All who serve on the Strengthening Families Foundation board of directors serve in their positions as unpaid volunteers. We are passionate about our mission to strengthen families and empower parents and youth with skills to avoid addiction and prevent brain dysfunction caused by adverse childhood experiences. Further, we are dedicated to spreading the message that there are easy and fun-to-learn skills that create happy families, healthy brains, and addiction-free youth. We recognize that children only get one chance at life, and each of them deserves loving, nurturing, well-trained, addiction-free parents so they can become their highest and best selves.

Director of Research and Evaluation

Karol L. Kumpfer, Ph.D., co-founder of the Strengthening Families Foundation, is an American Indian (Pawnee) psychologist and professor emeritus of health promotion and education at the University of Utah. She specializes in cross-cultural research and dissemination of evidence-based (EBP) family strengthening interventions to prevent substance abuse, delinquency, and child maltreatment and to improve child mental health outcomes. She is the developer of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP 3 to 17 Years), a prevention family skills training program, which includes a seven-session (ISFP) and 10-session universal SFP program, a 14-session SFP selective and indicated program, and a universal SFP Home-Use DVD. The Strengthening Families Program has proven in many research studies in the U.S. and 36 foreign countries to improve parenting skills, family relations, children’s mental health outcomes, and reduce substance abuse in parents and adolescents. From 1998 to 2000, she served as the director of the DHHS/SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) in Washington, D.C. For 15 years, she also directed the National Institute of Justice OJJDP’s Strengthening America’s Families Initiative to locate and disseminate evidence-based family interventions nationwide. More recently, she expanded this work into a global search for EBP family interventions for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the Compendium on the UNODC website. With an international committee, she produced the UNODC (2009) Guide to Implementing Family Skills Training Programmes for Drug Abuse Prevention that included steps to culturally and locally adapt EBPs. She was honored with the prestigious Community and Cultural Research Award by the Society for Prevention Research in June 2008 and the Children and Family Futures National Collaborative Excellence Award in 2016. She has published and presented widely and internationally. She has served on the boards of directors of the Indian Walk-In Center and the Utah Mental Health Association and as a Utah Symphony Guild officer.

Development Director

Dr. Henry O. Whiteside’s distinguished career has included research, teaching, government service, and fundraising for nonprofit organizations. He received his undergraduate education at Princeton University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Stanford University. He has a certificate in conflict resolution from the University of Utah and is a licensed mediator. He taught for 10 years at Colorado Women’s College in Denver, Colorado. In Utah, he has worked for the Division of State History as an education policy analyst. He is the author of Menace in the West: Colorado and the American Experience with Drugs, 1873–1963 (Colorado Historical Society Press, 1997) and has published articles on American history, historic preservation, drug abuse prevention, and family skills training. He is co-author with Dr. Karol Kumpfer of the SFP 12–16 Years and SFP 3–5 Years versions of the Strengthening Families Program class curriculum, and he has collaborated on the SFP Home-Use DVDs and the 10-session SFP 7–17 Years curriculum. He is president of Lutra Group, Inc., authorized distributors and trainers for the Strengthening Families Program. He travels frequently worldwide to conduct SFP group leader training workshops with his team of international trainers. He has served as development director for the University of Utah Medical School, with the Utah Opera and Utah Symphony, and on the board of directors of the Guadalupe Schools (chair), Community Counseling Center (chair), and the Swaner Foundation.

Jaynie Litster Brown
Executive Director

Jaynie Brown is a co-founder and executive director of the Strengthening Families Foundation. In partnership with Dr. Karol Kumpfer, she produced the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) Home-Use DVD, including script-writing and fundraising, pro bono to be able to offer the two-disk SFP series at near cost so every family could afford it. She has a degree in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University. She joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) after the death of a baby grandson by a drunk driver. She is a Utah-certified prevention specialist and serves as a legislative lobbyist for the Utah chapter of MADD. She has presented at national conferences and provided extensive training to agencies in prevention of youth alcohol and drug use throughout the U.S. She serves on the Utah State Underage Drinking Prevention Workgroup (Parents Empowered); is the chair of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Coalition on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs; and has served on the Utah State Board of Education Prevention Steering Committee. She also worked as a volunteer with the Salt Lake City “Inner-City Project,” working directly with parents who were recently out of prison or drug rehab to help put their lives and families back together. She was awarded the Utah Governor’s Uplift Families Award in 2012; the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge—Community Hero for Utah Award in 2012; the Northwest Alcohol Conference Innovative Product Award; and an Outstanding Recognition Award from the Utah State Legislature for her decade of service as a lobbyist for MADD. As a mother of seven children, she served on the PTA for 25 years and was the Salt Lake School District Volunteer of the Year in 2003.

Robert A. (Art) Brown

Art Brown, MBA, MS, is the president of the Utah Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a former MADD national board member. He was born and raised in northern California and has a bachelor’s degree in physics and an MBA from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Mid-East politics from the University of Utah. He retired from IBM after 28 successful years in marketing and management and has devoted the past 15 years to researching proven skills to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking. In addition, he has focused research on skills for nurturing parenting and preventing teen suicide. He serves on the Utah Governor’s DUI Council and speaks frequently at news conferences. He is also a member of the Utah State Underage Drinking Prevention Workgroup (Parents Empowered) that directs Utah’s underage drinking prevention effort and media campaign, which he co-founded. He received the Utah Substance Abuse and Mental Health Excellence in Prevention Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Council on Alcohol Problems, the Governor’s Award for Utah’s underage drinking prevention campaign, City of Cottonwood Heights Meritorious Service Award, and Utah’s Best of State Volunteer of the Year Award. He and his wife, Jaynie, have seven children.

Abbie Vianes

Abbie Vianes has a master’s degree in professional counseling, is a certified professional trainer, and a SAMHSA-certified substance abuse prevention specialist. She is currently an international consultant and trainer for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) International Programs and the U.S. Department of State’s International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement in French-speaking, third-world countries. Prior to her international consulting work, she was the director of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Coalition on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs and grant manager of the ten-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant. In addition, she is a trainer for the Strengthening Families Program for ages 7–17. She also served as project director for a U.S. Department of Education Violence Prevention grant awarded to the Utah Family Center and was director of the Utah Governor’s Commission for Women and Families from 1998 to 2001. She also served as the facilitator for the K–12 workgroup of the American Indian/Alaska Native Educational Task Force from 2002 to 2011, creating recommendations for the Utah Legislature and the Utah State Board of Education to improve public education for Utah’s Native American Indian youth. She also serves as vice president of the board of Utah’s First Lady Jeanette Herbert’s personal initiative, the Uplift Families Foundation.