LI’s Grassroots Training Staff on the Road Half the Year—180 Days—and Trained Record Numbers

December 21, 2011 | By Lauren Hart

The Leadership Institute’s grassroots department of four men trained 4,127 conservatives in 103 trainings across 33 states this year in activism and candidate/campaign training.

The grassroots department offers seven types of training: Campaign Management School; Communications Workshop; Custom Workshop; Fundraising Workshop; Future Candidate School; Get-Out-The-Vote Workshop; and Grassroots Activist School.

“As I have traveled the country this year, I’ve gotten to meet so many great candidates running for office,” said Robert Arnakis, senior director of domestic and international programs.  “They truly appreciate what our organization does in preparing them for effective leadership and activism.”  


“My best memory this year was working with my staff. Their energy and dedication to LI speaks volumes. Having traveled more than 180 days, this year was real tough, but my staff kept focused and their positive attitude got us through the months were we saw a hotel room more often than our homes.  Working together we met every goal we set for 2011. This next year—2012—will be an interesting year for our department.  We intend to stay very busy as the election approaches.”


Grassroots Coordinator Chris Doss said, “Everywhere I go, I meet people who place great value on the history of our nation, the vision of our founders, the heritage of liberty going beyond the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence – going all  the way back to Jamestown and even to the Magna Carta at Runnymeade.  That is always a topic of conversation with the people who join us for our training programs.”

Chris remembers one weekend where he met a descendent of Thomas Lord Fairfax, the highest ranking nobleman in British North America who he threw his lot with the Revolutionaries when the war for independence began.  Lord Fairfax once owned much of what is now Northern Virginia, where the Leadership Institute is headquartered.

“She took me into her front parlour, opened an old wooden box, and I was very soon holding in my own hands several 260-year-old deeds that had belonged to Thomas Lord Fairfax.  The evening was an incredible lesson on America’s early history, but told from the perspective of family history – by a family member of several of our nation’s most notable families.  I was mesmerized,” Chris remembered.

Brennan Ward, grassroots coordinator, said: “This year was phenomenal; I got a chance to work with very enthusiastic and dedicated students all across the country, and a chance to teach with some of the best politicos in the business. I’m looking forward to what 2012 has in store for the grassroots department.”

“Getting married was definitely the highlight of my year, but being a part of this team during this record-breaking year is a close second,” said Ryan Adams, grassroots activist schools coordinator. 

“My fondest training of the year was in Little Rock, AR," Ryan continued.  "In the state of Arkansas, conservatives have a real chance to gain their first majority in the state government since the 1860’s.  I am happy to say I had some small part in that.”

Robert said, “Wes Duncan, a retired Navy Jag Officer, is one of our students who attended several LI trainings.  Wes is running for local office and I anticipate this will be the start of a long career in politics for him.” There are many LI graduates that go on to run for public office and run conservative campaigns.

To see where LI trainings will be hosted in 2012, go here for the training schedule.