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Our Story

Native American Fatherhood & Families Association (NAFFA) began in 2002 with just one father and the mission of bringing men back to strengthening their families. Since then, NAFFA has successfully impacted thousands of lives and families.

 

NAFFA is an Arizona based non-profit 501(C) (3) organization that provides programs to strengthen families through responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Our programs are one of a kind, creating a real passion in parents to take a leadership role in keeping families together and growing healthy children.

We have four signature curricula, 1.) Fatherhood Is Sacred®, Motherhood Is Sacred®, 2.) Linking Generations By Strengthening Relationships®3.) Addressing Family Violence & Abuse© and 4.) Suicide Prevention©. Our Fatherhood Is Sacred®, Motherhood Is Sacred® program is our foundational curriculum, the Linking Generations By Strengthening Relationships® and Addressing Family Violence & Abuse builds upon that foundation. To learn more about our curricula and how they are distinct from other social service programs.

Philosophy

Approach

Families are at the heart of all cultures. There is no work more important than fatherhood & motherhood. 

Today, many people and agencies view fathers as the cause of most family social problems. However, NAFFA takes the position that fathers are not the problem, but the solution & must take the lead in keeping families together. 

NAFFA understands that to help others make positive changes, you must love the people whom you serve & the work you bring to them. 

Our approach is based on a culturally rich model that inspires & self-motivates through natural techniques. 

We help parents devote their best efforts in teaching and raising their children to develop the potential and attributes needed for success in life. 

Our method is to uplift, encourage, assist, and teach. Filling life with hope, gratitude, and understanding has a powerful effect in changing attitudes and behavior. There is no better way. 

Founder/President

Albert M. Pooley

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Albert M. Pooley was born to the Hopi and Navajo Native American cultures.
He grew up close to both cultures on the reservation where the love of a father taught him outstanding life lessons.

He holds a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and Masters of  Public Administration (MPA).

Mr. Pooley has extensive experience as a marriage and family counselor.
He appreciates the role of being a father and he finds joy in teaching
principles that are relevant to his Native American culture.

Our Staff

Cheryl Honnie- Director of Training

Cheryl is Ta’baaha (Water’s Edge clan), born for To’ahani (Near the Water clan) and a member of the Diné (Navajo) Tribe.  She was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation.  Being an advocate that Fatherhood and Motherhood Is Sacred, Ms. Honnie joined Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) in May of 2021.  Before working for NAFFA, Cheryl worked in the Human Resources field, with a degree in Administrative Justice.  Cheryl is a mother of four and a wife that loves caring for her family. Email Cheryl: cherylh@aznaffa.org

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Neil Tift- Outreach Coordinator/Court Navigator

Neil has worked with fathers for the past 30 years in Minnesota, Maryland and now Arizona. He is a parent educator, family mediator, university instructor, game maker, staff trainer and overweight jogger. Neil is the proud father of three, grandfather of twelve and foster father of many.  Email Neil:  

Neilt@aznaffa.org

Valerie Hollobaugh- International Relations Coordinator

Originally raised in New Jersey, Valerie moved to Mesa to be closer to her daughter’s family and has learned to love the desert. She has been a family advocate for 30 years and is the author of 6 books and hundreds of articles about strengthening the family. The mother of 9 children and grandmother to 16, she enjoys spending time with her family. Email Valerie: ValerieS@aznaffa.org

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Susan Sharp- Receptionist

Susan is part Navajo and Hopi and was raised in Mesa, Arizona. Before coming to NAFFA in April 2019, Susan worked at the Casino Arizona Talking Stick as a phone operator. Her husband, Mike and her like to travel and their family includes two cats: Sushi and Fluff Ball. Susan enjoys the friendship of the NAFFA staff. Email Susan: susans@aznaffa.org

Sam Rossi- Financial Specialist/Accountant

Sam was born and raised in Tennessee and worked for Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community as the accountant handling budgets and grant funds. Email Sam: samr@aznaffa.org

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Susan Ellsworth- Administrative Assistant

Susan is a native of Mesa, Arizona. She holds an associate degree from Rio Salado Community College. Outside of work, she loves spending time with family, working outdoors and cooking. Susan is the mother of 5 children. Email Susan: susane@aznaffa.org

Heather Woldberg- Administrative Assistant

I would like to say that I am extremely excited to be the newest member of the NAFFA family!!

Wow, does this mean I’m young again…lol.  I was born right here in the wonderful state of Arizona and have never lived anywhere else. I have been a single mom for the past 24 years to my 3 amazing young men. I’m now the proud mother to 3 daughters-in-laws and now a precious granddaughter. I have worked in the Gilbert School district, Airlines, and the health industry for over 20+ years while raising my boys. I am now an empty nester who is taking flight to see to what heights I can soar by venturing into this new area. I absolutely love and support all of what NAFFA has to offer. I will be taking on the role of Mr. Pooley’s new personal assistant. Hello to you all and can't wait to meet someday real soon.  Email Heather: heatherw@aznaffa.org

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Malcolm Redhair- Facilitator Coordinator

Malcolm Redhair is part of the Navajo Nation, being born and raised in Window Rock Arizona. He is a father, son, brother, indigenous warrior in recovery and considers himself a student of life in learning, healing and growing with a strong work ethic. He is a team player with experience in working in the recovery field and has a strong passion to let others know that recovery is possible and that there is a better way of life besides alcohol and drugs. He fell in love with Native American Fatherhood and Families Association's curriculum and applies it to his life every day. He feels that it is so easy for him to facilitate the programs.  He is honored to have this position so he can be united and connected to others promoting a strong,healthy, positive message to families.  Email Malcolm:  malcolmr@aznaffa.org

Shanda Billy- Training Specialist

Hardworking, proactive, and eager to keep growing and evolving in developing new skills and abilities.  I’m excited to be working at Native American Fatherhood and Families Association. I’m determined to excel in being a part of the programs, and services, and support the mission of providing to Native Americans and all people. 

I am of the Near the Water Clan, born for Red Streak in the Water Clan, my maternal grandfather is Many Goats Clan, and my paternal grandfather is Edge Water Clan (Navajo Tribe). Being family-oriented; I’m a mother of 4. I love being with my immediate and extended family and friends.  My love of animals led me to receive a certificate in Veterinarian Assistance where I previously worked at an Animal Emergency Hospital.  My hobbies also include reading and sewing, which take up some of my free time. 

Email Shanda:  shandab@aznaffa.org

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Jane McCord- Grants Coordinator

Jane McCord is a native of California, went to college in Utah, and received a master’s in Public Administration from Oakland University in Michigan. After working for a Detroit-area nonprofit for 5 years, Jane moved to Mesa to escape the winter and be close to family. Jane and her husband have three young daughters and one baby son. She recently joined NAFFA as a part-time grant writer and looks forward to garnering funding in support of NAFFA's mission.

Email Jane: janem@aznaffa.org

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Maintenance Crew:
Mike Sharp
Manual Padilla

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