Clarence H. Carter ** currently serves as the Director of the Office of Family Assistance and the Acting Director of the Office of Community Services at HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. Director Carter as served his entire career in administration of public safety net agencies and programs at the Federal, state, and local levels of government, having served two presidents, four governors, and a mayor.

From the implementation of welfare reform in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to reforming the shelter-based homeless system in the Nation’s Capital, and proposing a transformative vision for Americas Safety net in Arizona, Carter has been a leading voice for over a quarter of a century in the effort to change the way our society serves the economically, socially, and developmentally vulnerable in America.




Dr. Gary Chapman ** has written numerous books on love, marriage, parenting, and relationships. You most likely know about The Five Love Languages and the many love language books for specific audiences, but he has many more….

Some of his most recent releases include: Building Love Together in Blended Families co-authored with Ron Deal, The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People, Keeping Love Alive When the Memory Fades and Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families co-authored with Jolene Philo.

Dr. Chapman’s plenary will focus on strengthening marriages with special needs children.



William J. Doherty ** is Professor and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Family Social Science, College of Education and Human Development, at the University of Minnesota, where he is also an adjunct Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

He is also co-founder of Better Angels, a national citizens' movement to reduce political polarization in the United States by bringing liberals and conservatives together to understand each other beyond stereotypes, forming red/blue community alliances, teaching practical skills for communicating across political differences, and making a strong public argument for depolarization.

Politics is taking its toll on marriages and families across the nation.  Doherty will share ways we can help spouses and families have civil discourse even when they disagree.



Scott Stanley, Ph.D. ** is a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. He has published extensively, with core research interests including commitment, couple development, cohabitation, and the prevention of marital distress. His research with colleagues such as Galena Rhoades focuses on how premarital experiences relate to the quality and stability of marriages and family relationships. He is particularly interested in how common pathways of relationship development impact the formation of commitment in today's relationships. Stanley and colleague Howard Markman head up the team at PREP, Inc., which builds and disseminates evidence-based relationship education curricula such as the extensively evaluated Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) and Within My Reach. Stanley has authored or co-authored numerous books including Fighting for Your Marriage, A Lasting Promise, and The Power of Commitment. He writes a popular blog on relationship success and decision making at slidingvsdeciding.com.