About Us

About Us

Family Bridges strengthens bridges between people: husbands and wives, children and parents, and families with their community. We host meetups that help people to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

Our Mission

Family Bridges promotes thriving communities by delivering services to strengthen family relationships, while embracing their cultural and spiritual values.

Our Vision

Strong families with purpose-driven children, leaders of their generation, committed to their communities.

Who We Serve

  • We partner with over 1,000 organizations in the Chicagoland & Phoenix areas to host workshops, family retreats, couple’s retreats, marriage and family conferences and other family-friendly events throughout the year.
  • We offer hundreds of workshops throughout the year for couples, families, individuals and high school students.
  • Our events and workshops are offered in both English and Spanish.
  • Our education materials are backed with years of research and have proven to be effective.
  • We integrate our program in places where individuals are already most comfortable such as community centers, schools, churches, work, etc.
  • We recognize that communities that promote healthy marriages have lower divorce rates and strengthen the foundations of our society for the good of men, women, children and communities.

Our Goals

  • Encourage and promote healthy marriages, relationships and healthy families;
  • Sustain, enable and inspire couples, families, individuals and students to aspire towards practicing ongoing healthy conflict-resolution and communication skills;
  • Help minorities access healthy marriage and relationship supports;
  • Develop new, culturally appropriate resources to help individuals prepare for, build, restore and maintain healthy relationships;
  • Develop and promote edutainment resources for the latino community;
  • Reduce community barriers that keep individuals from using new and existing services;
  • Help individuals learn the importance of preparing for marriage;
  • Strengthen and educate faith-based and community-based organizations to be equipped to strengthen and sustain healthy relationships in their communities.

Give it all You got

Family Bridges provides everyone in the community an opportunity to learn healthy relationship skills that anyone and everyone can benefit from. As one of our participants so aptly said, when it comes to your relationship and your family “… Give it all you got. Don’t ever give up.” And that’s exactly what Family Bridges provides — the skills to empower you to keep working on your relationships and to never give up.

Family Bridges Team

Our staff works tirelessly to strengthen and expand the outreach of Family Bridges. Meet the faces behind our community programs and creative initiatives here!

Alicia La Hoz, PsyD

Founder & CEO

Dr. Alicia La Hoz is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Founder, and Executive Director of Family Bridges. Dr. La Hoz works with the Latino community in the Chicagoland area, where she leads her team in developing and coordinating Family Bridges comprehensive marriage and relationship programs. Away from the office, she spends her time with her two inquisitive children and devoted husband, exploring nature, visiting museums, and building lego-masterpieces.

Headshot of Alicia La Hoz

Omaira Gonzalez


Omaira Gonzalez is the COO for Family Bridges and co-developer of the Mentoring and Business Leadership Curriculums! Omaira and her husband of 30+ years love adventure, long walks and Broadway shows. They are enjoying their new title of grandparents, all you have to do is ask them about their granddaughter and they will whip out 100’s of pictures and videos to show you. With their two kids Yomari and Omar, they enjoy great meals and gathering with family…which watch out can get loud and very entertaining!

Headshot of Omaira Gonzalez

Sarah Pichardo

Creative Director & Executive Producer

As Creative Marketing Director for Family Bridges and Co-Writer & Executive Producer of ¡Qué Gente, Mi Gente! and The Secrets of Santa Monica, Sarah is Family Bridges’ creative superhero. She’s a three-time Telly Award winner and a Midwest Emmy nominee. When’s she’s not obsessing over pixels, designs and scripts –or brainstorming plans to take over the world – she is coming up with new ways to spoil her 13 nieces and nephews.

Headshot of Sarah Pichardo

Maria Buchanan, MA, MDiv

Expansion Director

Maria Santos Arellano-Buchanan, Expansion Director for Family Bridges, has her Master’s degree from the School of Social Services at University of Chicago. She loves to work with families; doing community outreach, teaching workshops, and serving families in need. When she’s not working, she’s teaching couples at her church. She dearly loves her husband and daughters, whom she considers her biggest treasures in this world.

Headshot of Maria Santos Arellano Buchanan

Juvy B. Radford, MPH

Program Director

Juvy B. Radford is the Program Director for Family Bridges, working specifically with the Deep Roots, Long Branches program. She appreciates opportunities to minister with her husband and to learn how to play like a kid again with her two young children. A California girl at heart, Juvy enjoys sunshine, warmth and simple, carefree days with her family. Her future endeavors include running a half marathon and becoming a certified PraiseMoves instructor.

Headshot of Juvy Radford

James Hommowun, PsyD

Project Analyst

James Hommowun is a Doctor of Psychology who wears many hats for Family Bridges (but his favorite is still the top hat!). Professional responsibilities include writing, editing, number crunching, training, and speaking softly to machinery (carrying a big stick when that doesn’t work). In his free time, James enjoys reading, playing outdoors, video games, and the performing arts – especially with his wonderful wife, Sarah, and two delightful daughters, Lillian and Juliette.

Headshot of James Hommowun

Juana Arellano

Micro Enterprise Program Coordinator

Juana is the Subsidized Job Coordinator for Family Bridges, where she also wears many hats as a Sales Lead Specialist, a voice on the radio novela Que Gente Mi Gente!, and as an actress in the theater production “Los Secretos de Santa Monica”. Before Family Bridges, she worked for 10 years as an office assistant and tutor, and taught for Seminario Biblico Hispano for 4 years. Juana is also working on her Masters in Art.

Headshot of Juana Arellano

Isabel Miranda

Sr. Graphic Designer

With a Bachelors in Visual Communication & Design, Isabel Miranda uses her magic to convert concepts into bright visuals. Like any good graphic designer, she bleeds CMYK, breathes Helvetica , enjoys white space and cries every time a font is stretched.

Headshot of Isabel Miranda

Savannah Gonzalez

Creative Content and Project Assistant

Savannah Gonzalez is the Creative Content and Project Assistant. She expresses her creativity most in social media. When she’s not working, she spends most of her time with her TWIN BOYS, all the time. #lovemytwinboys #loveGod

Headshot of savannah Gonzalez

Elizabeth Woehr, MA

Family Coordinator

As Family Coordinator, Elizabeth Woehr, is dedicated to the needs of couples in crisis. She loves to walk alongside them and share in their sufferings and trials. To counterbalance this she has a great sense of humor and enjoys being witty. She loves a good conversation and spending time with others. Her favorite times are when she is with her sweet husband, surrounded by their children and grandchildren.

Headshot of Elizabeth Woehr

Damaris Bran

Avance Regional Manager

Damaris Bran is the Avance Regional Manager for Family Bridges, working in the Chicagoland area, helping strengthening communities by empowering, training, and equipping its leaders in Family Bridges core curricula on marriage and family formation. When not working, Damaris enjoys learning by reading books or just taking on a new challenge that will help her learn new skills. She also enjoys going to the theater and watching a good movie or a Netflix series. Her biggest passion is her two children and a loving husband.

Headshot of Damaris Bran

Barbara A. Linek, MA

Community Outreach Coordinator

Barbara Linek is a people person with a particular fondness for immigrants. She happily spends her days talking to lots of people about Family Bridges. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Intercultural Ministry. Outside work, she’s likely to be found cooking, reading, or singing Spanish children’s songs with her little granddaughters.

Headshot of Barbara Linek

Josie Cardona

Intake & Workshop Coordinator

Josie Cardona is the Family Bridges Workshop Coordinator.  If you are interested in a workshop for your church, school or organization, she’s the one to talk to! Josie is very active in her church and gets a kick out of organizing their big Christmas event.  She loves spending time with family, including two energetic grandchildren who keep her busy.

Headshot of Josefina Cardona

José-Andrés Alegría

Content Writer

Jose-Andres Alegria is a Content Writer at Family Bridges who writes whatever the boss tells him to, but if you can’t find him, then it means that his face is buried in a book somewhere or that he is taking a nap. You should come back later when he’s not “busy.”

Headshot of Jose Andres Alegria

Richard Lara

Front-end Web Developer

Richard was born in Los Angeles, California, but most of his childhood was spent in Mexico. He lived in Atlanta for two and a half years before moving to Chicago, where he has lived for the past 7+ years. Richard is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Software Development from DeVry University. His passions include traveling and meeting new people, along with playing sports and keeping up with emerging tech trends.

Headshot of Richard Lara

Anny Duran

Grant Coordinator

Anny Duran is the Grant Coordinator for Family Bridges. When she’s not writing grant proposals, meeting with potential funders, or finding new and innovative ways to support Family Bridges’ work, you can usually find her spending quality time with her friends and family. She also enjoys taking scenic strolls, reading old books, hanging out with her pet bird Chuy, eating pizza, and tormenting her co-workers (in a fun way).

Headshot of Anny Duran

Christopher Browne

Business Development Associate

Christopher is the Business Development Associate at Family Bridges in addition to supporting our outreach and fundraising. He believes strong relationships are the source of success both professionally and in life in general. When he’s not in the office, he’s probably moving– either out for a walk or on a plane to see someplace new!

Headshot of Christopher Browne

Robert Salazar

Sr. Creative Producer

Robert Salazar is a filmmaker and writer based in Chicago. His clients have included the US Department of Health and Human Services, CareerBuilder, Ragú, Quilted Northern, Tempur-Pedic, The Howard Stern Show, GNC, Paste Magazine, and La-Z-Boy. He currently works as the Sr. Creative Producer at Family Bridges/Lazos de Familia creating Spanglish entertainment. He has several Telly Awards, a couple Midwest Emmy nominations, and a bachelors degree from Oberlin College. He was also voted “Most Artistic” by his eighth grade class, though he understands if you don’t trust their opinion.

Headshot of Robert Moye Salazar

Board of Directors

Family Bridges Board of Directors consists of highly dedicated individuals representing our diverse community with various professional backgrounds including executives, financial professionals, business consultants, business owners and community leaders. The committed members of our board of directors assist with governance, fundraising efforts, and the overall guidance of Family Bridges.

    • Alicia La Hoz, Psy.D., Family Bridges (Ex officio)
    • Ken Kalina, New Life Centers of Chicago (Board President)
    • Nancy Brown, Meier Clinics
    • Susy Francis Best, PsyD, MBA, Thrive Group International
    • Regina Madigan, Zimmer Biomet
    • Rick Rivero, Connections Marketing
    • Debbie Speck, Elevate USA
    • Glenn T. Garlick, K&G Specialty Sales
    • Gary Kinnaman, American Bible Society
    • Jorge Davila, Superación Familiar

Advisory Board

  • Theresa Beck, Tango
  • Noel Castellanos, Christian Community Development Association
  • Ruben Cruz, First Spanish Christian Church
  • Chris Ellerman, Outreach Community Ministries
  • Art Holton, SFA Strategies
  • Kathleen McCreary, Newberry Group
  • Larry Mollner, Barnabas Group Chicago
  • John Held, McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd.
  • Judy and Steve Holt
  • Charles Johnston