Plenary Sessions/Keynote & Banquet Speakers

All presenters listed below will present live and
. None will be represented on video -
I mention this as many have asked. They can't believe
all these experts will be there - live, in-person, in one place,
for this all-inclusive price.


In addition to the workshops (there are 140 from which to choose),
eleven Plenary sessions featuring 23 keynote speakers are also included in the Conference
Registration fee. The Conference opens with a keynote at 6:30pm on Thurs July 8th and closes with a
keynote that ends Sun night at 10pm. Three lunch keynote plenaries (Fri, Sat, and Sun) and the Saturday Night Live keynote by John Gray: Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice – are also included in the general conference fee.
The opening night Reception, Morning Roundtables, Afternoon Teach-Ins, Marriage Film Festival, the
Singles Only event, and admission to the 100+ Exhibits is also included in your Conference registration.

The Thursday Luncheon and the Friday night Banquets are not included in the Conference fee and require additional payment. $26 for the luncheon and $39 for the banquet per person.

"Women: Why Marriage?!"
Pat Love, Nisa Muhammad, Helen LaKelly Hunt, and Patty Howell
- Thursday Luncheon, July 8, 11:30am, $26 pp

"Becoming Better Husbands" - Bill Doherty
Friday Banquet keynote, July 9, 7pm, $36 pp

Because you've asked: A Plenary session is a session that convenes the entire conference –
all 2000+ attendees in one ballroom. At each Plenary session, one or more speakers will deliver a Keynote speech.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER Bios and Contact Information


Lunch-Thurs, July 8 - 11:45am-1:30pm
"Women: Why Marriage?!"
Pat Love, Nisa Muhammad, Helen LaKelly Hunt, and Patty Howell
Learn why Healthy Marriages should be the rallying cry for women's
empowerment and why Marriage Education is the needed breakthrough for women
and girls – and for creating an enlightened society.

P-1 6:30pm, Thurs, July 8
Welcome to the 14th Annual Conference
Diane Sollee, MSW

Director of Smart Marriages

The Adventure of the Future
Gary Chapman, PhD, Nisa Muhammad, Kay Reed, Richard Albertson
Explore reasons for optimism as we head into the new decade
and recalibrate with a focus on Smart Targeting, Smart Innovation,
and Smart Delivery to reach our goal: Smart Marriages and Strong,
Healthy Families – for generations to come.
Opening Night Welcome Reception
Exhibits & Reunions

8:30pm, Thursday, July 8

8:45pm, Thurs, July 8

Secrets of Great Relationships for a Lifetime of Love
Scott Haltzman, MD
Learn the fundamentals for establishing a close relationship
with a partner, appreciate essential differences between the
needs of guys and gals, and how to seal the deal for a successful
For singles, or single again.

P-2 Friday, July 9, 8:30am
Research, Innovation, Deliver
Howard Markman, PhD
Scott Stanley, PhD
Frank Fincham, PhD
We can teach couples to succeed but only if we reach them. Understand
the latest research on innovative methods to reach individuals and couples
with intervetions and information that include content tuned to their
interests and needs, delivered through channels optimized for their access. 
P-3 Friday, July 9, 12 noon
Lunch Plenary
Hope for Couples on the Brink of Divorce
Bill Doherty, PhD, Don Gordon, PhD
Learn how to divert couples considering divorce from entering a litigious path that will
end their marriage and harm their children.  The Couples On the Brink project has developed
innovative ways to help couples look more deeply at their options for saving their marriage and
includes an online program that teaches skills to reduce conflict, increase cooperation, and
open up the reconciliation path.

P-4 Friday, July 9, 3:45pm
It Takes a Village
John Van Epp, PhD

We suffer the lowest marriage rate in history, the result of young adults
postponing marriage – often delaying so long that they never marry.  Our challenge
is reaching these never-married/twenty-somethings with information that will
help them understand the benefits of marriage and that will give them the confidence
that they can succeed at it. While it's true that it takes strong marriages to create
strong villages, the village is also responsible for creating strong marriages –
for regenerating itself.

B-Friday, July 9, 7pm
Becoming Better Husbands
Bill Doherty, PhD
We all know how it works - women are the relational leaders; men take their cues from
their wives or resist their lead. Learn about working with men who want to become
better husbands using a unique group experience whereby men learn to focus on
self-change without asking their wives to change, and without even asking their wives
to help them change – a bottom up strategy by which men define their own goals. 

P-5 Saturday, July 10, 8:30am
Love in the Time of Twitter
Pat Love, EdD
When is tweeting cheating? When is texting sexting? To safeguard your
marriage you've got to know the risks and rules of cyberspace. It's all in
your mind – until it isn't. Come learn how to "mind your marriage" and use
the new social medium to strengthen, not strain your relationship.

Porn Addiction
Mark Laaser, PhD, MDiv
Pornography, particularly on the Internet, is an epidemic that is destroying
lives and marriages.  Understand the factors that can lead to pornography
becoming an addiction; and strategies to help couples recover and to prevent
P-6 Saturday, July 10, 12 noon
Lunch Plenary
Divorce Busting Secrets
Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW
After nearly three decades of helping couples on the brink, it's clear that
learning skills isn’t always enough. Divorce Busting Secrets will take you beyond
your curriculum to help couples in flat-lined relationships keep their hearts and
minds open so that renewal and reconciliation can become a reality.

P-7 Saturday, July 10, 3:45pm
Keeping FAITH (Families And Intmates Together in Harmony)
Ron & Cathy Tijerina, Sherod Miller, PhD

This nationally recognized “promising practice” prison
reentry program for incarcerated fathers
combines Couple Communication and Fatherhood
skills to reduce recidivism by 62%.

P-8 Saturday Night Live, July 10, 7:30pm
Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice
John Gray, PhD
Our marriages can only be as good as we feel!
Learn how to help couples tune-up and get their
energy and their love up where it belongs.  

P-9 Sunday, July 11, 8:30am
Erotic Intelligence
Esther Perel, MA
This provocative new take on intimacy and sex grapples with the obstacles
and anxieties that arise when our quest for secure love conflicts with our
pursuit of passion. Explore the paradoxical relation of domesticity and eroticism,
challenge the inevitable sexual decline and boredom, introduce innovative strategies to
restore sexual aliveness. Help couples sustain desire over the long haul
while respecting needs for safety and stability.

P-10 Sunday, July 11, 11:45am
Lunch Plenary
Connection, Connection, Connection
Marshall Howard, JD
Julie Baumgardner, MS, CFLE
If ever families needed us, they need us now – yet funding to help them is at an
all time low.
Learn how to adapt your therapy, counseling, education skills and the
power of genuine connections to raise money, market your resources and achieve
larger social change for couples, families, and the village.

P-11 Sunday, July 11, 7:30pm 
Marriage Comedy Club
Yakov Smirnoff, Jay and Laura Laffoon, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee

The research is in – laughter strengthens the immune system, raises sex hormones,
lowers stress hormones and blood pressure. Learn how to use humor to deliver
marriage material – to change perspectives, shake up rigid systems, open couples to
laugh, listen, and connect. Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Laugh often, laugh loud...laugh until you gasp for breath. Together!

Click for Monday & Tuesday, July 12 & 13th, one and two-day training institutes

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