Meet the Experts
Toni Johnson-Simpson, MSW
Friends of the Family benefits from Ms. Johnson-Simpson’s wealth of knowledge and experience, which includes more than 20 years of nonprofit management. Since 2005 Ms. Johnson-Simpson has served in the role of Executive Director, providing leadership, education and oversight to all aspects of the agency, working in conjunction with the Board of Directors and the community to provide continuous, comprehensive services to those in the community who have been impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.
Katherine Flowers, MBA
Associate Executive Director
Katherine Flowers began her career with Denton County Friends of the Family in November 2002. Katherine has worked in a variety of position including Crisis Line Coordinator, Outreach Services Coordinator, Quality Assurance Specialist and Director of Operations. Currently in her position as the Associate Executive Director, she manages a team of staff who provide for the day-to-day operation and finances of the organization.
Dr. Nicole Roberts, Ph.D.
Executive Program Director
Dr. Roberts is a licensed psychologist. She has recently returned to this position after several years away from the agency, and has a wide variety of work experience including Hope’s Door in Plano, private practice, and hospital work. Her responsibilities include program management and development, overseeing direct service provision to survivors, and professional and community education.
Kirsten Kram PhD, LPC, RPT, CCPT-S, CPRT-S
Director of Clinical Services
Dr. Kram provides counseling and play therapy services for adults and children ages 3-17, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Child-Centered Play Therapy Supervisor and Certified Child-Parent Relationship Therapy Supervisor. Kirsten has been working with children who have been impacted by trauma since 2014. Her specialties are ACEs and child-centered play therapy with children who have experience complex trauma.
Olivia Jane Barhorst, MNLM
Director of Marketing and Development
Olivia graduated with a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Executive Management from Arizona State University in 2022 and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Bowling Green State University in 2018. Her passion for philanthropy kickstarted her career into development, marketing, and fundraising, and has landed her positions with nonprofit powerhouses helping to meet their organizational goals. Olivia is currently pursuing a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) to join a small group of elite fundraisers across the country and around the world. In her role, Olivia leads all fundraising ventures and marketing promotions for the organization.
Director of Community Engagement
Lori Nelson has been with the agency since September 2019 and has been in the victim services field since 2001. In her role at DCFOF, she strives to build meaningful relationships with organizations that might refer clients to DCFOF and those organizations to which DCFOF might refer clients, with an emphasis on the criminal justice system. Her vision is to create a multidisciplinary team approach, building on the philosophy of a coordinated community response to family violence. Lori is the facilitator of Denton County’s Domestic Violence High-Risk Team (DVHRT) with DCFOF, Denton PD, The Colony PD, the District Attorney’s Office, Probation, and other key parties.
Prior to Friends of the Family, Lori worked at the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County (CACDC). She began her career in 2001 as a Program Coordinator and promoted to Program Director in 2005. She added forensic interviewing to her duties in 2006 and in 2015 was selected by Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas to join their Forensic Interviewing Training Faculty. In 2018, she became the Director of Partner Relations with a unique focus on the multidisciplinary team and partner agencies. Over the course of her 18 years at CACDC, Lori facilitated over 600 multidisciplinary case review meetings and conducted over 1,100 forensic interviews.
Brittony McNaughton, MA, LPC
Director of Operations
Brittony graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 2007. She has been involved with Denton County Friends of the Family since 2003 beginning as a volunteer and going on to serve as a counseling intern. She also worked as a staff counselor in the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program and Victim Outreach Services for several years before moving on to serve in an administrative leadership position in the public mental health field for eight years. Brittony welcomed the opportunity to return to DCFOF as part of the administrative team and is currently responsible for the management of facilities operations, grant/contracts, human resources, and the agency thrift store.
David Almager, MS
Director of Battering Intervention and Prevention Program
Mr. Almager received his Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies at West Texas A&M and has been working with nonprofits since 1996. He is a veteran in the field of family violence having served as a facilitator and program director in three separate state funded Domestic Violence programs. David has worked with both incarcerated and court ordered family violence offenders for over 18 years and was instrumental in the development of the Dallas County Felony Domestic Violence Court Program, specializing in the treatment of high-risk batterers He joined DCFOF in the summer of 2017 and is responsible for leading the team that provides services to offenders of domestic violence through group facilitation and individual counseling using an evidence-based treatment model.
Bonet Garcia, JD
Director of Advocacy
Bonet Garcia earned her law degree from South Texas College of Law Houston and her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Edward’s University in Austin. As the Director of Outreach Advocacy, Ms. Garcia oversees the operation of advocacy services, which includes: Agency referrals, intakes, safety planning, legal assistance and education, medical and court accompaniment, obtaining protective orders, securing crime victims’ compensation, and facilitating referrals for legal representation, transitional housing, crisis shelters, and counseling services. She implements her criminal justice studies and legal knowledge to establish safety measures and to respond to clients’ needs, while cultivating self-empowerment and awareness in people and in communities during all stages of crises. Her goal is to lead the Agency in promoting and addressing victims’ rights by implementing a county-wide, strategic plan to strengthen a coordinated community response in order to support victims of violence.
Director of Shelter
Milidtza graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas Woman’s University in 2002. Milidtza began working at Denton County Friends of the Family as an Outreach Advocate in 2003. She has returned to Denton County Friends of the Family in 2019 and currently oversees the operation of the Denton County Friends of the Family Emergency Shelter, which includes advocacy services, children’s program, 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling services, and the management of the facility.
Donna Bloom, JD
Director of Legal Services
Ms. Bloom has more than twenty-four years of experience in the domestic violence field, having served as an executive director, community educator and client advocate and since 2008 as the Director of Legal Services where she provides civil legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Additionally, Ms. Bloom is seen as an expert in the field throughout the State of Texas and is a sought-after speaker and trainer on the complex issues associated with the intersection between domestic violence and child abuse and neglect.
Hillarye Hightower, MA
Director of Training and Outreach
Ms. Hightower is responsible for coordinating all training and education efforts of the agency. She has worked in the violence against women movement for 15 years, having worn many hats throughout that time. Hightower has consulted with the University of North Texas in Denton to provide training campus-wide and worked with the university to create and hire UNT’s first Victim Advocate in the Dean of Students Office. Hillarye earned her B.A. in Psychology from McMurry University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from TWU.