serves Task Force, No Child Waiting Executive Committee, Child Welfare League of America, and the Scottsdale Bible Church Elder Board. Mark is a true family man. With his wife of close to 50 years, he enjoys spending time with their three children and 12 grandchildren, four of which were adopted.

Bobbie Rill, MA, LPC
Regional Clinical Director – Southern Region
Bobbie has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for more than 30 years focusing on relationship dynamics, common mental health issues, and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Bobbie served as the Executive Director of a multi-state network of counseling centers where she supervised a staff of 50 including both Master and Doctorate level therapists. She is a frequent event speaker and has been a guest on numerous radio shows. Prior to Bobbie joining the CFC staff, she and her husband, Bob, founded The Grief & Wellness Group in Tucson, Arizona. 

Brandon Jones, LPC, MAPC
Regional Clinical Director – Central Region
Brandon brings 15 years of experience in the behavioral health field serving in various clinical roles. Brandon is an independently licensed therapist and holds a Master’s in Professional Counseling with a concentration in trauma, abuse, and deprivation. Since joining CFC in 2012 Brandon has held roles as a Licensing Specialist, Foster Care Supervisor, Family Coaching Supervisor, and Child and Family Therapist. Brandon has a deep passion for empowering Christ-followers to serve those in need and carrying out the mission of Strengthening Families and serving at-risk children in the name of Jesus Christ.  

Britni Earnest, MA, LPC
Vice President Community and Human Flourishing
Britni has worked in many levels of behavioral health and psychiatric care. In 2009, she co-founded Life Renovations, an outpatient behavioral health and psychiatric practice in Abilene, Texas. In 2018, she became Chief Operations Officer of Ascend Healthcare until she joined our team at Christian Family Care in 2022. She is passionate about creating and implementing innovative healthcare solutions. She has a wonderful husband and son and enjoys spending time with her family when away from work. She is excited to incorporate her love for Jesus Christ even more intentionally in the workplace as a leader at Christian Family Care.

Gary Miller
Director of Marketing & Advancement
Gary brings more than 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 for 25 years. He currently serves as a director on the boards of both Family Matters and The Be Kind People Project.

James Schlemmer
Director of Youth Permanency
James currently oversees statewide contracts for Child Specific Recruitment and DCS Adoptions. Over his 6 years at CFC, he has worked as a Youth Advocate, launched the Mentor Program, and served as Program Manager over the Youth in Transition department. James has a passion for serving vulnerable populations, having worked with homeless families at UMOM New Day Center and with At-Risk youth as a part of A New Leaf’s Residential and Outpatient programs. James has a degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University and is working towards his Master’s in Social Work through Grand Canyon University.

Michelle Lunka
Statewide Director of Family Services
Michelle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, working primarily with children and families in the child welfare system since 1999. Currently, Michelle oversees the Pregnancy Counseling Program, Infant and DCS Adoptions, Safe Families for Children Arizona Chapter, and Family Empowerment Services at CFC. Michelle has been trained as a Family Trauma Professional, TBRI® Practitioner, Neurosequential Model in Caregiving® Facilitator, Making Sense of Your Worth® Facilitator, and Parenting for Positive Self-Worth® Facilitator, as well as completed training in EMDR, play therapy techniques, and sand tray.

Nicole Salusky
Vice President of Social Services
Nicole began serving at-risk families and children in 2001. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Services in 2005 and her Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Leadership and Management from ASU in 2019. Prior to joining the team at Christian Family Care, she spent 13 years at A New Leaf serving children in Residential Treatment. She came to serve Foster Families with Christian Family Care in 2014 where she was a Foster Family Specialist, Coordinator, Supervisor, Program Manager, and Statewide Director. Nicole’s passion is to help programs and staff flourish and grow as they serve at-risk children in the name of Jesus Christ.

Shelly Utzke
Statewide Director of Foster Care
Prior to becoming the Statewide Director of Foster Care, Shelly served as a Foster Family Specialist, Coordinator, Supervisor, and then as the Program Manager. Before her employment with Christian Family Care, she spent 14 years at A New Leaf serving youth and families. Shelly and her husband fostered for 25 years and have adopted two children. Shelly earned her associate’s in Early Childhood Development, a bachelor’s in Psychology, and is close to completing her Master’s in Management.


Board of Directors

  • Michael Hunter, Board Chair
  • Sheila Mengarelli, Vice Chair
  • Bob Stave, Treasurer
  • Pastor Burke Montoya, Secretary
  • Doug Napier, Member at Large
  • Linda Bowers
  • Huron Claus
  • Brad Edson
  • Bruce Everette
  • Steve Whiteman
  • Margie Youngblood

Southern Arizona Advisory Council

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

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