sarah_bio_pictureSarah’s passion for strengthening families comes from many years of working with families on a professional level, from her own challenging family upbringing and from being in the throes of this crazy ‘thing’ called parenting right now. Her mission is to help parents recognize the importance of spending as much time TOGETHER developing their family’s character as they spend time (and money) APART developing their children’s abilities

Following her parents divorce when she was a child, Sarah had two different ‘opportunities’ to experience living in a blended family – one not so successful and one that is. Consequently, the difficulties and challenges she had growing up have given her a heart for helping divorced parents and/or blended families work together to be their own thriving family.

Sarah’s past and present experiences with families have shown her that FAMILIES NEED TO FOCUS on strengthening at their core so they will thrive for the long-term!

A graduate of Baylor University, Sarah received a B.B.A. in Marketing/Management. Prior to founding This Side Up! Family, Sarah was Kidstreet Coordinator of Legacy Church, where she and her family have been members (and Kidstreet volunteers) for 20+ years. She is also involved in Young Men’s Service League (with her son) and a graduate of Leadership Plano.

Sarah has been married to her high school sweetheart Richie for 24 years and they have three wonderful children – Patrick (18), Katherine (15), and Natalie (12).


Family time has always been a priority to Susan. Susan views the time with her children as creating the memory pages for the chapters in their life’s book. Whether playing games, watching movies, or simply sharing and supporting their interest, each and every moment is crucial to building a foundation that will stand against time.

Susan has a passion for volunteering and serving others both throughout her career in EDS and in her personal life. She has been active in Children Ministries at church for the past 27 years. She was an EDS mentor in PISD for 17 years and has served in a variety of leadership roles for the Boy Scouts of America, including Merit Badge Counselor and a Life to Eagle Advisor. She was the Curriculum Lead and Instructor for
JASON University at EDS, EDS Volunteer of the Year and PISD Volunteer of the Year nominee.

Susan moved to Texas in 1981 when EDS hired her from a computer school in Pittsburgh, PA into their Operations Development Program. Susan promoted her way through a variety of technical programs in EDS. She exited the company 31 years later as a System Architect but served over the years as a Computer Operator, System Engineer, Application Programmer, System Programmer, and System Analyst.

Susan became TSUF’s first paid staff member in June 2013. She had taken a leap of faith and stepped away from her 31 year career with EDS/HP. Susan’s passion for TSUF’s mission and God’s perfect timing allowed her to take a second leap of faith and accept the part-time role of Center Coordinator. She is now serving as our Programs/Operations Manager.

Susan has been married to her best friend, Greg, for 30 years and they have 2 amazing sons – Jonathan (27) and Ryan (23). Jonathan is a graduate of University of Arkansas in Mechanical Engineering and Physics, with a Master of Science , Engineering Management, System Engineering from Drexel University,  Ryan graduated from UNT and is in a master’s program for Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington.


angelroyalpicAngel’s passion for strengthening families actually began when she was a middle schooler. She has been serving in kids ministry since the age of 12 when some great adults took a chance on her and let her serve with them by leading worship for kindergartners —which is extra funny since she can’t carry a tune—but the kids captured her heart.

Angel was on staff for over 10 years at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship as the Kids Director/Pastor and along with creating family resources, equipping parents and leading over 100 volunteers, she was able to help launch a portable campus that met in an elementary school.  Her passion is empowering volunteers and she has served with some of the best on the planet.

In 2011, she—along with a few friends–founded Lovepacs, a non-profit organization that feeds kids over long school breaks.  It has been pure joy to watch it grow from feeding 25 kids to several thousand in a few short years.  Recently she stepped off the board of directors to be able to focus on implementing Lovepacs in her little community of Aubrey, Texas.

She has been married to her patient husband, Brian for over 16 years. They have 2 teenage daughters, 20 chickens, a turtle, 2 old dogs and a new puppy.  Angel loves to make people laugh with her Facebook statuses and sneaks away to read whenever she can find some quiet time. You can keep up with her and their rambunctious Royal family at

CYNTHIA GARRISON, MS, CFLE, CAMS (Parenting Educator and Coach)

Cynthia GarrisonCynthia holds both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Child and Human Development and Family Studies, with her Master’s Minor in Counseling, is a Certified Family Life Educator, a Certified Parent Educator, a Certified Anger Management Specialist, a Parenting Coordinator and a Mediator for families. She has worked with families in the North Texas area for 15 years for organizations such as Practical Parent Education, Plano Independent School District, Region 10, Parenting Partnerships and her own private practice, Positive Conflict Solutions, LLC. She has been featured in the Dallas Morning News, Plano Profile and interviewed by Cooper Clinic and Fox 4 News Station. She is also a published author with works in college text books such as, Wisdom for Parents Edited by Robert Keim and Arminta Jacobson and articles in research journals. She is a trainer for professionals working with parents in school districts and organizations, a practitioner of Family Life Education, marriage education and parent education for organizations, churches, families and individuals, and more importantly is a parent and a wife. She is on the Board of several organizations such as This Side Up! Family, Texas Association of Parent Educators (TAPE), Texas Council on Family Relations (TxCFR) and others.

She has been married to Kenny for 27 years and has two children, a daughter who is 21, who attends Texas Woman’s University and a son who is 18 who is a senior in High school. She and her family are active members of their church. In her spare time, Cyndi likes to read, garden and travel.

Cynthia’s dynamic personality and humor make her a highly sought after speaker, while her practical, real life examples and strategies propel her to the title of expert in her field. Cynthia’s specialties are understanding child behavior and identifying appropriate strategies, teaching anger management and communications skills, problem solving for families, and mediating conflicts.

Taking families SURVIVING to THRIVING!