Executive Director Amy McKenna Gilford (2nd from right) and her family at Andrew and Jane's wedding. Amy and Jim will be married 35 years this summer and have three adult children, two lovely daughters in law, one granddaughter, and a teenager. Yes, they also have pets: English Setters Buddy and Toby (not pictured.)

Our Why and Our Team

MREC exists to serve the community with relationship education classes, special events and resources so that marriages and families will thrive.

The Problem

In 2004 Carroll County was experiencing some of the highest divorce rates in the nation. Our founders, Bill and Anne McKenna, retired Carroll County Public School teachers, were particularly concerned about the impact of divorce and the breakdown of family on the lives of children.

With the encouragement of dozens of local and community leaders they launched the state's first nonprofit initiative dedicated to using a proactive approach to strengthening marriages and families.  

Our Goals

To reduce the number of divorces in our community and increase the number of marriages

To raise the awareness of the value of healthy marriage and family on community well-being

To offer relationship skills training in every educational community in our area.

To reduce the number of non marital births in our community.

Our Solution

Today’s cultural relationship challenges didn’t occur over night and won’t be solved right away either. However, MREC is offers experiential programs, events and resources that educate, equip and inspire students, couples, families. Additionally, by partnering with area churches to help them build effective marriage ministries, together we can reverse the destructive trends of unhealthy relationships and build a stronger community. The curricula we use are biblically-based, scientifically researched, and adaptable to nonsectarian settings.  

Our Great Team

Our Executive Director, since 2015, Amy M. Gilford, Amy has worked along side her parents, Bill and Anne, since 2004 to help elevate the importance of healthy marriages and families in our community.  She has focused on expanding programs, events and community partnerships and is certified in numerous relationship education curricula. She is a member of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Carroll Class of 2018 and a member of the Winters Mill High School Advisory Committee. A dedicated coffee drinker, Amy recently completed her Master Gardener exam. She is involved in her local church and loves history and reading suspense novels. 

Co-Founders and Liaisons to the Churches- Retired Carroll County Public School educators, "Coach" Bill and Anne McKenna. Bill and Anne have been married 57 years and are focusing inspiring and equipping the churches to build marriage ministries.  They have four children and 12 grandchildren and enjoy spending time with all of them.  The McKennas are certified in multiple marriage education programs and love working with couples and assisting churches in building marriage mentoring ministries.  They are very active in their local church and love working out at the Y. Bill has affectionately been dubbed our CNO - Chief Networking Officer since he is a popular face at many events in our community. Both are actively involved in their local church.

Gail Cook - Bookeeper                                                                                                                  Lois Szymanski - Communications Assistant Kathy Fuller - Office Administrator                              Volunteers:      Peggy Hayes and Judy Schlehr - Office                                                                                                David Roche - IT Specialist                                                                                       Educators: Janice Holsonbake, Keith Rogers, Ken and Sue Emerick

Numerous other dedicated individuals assist us on our committees and for special events             throughout the year including college and high school interns.  

Our Fabulous Board of Directors:

Bill Barton - Chairman 

Stephen Speights - Vice-chair    

Ed Williar - Secretary                                                                                    

Coleen Kramer Beal - Treasurer  

Danielle Brown

Carole L. Hoover

 Dr. Belinda Roettger

 Dr. Thomas Roettger







 Proud members of: