Smart Marriages 2010 Keynote
Bios and contact information


Julie Baumgardner, MS, CFLE, is the executive director of First Things First (FTF),
a grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening marriages and families in
Chattanooga, Tennessee. The success of the model has sparked interest in duplicating
it in cities across the country. She serves on the boards of numerous organizations including
The Marriage CoMission and Smart Marriages®. Her frequent presentations on family issues,
including reducing out-of-wedlock childbearing and strengthening fatherhood and marriage
relationships include testimony before the U.S. Senate and two appearances at White House
marriage summits. She appears regularly in national media (TV, radio, print) and her columns in
the Washington Times and the Chattanooga Times-Free Press reach thousands. She was
the recipient of the 2004 Smart Marriages Impact Award. She and her husband, Jay,
have a daughter.

Gary Chapman, PhD, is director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. He is
author of 25 books, including the NY Times bestseller, The Five Love Languages, which
has been translated in 35 languages with additional versions for men, children, teenagers,
and singles. Other titles include The Five Languages of Apology, Desperate Marriages, and
Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way
. He leads marriage seminars nationally
and internationally. His nationally-syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute,
airs daily on more than 100 stations. He and his wife, Karolyn, live in Winston-Salem and
have two children and two grandchildren.

Bill Doherty, PhD, Professor and Director of the Citizen Professional Center at the
University of Minnesota, is past president of the National Council on Family Relations
and author of 13 books, including Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a
World That Pulls Us Apart
and Take Back Your Wedding: Managing the People
Stress of Wedding Panning
. He leads the federally funded Minnesota Family Formation
Project which works with urban couples who are unmarried new parents. He is co-founder
of the National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists, and co-founder (with daughter
Elizabeth) of The First Dance, a premarital program on the family dynamics of wedding planning.
He is developing a new reconciliation project for couples who have filed for divorce. He speaks
across the country to both lay and academic audiences and appears frequently in the media.
He and his wife, Leah, live in St. Paul and are the parents of two, and beaming grandparents of three.    July 2008 interview in Minnesota Monthly

Frank Fincham, PhD, is Eminent Scholar and Director of the Florida State University
Family Institute. The author of over 180 publications his research has been widely recognized
by numerous awards, including the Berscheid-Hatfield Award for "sustained, substantial, and
distinguished contributions to the field of personal relationships" (International Network on
Personal Relationships), and the President’s Award for "Distinguished contributions to psychological
knowledge" (British Psychological Society). A Fellow of five different professional societies,
Fincham has been listed among the top 25 psychologists in world in terms of impact (defined
as number of citations per publication)

John Gray, PhD
, lecturer, educator and author of 15 bestsellers including Men Are
From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the number one best-selling relationship book
and his two latest, Mars and Venus Collide: The New War Between the Sexes and Venus
on Fire, Mars on Ice.
In the last decade, over 30 million Mars and Venus books have been sold
in over 40 languages around the world. An expert in the fields of communication and relationships,
Gray's focus is to help men and women understand, respect and appreciate their differences.
He has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View,
Politically Incorrect, Larry King Live
and others and has been profiled in USA Today,
Time, TV Guide, People, New Age Journal, Forbes
and other publications and
is the premier Better Life relationship coach on AOL. He lives with his wife and three
children in northern California.

Miriam Grossman, MD,
is the author of Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist
Reveals How Political Correctness Endangers Every Student
(2006/Penguin) for
which she is receiving the 2008 Smart Marriages Impact Award.  She graduated
cum laude from Bryn Mawr College, attended New York University Medical School
and completed her residency in psychiatry, followed by a fellowship in child and
adolescent psychiatry, through Cornell University.  Her latest book is You're Teaching
My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How They Harm
Your Child
, (2009/Regnery). She lives in Los Angeles with her family. Her website
says she is"One hundred percent MD, Zero percent PC."

Scott Haltzman, MD,
is a psychiatrist (and husband!) who decided to use his
medical skills, personal experience, and knack for stirring up controversy
into a career of educating individuals and couples about how to have great
relationships. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human
behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and a
Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is the
founder and editor of and and author of The
Secrets of Happily Married Men; The Secrets of Happily Married Women; and
The Secrets of Happy Families. He has appeared on the Today Show, Rachel
Ray, Good Morning America, 20/20, and in Time, Redbook, New York Times, The
Washington Post, Psychology Today, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, and Yahoo!
Personals and is internationally recognized for his work in support of
marriage and families.

Harville Hendrix, PhD
and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD, partners in life and work, are
authors of two new teach-out-of-the-box education programs: Couplehood As A
Spiritual Path
and Imago Connects. These programs are based on Imago Relationship
Therapy which they co-created. They also co-founded Imago Relationships International,
a non-profit organization that supports 2000+ therapists in 30+ countries. They lecture
and train internationally and have authored and co-authored nine books including the
classic best sellers Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples; Keeping the
Love You Find: A Personal Guide;
and Giving the Love That Heals: A Guide for Parents.
They have appeared extensively in the media: internet, radio, television, newspapers and
magazines. Harville's appearances include sixteen Oprah Winfrey Shows, one of which won
an Emmy and was included in her top 20 shows in her 20th anniversary collection. Helen
is sole author of Faith and Feminism and has been inducted into the Women’s Hall of
Fame for her work in empowering women and girls which includes launching a billion dollar
campaign called Women Moving Millions. They live in New Mexico and New York and have six children
and four grandchildren.

Marshall Howard, JD,  is an attorney, former television network executive, teacher,
and sales and marketing consultant. In the early 1980s, he founded Marshall Howard
& Associates and Golf West. The goal was to combine an ongoing, collaborative
relationship-building program with a fundraising or customer appreciation event.
Marshall quickly discovered the single biggest reason why most organizations experience
continuous growth: their ability to build and maintain strong collaborative relationships,
both internally and externally. After 20 years of relationship development with nonprofits
and corporations, big and small, nationwide, Marshall decided to make a greater impact,
by writing his now nationally acclaimed bestseller, "Let's Have Lunch Together." Today,
his work focuses on teaching his collaborative relationship-building process. Just as in his
book, publications, speeches, and training courses present practical, real-world solutions
to the challenges facing organizations today. Marshall's programs show you how to use the
power of collaborative relationships to: build capacity, grow your business, foster climates
of motivation, increase customer commitment, build organizational unity, build stronger
teams, produce greater community impact, overcome unique management challenges,
and make work and life more rewarding.

Patty Howell, EdM,

Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD,

Marc Laaser, PhD, MDiv,
is an internationally known author and speaker who has written six books
including Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction, Talking to Your Kids
About Sex
, and his latest, co-authored with his wife Debra, The Seven Desires of the
Every Heart
. He is also an adjunct faculty member at several graduate schools, consulted
with numerous churches, developed treatment programs for a variety of hospitals, and has
conducted workshops and seminars worldwide. He and his wife, Debra, started Faithful and True
Ministries where they have ministered to hundreds of couples and families healing from sexual addiction.

Jay & Laura Laffoon's
passion to revitalize marriage led them to launch their
national ministry, Celebrate Marriage in 1995.  Since that time they've have written
three books including The Spark – Igniting Passion Mystery and Romance in YOUR
and their latest, He Said She Said – Eight Powerful Phrases to Strengthen
(Jan 2010). They've launched  their immensely popular Ultimate Date Nights,
workshops, and conferences that touch thousands of couples every year. They've appeared
on national media (TV, radio, web) and in live performances coast-to-coast where their
unique ability to blend comedy and content inspires couples with a message of hope and
celebration.  Married 25 years, they have two children and live in Alma, MI.

Pat Love, EdD,
Distinguished Professor, author, and trainer is known for her warmth,
humor and commitment to research. For thirty years, she has contributed to marriage,
relationship and family education through her books, articles, training programs, speaking
and media appearances. Her ever-popular books Hot Monogamy and The Truth About Love
have literally taken her around the world spreading the good news about love and relationships. 
Her latest book, with Steven Stosny How to Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About
has been translated into 12 languages and continues to expand understanding for the male
as well as the female experience in relationships. Pat is in demand as an expert presenter at
national and international conferences. She has appeared numerous times on Oprah, The
Today Show and CNN, and is a regular contributor to popular magazines. Pat has co-hosted
three teach out of the box DVD training programs: Living Love; Parenting with the Experts;
and Love: Everything You Need to Know
—which is currently airing on PBS.

Howard Markman, PhD, is a professor of psychology and co-director of the Center
for Marital and Family Studies, University of Denver, and a practicing marital
therapist and workshop leader. His groundbreaking longitudinal research on the prediction
and prevention of relationship discord and divorce, funded for 25+ years by NIMH and
NICHD, has produced over 125 journal articles, books and papers. With Scott Stanley, he
developed the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), and more recently
the PREP-based LoveYour Relationship Couples Retreats. He is an APA Fellow and recipient of the
2001 Distinguished Service Research Award from Smart Marriages and recognized as the leading marital
researcher and marriage educator in the country. Markman & Stanley and colleagues have conducted
state-of-the-art marriage education evaluation studies of PREP including current studies involving
religious organizations and the U.S. Army. He is co-author of the classic best-seller
Fighting for Your Marriage
as well as four other books in the Fighting For series;
12 Hours to a Great Marriage;
Why Do Fools Fall in Love?; and We Can Work It Out.
He appears regularly in the media (Oprah, Today, USA Today, etc.). His interests also include the
science of prevention, the dissemination of empirically-based interventions to communities
and social policy makers, the effects of relationship discord and divorce on mental illness,
and the psychology of love.

Ron McGehee is an actor, writer, screenwriter, nationally syndicated columnist, producer,
and nationally-touring comedian whose most important mission is his Christian ministry.
He is known for his clean, mulit-cultural standup comedy and his ability to communicate the
gospel subtlety in his humor to sold out audiences. A producer of Non Toxic Comedy, he has
headlined at the World Famous Improv Comedy Clubs and The Comedy Store and
appeared NBC’s Last Comic Standing 2, Comedy Central, ABC Family, and Oxygen Network
and has also written for The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn, The Carson Daily Show,
and Jimmy Kimmel. Ron starred in the comedy Engaged on Sky Angel Network and in the
groundbreaking documentary Hollywood on Fire where he talks about the past, present and future of faith
in the entertainment industry. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, comedian, Kerri Pomarolli,
and their daughter Lucy.

Nisa Muhammad

Esther Perel, MA, Marriage and family therapist, educator and master trainer,
is author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. Translated into 25 languages,
this global bestseller took the 2009 Society for Sex Therapy and Research Consumer Award.
An internationally acknowledged authority on sexuality, cultural identity, cross-cultural couples,
ethnic and religious intermarriage as well as post-war and refugee families, Esther frequently
conducts interventions and keynotes forums in eight languages around the world. She was trained
and supervised in family therapy by Salvador Minuchin and serves on the faculties of the
Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School and the International Trauma Studies
Program at Columbia University. She is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy
and the Society for Sex therapy and Research. She appears frequently in the media (Oprah, Today, CBS,
The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, Vogue, O, The Observer and The Guardian).
A native of Belgium, she lives with her husband and two children in New York City.

Kerri Pomarolli is one of America's most sought after Christian comedians and tours extensively
throughout the U.S. and Canada.  She is also an accomplished actress, author, nationally syndicated
advice columnist, inspirational speaker, and veteran of television with credits that include 28 appearances
on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, recurring roles on Port Charles and Young and the Restless,
and Lifetime Network. She has been a popular guest on Fox, TBN, CBN, The Total Living Network,
ABC, ABC Family Network, CNN Headline News Showbiz Tonight, Hallmark Channel, Pre Show Host
GMA/Dove Awards and many others. Pomarolli and husband comedian Ron McGehee appeared on the
Oxygen Network’s hit reality show, Tori and Dean. Her most recent book Guys Like Girls Named Jennie
is being considered as a romantic comedy film.  Pomarolli lives in Los Angeles with her husband
and thier baby Lucy.

Kay Reed,

Yakov Smirnoff, MA,
came to the United States in 1977 with $100.00 in his pocket and not speaking
a word of English. His persistence and determination took him to Hollywood where he made movies
with Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Jack Nicholson.  In 2006, he earned his Master’s
Degree in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He now performs at his own theatre
in Branson, Missouri, and is an Adjunct Professor at Missouri State University. 

Scott Stanley, PhD
, is a research professor at the University of Denver and co‑director of
the Center for Marital and Family Studies. He has published widely, with research interests
including commitment, communication, sacrifice, the prevention of marital distress, and
cohabitation. Along with Howard Markman and colleagues, he has been involved in the research,
development, and refinement of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP)
since 1977, with research funded by NIMH. The team is currently conducting a long-term study
of PREP in the U. S. Army, funded by the NICHD. He heads up a team that is also conducting
a large, nationally sampled, long-term study of the risks of various patterns of cohabitation and
couple pathways into marriage, funded by NICHD. Stanley and colleagues have recently produced
curricula for lower income participants (Within My Reach, for individuals, and Within Our Reach,
for couples). Stanley is the author of The Power of Commitment, and co-author of Fighting for
Your Marriage, A Lasting Promise,
and 12 Hours to a Great Marriage. He lives in Denver
with wife, Nancy, and two sons.

Dennis Stoica, MBA, is President of the California Healthy Marriages Coalition, which
through its CCF Intermediary Grant has pioneered the "coalition of coalitions" model for
Healthy Marriage Initiatives on a statewide basis. Dennis also founded the Orange County
Resource Center which has been one of the strongest community-based coalitions in the country.
His Community Marriage Resource Center Website, an electronic clearinghouse of marriage-related
programs and resources that acts as a catalyst in building community collaboration, is being
replicated throughout the country. Dennis also pioneered the Grantwriting Boot Camp, a Training
and Technical Assistance intervention that has been phenomenally successful in helping numerous
HM organizations develop winning grant applications. He received an MBA from Harvard and
combines his business acumen and a "passion for Marriage" into a whirlwind of innovative
activities that support Healthy Marriages both in California and beyond. He lives in Southern California
with his wife, Sandy.

John Van Epp, PhD, President/Founder of LoveThinks, LCC is the author of How
to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk which blends in-depth research with
humorous stories to provide a map for making healthy relationship choices.
His twenty-five years of clinical experience and research in premarital,
marital and family relations have paved the way for his teach-out-of-the-box
courses, PICK (How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk) and Marriage LINKS being
taught in thousands of churches, singles organizations, educational
settings, and social agencies in all fifty states, ten countries and by more
than 2,500 military personnel. Van Epp and his innovative Relationship
Attachment Model, book and relationship courses were awarded the Smart
Marriage Impact Award (2008) and have been featured in The Wall Street
Journal, Time Magazine, Psychology Today, O Magazine
, and Cosmopolitan; and
he has appeared on the CBS Early Show, O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, and Focus
on the Family
. He has been happily married for over thirty years and is the
proud father of two daughters.

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, is Director of The Divorce Busting Center in Boulder, CO,
where she and her clinical staff help clients strengthen marriages and prevent divorce using
her solution-oriented, down-to-earth approach to marital problem-solving. Among the first in
her field to courageously speak out against unnecessary divorce, Michele is passionate about offering
couples tools to make their marriages work and keep their families together in her lively seminars.
She also teaches those in the front lines - therapists, clergy and lay people how to work with
couples to stack the deck in the favor of marriage. Her Marriage Breakthrough and
Keeping Love Alive
programs are taught by marriage educators in church, military, community and
professional settings worldwide. Her popular telephone coaching program reaches people worldwide.
She is the author of seven books including her best-selling, Divorce Busting, The Divorce Remedy,
The Sex-Starved Marriage
and The Sex-Starved Wife. Her work has been featured in nearly
every major newspaper and magazine and she is a frequent guest on shows such as TODAY, 20/20,
48 Hours, CBS Morning Show, Oprah, O'Reilly Factor
and CNN. She and her husband, Jim, are the parents of
two children.

Ron & Cathy Tijerina, are the co-founders and co-directors of The RIDGE Project, Inc.
Ron Tijerina, formerly known as inmate 250-397, was incarcerated 15 years for a crime he
did not commit. During those 15 years, the Tijerinas overcame many obstacles including
poverty, prejudice and a host of other issues inherent to family separation as a result of
incarceration. The Tijerinas had two young sons when Ron began serving his sentence and
Ron had to learn to function as a husband and father from behind bars while Catherine had
to learn to navigate the welfare system on the outside. In spite of the hardships, they worked
together to build a life for themselves and their children that was not only free of shame and
embarrassment, but empowering. Based on their experience, they founded The RIDGE Project
and developed the Keeping FAITH (Families And Inmates Together in Harmony) program. Today,
they work to serve families and educate communities, churches, and policy makers about the
crucial importance of marriage and relationship education within youth and prison re-entry programs.
Their approach to teaching self-control and building healthy relationships has impacted tens of
thousands of Ohio’s youth, and has reduced recidivism by over 61%!

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