About Us

Family Values @ Work is a national network of 27 state and local coalitions helping spur the growing movement for family-friendly workplace policies such as paid sick days and family leave insurance.

Too many people have to risk their job to care for a loved one, or put a family member at risk to keep a job. We’re made to feel that this is a personal problem, but it’s political – family values too often end at the workplace door. We need new workplace standards to meet the needs of real families today.

The result will be better individual and public health, and greater financial security for families, businesses and the nation.

Our coalitions represent a diverse, nonpartisan group of more than 2,000 grassroots organizations, ranging from restaurant owners to restaurant workers, faith leaders to public health professionals, think tanks to activists for children, seniors and those with disabilities. Family Values @ Work coalitions are active in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.

Formed in 2003, Family Values @ Work coalitions are winning. We’ve helped get paid sick days victories so far in 31 cities, 2 counties (Cook County, IL and Montgomery County in Maryland), and 9 states (Connecticut, Oregon, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Arizona); family leave insurance laws in New Jersey, California, Rhode Island and New York; and paid parental leave passed in Washington state. These local and state wins are improving the lives of 36 million workers and their families and building national momentum for policies that value families at work.

Who We Are

Ellen Bravo
Co-Executive Director, Family Values @ Work

Bravo head shot 2015Ellen Bravo directs the Family Values @ Work (FV@W) Consortium, a network of broad coalitions working for—and winning—policies such as paid sick days and family leave insurance. The FV@W network has expanded to 27 states and achieved unprecedented victories, such as paid sick days in five states, one county and 31 cities; family leave insurance in California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York; and paid parental leave passed in Washington state. More wins are on the horizon.

A lifelong activist and leading expert on work-family issues, Ellen worked with 9to5 for more than two decades, serving as national director until 2004, before founding FV@W. In 1982, she started the Milwaukee chapter, which helped win the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act in 1988 after organizing a group of children to tell lawmakers why their parents needed this protection. The organization also helped win family leave in a number of states and spur passage of the groundbreaking federal FMLA.

Ellen has served on several state and federal commissions, including the national bi-partisan Commission on Leave to study the impact of the FMLA, and has testified before Congress several times. She’s a member of the leadership team of Caring Across Generations and Make It Work, and sits on the boards of Working America and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Among her many commendations, Ellen has received the Ford Foundation’s Visionary Award, the Francis Perkins “Intelligence and Courage” Award, a Families and Work Institute Work-Life Legacy Award and a Trailblazer award from the Ms. Foundation.

Described as “moving, witty and sometimes bawdy,” Ellen is a leading commentator in the media, appearing on MSNBC, Fox News and NPR, among others. Her writing is regularly featured in such outlets as The New York Times, CNN, The Nation, Salon, The Huffington Post, Ms. and other sites. She has taught Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her most recent non-fiction book, Taking on the Big Boys, or Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business and the Nation, won ForeWord Magazine’s Gold Medal in women’s issues and was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine.

Ellen lives in Milwaukee with her husband; they have two adult sons. She loves Zumba and Bikram yoga, bid whist and piano. Her novel on date rape and politics, Again and Again, was published in August 2015.

Wendy Chun-Hoon
Co-Executive Director, Family Values @ Work

wchWendy leads the organization’s efforts to gain support for policies such as paid sick days and family leave insurance in the nation’s capital. A skilled coalition-builder, she coordinates much of FV@W’s network of thousands of workers, activists, small business owners, academics, public health experts and elected officials to build momentum for family-friendly policies.

Before joining FV@W, Wendy served as the associate director for the Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation, a special initiative of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) aimed at responding to the economic crisis by leveraging resources to promote opportunity and ameliorate poverty. She has also held positions as the chief of staff for Maryland’s welfare and child welfare agency, and as a program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She brings more than a decade of experience working with direct service providers, local residents, advocacy groups and funders.

Wendy is a frequent speaker at conferences around the country, and her work has appeared in the media, including NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and the Washington Blade. She serves on the boards of the National Employment Law Project and the Consumer Health Foundation, organizations dedicated to increasing economic security for working families.

Wendy received her B.A. in Urban Studies from Vassar College, and her an M.A in Philanthropic Studies and M.P.A in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University. An avid soccer player, Wendy lives with her wife and their four-year-old son in Silver Spring, MD.

Marianne Bellesorte, M.P.P.
National Implementation Director, Family Values @ Work

MarianneMarianne works with member organizations and national advocates around implementing and enforcing paid leave laws. Marianne currently oversees a rapid experimentation implementation project based in Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California.

Marianne is also Vice President of Advocacy at PathWays PA, where she heads the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplace. After vetoes in 2011 and 2013, Marianne and the Coalition won paid sick days for Philadelphia workers in 2015. She now collaborates with the city of Philadelphia on implementing the law.

Marianne previously worked for nonprofit organizations such as Dignity Housing and 9to5, the National Association of Working Women. She earned her Master of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her Bachelor of Arts in English Writing from LaSalle University. She lives just outside of Philadelphia, PA.


Suzette Gardner
Digital Director, Family Values @ Work + Labor Project for Working Families

suzette gardnerDigital Strategy. Network Digital Capacity Building. Advocacy. Engagement. Fundraising.

Suzette maximizes our digital efforts to support on-the-ground initiatives nationwide. She manages all online communications efforts, including mobilization and fundraising email programs, social media engagement and online partnerships with other groups in the space. Suzette is a digital media and engagement professional with 10+ years experience and have worked with small and large organizations/companies including AARP, George Washington University and Beaconfire Consulting (now Beaconfire RED).

Suzette enjoys time with friends and family, dreaming up new StartUps, live music, design, radio, and travel.

Gayle Goldin
FMLI Campaign Advisor, Family Values @ Work

gayleGayle Goldin currently serves as the FMLI Campaign Advisor for Family Values@Work. Her career has also included serving as a consultant in the nonprofit sector, assisting with strategic advocacy efforts, policy analysis, and qualitative research. Previously, she served as the Strategic Initiatives Officer at Women’s Fund of Rhode Island and as the Director of Community Partnerships for a national technical assistance center focused on increasing access to health care for the uninsured. Gayle graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in English Literature and earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Tufts University. She formerly served on the board of Adoption Rhode Island and currently serves on the board of her synagogue, Temple Emanu-el, in Providence, Rhode Island.

As a new parent, Gayle began advocating to changes to Rhode Island law to create paid parental leave. In 2011, in collaboration with a group of other women, Gayle pushed for the creation of paid family leave in Rhode Island. In 2012, Gayle ran for state senate and in her first year as a newly elected senator, championed the passage of Temporary Caregiver Insurance making Rhode Island the 3rd state with paid family leave and the first state to do so with job protection. Gayle is the recipient of a 2013 congressional Angels in Adoption Award, the 2014 Bell of Hope Award from the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Parent Information Network’s Legislator of the Year award, 2015 National Association of Social Workers legislative champion award, and a 2016 Capitol Caregiver by AARP. In 2014, Gayle was named one of the Women’s Campaign Fund’s 40 national Game Changers. Gayle is a frequent speaker about paid family leave and women’s economic security at events and guest lectures at colleges, universities, and local schools. Gayle has authored several opinion pieces on the importance of good public policies that support working families, including Paid Family Leave Should be for Everyone published in the Boston Globe.

Carol Joyner
Director, Labor Project for Working Families

cjCarol Joyner is the Director for the Labor Project for Working Families (LPWF), in partnership with Family Values @ Work. Founded in 1992, LPWF works to address the policy and programmatic solutions for improving workplace standards, including paid sick days, family leave insurance and workplace flexibility. In her capacity as director, Carol fosters collaboration between labor organizations, workers, advocates and other stakeholders to improve the lives of working families.

Prior to the LPWF work, Carol provided consultation on work, family and Trust Fund administration issues. A longtime labor leader, Carol is the founding Director of the 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Fund, as well as and past President of the Child Care Corporation, a labor-management benefit fund by the 1199 Health and Human Service Employees Union and 400 Health Care Employers in New York State.

Ms. Joyner is the recipient of work and family achievement awards including the Alliance of Work Life Professionals’ Innovative Program Award; the LPWF Annual Award; and the NBCDI, NY Bridge Builders’ Award. She has sat on the National Advisory Board for the Labor Project for Working Families and FV@W, and is a founding partner of the Work and Family Strategy Council. Currently, she is a member of the Black Women’s Roundtable. She has appeared in the media on issues affecting working families, and frequently contributes to online publications such as The Huffington Post. She lives in Washington, DC with her family.

Sade Moonsammy
Project Manager, Family Values @ Work + Labor Project for Working Families

As the project manager for FV@W and LPWF Sade works on strategic and operational planning to support the mission, values and impact of FV@W . She values supporting the organizers , states and coalitions that are fighting for Paid Family and Paid Sick Days.

Prior to her work at FV@W Sade worked as the State Organizing Manager for Young Invincibles. Sade’s worked to educate and organize young adults on D.C. Paid Family Leave, the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Gap Advocacy and Child Care Expansion. Sade’s passion and dedication for health care grew from her work as a Family Services Manager, Childbirth Educator , Federally Qualified Health Center Board Member, D.C. Public School Volunteer and her own experiences as a millennial parent.

When not working Sade chairs the Race, Inclusivity and Diversity committee of her daughter’s school, and works as a Birth Doula. Sade is a native of Brooklyn, NY graduated with a BA from Howard University and resides in D.C.

Alexis Standifer
Administrative and Development Assistant,
Family Values @ Work + Labor Project for Working Families

alexisAlexis Standifer is the Administrative and Development Assistant for Family Values at Work and the Labor Project for Working Families. She is passionate about improving the quality of life for families and is dedicated to the progress of the paid family and paid sick leave movement.

Alexis works with Family Values and the Labor Project to ensure that the needs of America’s families are raised. With a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, she has experience in corporate event planning, staff, office, and program management, and policy research and advocacy. Alexis assists with day-to-day office operations, event logistics, outreach, and coordination with funders for FV@W and LPWF.

Prior to her career with FV@W, Alexis was a research associate for Caring Across Generations. CAG, an ally of FV@W, uses its efforts to bring attention to the immediate care needs of the aging and elderly. Additionally, it reinforces and supports the impact of family caregivers in the United States. Alexis aided CAG employees by conducting research and providing pertinent data and information to support their movement.

Hailing from just south of the Windy-City, Alexis relocated to central Florida where she completed her undergraduate career studies in Public Administration. Following her heart and pursuing her career, she relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where she currently resides. Alexis loves reading and spends her free time traveling with her daughter and family.

Preston Van Vliet
National Campaign Organizer, LGBTQ Work-Family Project
A Joint Initiative of A Better Balance and Family Values @ Work

pvv headshotPreston is the National Campaign Organizer through the LGBTQ Work-Family Project, the joint initiative between FV@W and A Better Balance. He works with FV@W’s partner coalitions and LGBTQ organizations in building LGBTQ capacity and inclusion in state-wide, work-family policy campaigns. Alongside many other activists and organizations uplifting intersectional policy work, Preston is engaged in coalition building, cross-movement understanding, and messaging of how LGBTQ issues are work-family issues.

Before working with the LGBTQ Work-Family Project, Preston was active in several campaigns and projects in Michigan. While the President of the LGBTQ student organization at Oakland University, he helped to start a campaign to get a full-time staff person for the on-campus Gender and Sexuality Center and helped to enumerate the anti-discrimination policy to be LGBTQ inclusive. Preston worked with Michigan Voice, as part of the State Voices network, in co-managing an LGBTQ voter engagement project. In 2014, he worked on LGBTQ education and enrollment for ACA, raising the minimum wage, and wrote an organizing plan through the Unity Coalition to fund a transgender leadership project (now known as the Trans* Leadership Project) to support a fully-inclusive amendment to Michigan’s statewide Civil Rights Act. Preston was also employed by Community Housing Network for two years in working on homeless outreach and housing case management services.

Preston received his B.A. in Psychology with minors in Public Administration and Spanish from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He lives in Washington, D.C.


To contact us, email info@familyvaluesatwork.org or write us at:
Family Values @ Work
207 E Buffalo Street, Suite 211
Milwaukee WI 53202