LI Staffer Wins Primary for Newly-Drawn Congressional District in Texas
Lauren Hart
August 21, 2012
LI Staffer Wins Primary for Newly-Drawn Congressional District in Texas
Former Leadership Institute staff member Steve Stockman won the Republican Party primary run-off in Texas' newly created 36th district. He's got a shot at returning to the halls of Congress after an absence of 16 years, once November's general election has been won. Steve was elected as a congressman in the 1994 Republican Revolution during which Republicans regained control of the House after 40 years. He served the people of Texas' ninth congressional district from 1995 to 1997. “The reason we won, I think, is because of grassroots, get-out-the-vote training at the Leadership Institute through Morton Blackwell,” Steve said. “LI's training gave us the edge. More than half of my campaign staff was LI trained. They were very dedicated. They slept on the floor in a warehouse for just a few hours each night. We had a lot of ‘3 a.m. types' that were working nonstop for the campaign.” His opponent spent four times as much as Steve's under-the-radar grassroots campaign. “The greatest thing I learned from LI training,” Steve shared, “was how to run campaigns efficiently without wasting money.” Kristine Brakstad, who interned for the Leadership Institute in spring 2011, volunteered her time to make calls for Steve's campaign. “I persuaded those l could and called to give them our side of the story,” Kristine shared. “It was challenging for sure. You get used to people yelling at you, calling you names, and hanging up. But for every person yelling at you, you will also get someone thanking you for the job you do and praying for your victory. It was the most rewarding experience l have ever had, and I am so blessed and honored to have played a small part in Steve Stockman's return to Congress.” She added, “Our volunteers slept on the floors in an automobile warehouse and worked countless hours. Just because we all knew this candidate was different.” “We each called thousands of voters, contacted all friends and family, used Facebook actively, and ended up getting the endorsements from major conservative organizations and groups,” Kristine said. As LI President Morton Blackwell often says and writes, “The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides.” Stockman's race was no different. Victory was about mobilizing the grassroots. Another devoted campaigner was Thomas Dodd, also a former LI staffer from 2005 to 2007. Tom flew down to Texas several times to help make phone calls, place yard signs around the district and in neighborhoods, work the copier as they made in-house mailers, and “man” the polls during early voting. “I drank about 10 water bottles a day,” Tom admitted. “I learned from the locals how to survive the hot Texas summer heat. Steve and I survived the South Sudan weather, so I knew I could survive Texas weather.” When asked about what prompted their campaign victory, Tom said: “Steve Stockman is what made the difference. Most candidates just don't know political technology; he does.” Steve believes in political technology so much that he encouraged one of his staffers—Brad Lewis—to come to LI's week-long Campaign Management School the week after their primary win. “I met Steve back in 1990,” Brad told me between lectures at LI. “I was the chairman of the Christian Coalition in Beaumont, Texas and someone introduced us. I took Steve all over Jefferson County to meet pastors. At the Christian Coalition, we won 66 percent of our precincts back in 1988 when I ran Pat Robertson's campaign. After Steve's first election attempt, I moved to Hardin County and lost touch with Steve for 19 years.” In January, they reconnected through email first, then several phone calls. “Steve called me and we caught up on politics and family,” Brad said. “Steve asked what I had been doing with my life and I told him I had been in the financial services industry doing estate planning and hosting a radio show every Saturday. Steve asked if I knew he was running for Congress again, and I replied no. At that point, Steve asked me to be over the eastern district which took in seven counties.” Brad continued, “Well, I didn't have to think about it; I jumped in with both feet.” Because of Steve's last-day entrance to the race, many people were already committed to other candidates, Brad shared. So he worked with what he had: a man named Rusty Fisher who Brad called his “signs man” and two homeschooled children who made tons of calls. “We put 17,000 miles on our car over a three-month period traveling over the district,” Brad reported. “I spoke at churches and home meetings. I made robo calls and told Steve's story of a true American hero that went to the Sudan and took medical supplies to Christians....I told stories about missionaries that were thrown into prison in India and Steve Stockman intervened and won their freedom. Steve is too modest, but I told him to tell these stories.” Steve's campaign manager was Donny Ferguson, born and raised near Beaumont, Texas. “Basically my job was to figure out how many votes we needed to win, where those votes are, how to reach them, how to organize them for voting, and how to get ballots in their hands,” Donny shared. Donny first learned of LI in 1997 when the Institute held a Grassroots Activist School at Texas A&M University, where he was attending. In April 2010, he returned to take LI's Campaign Manager School in Arlington, VA. “LI's schools keep people focused on the key point to organizing and teach you how to do it,” Donny said. “If you're not moving people to take action faster than the other guy, you're losing.” Currently, Donny is running Ferguson & Associates, a fundraising business for campaigns using direct mail and email. He's also the executive director of American Tradition Partnership, a grassroots advocacy group dedicated to defeating radical environmentalists in Congress and state legislatures. Kristine, mentioned earlier, first learned of LI through Steve Stockman. In 2006, she met Steve at the International Young Democrat Union council meeting in London, where she served as a board member of the College Conservatives in Norway, the country she's originally from. “There I met one of my heroes Baroness Margaret Thatcher as well as a team of students and staffers from LI, including Steve Stockman,” Kristine remembered. “He later encouraged me to attend trainings at LI which turned out to be excellent advice.” “Morton's Laws of the Public Policy Process as well as his speech on handling negative information are by far the most important lessons I've taken home from the Leadership Institute,” Kristine shared. “The Youth Leadership School experience was helpful, as were the fundraising techniques, building relationships/coalitions, and how to effectively reach voters with the message you want. All have been tools that have come to good use during Steve Stockman's campaign.” “The Leadership Institute has given me good friendships, contacts, and great knowledge. My internship at LI Studios (pictured above) made it clear to me that this is what I am meant to be doing,” Kristine said. “Thanks to LI, l am equipped with the knowledge of where I want to go and how to get there. I am very grateful for the opportunities and lessons learned at the Leadership Institute.” And she hopes to be a part of Steve's team on Capitol Hill, once elected. “I cannot think of a better candidate and would be honored to help serve on his staff,” Kristine said. Steve worked for the Leadership Institute from 2005 to 2007. He said, “I created a lot of new campus groups around the country and taught at LI trainings regularly.” “The Leadership Institute is THE place for anyone interested in politics, American or international,” Kristine said. “LI teaches you everything from dressing successfully for a job interview to effectively communicating your message in a short TV interview. If you are interested in a career in politics or plan to be in the public eye, you cannot go wrong with getting LI training. LI is where you meet the right people, get the right training so you can be the right person at the right time and get your dream job.” “We focused our resources on grassroots organizing and innovative direct mail, instead of how most campaigns waste their money on TV ads and billboards,” said campaign manager Donny. “When Steve wins in November, I will be his district director and I will build coalitions all over our district,” Brad said. Please welcome Steve Stockman as LI's Graduate of the Week. The Leadership Institute is a 501 (c) 3 organization that does not endorse or oppose any candidate or legislation, and all programs are open to the public. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Webinar replay: Voter goals
Patricia Simpson
August 16, 2012
Webinar replay: Voter goals
Missed last night's webinar? No problem -- watch it whenever you have time today or this weekend. (Click "Read the full story" to get started!) You'll hear from Bryan Bernys on voter goals. Bryan is LI's Vice President for the Campus Leadership Program. Bryan came to the Institute with a wealth of campaign experience: New Hampshire Field Director for the McCain 2008 campaign, Field Director for the Tarrant for Senate campaign in Vermont, Campaign Manager for Robinson for Delegate in Virginia, consultant for the Ball for Delegate special election in Virginia, and field staff for the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign in Michigan.>
LI Graduate Helps Lead the Ted Cruz “Grassroots Army” to Victory
Lauren Hart
August 14, 2012
LI Graduate Helps Lead the Ted Cruz “Grassroots Army” to Victory
The Lone Star state elected Ted Cruz as its Republican nominee for Kay Bailey Hutchinson's U.S. Senate seat by a 14-point landslide. Cruz is the favorite for the general election in November. After all, no Democrat has been elected to statewide office since 1994. The real story, though, is how a first-time candidate for elected office could pull a Texas-sized upset against the deep pockets and connections of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Just how did Ted Cruz do it? Last week we explored Cruz's online dominance led by Leadership Institute (LI) faculty member Vincent Harris. What pushed Cruz over the top was his get-out-the-vote strategy, helped by LI graduate Nick Dyer. Cruz's story is a classic grassroots one. “Being right in the sense of being correct is not sufficient to win,” Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell writes in The Real Nature of Politics. “You don't win just because your heart is pure, even if you can prove logically that you are right. What, then, does determine victory?” “In our frequent meetings and discussions, we came to our second great conclusion: The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides,” Morton concludes from his 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign experience. The same is true today. “In January, I joined the Ted Cruz campaign as Youth Outreach Director,” Nick Dyer, a graduate of the Leadership Institute's campaign training, said. “I identified leaders on campuses across the state working with them to facilitate projects that I learned about in LI's Youth Leadership School. We tabled to build our organization and built a network of volunteers that were integral to the success of the campaign.” Nick is from a small Northeast Texas town called Cumby. He was one of 27 people in his high school's senior class, from which he graduated in 2005. “It is important to be engaged because this is our future we are talking about. If we get involved at an early age to fight to reduce the size and scope of government, to rein in spending, and defend the Constitution, we have a very real chance of accomplishing those goals,” Nick shared with LI. “Liberty is far too precious of a gift to watch it slip away.” He headed to Texas A&M University for college, but “left school because I did not want to go further into debt with the state of the job market,” Nick shared. “I studied Economics, where I grew frustrated because a lot of it didn't make sense. Well, now I know why: they were teaching bad Keynesian economics.” After a few months successfully running Cruz's youth outreach, Nick was promoted in April to Central Texas Field Director. “This expanded my role beyond the youth to the broader spectrum of the grassroots,” Nick said. “Liberty and the Constitution are powerful volunteer recruitment tools. We gained some of the most dedicated grassroots activists I've ever met. They were ready to do what needed to be done to win. They groaned when I asked them to make another 100 calls, but they did it.” And after Texas' June runoff election, Nick was again promoted. “Our field program expanded and I was named Deputy State Field Director,” Nick shared with the Leadership Institute. “I assisted in managing six regions across 254 counties. With our team of regional directors and a grassroots army the state has never seen, we were able to flip it from Dewhurst to Cruz in the majority of major counties we needed to win. This led to our resounding run-off victory of 57 to 43 percent.” Nick has taken the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School in December 2011, Primary Targeting for Liberty training in November 2011, and participated in various LI resume consultations and job fairs. “LI's trainings have been absolutely invaluable to my career,” Nick shared. “I cannot imagine being without the skills that I honed in the incredibly informative sessions. I learned everything from targeting strategies to get-out-the-vote roll-out to crisis management.” In fact, Ted Cruz himself served as volunteer faculty at the Leadership Institute in 2002, when he was director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission. He taught at LI's Candidate Development School, now known as the Campaign Management School. “LI has provided some of the most direct influence on my political career and has catapulted me to succeed. I literally would not be in the position I am today if it were not for the Leadership Institute,” Nick said. “I am incredibly grateful for the fantastic organization that Morton Blackwell has created. I'm especially grateful for his Laws of the Public Policy Process. Every axiom is spot on and there is at least one for every political situation you might find yourself in.” LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. “The Leadership Institute is the best source of education to become just that, a leader in the conservative movement. LI doesn't just offer trainings, even though they are incredible. When you attend an LI training, you are starting a lifelong relationship with a group of people who are dedicated, not only to limiting government, but fostering your career to achieve it,” Nick said. “I recommend the Leadership Institute to absolutely anyone who is serious about moving the ball forward for conservatism. You must get involved with the Leadership Institute.” So, what's next for Nick? “I will continue working my behind off to ensure that Texas has a constitutional conservative as our next U.S. Senator,” Nick told LI. “After that, I hope to work on the Hill for a then Senator Cruz for some time. Ultimately, I want to continue to help elect true conservatives that fight tirelessly to defend the Constitution in whatever capacity that may be.” Please welcome Nick Dyer as LI's Graduate of the Week. Other LI graduates on the Cruz campaign are: - Erin DeLullo: finance consultant - Rachel Kania: state field director - Tyler Norris: deputy communications director - Chris Perkins: pollster - Josh Perry: digital director - Nico Rios: political intern The Leadership Institute is a 501 (c) 3 organization that does not endorse or oppose any candidate or legislation, and all programs are open to the public. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Webinar replay: Campaign structure and organization
Leadership Institute Staff
August 10, 2012
Webinar replay: Campaign structure and organization
Missed last night's webinar? No problem -- watch it whenever you have time today or this weekend.You'll hear from Linwood Bragan on campaign structure and organization. Linwood began his political life in 1972. His campaign experience covers management, operations, finance, and grassroots. Twice he has been a candidate himself. He has lectured in 20 states on political activism, finance, organization and elections from New England to the Rockies and the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.You can register right now for next week's webinar: determining voter goals, which will be held live on Wednesday, August 15 at 7pm EST.
LI Faculty Leads Digital Campaign for Texas’ Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate Ted Cruz
Lauren Hart
August 6, 2012
LI Faculty Leads Digital Campaign for Texas’ Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate Ted Cruz
The Lone Star State held its U.S. Senate Republican primary runoff election last week between Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Tea Party favorite and Solicitor General Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz won the election by 14 points, and is “favored to win in November,” reported USA Today, “because Texas has not elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.” But the real story is how a first-time candidate for elected office could pull a Texas-sized upset against an elected official with support from Texas Governor Rick Perry and others. How did this liberty-loving Cuban-American Ted Cruz do it? “Social media was critically important to Ted's win,” 24-year-old Digital Strategist Vincent Harris, a Leadership Institute faculty member, said. “The Cruz campaign ran the most integrated statewide digital strategy in the history of American politics.” In January 2011, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy in a call with conservative bloggers. He then tweeted this announcement before holding a traditional press conference. On Facebook, Ted Cruz's 86,946 fans are double that of Lt. Gov. Dewhurst's 43,218 fans. And according to the Houston Chronicle, Ted Cruz “tweeted to his Twitter followers 5,117 times through runoff day, versus 597 for Dewhurst.” Vincent Harris, Ted Cruz's digital strategist, stayed busy managing his online presence. “There were constant meetings about online ads, the campaign's message, Ted's schedule, and figuring out ways to raise as much money online as we could to compete with our opponent's self-funded warchest,” Vincent told the Leadership Institute. “I spearheaded the online advertising, website, online fundraising, graphic design/creation, and worked with the campaign to write and produce web videos. It was an amazing opportunity to work with John Drogin, Jason Johnson, and the entire team.” Vincent, a native of Fairfax, Virginia—just miles from the Leadership Institute's headquarters in Arlington—skipped classes in high school sometimes to walk along Rep. Tom Davis (R—Va.) dressed as an elephant in parades and other gatherings. He was also chairman of the Statewide Virginia Teenage Republicans, for which he organized a statewide convention with guest speaker Pat Robertson. In May 2005, he started the blog TooConservative.com which quickly gained popularity—more than 60,000 unique web visitors a month—in part due to its live-blog chats with notable Virginia politicians. In May 2006, Vincent founded RightOfTexas, a conservative blog in Texas focusing on politics and elections throughout the state. At age 18, Vincent endorsed Mike Huckabee for president early in the game and scored an early interview with the Arkansas governor. Later, he received an online staffer job with the campaign; he urged them to start a Twitter account and Huckabee became the first of the GOP 2008 presidential candidates to do so, according to Campaigns and Elections. In 2009, Vincent graduated from Baylor University in Texas with a religion degree. Vincent ran the digital campaigns for the presidential races of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich this cycle. He's also chief executive officer of Harris Media, whose clients have included: Governor Rick Scott, Governor Bob McDonnell, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor Jan Brewer, and Senator John Cornyn. Vincent was also the new media director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2009 and the Iowa online director for Governor Mike Huckabee in 2008. His digital skills have caught the eye of many. He received Campaigns and Elections' Youngest Rising Star of 2012 award and also received in 2012 two Pollie awards from the American Association of Political Consultants. “I want to continue to lead the party online toward embracing new media,” Vincent shared with LI. Vincent has taught as a faculty member at seven LI trainings, including: twice at the International Leadership Training Seminars, Comprehensive Internet Activism School, RightOnline 2008, twice at LI's Blogging Workshop, and Future Candidate School. “I volunteer at LI because I believe in the conservative movement,” Vincent said. “A limited government that lets people make their own decisions and keep their own hard earned salaries is important. I've loved trainings at the Leadership Institute and always find they keep me sharp and on my toes.” “The Leadership Institute was helpful because it allowed me to break out of my shell,” Vincent shared. “By giving trainings I was able to sharpen my skills as a digital strategist and just meet fantastic current and future leaders of the movement. It's a great networking opportunity!” Vincent is now working on his doctorate in government at the University of Texas at Austin. As Morton Blackwell, Leadership Institute president, says in his Laws of the Public Policy Process, “Political technology determines political success.” Please welcome Vincent Harris as LI's Spotlight of the Week. Ted Cruz's campaign was sprinkled with staff trained at the Leadership Institute. Watch for more spotlights on these individuals in weeks to come. LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. In fact, LI is hosting Campaigning in a Digital World training this Wednesday, August 8. Register here. The Leadership Institute is a 501 (c) 3 organization that does not endorse or oppose any candidate or legislation, and all programs are open to the public. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Chicago’s Cook County Commissioner: Part Two—An Inside Look within the Office
Lauren Hart
July 31, 2012
Chicago’s Cook County Commissioner: Part Two—An Inside Look within the Office
Winning isn't everything. True leadership is responsible governing. Illinois' Cook County Commissioner Dan Patlak, last week's Leadership Institute graduate of the week, leads his 19 staff to work as “taypayer advocates” for the 1.7 million people he represents. The Cook County Board of Review is a quasi-judicial board that helps respond to “taxpayer's grievances with their property tax assessment,” Brendan Seyring, a staffer for Commissioner Patlak, said. Twenty-eight-year-old Brendan is one of the Commissioner's 18 analysts who research property tax values and work with constituents as they make their appeal. (He's also a graduate of four LI trainings.) “I kind of do a lot of everything,” Brendan said. “If people overpay, I work on one of the processes to help people get their money back.” In 2011, Commissioner Patlak's office worked on 341,688 cases and 62 percent of these received some sort of relief on their property's value, saving the taxpayer money, Brendan told the Leadership Institute. “There is no filing fee. It doesn't cost a property owner anything to appeal but their time,” Brendan explained. “And the Board of Review never raises one's assessment.” So, what's there to lose? “I'm always trying to do more, and be more willing to help,” Brendan said. “We want taxpayers to have a fair and proper assessment.” For more information, please visit: http://CookCountyBoardofReview.com/ or www.ElectPatlak.com/ “A typical day is not very different from any other elected official's staff. We provide constituent services,” Brendan shared. “The only difference is we field appeal files and phone calls for several hundred thousand people a year. Even with this many people, we treat all appellants, from large corporations such as Boeing, to an individual homeowner with the same care and attention. You can say we create policy every day.” Staff in the commissioner's office typically works on the submitted files; attending hearings with the taxpayer; and attending outreach seminars to teach constituents how to appeal their assessments. The Commissioner's office hosts regular “outreach seminars” that teach people how to appeal their property assessment and how it can result in lower taxes. Brendan said that sometimes they have groups as large as 600 or 700 people at the outreach seminars and other times, they meet with a group of just three to four people. Regardless of the meeting size, the Commissioner's analyst staffers remain until all questions have been answered and the process of appealing is clear. Brendan's proud of several things. First, “I worked on what might be the first new farm in Cook County in decades,” Brendan said. “The farm was already a farm, but was not properly assessed. I helped him to get the proper assessment.” The property owner purchased former commercial stables, and is now repurposing it as an organic honey farm, thanks to the savings from the property assessment. A second highlight: Cook County has met the tax bill filing deadline of July 1 for the first time in 34 years, Brendan said. “For every month delayed, it costs the county millions of dollars,” Brendan said. “We are on time this year because of all the hard work and overtime.” Brendan said it's typical for commissioner office staff to put in 70 to 80-hour workweeks and work 10 to 12 or even 14 days in a row during appeals season. “We are very different than most government agencies,” Brendan chuckled. “I'm just a small part in the refund process for those who have overpaid their taxes,” Brendan said. “Commissioner Dan Patlak's leadership has made this office work effectively and for the taxpayer's needs.” Besides being an analyst on the Board of Review for Commissioner Patlak, Brendan is on the executive board of the Schaumburg Township Republican Organization, a civic organization comprised of community volunteers whose mission is to promote better governance through voter education and by supporting and electing candidates who believe in the Republican principles of limited government, individual liberty, and fiscal responsibility. He is the Schaumburg Township collector, a liaison to the Human Services Fund, and a Schaumburg Township precinct captain. He's also currently studying to be a Certified Illinois Assessing Officer (CIAO). Brendan received his bachelor's degree in American and Roman history from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Brendan has taken several Leadership Institute trainings: Getting Out the Vote in 2012 with New Media in June 2012, Public Speaking Workshop in November 2011, the Advanced New Media Workshop: Campaigns in October 2011, and the Campaign Management School in October 2011. “I learned how to win from the Leadership Institute,” Brendan said. “For those unfamiliar with Chicago and Illinois, politics here is very unforgiving. LI taught me why some campaigns did very well and others did not. Many of the successful tactics Commissioner Patlak employed, I recognized from LI. The Leadership Institute was very good at providing both in-depth training and the big picture information of running a campaign. The anecdotes from the very experienced lecturers were great! If more people would attend LI, we could really put some wins together.” Brendan admitted, “I always had an interest in campaigns, but did not know how to learn more. I hoped to learn as much as I could volunteering for different causes. Commissioner Patlak then suggested LI's Campaign Management School, which I had never heard of. I did not really know there was such a thing, but I was very excited to go.” “I am now hoping to become more involved in campaigns and possibly pursue it as a career,” Brendan shared. “I believe this fall will be a time of great opportunity and excitement that would not have been possible had I not attended LI's Campaign Management School.” Commissioner Patlak said, “I have encouraged my staff as well as any other motivated people who want to win elections to attend the Leadership Institute.” Brendan reflected, “I would not have attended LI or have been as involved in the Conservative movement had it not been for Commissioner Patlak. He is developing the next group of conservative leaders.” Please welcome Brendan Seyring as LI's Graduate of the Week. “It is very important to have a staff that views the taxpayer not simply as an unlimited fund for government spending,” Brendan said. “It has not always been the case that a commissioner and his staff have been so concerned with the needs of the taxpayer.” Check out last week's “Chicago's Cook County Commissioner: Part One—About the Man,” to learn more about the Commissioner and his campaign win. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org. LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area.
Chicago’s Cook County Commissioner: 
Part One—About the Man
Lauren Hart
July 24, 2012
Chicago’s Cook County Commissioner: Part One—About the Man
Dan Patlak is a politico. He's held campaign posts from volunteer campaign manager for a state representative race to press secretary on a U.S. Senate campaign. He's even run for office himself. In 2010, Dan was elected as a Commissioner at the Cook County Board of Review in Illinois. He represents one-third of his county's population. Illinois' Cook County includes 946 square miles and represents 5.3 million people, making it the “second most populous county in the nation and the 19th largest government in the United States,” according to the Cook County, Illinois webpage. This county includes the City of Chicago and the suburban municipalities surrounding it. After the “Republican Revoluton” of 1994, Dan dreamed of moving to Washington, D.C. to work full time in politics for a newly elected Member of Congress. “After speaking to an old time friend who recommended the Leadership Institute and their Capitol Hill School, I boarded a plane to Washington in early December to take the class and hopefully secure employment with one of the legislators in DC,” Dan reflected. The training was held at a hotel, he said, because the Leadership Institute (LI) had yet to secure a building of its own. Not until September 18, 1996 did LI open the doors to its current Steven P.J. Wood Building in Arlington, Virginia. “I picked up some good tips about the legislative workforce,” Dan said, “and heard from a speaker who I was to make friends with at another LI class a year later. His name was Alex Mooney and he was a legislative correspondent for a congressman from Maryland.” In 1995, Dan joined Al Salvi's U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois as a volunteer. So, Dan came back for more LI training. This time he took LI's Campaign Leadership School, now renamed the Campaign Management School. “I hung out each night with a group of about seven people,” Dan remembered. “One was Alex Mooney who went on to unseat the moderate Maryland Senate Minority leader two years later at the age of 27. I am proud to say that I was the first person to make a financial contribution to Senator Mooney's campaign…Also in our group was 21-year-old Adam Mack from Maine who, a year later, was elected a state representative, also defeating a moderate Republican Party leader.” One month after Dan took LI's Campaign Leadership School, the Salvi campaign hired him on full time. “I was hired by the Salvi campaign to be the assistant press secretary,” Dan shared. “Following Salvi's primary win, I was promoted to press secretary. Unfortunately, Salvi lost the general election to Dick Durbin and I was not able to fulfill my desire to work in DC.” But, with each campaign experience, Dan learned more and applied LI lectures to the campaigns and causes of his choice. “Since taking the Campaign Leadership School, I have referred many times to the spiral notebook I filled with notes,” admitted Dan. “The lectures for that school covered the gamut from door-to-door canvassing to literature creation to polling and far beyond. The speakers were among the most expert conservatives in the country. He continued, “Over the years I have attended 10 Leadership Institute trainings, including the Future Candidate, Public Relations, Public Speaking, Grassroots Activist, Youth Leadership, Capitol Hill Writing, Get-Out-the-Vote, and Internet schools.” At the Future Candidate School, Dan befriended a fellow attendee in his twenties from Texas. His name was Rick Green, Dan said, and this 20-something went on to win a spot in the Texas House of Representatives, where he represented Central Texas' District 45 from 1999 to 2003. Later, Rick went on to run for the Texas Supreme Court. Dan regularly encourages folks to attend LI training. He told the Leadership Institute that Tom Morrison began attending LI courses through his recommendation. Tom was elected as a Illinois state representative in November 2010, and won by 24 percentage points. “LI classes are great for what they teach and if you attend a multi-day class they are just as valuable for the opportunity to meet fellow conservatives from around the United States who possess a desire to build a better America,” Dan said. Please welcome Dan Patlak as LI's Graduate of the Week. He may just one day find himself working in Washington, fulfilling a long-time dream. You just never know where LI graduates will go. “As the highest ranking Republican Cook County office holder, I have encouraged my staff as well as any other motivated people who want to win elections to attend the Leadership Institute,” Dan said. Tune in next week for “Chicago's Cook County Commissioner: Part Two—An Inside Look within the Office,” in which we will highlight one of his staffers and give you a peek into the inner workings within a commissioner's office. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org. LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area.
Lady of Liberty
Lauren Hart
July 17, 2012
Lady of Liberty
Nena Bartlett, in her late 20s, is already making huge strides for lovers of liberty. She's worked on a presidential campaign, a U.S. Senate campaign, for think tanks, and now for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Capitol Hill while also leading a libertarian non-profit, Ladies of Liberty Alliance. “When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to make a difference,” Nena told the Leadership Institute. “I studied international trade in college because I thought that improving business operations in those resource-rich, and yet chronically impoverished countries could help families who need it the most.” “I came to realize that it is the governments themselves that most significantly impede wealth creation and thus, their country's development… Liberty, on the other hand, accelerates progress and improves more people's lives than anything else can, and this is my motivation in promoting it,” Nena shared. In 2007 and 2008, she was the field director for Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign. Nena first learned of the Leadership Institute (LI) through her job with Ron Paul. “Many of my colleagues on the Ron Paul campaign in 2007 were former LI employees,” Nena said. “These were people I liked and respected very much. When the campaign ended, a number of people told me about LI's job board, ConservativeJobs.com, and the training opportunities offered by LI that I could now take advantage of.” Since, Nena has taken five LI trainings: Public Speaking Workshop 2 in May 2008; Capitol Hill Job Seminar in June 2008; Advanced Internet Technologies Workshop in August 2008; High-Dollar Fundraising School in September 2008; and Public Speaking Workshop in February 2012. “When I attended LI's Capitol Hill Jobs Seminar, I had no idea I would someday end up on the Hill,” Nena recalled. “I had just finished working on the Ron Paul campaign of 2008 and had an open mind as to what I would do next. I ended up interviewing with congressional offices -- through my profile on LI's ConservativeJobs.com -- that would not have been a good fit philosophically. I learned at the jobs seminar that if you had the goal of working on the Hill, you should be flexible about who you began working for, and that you should look first at members from your state.” After Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign, Nena went to work for the Cato Institute as a development associate and as the executive assistant to the President until March 2010. “I attended the Leadership Institute's High-Dollar Fundraising School while working in the development department at the Cato Institute,” Nena remembered, “and I will be able to use some of the ideas I learned at this training to raise money for Ladies of Liberty Alliance someday as well.” She left the Cato Institute to campaign for Rand Paul for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. She was a scheduler, then the assistant campaign manager, and now Nena works as one of his legislative aides in the Capitol. “Senator Paul is a great boss because he encourages his staff to raise concerns or suggest legislation regarding what we are interested in, whether it is improving the U.S.'s reputation overseas, food and farming freedom, getting the government out of health care, or keeping the government away from the internet. It is a busy Senate office indeed,” Nena told the Leadership Institute. Since May 2011, she's also stayed busy leading her own non-profit organization—Ladies for Liberty Alliance (LOLA)—as its executive director. The group's mission is to educate and empower female leaders in the liberty movement. “My hope is that by encouraging leadership among liberty-minded women, we can share our ideas more effectively and attract exponentially more people so that the ideas of liberty are pervasive and even mainstream,” Nena said. She's taking what she's learned in LI trainings and applying the techniques to her organization. “I have loved all of the trainings that I attended at LI over the years so much that I am trying to model a lot of LOLA's work after it! It seems that LI practices every level of ‘best practices' and I have appreciated the little things, like having attendees write notes to donors to thank them for the training. What a wonderful idea! I'm even attending another LI training event this summer,” Nena said. In her “free” time, Nena serves as the treasurer of DC Liberty Toastmasters, the chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of DC, and as vice president and treasurer of the Norwich Alumni DC Chapter. Nena also interned at the Organization of American States in its external relations office and for the Committee for Justice. She received her B.A. in language and international trade from Eastern Michigan University and an M.A. in diplomacy from Norwich University in Vermont. “It is an honor that an organization I admire so greatly would choose to highlight my work,” Nena shared. Please welcome Nena Bartlett as LI's Graduate of the Week. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org. LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. “I tell everyone I know about the excellent experience I have had with LI, especially job-seekers," Nena said. "The Leadership Institute is a great, professional resource for anyone wishing to build their resume or expand their skill-set.”
A Conservative Entrepreneur in France
Lauren Hart
July 10, 2012
A Conservative Entrepreneur in France
We've all heard it: the economy is tough and jobs are scarce. So, why not create your own job, and work for something you love? That's exactly what Paris-born and raised Alexandre Pesey did. He founded the France-based Tocqueville Fellowship and the Institut de Formation Politique. But first, he came to America in the summer of 2000 to intern at the Leadership Institute (LI) in its Recruitment department. While interning, Alexandre took 14 LI trainings on topics including from fundraising, broadcast journalism, legislative project management, public speaking, and online activism. “LI has been helpful to me in my professional journey in three areas—techniques, network, and the conservative movement,” Alexandre said. “For techniques, I learned what you never learn even in the best law or business schools. Thanks to Morton, I was put in touch with intellectual entrepreneurs, thinkers, and activists. These people have mentored me, inspired me, advised me, and encouraged me. While interning, I got to touch the conservative movement, learn how to work together to get things done, and understand the core ideas and principles of the movement.” In 2003—at the age of 28—Alexandre established the Tocqueville Fellowship. This one-month fellowship allows young French people between the ages of 20 and 28 to come to the United States to learn about American conservatism through visits with policymakers and think tank staffers as well as attend hands-on political technology seminars. “In 2004, I started the Institut de Formation Politique with two other friends (Thomas Millon and Jean Martinez),” Alexandre told the Leadership Institute. Three things contributed to his organization's start: his parents' example as entrepreneurs; his desire to help his country; and his Leadership Institute internship, he said. “My internship with Morton Blackwell at the Leadership Institute was decisive,” Alexandre says of deciding to start his conservative French organization, Institut de Formation Politique (IFP). “I learned a lot, but more specifically four things," Alexandre said. "The first, I discovered the history of the American conservative movement and got a lot of inspiration from it. I wrote my thesis on the Heritage Foundation. Second, I learned about French authors like Frédéric Bastiat. I was never told anything about them in French schools. Third, I learned how to know more about the media and even get in the media (LI trained me and helped me work at CNN where I worked in their political shows in D.C). Fourth, I learned how to raise funds and then created Institut de Formation Politique.” Alexandre currently serves as IFP's executive director. The organization's mission is to identify, recruit, train, and place young conservatives. “We organize trainings both on ideas and on techniques, such as weekend seminars, monthly evening working sessions, e-learning in philosophy, publications of short papers on themes that are always in the media and prizes for the best, and networking events,” Alexandre said. “We have trained 450 students. Some are now working in Congress, the media, or civil society (think tanks and action tanks).” “My wife Kate is an LI graduate and former LI employee,” Alexandre said. “She helped me launch IFP and is my best advisor and teammate.” Alexandre and Kate have three children: four-year-old Emma, two-year-old Remi, and one-year-old Riley. Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell said, “Alex and Kate in France are doing very well with their creation modeled on LI.” If you are interested in starting a conservative organization, please read Morton Blackwell's Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur. “The Leadership Institute is the place to go to learn about the best techniques needed as a political entrepreneur or for any political action,” Alexandre said. “LI is the place to go to be at the core of the conservative network and the base to discover the conservative movement.” LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. LI also offers internships in the fall, spring, and summer. If you are interested in knowing more, please click here. Please welcome Alexandre Pesey as LI's Graduate of the Week. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
George Landrith: Forever a Freedom Fighter
Lauren Hart
July 3, 2012
George Landrith: Forever a Freedom Fighter
As America's Independence Day approaches, let's treasure those that let freedom ring. Commitment to conservative causes, for some, are a lifetime calling. In the 1980s, George Landrith was a political science and economics major at conservative Brigham Young University and, later, business editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Virginia School of Law. Since school, George's fight for liberty continues. He was admitted as a member of the United States Supreme Court bar, ran for federal office, elected to local office, appointed by the Virginia governor to a business council, and served as senior staff for two organizations in the conservative movement. “As long as I can remember, I knew of the Leadership Institute,” George said. “When I was involved in campaigns as a volunteer, the best candidates seemed to have young staffers who had been trained at the Leadership Institute,” George said. “So when I was recruited to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the early 1990s, I wanted to make sure I had the best possible team. That meant I wanted my staff and volunteers trained by LI. I also made sure my consultant was LI-trained. He helped me obtain a solid staff and volunteer team all of whom were top LI trainees.” George continued, “I was naturally a conservative and I had a solid working knowledge of conservative principles and why they matter in public policy discussions. But I had no idea of the political technology that was needed to be employed to take those conservative principles and turn them into an effective and compelling campaign. The Leadership Institute provided me with the training and knowledge to organize and run an effective campaign and create the opportunities to get my message out despite being outspent about 4-to-1.” He learned a lot from his campaign loss. “While I did not win my congressional election, it was a very, very close race and the incumbent, who had won by almost 40 points only two years earlier, won by only the slimmest of margins. Despite the loss, I learned a great deal about public policy and the conservative movement,” George said. “As a result, I began working at a conservative think-tank and have spent my professional life promoting the vision of the founders. Additionally, I've had the privilege of teaching at the Leadership Institute's various schools.” George believes in training the next generation of conservative leaders. As an LI faculty member, George has shared his expertise at more than 15 LI trainings from Future Candidate Schools to Public Relations Schools to Campaign Management Schools, and he is an adjunct professor teaching constitutional law, appellate advocacy, and legal writing to future attorneys at George Mason School of Law. George was elected to the school board in Virginia's Albemarle County, and served children and the community in this capacity for three years. He was later appointed by Governor George Allen and confirmed by the General Assembly to the Virginia Workforce 2000 Advocacy Council. From 1997-1999, George served as vice president and general counsel to the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. Since 1998, George has led Frontiers of Freedom as its president. This educational institute promotes conservative public policy based on the principles of individual freedom, peace through strength, limited government, free enterprise, and traditional American values as found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. “I work on a wide variety of issues in hopes of bringing conservative principles and solutions to the general public, opinion leaders, and policy makers,” George told the Leadership Institute. “All of my work relates to one or more of the ten tenets which defines and shapes all of our work at Frontiers of Freedom.” To boot, George is a frequent TV and radio guest sharing freedom with all who will listen. He's been quoted in more than 100 newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, National Review, the Washington Post, and Human Events. He also authored On Politics and Policy: Views on Freedom from an American Conservative. “The Leadership Institute trains conservatives of all ages how to be more effective conservatives – how to organize and campaign more effectively, how to reach out through the media with greater impact, and how to speak more convincingly,” George said. “They teach college students how to organize and create conservative student publications. They teach campaign workers, managers, press secretaries, and candidates how do their jobs effectively and with high impact. They teach aspiring journalists and reporters the skills needed to be successful. To me the value of the Leadership Institute is that it teaches conservatives how to make their message the winning message.” Do you want a “winning” message? Enroll in an upcoming training. LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. Please welcome George Landrith as LI's Graduate of the Week. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Healthcare Helper—Hadley Heath—Hopes this week for an American Homerun
Lauren Hart
June 26, 2012
Healthcare Helper—Hadley Heath—Hopes this week for an American Homerun
The granddaughter of a campaign man for both Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms as well as a five-time conservative book author follows family tradition: taking on a high-profile role to shape public policy. Hadley Heath has dedicated the start of her career in Washington, D.C. to learn and educate others about health care policy. The issue is timely, with a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” expected this Thursday. “Local folks should come to SCOTUS [the Supreme Court of the United States] Thursday,” Hadley encouraged. Hadley focuses on health care policy as a senior policy analyst for Independent Women's Forum. “One of my favorite projects is the HealthCareLawsuits.org Web site, a site we created to track the legal challenges to President Obama's health law,” Hadley said. “Health care is a great issue for limited government conservatives: It gives us a chance to explain the difference between government control and market-based solutions.” Hadley's op-eds on health care have been published in Roll Call, The Tampa Tribune, Daily Caller, Townhall, Human Events, and National Review's Critical Condition blog. She has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, Al-Jazeera English, FoxNews.com, PJTV, as well as a variety of talk radio shows. This week she is booked for many on-air appearances. At her employer's suggestion, Hadley enrolled in the Leadership Institute's On-Camera Television Workshop in August 2010, just a few weeks after being hired by Independent Women's Forum (IWF). “Independent Women's Forum encouraged me to attend media training, and naturally they turned to the Leadership Institute as the best source of professional training,” Hadley said. “I learned in the Leadership Institute's training that communication on television is very different from communication in writing. You may not have the chance to make your main point later; you should begin by getting directly to the point,” Hadley said. “I was nervous to do any live on-camera work, but LI's workshop was an important step for me in overcoming this fear and learning how to present myself as a likable, articulate advocate for limited government.” Hadley's grandfather and his example marked her for life in the public policy arena. “My grandfather is a life-long conservative and has been influential on my views on society and government,” Hadley told the Leadership Institute. Co-founding the chapter of Young Republicans at Shelby High School in North Carolina was another confidence booster early on in Hadley's political journey. But it wasn't until college at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill that Hadley became an articulate, assertive conservative. “I owe a thank you to all the liberals at UNC who, through practice, taught me a lot about articulating and defending my conservative views,” Hadley shared. She majored in economics and journalism with a focus in electronic/broadcast media. However, her global perspective was enhanced by receiving the Morehead-Cain scholarship. “This scholarship afforded me unique travel experiences in college including a survival course in California's Sierra Nevadas, a service project in Calcutta, India, an independent research project in Western Europe, and a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile,” Hadley fondly remembered. “This scholarship program definitely shaped my direction in life and gave me opportunities I could not have found elsewhere.” As a college junior, Hadley read What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us by Danielle Crittenden, an IWF scholar. The book so sparked her interest in IWF's work that she applied for a summer internship with the organization. “This led to the job offer that got me where I am today,” Hadley told LI. “The women I've worked with at IWF have been incredible mentors: They've helped me hone my writing skills and my understanding of public policy, and importantly, they've supported my every venture - whether professional or personal.” The Independent Women's Forum is a is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution that aggressively seeks earned media, provides easy-to-read, timely publications and commentary, and reaches out to the public to cultivate support and encourage women to join the organization in working to return the country to limited, constitutional government. “I did not come to Washington with the expectation of appearing on TV,” Hadley shared. “I simply wanted to advocate for limited government in the best way that I can. My training at the Leadership Institute definitely gave me the confidence to pursue broadcast media as another avenue to do this. Since my training, I've found that appearing on live television gets easier and easier with practice. But my first experience on TV would've been much harder without the important lessons I learned at LI.” Hadley joins more than 107,000 graduates trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. You too can become LI trained. LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. “The Leadership Institute is a friendly, encouraging environment for conservatives to find the professional training they need to survive in Washington,” Hadley said. “We face a difficult but important task - advocating for limited government in a city prone to favor government expansion. But that's why LI's work is so vital: This Institute can prepare conservative professionals for the toughest challenges and equip them for success.” Please welcome Hadley as LI's Graduate of the Week. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute does not oppose or support any candidate, official, or legislation and all programs are open to the public.
Lifelong Activist Now Trains Thousands
Lauren Hart
June 19, 2012
Lifelong Activist Now Trains Thousands
Born in the Big Apple to Holocaust survivors, college student Henry Kriegel launched the Columbia University Young Americans for Freedom campus group in the early 1980s. His inspiration? It was his parents' fight for survival during the Holocaust and Ronald Reagan's election in 1980. Henry's passion for survivors moved him across the country to Los Angeles, where he helped Afghan refugees get on their feet and organize a rally against the Soviet Union in the mid 1980s. Soon after, he was hired by Washington, D.C.-based Committee for a Free Afghanistan as its public relations director. Two years later he became executive director, a position he held until the Soviets completely withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. His group worked with Rep. Charlie Wilson and other Members of Congress to support the Afghans. “The movie and book Charlie Wilson's War is very accurate,” Henry told the Leadership Institute. “I left Washington, DC in 1990 because I felt I had made my contribution and wanted to join my friends who lived in Big Sky Country—Montana, also known as the last best place." "I hardly ever looked back until 9/11, when I watched airplanes strike the World Trade Center, in New York, my hometown. Shocked to discover that the terrorists were trained in Afghanistan, I then got re-energized and launched a remote radio PR tour urging the Bush Administration to work closely with the Northern Alliance to exact retribution on the Taliban and Al Qaeda,” Henry said. “I appeared on nearly every major radio talk show and several TV programs while traveling to New York and Los Angeles. I haven't stopped my activism since that time.” Now, Henry's active in local issues. He's a Tea Partier: He co-founded the Bozeman Tea Party and initiated the Montana Tea Party Coalition. They hosted the largest Fourth of July Tea Party rally, where roughly every 20th resident of the city took part, despite opposition. He's also president of Montanans for Tax Reform, where he collects signed Taxpayer Protection Pledges from local and state-level public officials. Their signature is a pledge to those they represent stating they will not raise taxes while in office. This pledge is a project of Americans for Tax Reform. Henry hosts a weekly radio show on Thursdays at 9 a.m. mountain time at KMMS-AM 1450 Bozeman, KPRK 1340 Livingston, and on the web at www.kmmsam.com. He's additionally the deputy state director in Montana for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state, and federal levels. Henry works with Tea Party and Liberty groups throughout Montana organizing events, rallies, and forums as well as representing Americans for Prosperity to the media. He updates the state website, communicates important legislative updates to members, and provides testimony before the legislature. “I also helped organize the Leadership Institute training in Bozeman and supported LI's training in Missoula,” Henry said of the trainings earlier this year. “It was my intent to bring more professional skills training to activists who have the passion and the desire and just need additional training to be more effective.” Henry first learned of the Leadership Institute in the mid-90's when he was working in DC and attending the Paul Weyrich Station Club meetings, where LI's President Morton Blackwell often presented. “I knew the Leadership Institute to be the leader in activist training and I actually attended a training in the summer of 2001 at LI's headquarters in Virginia,” Henry said. “When I got involved in the Tea Party movement, I knew our activists needed LI training. It took me over a year to get the Montana Tea Party Coalition and my local Tea Party to sponsor and support the training. AFP was already working closely with LI and they were very eager to get on board with the training.” Henry has taken three LI trainings: Internet Activist School in July 2001 based in Arlington, Virginia; the Grassroots Activist School in January 2012 based in Bozeman; and the April 2012 Grassroots Activist School in Missoula, Montana. He has also been trained since 2010 on LI's TeaPartyTraining.org website. “What I learned at LI was how to apply my public relations and marketing skills to specific candidates and issue campaigns,” Henry said. “I also learned specific techniques and tools I can apply to campaigns and organizational development.” LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. “You are the leaders in activist training,” Henry said to the Leadership Institute. “I hope to maintain and develop my relationship with LI for many years to come and perhaps serve as a trainer in my areas of expertise and passion—communications, public relations, and crisis management.” Henry joins more than 107,000 graduates trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. “Thank you so much for the honor of featuring me as an LI Graduate of the Week,” Henry said. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Let’s Give an “Aloha” to Hawaiian Business and Political Leader
Lauren Hart
June 12, 2012
Let’s Give an “Aloha” to Hawaiian Business and Political Leader
David Chang is a creator—a creator of products, services, strategy, and implementation. He is president and CEO of the following companies: GreenTech Pacific, a company selling energy efficient technologies; PowerH2O, a premium water bottle company; WealthBridge, Inc., a wealth and business management company that empowers individuals in their financial, investment, and retirement planning; WealthBridge Real Estate, development company acquiring a portfolio of properties; The Cabinet and Stone Factory, a residential and commercial remodeling and renovation construction firm; and Pacific West Import and Export, an import and export merchant company. But that's not all. He's also a commander for the Hawaii Army National Guard and previously an intelligence officer. To boot, David is a former pastor and ministry leader at his church. And since November, David has been elected to direct the strategy of the Republican Party in Hawaii. Two years before being elected chairman of the Hawaii GOP (Grand Old Party), David attended two Leadership Institute Activist Schools in Honolulu. “I was a first-time candidate and was very impressed with the depth of knowledge and experience that you offered. I remember the Leesburg Grid very well, and especially the fundraising tips and the best way to conduct grassroots operations,” David told the Leadership Institute. Though he lost his first election, it didn't keep David from running another campaign, and being a “creator” of opportunity. “The Leadership Institute provides a strong framework for starting your campaign or tightening up your operations,” David said. “The best candidates don't necessarily win, but the best campaign generally does. LI provided the structure I needed for a well-run campaign.” LI's October 2009 activists trainings, which David attended brought, more than 125 conservative political activists from Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island for a week-long series of grassroots training sessions designed to help attendees be more effective in communication, fundraising, and political organizing. Several attendees were current and former state elected officials, including candidates for the office of U.S. Congress and the Lt. Governor of Hawaii. Local business owners and the heads of several public policy organizations also attended. “It's great to see the conservatives we've trained take on leadership roles throughout the country and in Hawaii,” LI's Senior Director of Domestic and International Programs Robert Arnakis said. Hawaii Republican Party Executive Director Nacia Blom took the activist trainings in October 2009 when David did as well as LI's Broadcast Journalism School in November 2009 and Public Speaking Workshop in September 2010. In addition to David's business and political responsibilities, he's active in his community. He is on the board of directors for the Builders Industry Association of Hawaii and the Association of Christian Conferences and Teaching Services. He is the past chair for the Young Professional Program for the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Lion's Club International, The Rotary Club, and Toastmasters. David graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. in economics and computer science and went on to receive a M.A. in political science from the University of Hawaii and a master's degree in theological studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. “I highly recommend that anyone thinking of running for office, incumbents, or people wanting to help another candidate attend LI's workshops. It provides invaluable strategies and tips to run a strong campaign,” David said. LI offers training in all 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area. David joins more than 107,000 graduates trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. Please welcome him as LI's Graduate of the Week. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute does not oppose or support any candidate, official, or legislation and all programs are open to the public.
LI Welcomes Congressman Joe Wilson
Danielle Saul
June 11, 2012
LI Welcomes Congressman Joe Wilson
On Wednesday, June 6, more than 100 Leadership Institute supporters, graduates, faculty, and staff welcomed South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson to address June's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. Rep. Wilson is no stranger to the Leadership Institute. He is a notable graduate of LI's 2002 and 2005 One-On-One Television Workshop as well as a member of LI's Congressional Advisory Board. “The Leadership Institute has made such a difference for our country giving young conservative the skills to go home and make a difference. And you [LI] are making a difference,” said Rep. Wilson. Rep. Wilson energized the crowd with his support of Governor Scott Walker in the wake of his victory, saying, “Walker's win should inspire political leaders across the country, and it does.” Rep. Wilson encouraged young people throughout the country to get involved in this fall's election. He went on to share how proud he is of American troops, including his sons, all of whom currently serve in the United States military. He also expressed his disappointment in the current President's actions against our military. “Our military has never been more at risk. They are facing an 8 to 12 percent cut. This is the smallest our military has been since 1939,” Rep. Wilson explained. He then added, “Our troops are so dedicated and so committed...I truly believe we have got the best troops. The personnel are the best ever.” “This fall we will regain victory,” Rep. Wilson said in an optimistic closing to his talk. “We are seeing changes in our lifetime we never could have imagined 25 years ago. Below is a photo of LI's Summer Interns with Rep. Wilson. The Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is held the first Wednesday of each month and is an excellent opportunity for friends of the Institute to meet leading conservative speakers and hear their thoughts on current affairs over good food and fellowship with conservative friends. The next Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is scheduled for August 1, 2012 and will feature Mallory Factor, President of MALLORY FACTOR INC. Mallory is also the founder and co-chair of The Monday Meeting, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Click here for more information and to register.
LI Graduate To Be Named “Conservative of the Year” at the Conservative Leadership Conference
Lauren Hart
June 5, 2012
LI Graduate To Be Named “Conservative of the Year” at the Conservative Leadership Conference
College student Mark Ciavola is a political rock star. Mark's not only chairman of the College Republican Federation of Nevada and the student body president at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but he's also the political director for the re-election campaign of Rep. Joe Heck (NV-03). If that isn't enough, he manages all this while being a full-time student. It's no wonder the Conservative Leadership Conference will name him “Conservative of the Year” this weekend in Las Vegas. “I'm honored to receive the award for my contributions to advancing conservative principles in Nevada,” Mark shared with the Leadership Institute. “It goes to show that anyone can make a difference if they get involved, work hard, stay focused, and follow through on their goals.” In 2009, Mark launched Right Pride, a conservative organization spreading a limited government and free market agenda within the gay community, which propelled him into politics. Shortly thereafter, Mark worked for the Republican National Committee's Victory Program and then onto Rep. Heck's campaign and leading College Republicans in Nevada and at his university. However, Mark's road to college and into politics wasn't without its challenges. “Like many others, I put college on hold to find a job and earn enough money to support myself. I spent about a dozen years in both restaurant management and sales management before deciding to go back to school to earn my degree in a field that I love: political science,” Mark said. “My first day of classes was the day of President Obama's inauguration. Since that time, I have worked as a field rep for the RNC's Victory Program and volunteer coordinator for Dr. Joe Heck's successful 2010 campaign for Congress.” His days are typically 12 to 14 hours, he says. “My days are spent hard at work preparing for the Nevada Republican Primary on June 12, and several of my evenings are spent interviewing candidates who will form our new team in student government on the heels of my ticket's election in April,” Mark said. Last year, when Mark served as president of the UNLV College Republicans, he “grew the organization from 50 members to 800, raised more than $31,000 without taking a single dime from the Republican Party or UNLV, and formed our state federation with the chapter at the University of Nevada.” It's really no wonder he's being recognized for his efforts. “I first learned of the Leadership Institute when I attended a training in Las Vegas,” Mark reflected. “Since that time I have attended numerous LI workshops, all of which have been extremely informative.” Mark has taken LI's Campus Elections Workshop in October 2011, Travel-Future Candidate School in June 2011, and the Internet Activist Workshop in June 2011. “I have made lifelong friendships and other relationships through the Leadership Institute, and have found it to be one of the most important and helpful organizations to those who wish to have a better understanding of leadership, activism, and political strategy,” Mark said. “I describe the Leadership Institute to others I know as a great resource for information, an incredible training tool, and a valuable network of individuals whose collective knowledge and experience help develop the future leaders of our nation,” Mark said. Mark joins more than 107,000 graduates trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. Please welcome him as LI's Graduate of the Week. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Chicago Fundraiser Saves Lives, One Child at a Time
Lauren Hart
May 29, 2012
Chicago Fundraiser Saves Lives, One Child at a Time
Next week the Pro-Life Action League will host the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in cities across America. The group's rally in March had more than 63,000 people from 146 cities standing up for religious freedom. Expectations are even higher for the rally June 8. “We hope to have 100,000 participants in over 150 cities,” Pro-Life Action League Development Director Paige Scarlett, also a Leadership Institute graduate, said. “This rally is a campaign that's sweeping our nation to build awareness about the threats to our constitutional right to ‘freedom of religion' posed by the Obama Administration's Health and Human Services mandate.” “The administration's newest mandate forces religious employers, such as Catholic hospitals and schools to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception in employee healthcare plans for free – even though these all go directly against the employer's religious beliefs,” Paige said. “We are standing up for our constitutional rights that our Founding Fathers fought and died for, and one of those is the right to freedom of religion without interference by government.” The 30-year-old organization Pro-Life Action League leads sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics, helps students start pro-life clubs, and investigates abortion clinic violations, which has led to the closing of numerous facilities. “I get to work alongside the ‘godparents' of the pro-life movement on a daily basis, Joe and Ann Scheidler,” Paige said. “I am inspired by their tireless grassroots efforts to fight abortion since 1973 and keep it a sizzling, hot-button issue in our country.” Paige has worked at Pro-Life Action League since January, but never imagined she would go to college and be working. “My girlish hope and dream was to get married young and have a big family,” Paige, the oldest of a family of seven Catholic and conservative children, said. “But God had other plans for me. He wanted me to go to college and work in the pro-life movement – and save babies before I had any of my own!” In college, Paige was asked to assist the development director at The Thomas Moore College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire, where she worked for a semester and a summer. Another summer, Paige raised money for the Crossroads Life Walk Across America, during which she walked 50 miles in five days for the cause of life. She's also been known to frequent abortion clinics and pray outside them (pictured right). Paige next became the development director for Foundation for Life in Toledo, Ohio where she served for 3.5 years after graduation before taking the development director job at Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, where she now works. “I first learned of the Leadership Institute through a friend who worked for your group,” Paige remembered. “She introduced me to LI, and coincidentally, I stayed with her a few days after my Crossroads Pro-Life Walk to Washington, D.C. – and even visited LI's office to ‘shadow' her for a couple days.” “I also knew of LI's fundraising trainings through my former job at Foundation for Life, but the Pro-Life Action League found it valuable enough to invest in sending me to it,” Paige said. “The League sent two other staff members to your direct mail school trainings a few years ago and they learned numerous best practices we have used into our communications ever since.” Paige took LI's High-Dollar Fundraising School in April, the Online Fundraising Workshop in April, and the Direct Mail School and Advanced Direct Mail School, both earlier this month. “The Leadership Institute has been a positive way to enhance my previous development know-how, hone my skills and judgment in the area of best approaches for fundraising, and boost my ability to share these successful tactics I learned with my fellow staffers, so we can make a team commitment to use LI's well-tested fundraising methods to keep our organization's mission very sustainable,” Paige said. “LI trainings are a survey in development approaches engagingly presented by a panel of experts. These professionals are dynamic, well-organized leaders in the field,” Paige said. “They're smart advocates of the conservative movement, looking to advance the cause, and are relevant and attuned to the best of current and tried-and-true styles of development.” “At the High Dollar Fundraising School, I learned that my organization needs to become ever more donor-centric – listening to the interests and desires of our donor-base and even using their wishes to shape our new or ongoing programs and just the way we pitch our message,” Paige reflected. “At the Online Fundraising Workshop, I learned new ways to tackle search engines to reach out to and hook a new audience through targeted ad spots,” Paige said. “I was enlightened on ways to go about delving into the internet market to attract and plug new supporters into our cause through the use of new media.” “At LI's direct mail schools (intro and advanced), I learned not only the importance of prospecting to find new donors, how to cultivate these new donors, and how to appeal to and engage your current donors, but how to do so most effectively, with the biggest chance of success,” Paige reported. “The key is to make all your touches (whether by mail, phone, or email) highly personal and focused on the impact that the donor makes possible. The donor needs to feel like an invested partner whose generosity truly saves lives.” And saving lives is the business of Pro-Life Action League. “In a challenging economy, it's necessary more than ever to know what works well and what doesn't as it is mission critical with fundraising. It could mean the difference between your group staying afloat, gaining momentum, or sinking. At LI's training, they give you tools and tips to take your organization's fundraising approaches from your baseline to the next level,” Paige said. Paige joins more than 107,000 alumni trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. Please welcome her as LI's Graduate of the Week. For more information about Pro-Life Action League and their rally June 8, please contact Paige at 773-777-2900. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Expert Insights: How to Make the Most of Your DC Internship by Eliza Thurston
Eliza Thurston
May 25, 2012
Expert Insights: How to Make the Most of Your DC Internship by Eliza Thurston
About Eliza: As the intern coordinator at the Leadership Institute, Eliza Thurston works with young conservative leaders from across the United States and around the world to prepare them for service in politics and public policy. Eliza came to LI from The Heritage Foundation's Special Events department where she assisted with nation-wide development events. Prior to her time at Heritage, Eliza interned at Family Research Council and Shared Hope International. A Missouri native, Eliza attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania where she graduated with degrees in French and Political Science. So you've secured a coveted internship in the nation's capitol—now what? Learn how to make the most of your time while you are here. When I first came to Washington, DC as an intern in the summer of 2008 I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Growing up in a sleepy Midwest town on the outskirts of farmland, life in the big city was a new concept to me. How I wish I knew then what I know now! The advice below, culled from my time living and working in Washington, will help you navigate your internship and make it more than just another line on your resume. In the Office What can I do to help you? This little phrase is golden. When you find yourself with extra time on your hands, don't let it go to waste! Offer to assist fellow staffers with their work or look for ways to solve potential problems before they arise. Employers look for staff who demonstrate initiative and who seek opportunities to fill the gap. The intern who makes a positive impression in the office as someone always willing to volunteer will be remembered long after the summer is over—and just may be called back when a position opens. Invest in your organization. Even if you are here for only three months, make it your goal to become an expert in your company or office. From the microscopic (When was the company founded?) to the panoramic (How does my department contribute to the organization's mission?), you should be able to clearly represent your organization to anyone who asks. The same applies to those of you working on the Hill—familiarize yourself with the district and know your boss' position on the issues. Seek out a mentor. Take time to get to know your office mates and establish relationships with them. Find a mentor in your career field (whether at your office or in another one) who can guide you in your journey. Mentors are invaluable resources who will be able to offer advice on everything from office politics to providing contacts for the future. Their experiences can guide you as you discover your own career path. Dress for success. This is critical. No matter how many times people have told you that looks do not matter, in the professional world they do. Before you pack your bags for the internship, find out what the office expectations are regarding appropriate attire. If you don't own a business suit, you should purchase one. Consider it an investment in your future. Around Town Your reputation is everything. The adage, “Don't shame the family name,” has become a classic in my family. When my siblings or I went out for the night those words trailed us out the door. We understood that wherever we went we represented more than just ourselves. While it may not seem like it, Washington really is a small town. People talk. Word travels quickly. Everyone knows everyone else. So remember when you are out on the town, you represent your organization and the principles on which it stands. Don't shame the boss' name. Network, network, network. It's been said that a DC intern could go an entire summer without spending a dime on meals. I believe it. Policy luncheons, happy hours, and conferences abound in the District (and beyond). These events are worth taking advantage of—and not just for the food. DC insiders know that the secret to landing a job here is often found through your network. Remember to follow up with those you meet, ideally within 48 hours. A follow up coffee date or informational interview could be the gateway to your next job. Expert Insights is a regular feature of LI.org that highlights important topics by industry experts. If you would like to submit an article on a particular topic, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI Graduate Senator Boozman (R-AR) Encourages Potential Candidates and Elected Officials to Get LI Training
Lauren Hart
May 21, 2012
LI Graduate Senator Boozman (R-AR) Encourages Potential Candidates and Elected Officials to Get LI Training
John Boozman was a football player for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, an optometrist, an entrepreneur, and a business owner, all before he entered Congress. However, Congress wasn't Senator Boozman's first shake with politics. His father was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force and his elder brother Fay was a state senator in Arkansas' district 33. Before national politics, Sen. Boozman ran for local office on the Rogers Public School Board, where he served two terms for one of the largest school districts in the state. Sen. John Boozman was a U.S. Representative (AR-03) for five terms, before deciding to run for the upper chamber. He unseated Democratic incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln, and is finishing up the first year-and-a-half of his six-year term in the United States Senate. In his first year as a senator, he received the Defender of Liberty award from the American Conservative Union, the nation's oldest and largest grassroots conservative lobbying organization. This award is given to Members of Congress who score a perfect 100 for any year within the ACU Ratings of Congress. “This Defender of Liberty award is a reflection of Senator Boozman's outstanding record in support of conservative principles … and someone who conservatives can turn to for leadership. At a time when the fundamental principles of the American system of government are being challenged, Senator Boozman stands with those who are trying to preserve those principles,” American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said. Sen. Boozman has also garnered endorsements from the National Rifle Association, National Right to Life, the Susan B. Anthony List, and Americans for Tax Reform in signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, to name a few. In the Senate, Sen. Boozman sits on four committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Environment and Public Works; and Veterans' Affairs. “I am proud to be one of the Leadership Institute's alumni,” Sen. Boozman said. The senator took the Leadership Institute's (LI) Television Workshop, One-on-One in March 2003. “Thank you for the media training I received at the Leadership Institute,” Sen. Boozman said. “The training greatly improved the quality of my on-air media appearances and the effectiveness of my messaging. As a result, I encourage other potential candidates and elected officials to leverage their skills with the training that the Leadership Institute uniquely provides.” Senator Boozman's Communications Director Sara Lasure is also a Leadership Institute graduate. Sara took LI's Capitol Hill Staff Training School in August 2008 and LI's Public Relations School in July 2009. Before moving to Capitol Hill, Sara worked as a reporter in Fort Smith, Arkansas at KFSM-TV. "Senator Boozman has long been a supporter of the classes presented by the Leadership Institute after having attended courses that helped put him on the path to success on the campaign trail," Sara, his communications director, said. "His enthusiasm encouraged me to participate in classes to learn new public relations methods to reach our constituency and engage them in the work we're doing on their behalf." Sara continued: "The Leadership Institute offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn the best ways to engage constituents while helping push a conservative message. The classes are great opportunities to meet other people interested in the same field and hear and offer ideas for an effective media strategy. This is a great way to network and develop relationships to help advance your career." “I wish the Leadership Institute continued success in fulfilling your mission to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative leaders and activists,” Sen. Boozman said. LI provides training in campaigns, fundraising, grassroots organizing, youth politics, and communications. LI teaches conservatives of all ages how to succeed in politics, government, and the media. Sen. Boozman and Sara join more than 107,000 graduates trained by the Leadership Institute since 1979. Please welcome Senator Boozman as LI's Graduate of the Week. Please go here for a full LI training schedule. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI’s Summer Interns Arrive Next Week with Already 474 hours of LI Training
Lauren Hart
May 14, 2012
LI’s Summer Interns Arrive Next Week with Already 474 hours of LI Training
Next week the Leadership Institute will welcome 12 conservatives hailing from nine American states and two countries as interns for the summer 2012 semester. Already these 12 young people have taken 474 hours of Leadership Institute trainings in topics as various as public speaking, youth leadership, campaign management, public relations, campus elections, TV training, and fundraising. As interns, they will have the opportunity to take additional free LI trainings for the next year, be mentored by LI's staff in their departments as they complete 40-hour work weeks, stay rent-free in the Sacher Intern House just blocks from the office, attend private dinners with conservative leaders, and host a weekly conservative book discussion. “We have a fantastic group of interns coming this summer, all with very unique backgrounds and experiences,” LI's Intern Coordinator Eliza Thurston said. “I'm excited to get to know each one of them as they find their places here at the Leadership Institute." Eugenio Gómez-Chico Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Mexico City, Mexico President's Office Eugenio is pursuing dual degrees in International Relations and Law at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. In addition to his studies, Eugenio has volunteered his time extensively with a variety of international organizations including the Nosara Civic Association (Costa Rica), the World Youth Conference and the Great Basin Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno. Last summer Eugenio volunteered with the Mexican Consulate-General in Denver, Colorado with their Department of Legal Affairs. After taking the 2012 Mexican Youth Leadership School Eugenio co-founded Mas Por Libertad A.C., an organization dedicated to promoting ideas of liberty within Mexican society. LI training and events: Mexico City's Youth Leadership School in January 2012 Ryan Bolyard Hillsdale College Doylestown, OH Technology Ryan has combined his two passions, campaigns and computers, to study Politics and Computer Science at Hillsdale College. He has extensive experience in both, and had the opportunity to put both in to practice while serving as Youth Coordinator and Chief Technology Officer/Developer for a 2010 Congressional campaign. In addition, as the Chairman of the Campaign Committee for Hillsdale's College Republicans, Ryan has organized many successful campaign trips for his fellow students. While on campus Ryan served on Hillsdale's Student Government and currently volunteers with Students for Free Enterprise and the Aliaga Foundation. Through Aliaga, Ryan is working to establish an exchange program between Peruvian students and Hillsdale College. LI training and events: West Lafayette, Indiana's Youth Leadership School in October 2009 and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2011 Alejandro Capote Florida State University Hialeah, Fl Grassroots Alejandro is a rising junior at Florida State University where he is working on degrees in Political Science and International Affairs. A native of Cuba, Alejandro recently became a United States citizen, a privilege he has not taken lightly. While in high school Alejandro was heavily involved in student life and served as the president of his Student Government. Alejandro has been involved with numerous political campaigns, both with individual candidates and through the Republican Party of Florida. Last year Alejandro switched gears from the campaign field to serve as an intern in the office of Florida State Senator Rene Garcia. Alejandro is also an active member of the Leon County Republican Party. Please go here to read about Alejandro as the Institute's 100,000th graduate since 1979. LI training and events: Arlington, Virginia's Youth Leadership School in July 2011 and LI's Tallahassee, Florida's Youth Leadership School in October 2011 Braden Goodgame Georgia State University Snellville, GA Recruitment Braden is studying Political Science at Georgia State University where he is a rising sophomore. An active member of GSU's College Republicans, Braden currently serves as the club's Director of Communications. In addition to maintaining his own lawn care business through high school, Braden co-founded a Young Conservatives Club at his school. Braden has also volunteered extensively with youth, serving both as a Youth Leader at Grace Fellowship Church and as a Youth League baseball umpire. Braden is a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Georgia State and plans to become a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. LI training and events: Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Youth Leadership School in March 2012 and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Amanda Haas Liberty University Dallas, TX Campus Leadership Program Amanda recently received her degree in Government from Liberty University. During her freshman year Amanda became president of Liberty's chapter of Young Women for America (YWA), an organization she served with throughout her college career. In her role as executive secretary for Liberty's Student Government Association, Amanda organized the college's largest pro-life conference with nearly 13,000 participants. As a result of her dedication to the pro-life movement Amanda received the 2011 Susan B. Anthony Young Leaders Award. In addition to her campus activities, Amanda has also worked with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, both as a congressional intern and as an intern field representative on the Congresswoman's presidential campaign. LI training and events: Arlington, Virginia's Youth Leadership School in March 2012, LI's Public Relations School in June 2011, LI's Travel—Campaign Management School in Lynchburg, Virginia, and LI's conservative Job Fair at CPAC in February 2009 Brandon Hartness University of Chapel Hill Taylorsville, NC Events Brandon is a rising senior at the University of Chapel Hill where he is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Peace, War and Defense Studies. As the National and State Political Chair of the UNC College Republicans, Brandon frequently contributes to campus media outlets and organizes events at UNC. Brandon writes regularly for the Carolina Review, helping to expose bias and abuse on campus. He also serves as the president of Committee for a Better Carolina, another group on campus dedicated to providing intellectual diversity and a conservative voice at UNC. In addition to his campus activities, Brandon spent the past couple months interning with the Orange County Republican Party. LI training and events: Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Youth Leadership School in October 2011 and LI's CPAC Trainings—Getting Your Message Heard and Resume Consultations in February 2012 Pamela Meyerhofer Xavier University Buffalo, NY Youth Leadership School Pamela is a rising junior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH where she is double-majoring in Economics and Philosophy, Politics and the Public. No stranger to the campaign trail, Pamela has interned with local, state and federal campaigns. Last summer while working with a congressional campaign Pamela organized a Get Out the Vote initiative with over 200 volunteers. On campus, Pamela is active in College Republicans and is also a fundraiser with Xavier University's Phonathon. Since being on the Phonathan team Pamela has personally raised $27,000 for the university. LI training and events: Newark, Ohio's Youth Leadership School in February 2012, Grassroots Activism training in Buffalo, New York in June 2011, and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Caleb Parke Grove City College Findlay, OH Employment Placement Services Caleb is a rising senior at Grove City College where he is majoring in Political Science and Economics. Over the past couple years Caleb has volunteered on numerous state-wide campaigns. Last year Caleb completed an eight-month internship in the district office of Congressman Jim Jordan. In addition to his political activity, Caleb actively participates in Grove City student life. He serves as the Junior Class President, Co-President of Christians United for Israel, and the Style Editor of the Journal of Law & Public Policy. Caleb has been honored with the President's Call to Service Award for his many hours spent serving his community. LI training and events: Grove City, Pennsylvania's Youth Leadership School in March 2011, Land a Job or Internship in DC training in March 2011, CPAC training called Landing a Conservative Job: the Hill and Beyond in February 2012 Christine Rousselle Providence College Scarborough, Maine Campus Reform Online Christine is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science and a minor in French at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. On campus, Christine is the Assistant News Editor for The Cowl and Vice-Chair of the Providence College Republicans. Christine has been featured in multiple national news outlets and blogs regularly for the TheCollegeConservative. She also provides the conservative perspective for The Portland Press Herald's blog The Way Politics Should Be. Go here to read her post on LI's CampusReform.org. LI training and events: One-On-One Television Workshop in January 2012, Boston, Massachusetts' Youth Leadership School in October 2011, History of the American Right in July 2011, The Year of the Youth: Why Youth Engagement is Vital in Politics in July 2011, Campus Elections Workshop in June 2011, Student Publications School in June 2011, and another Campus Elections Workshop in May 2011. Danielle Saul Minnesota State University, Moorhead Fergus Falls, MN Recruitment Danielle recently received a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. While on campus Danielle was President of her College Republicans, a member of the MSUM Student Senate and founder of MSUM Students Against Human Trafficking. Danielle also interned with the Minnesota State Senate and the radio program We the People, hosted by Chris Berg. Since June 2011 Danielle has been a writer/contributor to BigGovernment.com. In addition, Danielle frequently volunteers in her community and has served at the Center for the Arts, the YMCA and with flood relief efforts. LI training and events: Minneapolis, Minnesota's Youth Leadership School in April 2012, Beating the Liberal Media at Their Own Game in June 2011, Moorhead, Minnesota's Youth Leadership School in April 2011, and LI's CPAC Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Katie Shupe University of Florida Tampa, Fl Department of Political Training Katie received dual degrees in Communications and Acting for the Stage and Screen from Palm Beach Atlantic University last May. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Advertising at the University of Florida, Gainesville. On campus, Katie has been involved in UF's chapter of Young Americans for Liberty and the College Republicans. While at PBAU Katie served on Student Government as the Judicial Chair. She has dedicated over 200 hours of community service, working with Habitat for Humanity, Service to the Homeless and other local projects. Katie also recruits for and travels with WinShape (Chick-fil-A) to implement day camps for youth in area communities. LI training and events: Orlando, Florida's Youth Leadership School in October 2007 and LI's CPAC 2012 Job & Internship Fair in February 2012 Abbey Torkelson Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Walton, Indiana Development Abbey joined the exciting world of conservative activism after attending the Greenville, South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate last May. Since January 2012 she has been interning with Young Americans for Liberty supporting YAL's social media and donor relations outreach. Prior to coming to Washington, DC Abbey worked as the office manager for Indiana Irrigation Co., Inc. Abbey has also worked in nursing and was involved with Civil Air Patrol for nearly ten years. In 2005 Abbey was named Indiana's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year and received Commander's Commendations in 2006 and 2008. LI training and events: Campaign Management School in July 2011, High-Dollar Fundraising School in April 2012, Online Fundraising Workshop in April 2012, Political Voter Mail Workshop in April 2012, Public Relations School in March 2012, Public Speaking Workshop in April 2012, Arlington, Virginia's Youth Leadership School in March 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana's Youth Leadership School in September 2011, and numerous Wake-Up Club Breakfasts and LI happy hours. For more information about LI's internship, please click here. Please help us welcome our newest members to the team!
Career Path for Recent College Grad: Get Elected and Serve Community
Lauren Hart
May 7, 2012
Career Path for Recent College Grad: Get Elected and Serve Community
This is a busy time of year as college students around the country graduate and begin their careers. With cap and gown, Carla Shutrop walked across the stage three years ago at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and received her B.A. in political science. However, unlike many her age, she was elected to public office just five short months after graduation. Carla was elected to the school board in her hometown of Shakopee, Minnesota in November 2009, where she spent her first year of the four-year term as treasurer, her second year as vice-chair, and now serves as the elected chair of the board, a post she's held since January. As chair of the school board, Carla chairs the twice-a-month board meetings, appoints the standing and ad hoc committees and chairs, serves as the board liaison to the superintendent, and assumes the role of spokesperson to the public at large. “Shakopee School District has been and continues to be a fast-growing district,” Carla told the Leadership Institute. The Shakopee School District serves more than 7,000 students from the communities of Shakopee, Savage, Prior Lake, and Jackson, Louisville, and Sand Creek Townships. “We built and opened a new elementary school this past fall as well as realigned the attendance areas for the elementary schools. We are opening a sixth grade center and moving to two junior high schools this coming fall. We also hired an assistant superintendent position that will start July 1,” Carla reported. Carla works hard to maintain strong education standards for her hometown, but she also works tirelessly for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a senior veterans service representative. Her love for public service started back in college. “My interest and involvement in politics and policy started while I was in college,” Carla said, “and through campus involvement and through organizations such as Young America's Foundation and the Leadership Institute, I was able to advance my skills.” Carla was a member of two student groups the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program field representatives helped start: Females for Firearms and Gusties for Restoring America. “The Leadership Institute has played the role in helping me build a solid foundation for public service and leadership. LI also allowed me to have access to resources and network connections that continue to be valuable to me today and in the future,” Carla said. Carla took LI's Youth Leadership School in September 2008. “The Youth Leadership School was very valuable with training on earned media vs. free media, how to develop a public relations strategy, and the overall election process. It focused specifically on how to focus on the youth vote. All of these skills transferred easily into a public campaign,” Carla said. She so enjoyed the training in September that she returned for more in in November 2008 and took LI's Campus Election Workshop. “In the Campus Election Workshop I learned how to strategize for student government elections as well as how to recruit candidates, and target voters on campus,” Carla shared. Carla is up for re-election on the Shakopee School District School Board in November 2013, if she chooses to run again. Or who knows? She may decide to continue on the public service career path and someday run for higher office. Carla joins tens of thousands of other Leadership Institute graduates working in public service. Please welcome Carla as the Leadership Institute's graduate of the week! “The Leadership Institute grants access to great resources to be effective as a college student on campus and beyond,” Carla said. Take advantage of the opportunity if you get the chance to gain this invaluable information.” Go here for a full LI training schedule. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
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