IMPORTANT NOTICE - Smart Marriages Conferences

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Wed Sep 8 18:06:42 EDT 2010

Dear Coalition, 

After what you can imagine has been a painful process of deliberation, it
has become clear that the 14th Annual Orlando 2010 conference has to be the
last Smart Marriages® conference.  I congratulate and thank all of you who
attended ­ as everyone is saying, it was the best ever and a wonderful way
to go out.  It feels a bit like the Beatles 1966 concert at Candlestick Park
­  they had no idea it was to be their final live concert as they belted
out, "I Feel Fine" and "Yesterday".   I am so glad I didn¹t know, in
Orlando, that this was going to be it.  It might have killed me.

I know this is sudden. For me, it feels like hitting a brick wall at 100
miles an hour.  But I can also say that there is a definite convergence of
factors ­ lots of writing all over the brick wall ­ and that this is a
natural and obvious time for change. I trust that in the 15 years we have
worked together we have built a solid and sustainable effort and that with
the new trade association and the many other organizations, initiatives,
foundations, marriage conferences, resource centers, websites, campaigns,
etc, etc, ­ that this Marriage Education campaign we have created will carry

I have not consulted with anyone which means you are all receiving the news
at the same time ­ are all at same place in deciding how to move into the
future and if/how to plan a Marriage Education Conference (or Conferences)
for 2011. In other words, I am not passing on the Smart Marriages® name or
baton to, or endorsing, any one entity or group.  I hope you will 'talk
among yourselves' and come to decisions about the best next steps.

I plan to continue the Smart Marriages® listserv, website, Blog, Twitter,
etc, and will do what I can through the listserv to help you stay connected
and organize the next stage. In other words, I will share your updates and
calls to action. 

Finally, there is no way I can even come close to adequately thanking those
of you who have given so much to the Smart Marriages campaign ­ your
incredible support with so much enthusiasm and creativity ­ and lots and
lots of just plain hard work.  Whether you¹ve been on board since day one or
you just discovered Smart Marriages® this year, I thank you for all your
contributions.  I guarantee there will be places to apply all you've learned
­ all your individual and collective wisdom in the ongoing campaign to bring
Marriage Education to the world.  We¹ve come a long way but there is still
so much to be done.
I expect great things for the future.  There are amazing new books,
fantastic and innovative new programs, and exciting research ready to roll
in 2011.  I can't wait to see what you will do and I, for sure, will be the
loudest, proudest voice cheering you on.

Diane Sollee 
Founder and Director, Smart Marriages®
Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education (CMFCE)

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