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.
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.
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.
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
Carole L. Hoover
Dr. Belinda Roettger
Dr. Thomas Roettger
Proud members of: