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Our Community

The Many Relationships That Make Relationships First Work

Our Relationships First® team is a dedication community that collaborates to help build a more connected world. In 2016 our team gave an estimated 6,640 hours of time, talents and services.

Our Founders

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. are life partners who want to make relational information and skills available to everyone. They co-created Imago Relationship Therapy, and co-initiated Imago Relationships International as a training institute for couples’ therapists they co-founded Relationships First as a collaborative mission to create a relational culture and Safe Conversations as a social experiment to raise the joy index in a city. They believe that how we interact with each other is the key to the emotional, physical, economic and relational well-being of everyone. They envision shifting from the age of the individual to the age of relationships.

 

Over 1,200 Imago therapists practice in thirty-seven countries. Their professional partnership has produced ten books, including three New York Times best sellers: Getting the Love You Want, Keeping the Love You Find, and Giving the Love That Heals. Their latest book is Making Marriage Simple (2013).

 

Dr. Hendrix is a couple’s therapist with over forty years’ experience as an educator, clinical trainer and lecturer. Dr. Hunt is author of Faith and Feminism  and has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, for her leadership in the women’s movement. Helen and Harville have been married for over thirty years and have six amazing children and reside in Dallas, Texas.

Executive Director

Alyce Alston has recently taken the helm at Relationships First. Bringing 12 years of experience as Chairman, CEO or President, Alyce is currently leading the charge to turn the charitable mission into a tangible program that is well-stewarded, has a broad reach, and effectively addresses community needs.

Prior to taking leading companies like CultureMap, American Achievement and Reader’s Digest Association, Alyce held senior executive publishing roles with Conde Nast, Fairchild, Gruner + Jahr/Bertelsmann, Hearst and NewsCorp. During that time, she led record-breaking revenue performance ten years in a row and launched O, The Oprah Magazine, the biggest magazine launch in history in ad revenue and circulation.

Alyce holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in Business from Southern Methodist University. She also serves as Chairman of The CultureMap Advisory Board, National Advocate for The Domestic Violence Hotline, Mentor and Partner of The Capital Factory, Advisory Board Member for The Eudora Welty Literary Foundation and a member of Texas Women of Wall Street and the CEO Christian Forum.

Our Staff

Sherri Dempsey

Sherri Dempsey

Operations Manager

sherridempsey@relationshipsfirst.org

Christi Carter

Christi Carter

VP, Development & Productions

cc@relationshipsfirst.org

Leslie Friend

Leslie Friend

Development & Community Partnerships Director

lesliefriend@relationshipsfirst.org

Chris Brickler

Chris Brickler

Creative Marketing

chrisbrickler@relationshipsfirst.org

Michelle Cooper

Michelle Cooper

Digital Strategist

michellecooper@relationshipsfirst.org

Sara Davis

Sara Davis

Community Partners Advocate

saradavis@relationshipsfirst.org

Charlotte Legg

Charlotte Legg

Sustainability Programs Director

charlottelegg@relationshipsfirst.org

Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson

Volunteer Strategy Program

margaretjohnson@relationshipsfirst.org

Kimberly Knight

Kimberly Knight

Programs and Outreach Manager

KimberlyKnight@relationshipsfirst.org

Our Board

Sonja and Clay Arnold

Darwin Bruce

Kevin Bucher

Nikki and Torrey Carroll

Valerie Cary

Cary Clayborn

Neely Duncan

Matrice Ellis-Kirk

Mary Jo Flaherty and Dr. Andy Keller

Dr. Melody Fortenberry

Suze Gadol Anderson

Shannon Guthrie

Larry James

Jennifer Jorns

Liza Lee

Janie and Jack McNairy

Amy and Michael Meadows

Sherry and Chuck Mensch

Kevin Navarro

Andrea and Greg Nicholas

David Palmlund

Vince Poscente

Cynthia and Phillip Shinoda

Keva Ward

Practice Group Leaders

Suzy Gadol-Anderson, LCSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in North Dallas who grew up in Northwest Dallas. In October of 2013, Suze was a Safe Conversations practice coach for the first time at Pinkston High School in West Dallas.  The experience was exhilarating and eye-opening, and she was hooked!

Dr. Kevin Bucher, a native of London, England, is a licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Texas, where he has been in practice for over thirty years. He is also a Certified Imago Therapist. Since experiencing, along with his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Bucher, the power of  Imago and of Safe Conversation, he has had a passion to pass this along both in his private practice and in his volunteer work with the Safe Conversation project.

Shari Porter Jung has been a clinical social worker in private practice in Dallas, Texas for the past 35 years.  In the 1980’s she trained with Dr. Harville Hendrix in Imago Therapy and has been using it with couples ever since.

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

C.H.A.R.G.E Committee

C.H.A.R.G.E. (Citizens Helping Activate Relational Growth Everywhere) is a community of more than 100 citizens helping activate relational growth everywhere for the Safe Conversations movement.

Torrey and Nikki Carroll believe in the redemptive power of relationships and have championed the cause for over a decade. Their 16 year journey has been filled with rich experiences that have taught them how to grow and thrive in a healthy marriage. They reside in DeSoto, Texas, and are blessed to be the chosen parents of two phenomenal children.

The Carrolls embrace the belief that relationships are the currency imperative to ending poverty. They live this belief out as licensed therapists, workshop presenters, marriage ministry leaders, marriage mentors, and friends. In addition to managing successful careers in corporate America, Nikki and Torrey lead the efforts of C.H.A.R.G.E. for Safe Conversations.

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

First Responders Committee

Coming Soon…

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

Veterans Committee

Coming Soon…

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

Schools Committee

Coming Soon…

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

Advocates Council

Coming Soon…

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

Volunteers

Relationships First is proud to have a network of over 100 volunteers.

Torrey and Nikki Carroll

Practice Coaches

Relationships First has over 120 practice coaches that assist with Safe Conversations techniques and skills at workshops.