2018 Board Chair Celisa Willson

Classifying Celisa as a “Texas girl” is a bit of an understatement.  In her family, she represents the 6th generation to be born and raised right here in Denton County.  As a REALTOR®, being involved in her community is very important, and DCFOF gives her the ability to help with what she considers a necessity: empowering women.  Celisa has been happily married to her husband, Rob, since 1995 and enjoys traveling, networking, re-doing furniture and rooting for her Dallas Cowboys!

2018 Board Member Chris Roberts

Chris is currently serving his second term as a DCFOF board member. Chris has a degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Management and has been a CPA for over 30 years, the last 9 with KHA Accountants, PLLC in Flower Mound. Chris brings his financial and business management skills to the board and has served as the treasurer from 2014 – 2017.

2018 Board Development Officer Gene Cherrnay

Inspired by the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Gene has spent his career in architecture and remodeling. He is proud to serve on the DCFOF board for seven years, as he has seen first-hand how domestic violence wreaks havoc in the lives of the children and adults who have been impacted by it. He is an avid camper and spends his "off" time doing so on the Brazos River and adoring his wife, Amy and two grandchildren (Asher and Ellie Joan), as well as his loveable beagle, Leah Matilda.

2018 Board Member Pat Cheek

Professionally, Pat taught middle school off and on for 40 years. In retirement, she has tutored at two middle schools where she saw a need, served on the board of the Denton Christian PreSchool, Salvation Army, and several city boards.

She and her late husband, Bill Cheek, and others, helped start Denton County Friends of the Family's women’s shelter here in Denton. They saw a need and responded.

In the 1960s, she was part of a group of women who realized that integration was going to be hard on kids of color, so they arranged to meet the women in the families, became friends, and worked to make sure the students of color knew and were friends with white kids before they entered Denton Public Schools. Many of Pat's women's group also tutored students before they entered Denton High School. In the course of this endeavor, Pat made many friends who remain friends today.

She has four grown children who live and work in Denton. Her children serve the community as volunteers also. Her oldest granddaughter serves on a committee of DCFOF as well.

2018 Board Member Deborah Cosimo, PhD

With a MA in Counseling Psychology and a PhD in Sociology, Deborah has worked over 25 years on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has served in various capacities, including counselor, program director, trainer, author and volunteer. She is guided by the conviction that everyone has the right to live in a world without violence and to be treated with dignity and respect. She serves on the board of DCFOF because she is committed to the agency’s mission. In her spare time, she loves traveling and playing traditional American and Irish music, with a few pieces from the Renaissance thrown into the mix.

2018 Board Member Nancy Humphries

Nancy is serving her second term as a DCFOF Board Member. Prior to that, she has served as a volunteer for five years, mainly focusing on event planning for major fundraising. Having chaired the Fundraising Committee for a year, she continues to serve on the Fundraising Committee and the Safe Campus Planning Committee. She is a retired RN and previous partner/owner of Home Care Agency in Oklahoma City for seven years, prior to moving to Denton, to be near her two children and three grandsons. Her passion for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault began during her many years as an ER nurse and seeing the needs of her bedside care of victims was only the beginning of healing.

2018 Board Member Kim Guertler

Kim has worked for the Denton County Criminal District Attorney’s Office for 20 years.  During her time of working in the Family Violence Unit, she had the opportunity to work closely with Friends of the Family staff and she became passionate about helping victims of domestic violence.  She joined the Board in 2017 and she is excited about having the opportunity to serve DCFOF in this capacity.  Kim is a longtime Denton County resident and a graduate of Texas Woman’s University.  She and her husband, Peter, have two children and they enjoy traveling, riding their Harley-Davidson motorcycle and spending time with their kids. 

2018 Treasurer Brandon Reed, CPA

Brandon is a practicing CPA at KHA Accountants, PLLC in Denton with a focus on taxation and business consulting. He and his wife, Alex, enjoy the outdoors and hitting a few balls at the tennis courts whenever they have some free time. He also enjoys spending time with his two nieces and two nephews on the weekends. 

Brandon moved back to the North Texas area from Abilene in 2016 and has been active in the community ever since. He caught wind of the amazing things Denton County Friends of the Family does for the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and wanted to help in any way he could. He has a passion to help create a safe community and serve those that have been affected by violence. 

2018 Board Member Charles Marinello

Charles became a Friends of the Family board member in 2016 and brings executive general management and strategic focus to the board. He is currently the CEO of Strategic Growth Partners, LLC, and is a retired VP from Texas Instruments and Raytheon. He has a BS, MS, and MBA.

2018 Board Member Linda Marshal, Ph.D.

Coming from a social work background, Linda earned a MSW and then a Ph.D. in Sociology. She has been a college professor for over 30 years, teaching courses in sociology, social work, and women's studies, currently at Texas Woman's University. Her husband, David, is also a professor at TWU, with a specialty in statistics and research design. They enjoy traveling, spending time with their children, and doting on their beloved little cat, Franny.

Her passion has long been the pursuit of social justice for all people, especially those marginalized and oppressed by dominant systems. For her, eliminating violence against women is the crucial element in this cause -- because being free of violence is the foundation of any other rights and freedoms that people can pursue.

2018 Board Member Landon Ellison

Landon is the current Director of Outreach at the University of North Texas, and is also a two-time alumni. He met his wife Vanessa in college, and they have been married since 2013. Landon was first introduced to DCFOF through a domestic violence event at UNT, and has been a passionate supporter ever since. He hopes to establish a relationship between his office and DCFOF, to assist survivors in transition with educational pursuits, so they may have the opportunity to start provide a new life of success and happiness for themselves. 

2018 Board Member, Past Board Chair Russ Ray

Professionally, Russ Ray of Highland Village, serves the community as a Financial Advisor and Vice President at Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. He helps people to lay financial plans for their future goals, monitor their investments along the way, and manage any risk control strategies that are in place to defend their plans against interruption by disease, disability, and premature death.

Whether friends, family, clients or neighbors, he has seen that domestic violence occurs repeatedly and is almost completely obscured from public view and observation. Victims are often trapped within their situation by parenting responsibilities, feelings of guilt, and concrete financial limitations. They do not see a means of escape. DCFOF provides a path by which victims may reclaim their lives.

2018 Board Member Alice Mankoff

Alice, a long-time Denton resident, has served on the Friends of the Family board for 10 years in various capacities. She keeps returning to affiliation with the agency because the needs of women and children in our community continue to call her to service. Her belief is that the work of DCFOF is critical to the safety and security of the entire North Texas community and she hopes to be able to always support the mission of the agency. Besides working with DCFOF, Alice volunteers in other local areas, gardens, reads, travels and loves to see her far-flung children and grandchildren.

 Lisa Stanley, Ph. D.

Lisa Stanley, Ph. D. is the Superintendent of North Texas Collegiate Academy, a public charter school district serving at-risk students in Denton County.  Now in her 18th year of administration at NTCA, Lisa remains passionate about empowering her students and their families through community service, character education, and college-readiness programs.  As a DCFOF volunteer since 2010, Lisa has logged over 2500 hours of service in our children's programs, at our shelter, and on fundraising committees.  She joined our Board of Directors on October 2018. 


Play Therapy

Play Therapy Written By: Michelle Fox, M. Ed., LPC-S RPT-S Here at Denton County Friends of the Family our therapists are both excited and honored t...

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Typical warning signs of abuse

1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence

591 clients were served through legal services in 2017