Just a few years ago, Elliot Echols was an economics student at Berry College in his home state of Georgia, and now he is the RNC National Youth Director.
Elliot’s advice to other hardworking young conservatives aspiring to make a difference is surprisingly simple.
“The best way to get a job in politics is to show up,” he said. “Go to your local county meetings, join conservative groups and volunteer. People notice those who work hard and are selfless. I was able to get my job here at the RNC by showing up and letting my previous work speak for itself.”
"My advice to emerging leaders is to stay true to your values. Make honesty and integrity a priority in everything you do," said Nate Morris of Rubicon Global.
Nate, co-founder of Rubicon Global and trusted friend of Sen. Rand Paul (KY), has proven himself a strong leader in the private sector as well as the conservative movement.
Nate was one of former President George W. Bush’s youngest fundraisers.
“Make a start. It can be daunting, but everyone can make a difference,” Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose said.
As a freshman in college at the University of California Los Angeles, Lila recognized the lack of knowledge of abortion, the “greatest human rights injustice of our time.”
At 15, she decided to do something about it. So, she started the group Live Action.
“I’m a believer that impacts are made outside the partisan process,” said Troy Lanigan, president of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and vice chair of the World Taxpayers Association.
Troy is an influential figure on both a national and international stage. Like many others in the conservative movement, he claims humble beginnings at the Leadership Institute.
Troy has been naturally inclined toward politics since he was young.
“I could not just sit back and watch tax-and-spend liberals destroy my home state of Maryland,” the newly Republican-endorsed candidate for Maryland’s State Senate Michael Hough said.
On June 24 he beat Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley (R-Frederick), the incumbent, by more than 2 to 1 in the Maryland state senate district 4 primary election.
“I believe this race is important because Republicans in Maryland must have a clear contrast with the Democrats,” Michael said, “and we are hurt by politicians like Brinkley who claim to be conservative, but then vote for taxes and wasteful spending.”
His devotion to public service didn’t just begin; he’s been long at it.
Ashlyn Adelman, the rising college junior at Bucknell University, has taken her Leadership Institute training into the world of business management.
“I believe conservatism is at the heart of business and I have found that many businesses agree with me,” Ashlyn said.
She’s proof that conservative principles extend far beyond politics and policy. And, she has found a way to apply her conservative beliefs to the field she is passionate about.
She’s currently a project coordinator intern at BrandPoint Services Inc., which is a property maintenance and property-based capital expenditure re-branding and re-imaging company.
Ashlyn attributes much of her growth as a conservative leader to an early mentor Peggy Grande, who “helped save me from the liberal California public education system’s indoctrination.”
The 43-year-old life-long Alabama citizen Jody Trautwein, also a Leadership Institute graduate, is very active in his community. He’s a father, pastor, former educator and candidate for local office.
“Psalm 11:3 states, ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ Our religious liberty is under daily assault and we must fight to protect it,” Jody said.
Jody is an associate pastor at House of Grace Church and an ordained minister by the Fresh Oil Fellowship of Churches International. He also serves as the director of operations for a statewide alliance of pastors, ministry leaders, and marketplace influencers called the Alabama Alliance for Reformation.
“The preservation of faith, family, and financial conservatism directly determines how well we will be able to protect our increasingly eroding freedoms as American citizens,” he said.
New Orleans will host the annual Republican Leadership Conference May 29-31. The Republican Leadership Conference has “become one of the premier Republican events in the country – it attracts key activists, consultants, elected officials and donors from across America,” conference organizer Charlie Davis, also a Leadership Institute graduate and faculty member said. Read on for his story.
This past weekend leaders from Young Republican clubs all across the country descended on the nation’s capital for the biennial Young Republican Leadership Conference, organized by the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF).
“Young Republicans (YRs) are the oldest political youth organization in the United States,” the YRNF website states. “Important to the growth of the Republican Party, the YRs reach out to registered Republicans, 18 to 40 years of age, and provide them with better political knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day.”
The YRNF Chief of Staff Rich Counts, also a Leadership Institute graduate, helped plan the conference with other executive board members and volunteers.
"I'm extremely proud of my time at the Leadership Institute,” said Young Conservatives Coalition President Chris Malagisi, also an adjunct professor at American University. “It might be cliché, but Morton Blackwell and the Leadership Institute (LI) changed my life. In the past decade, I have regularly interacted with LI staff both personally and professionally.”
Chris is president of the Young Conservatives Coalition (YCC), a Washington, D.C.-based young professionals’ leadership, educational, and networking organization.