News Archive: 2011

Meet LI’s Fall Interns On Video

Want to know what it’s like to be an intern at the Leadership Institute?

Eight of the current interns created profile videos to tell you a bit more about their background and what they do in their department.

Click on the intern pictures to start each video.

Angela Mitchell: Events Intern

Activists learn to run youth campaigns in two Florida Youth Leadership Schools

This fall has been extremely busy for LI’s Youth Leadership School (YLS) department.  In October alone, there have been six YLS trainings around the country.  The Sunshine State is particularly popular: LI trained 56 young conservatives in Tampa and Tallahassee this month.

The YLS, an  intensive, two-day program known as the “boot camp” of politics, is the Leadership Institute’s flagship training.  Attendees learn what it takes to build an effective student organization and youth campaign. The YLS has launched more political careers than any other Institute training.

In Tampa, 21 conservative activists from more than five organizations participated.

“[The YLS] has been a life-changing experience for me,” said Mechelle Morgan, a University of South Florida student.“I will remember this weekend for the rest of my life.”

What Not to Do: Career Search/Interview Bloopers

It’s time for a little tough love to current job seekers.  Some people have excellent resumes, cover letters, and interviewing skills, and some do not.  I have compiled a list of absolute, never ever, do not’s for your job search.  The tips may seem like no-brainers, but pay attention to each of them to make sure your resume doesn’t end up as a paper airplane cruising your dream job’s office.

Former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Rob Carter, LI’s Graduate of the Week, Transitions to Capitol Hill

After being away from Washington, D.C. for nearly 15 years, the Leadership Institute’s Graduate of the Week Rob Carter has returned to join the fight on Capitol Hill.

“I knew I could learn the new ropes, but I didn’t know where to start until I stumbled across a Facebook ad for a Leadership Institute course,” Rob remembers.  “That changed everything.”

“Nobody—and I mean nobody—can understand how this town works without someone guiding you through the process,” Rob said.  “LI gives you the tools and connections you need to get your foot in the door.  What you do once you’re there is up to you.”

In September 2010, Rob attended the Leadership Institute’s Legislative Project Management School, and in November 2010 and February 2011 he attended LI’s Capitol Hill Staff Training School.  In June 2011 Rob came back for the Television Workshop’s Introduction to Techniques.

“The Leadership Institute taught me how a Congressional office functions and how to get recognized by potential employers.  Hill resumes are quite different than those for law firms, and LI really helped me with that,” Rob said.

A lawyer by trade, Rob has also worked for: the State of New Jersey as the deputy attorney general; Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15) as a legislative aide; and now for Rep. Bob Turner (NY-9) as his senior legislative assistant.

“LI introduced me to many of the people I now see on a weekly (if not daily) basis,” Rob said.  "LI also helped me to understand the way political campaigns work and how to market our message in a way that connects with our constituents.”

LI’s Employee of the Quarter Heather Homan Breaks Records in the Political Training Department

At the Leadership Institute’s Tuesday all-staff meeting, LI President Morton Blackwell awarded Heather Homan, political training coordinator, the Employee of the Quarter Award.

A graduate of the University of Toledo and working toward her second master’s degree, Heather balances extensive political involvement with her record-breaking recruitment efforts and dedication to her department.

When announcing the Employee of the Quarter Award, LI Founder and President Morton Blackwell said, “Historically, [the fundraising and career] schools are challenging to recruit for, but Heather has risen to the occasion and has led three record-breaking trainings. She has revamped the curriculum of her schools to ensure students receive the latest information from the top speakers in the field. She continuously sets high goals for herself and the department, and always goes above and beyond my expectations.”

Most impressive was Heather’s work with September’s High Dollar Fundraising School. Seventy-nine students registered, making it the largest school of its kind in the 32-year history of LI. Other records include bringing 114 students to the Written Communications Workshop and 122 to the Conservative Intern Workshop.

All the hard work doesn’t faze Heather. She said, “Conventional wisdom has always said to find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Working for Morton and among the talented individuals and faculty members here at LI is an honor.  I am truly blessed God has afforded me the opportunity to truly live my passion each day and work for such a significant organization in the conservative movement.”

Activists learn in-depth campaign techniques at LI’s Campaign Management School

The Leadership Institute welcomed 41 conservative activists to LI’s October Campaign Management School (CMS).

Part of the LI’s now monthly campaign training, the training teaches conservatives how to help the candidate of their choice run a productive and successful campaign.

Craig Brandt, a veteran and candidate for the New Mexico State Senate, said, “As a candidate, before coming to LI I felt uninformed when discussing my own campaign with my campaign manager. I now have the knowledge to not only be a part of the discussion but lead the discussion.”

Included in the lectures were the “ABCs of Polling,” taught by Tyler Harber, a partner with The Prosper Group, which described the purpose of polling and emphasized the importance of polling strategy. Also, Rebecca Norman, vice president of Client Services at the Richard Norman Company, broke down how to write a fundraising letter.  Other faculty included Terry Campo of The Campo Group; Consultant Dave Johnson; and Dan Morgan and Todd Meredith of Morgan, Meredith, Associates, to name a few.

Armed with this information, graduates of LI’s Campaign Management School go on to run and work on campaigns across the country.

LI Graduate of the Week Katie Collins, 14: “LI training has influenced the way I think, work, and relate in politics”

Fourteen-year-old Florida native Katie Collins, the Leadership Institute’s Graduate of the Week, took LI’s October 2008 Youth Leadership School in Sarasota, Florida. “I was only 11 at the time, but I remember learning so much about politics and campaigning from you.”

“The Leadership Institute inspired me more than anything,” Katie recalls. “They gave me the tools I needed to believe I could successfully launch a political campaign. They continued to add fire to my dream of being a political activist.  I learned how to make a difference around me and I have used these skills in many ways.”

Katie has been active in public policy the past three years since she attended LI’s YLS.  

“I left LI with an armful of books, inspired by what you said, and have since worked on several campaigns.  However, with age, my projects have gotten increasingly bigger, leading up to my current project, overturning Roe vs. Wade.”

So You Didn't Get the Job?

If you’re reading this, you have probably felt the disappointment and frustration that occurs when you do not get the callback or receive the dreaded “Thank you for applying…blah, blah…but no” letter from the job you really wanted.   Sometimes the interview went okay and sometimes the interview was the best you could imagine.  In either scenario, the answer is the same: No thank you.

Craig Copland, LI’s Graduate of the Week, Converts to Conservatism and Creates Useful Political Tools

Retired Canadian entrepreneur Craig Copland, the Leadership Institute’s graduate of the week, created tools for conservatives involved in the public policy process after attending LI’s Campaign Management School in December 2010.

“The programs offered by the Leadership Institute are by far the most cost-effective and time-effective ways of learning how to be a conservative activist,” Craig said. “The Campaign Management School was an exceptional program that provided quantity and quality of useful information, expert and inspirational instruction, and supportive and convivial interaction with fellow conservatives. And it was a lot of fun.”

“My week at LI changed my life,” Craig said.  “This is no mean feat when one is over sixty.  I realized that while I had no interest in personally running for elected office, I could actually do something significant that might help other conservatives win elections."

Congressman Tim Huelskamp, LI Graduate: “We’re Not Going to Win by Hiding”

Yesterday 72 conservatives filled the Leadership Institute’s Steven P.J. Wood Building to hear Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) speak at the monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.

“I want to thank you Morton for your leadership and helping train folks like myself,” said Rep. Huelskamp.  “I’ve spent many an hour at an LI workshop, receiving the training.  It is a distinct honor to be here this morning.”

Fired up by recent news that the Department of Health and Human Services will have access to Americans’ medical records, Rep. Huelskamp gave an impassioned plea for conservatives to take action in Congress.

“It is taking the language of the left—taking the strategies and the technology and going out and convincing folks that we have the answers. It is our conservative principles that are going to win the day. But we’re not going to win by hiding,” Rep. Huelskamp told the audience.

He argued for Congress to promote conservative principles, not put off policy battles until a more favorable election.

“[My colleagues say] ‘wait until 2013, we’ll have the House, the Senate and the President.’ But what if we don’t get 60 votes in the Senate? Then we end up putting it off until 2015. ...but the only cuts that count are the ones you do now,” said Rep. Huelskamp.

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