Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
Mikayla Hall
September 28, 2011
Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
September 28, 2011, Arlington, VA—A combined total of 40 people spent September 19-23 improving their media skills with two back-to-back communications trainings: the Leadership Institute's Public Relations School and Broadcast Journalism School. The Public Relations School was an intensive three-day evening training focused on preparing attendees to handle the media for their causes or campaigns. Faculty included Blain Rethmeier, senior vice president for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA); Scott Hogenson, a senior vice president at Dezenhall Resources; and the Leadership Institute's own Director of Digital Communications Abigail Alger, to name a few. Attendees learned valuable tips such as, “Don't let people talk to the press who haven't been prepped beforehand” and “unless it's about security, don't dictate to the press.” Other tips included the timing of hosting events, the amount of time people should post on Twitter vs. Facebook, creating ambiance for media events and building relationships. Lauren Valainis, an intern for Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), said the Public Relations School was “a great way to learn PR basics, get great advice, and increase my DC network.” Similarly, Chad Hemmert, a writer for the Community College of Denver's Campus Connection Newspaper, said the training was “informative, lively [and] practical.” To end the week, the Broadcast Journalism School was a two-day lesson in on-camera media strategy. Kristen Cosby, a freelance reporter for Jacksonville's WJXT-TV, led most of the training. She used her own experience as the backdrop for lessons on everything from makeup application/clothing/jewelry to writing broadcast reports to actually standing in front of a camera for a live feed. LI Intern Thomas Cloud (pictured), was one of the students who tried the on-camera exercises. Afterwards, he said: “I was a bit nervous about talking without a script, but with Kristen's advice and some practice, I felt more confident standing in front of that camera. I would recommend the training to anyone who wants a career in media.” Missed the Broadcast Journalism School? LI will have a Television Workshop on October 7. To register for this school and others offered year-round, check out http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/
Conservative Activists Are More Confident After LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School
Mikayla Hall
September 23, 2011
Conservative Activists Are More Confident After LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School
September 23, 2011, Arlington, VA--Last week the Leadership Institute broke a record of 79 students who attended LI's High Dollar Fundraising School. Attendees discovered ways to enhance the causes and candidates of their choice with effective fundraising. The expert faculty included Todd Meredith, co-owner of Morgan, Meredith & Associates; Tracey Johnson, President and CEO of Credo Strategies; and LI's own Marci LeBlanc and Steve Sutton from the development department. Attendees learned how to write grant proposals, distinguish the differences between types of donations, communicate strategically with donors, and establish a high-dollar direct mail program. "The LI High Dollar fundraising workshop was extremely helpful. After completing the class, I immediately put the skills I learned to use, and have already secured additional funding for my non-profit," said GI Film Festival Executive Director Laura Law-Millett. Jerry Cave, owner of his own communications and search engine optimization company, says he plans to use the training to possibly pursue a career in advocacy. “[The] Leadership Institute is a fabulous opportunity to learn and develop new skills and meet fellow conservatives. [It was] a tremendous learning experience!” LI Intern Fredrick McKinley said he always was afraid of asking people for money, “but after attending the High-Dollar Fundraising School, [he] feels more confident that [he] will be able to successfully help a campaign raise money.” Lynda Fairman, We the People district coordinator for VA-01 and York County coordinator for Tom Harmon for VA Senate Campaign said, “LI's High Dollar Fundraising School gave me practical, ‘real world' methods that will help me while working on political campaigns and for non-profit organizations and schools. Presentations from experts in the field address everything from assessing dollars needed to asking for different levels of donations to finalizing the deposit and organizing reports, this school covers it all for success from beginning to end!” “I've already started using this knowledge to help the We the People program replace the defunded federal funds so we can continue to train teachers to teach the Constitution with non-partisan curriculum in all schools at all levels,” Lynda continued. “In addition to this job, I plan on sharing what I've learned as I work on political campaigns to help conservative candidates raise the funds needed to win elections.” “The Leadership Institute presents quality programs with expert information I can use right away. After graduating from several of their schools and their grassroots training and workshops, I highly recommend any of their classes,” Lynda said. “LI is, truly, a class act for success!” Are you interested in attending the High-Dollar Fundraising School or other Leadership Institute trainings? To register for this school and others, check out http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/
Meet LI’s Fall Interns
Lauren Hart
September 21, 2011
Meet LI’s Fall Interns
September 21, 2011, Arlington, VA—The Leadership Institute has a tip-top class of fall interns this year. Obed Bazikian • Rutgers University • Weehawken, New Jersey • Youth Leadership School Obed Bazikian graduated from Rutgers University in 2010 with a degree in political science. He was a member of the College Republicans, an assistant in the ESL graduate program, and involved in the Rutgers Telefund. Obed also studied at the Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, where he served as a resident assistant. He volunteered on the Chris Christie gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey and interned for World Information Transfer, an NGO for which he served as a representative at many United Nations meetings. Obed has also done international relief work in both India and Mexico. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? My duties as a Youth Leadership School Intern are to call potential school attendees for recruitment, gather and mail event materials, and enter information received from each YLS student into our databases. At the end of the internship, my project will be to organize and facilitate an entire school. This does not mean to teach every class for the school, but I will be responsible for all the planning and logistics for the event. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? Being an intern for YLS is both challenging and exciting. I hit the ground running in the department and I had to learn a lot in a short amount of time. With that said, my supervisors are excellent at what they do, and it has been so helpful to learn from their demonstrated skills and experience. The skills I am learning at YLS are sharpening me to become more confident in myself and my God-given abilities. It is this aspect of my job that is exciting for me. 3. What are your future plans? My future plans are to serve on staff for a public official, work in the executive branch, and run for public office on a federal level. I would also seek to have more experience in International Relations; therefore a position in the state department for a time would be desired. Thomas Cloud • University of Washington • Gig Harbor, Washington • President's Office Thomas Cloud graduated from the University of Washington in June 2011 with a double major in economics and history. He was a regular contributor to his university newspaper, The Daily. He is now a contributing writer to NextGenJournal.com, where he writes editorials on politics, current events, and college life. Thomas also completed an internship at The Peninsula Gateway, his hometown newspaper. He served as a student assistant in the University of Washington's economics department. In 2011, Thomas was a finalist for the William F. Buckley Jr. Fellowship. He has been involved in Young Americans for Liberty and the Washington Policy Center. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? Both Morton and Cathy are very busy, so I act as a sort of catchall for everyday odds and ends. I help process Adam Smith Tie orders, file, make sure the mail gets out on time, research, and keep the jelly bean jar full among other things. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? Learning the ins and outs of maintaining and growing a successful conservative movement through LI's schools and my co-workers is both exciting and refreshing. 3. What are your future plans? My plans are always in flux but for now I am determined to write. Someday I hope to be a syndicated columnist writing on politics and whatever else piques my interest. Charles Creitz • Temple University • Schnecksville, Pennsylvania • LI Studios/Online Pr. Charles Creitz graduated from Temple University in May 2011 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He recently completed an internship with the Charles G. Koch Foundation, through which he was placed with the Leadership Institute's development department. He completed an internship in Philadelphia with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, where he aided in recruitment efforts, made phone calls, and went door-to-door for candidates. Charles is a city committeeman for the 20th Ward Republican City Committee of Philadelphia. In 2009, he volunteered in the office of Representative Gary Day. He is also an Eagle Scout. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? I will edit and produce clips and larger projects for LI Studios using Final Cut and other programs. Additionally, I will write scripts, assist with technical production of webinars including prompter, key grip, and other important positions. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? I am most excited about the possibility of honing skills and gaining experience through work and LI schools so that I can finally find a full time job in the conservative movement. 3. What are your future plans? Find a job. Then I can work on the more extensive plans. Mikayla Hall • University of Washington • Gig Harbor, Washington • Recruitment Mikayla Hall graduated from the University of Washington in June 2011 with a double major in political science and communication. She is the northwest regional director for Young Americans for Liberty, having previously served as the Washington state chair. While at the University of Washington, Mikayla was the College Republicans vice president, a public speaking and speechwriting tutor, and public relations advisor for the Invisible Children chapter. She has also served as the Washington State College Republican Federation's communications director and a youth mentor in the St. Joseph Youth Ministry program in her hometown. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? My job duties are: running the Twitter account; strategizing more effective/efficient means of new media communication; data entry; and assisting in general outreach activities. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? I am most excited about the opportunity to practice the communications skills I learned in college in a real workplace environment—and further the conservative movement in the process. 3. What are your future plans? My career goal as of now is to become a speech writer. Thus, I hope that post-internship I can find communications jobs that further allow me to hone in on my writing, editing and speaking skills. Laci Lawrence • Texas Tech University • Lubbock, Texas • Employ. Placement Services Laci Lawrence graduated from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 2011 with a biosecurity law certificate. While at Texas Tech, Laci was the student editor for the Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety, and Biodefense Law. She was vice president of the Family Law Society, worked in the Legal Aid Clinic, and helped to bring Students for Life back to the Texas Tech campus. She was also a fellow at the Texas Tech Center for Biodefense, Law, and Public Policy. Laci earned a degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice from Abilene Christian University. She has volunteered at the Regional Crime Victim Crisis Center and the Taylor County Child Advocacy Center in Abilene. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? I will be helping with marketing ConservativeJobs.com to a broader audience, specifically college students around the U.S. who attend LI trainings and schools. Each day I help Andrea search for conservative jobs, post them to the website, and broadcast the newly-posted opportunities via Facebook and Twitter. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? The most exciting part of this internship is living in D.C. and meeting new and interesting people. My dream was to work in D.C., so now I need to find a way to stay. 3. What are your future plans? My plans include working for a federal agency or think tank on national security issues and public policy. Frank Manning • University of Nottingham • London, England • Development Frank Manning graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in European politics. Frank is a researcher for Big Brother Watch, a civil liberties and privacy campaign think tank in London. He has been published in numerous media outlets including Conservative Home, The Commentator, the European Journal, and Wikiminster. After completing his degree, Frank spent a year as a trainee quantity surveyor with Ward Williams Associates in Cornwall. He then enrolled in a Spanish language school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upon his return, he worked at his family's hotel and restuarant. In October 2010, Frank spent two weeks in Westminster to gain a better understanding of Parliament. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? I will be working with the Development team to learn as much as possible about donor relations, including direct mail, phone calls as well as face-to-face meetings. I also hope to ascertain whether the department may benefit from the expanded use of email marketing such as a weekly roundup of events for supporters of LI and easier online donations. Having used them for a campaign group that I previously worked for I think they could be very useful. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? The opportunity to experience working for a hugely successful training organization in America will give me a fresh perspective on how to operate when back in the UK. Washington is also a fantastic city to live in and I hope to make excellent contacts for the future by networking at a number of events. 3. What are your future plans? After completing my internship I will return to England to work as the Campaigns Coordinator for the Young Britons' Foundation. I will utilize everything that I have learnt over the course of my three months in the Development department here at the Leadership Institute to expand the organization and attract more funding from conservative supporters in Britain. Eventually we hope to open a training center in the style of the Leadership Institute in London. Fredrick Mckinley • Belhaven University • Jackson, Mississippi • Political Training Fredrick Mckinley graduated from Belhaven University in April 2011 with a degree in history and a minor in political science. Since January 2011, he has served as an aide in the elections division for the office of Mississippi Secretary of State. He worked on the campaign to elect Jeff Weill as Circuit Court Judge. In this role, Fredrick communicated with the candidate about how to respond to the needs of the people in the West Jackson neighborhoods. He worked with youth groups in Mississippi and Alaska, where he developed curriculum, delivered speeches, and led programming. Fredrick also served as a runner for the Watkins, Ludlam, Winter, & Stennis law firm and worked at Lifeway Christian Bookstore. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? My duties include assisting in the planning and implementation of Political Training Schools like the Campaign Management, Future Candidate, Online Activist, and Conservative Career Schools. I assist with the closing of schools through data entry and reports for evaluations and blue sheets. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? I am most excited about this internship through growing professionally, developing new relationships, and learning more about the conservative movement. 3. What are your future plans? My future plans are to find a job in political training or grassroots organization. Angela Mitchell • Liberty University • Hedgesville, West Virginia • Events Angela Mitchell graduated in May 2011 from Liberty University with a degree in history. She was a member of College Republicans, where she worked with local campaigns and voting polls. She also served as a campus liaison for Concerned Women for America, informing women on campus about public policy issues and ways to get involved, and promoting CWA events. Angela has extensive experience in customer service, having worked in telecommunication at In-Service America and catering and marketing at Chick-fil-A. 1. What are your job duties within your department and what projects will you be working on this semester? Throughout the semester I will be working on preparing LI offices and guests for the Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfasts, the staff Christmas Party, and prep work for each of the upcoming schools. 2. What are you most excited about in this internship? I am mostly excited for the experience I will learn at LI. I believe it is invaluable to whatever my future career may be! Not only am I excited about the positive, conservative work environment, but also the amazing opportunities and events that we as interns are able to attend. I am blessed, and excited at the thought of all that I am able to learn about the conservative movement as a whole throughout the course of my internship, and working with those at LI. 3. What are your future plans? Although I am still forming a clear plan on what I would like to do, my future plans are definitely to establish myself with the non-profit sector. I love what I am doing at LI with events and working with the public, and would love to achieve success in event planning and/or possibly work in development. Please welcome each LI intern! Please click here for information on LI's intern program.
Taking LI’s Campaign Management School is like going to the “NFL from high school”
Mikayla Hall
September 14, 2011
Taking LI’s Campaign Management School is like going to the “NFL from high school”
September 14, 2011, Arlington, VA—The Campaign Management School held last week at the Leadership Institute was four full days and trained 22 students. David Wiesby said, “I am 58-years-old and have attended many schools and training events, but this is the best of the best. It is like going to the NFL from high school.” Stephen Clouse, president of Stephen Clouse & Associates, and James Davis, an associate with Brunswick Group, were among the expert faculty teaching at the school. “Before I attended I had no idea how to begin raising money, but I feel more prepared to get started,” said student Erin Ashley. Attendees learned how to create a campaign plan, target and identify voters, develop a message, pick one of the various fundraising strategies, and quickly and correctly respond to the media. Armed with this knowledge, graduates of LI's Campaign Management School go on to run and work on campaigns across the country. “[The Campaign Management School] was a comprehensive crash course on campaigning that maximizes content over a condensed time frame. …I plan to incorporate this training into my upcoming campaign for the West Virginia House of Delegates,” said Elliot Simon. Elliot learned of the Leadership Institute from his friends who are delegates in the West Virginia legislature: Jonathan Miller and Eric Householder. Want to learn how to run a quality campaign? The best campaign schools are now available monthly—during the first week of every month! Check out the Future Candidate School December 5th and Campaign Management School October 3rd.
Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner tells LI supporters:
Mikayla Hall
September 8, 2011
Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner tells LI supporters: "Politics is not a spectator sport"
Yesterday a crowd of 104 conservatives braved the early morning stormy weather to hear The Heritage Foundation's President Dr. Edwin J. Feulner speak at the Leadership Institute's monthly breakfast. “We need to work harder and smarter than our intellectual adversaries,” said Dr. Feulner. “We have a lot more tools today that we used to have, whether it is talk radio or the ability to reach out…through the Internet directly to people—the younger generation.” Deemed a “titan” in the conservative movement by LI President Morton Blackwell, Dr. Feulner reminded the audience of the importance of institutions like LI and The Heritage Foundation. Changing policies is not an easy task, but through the collaboration of think tanks and training facilities, it is possible. “That is one of the reasons,” Dr. Feulner said “why Morton and Helen should be so rightfully proud of the fact that [almost] 100,000 people have graduated from their schools now.” Click here to watch the full video of yesterday's breakfast. “You need institutions that are around that are going to outlast the politicians. You need to be able to say, ‘whether your name is Bob Michael or Newt Gingrich or John Boehner or Eric Cantor or Paul Ryan or whatever it is, there are places you can go to get the right kind of information. You need long term institutions.'” Dr. Feulner and Morton share the same philosophy: In order to be successful, the conservative movement has to add and multiply, not divide and subtract. To meet this goal, Dr. Feulner wants to target the younger generation. “We've got to convince the younger generation that we've got the right answers,” Dr. Feulner said. “We can do it. We can pass freedom on to the next generation, but the only way we'll do it is by…reinforcing and reinvigorating everything we believe in because politics is not a spectator sport.” To close on a positive note, Dr. Feulner gave the audience these parting words: “I think we will win, but in Washington there are no permanent victories. Never assume the other side is standing still.” The next Wake-Up Club Breakfast, scheduled for October 5, will feature Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Kansas's 1st Congressional District. For more information and to RSVP, please go here.
LI’s Youth Leadership School Welcomed New Mexico Lt. Governor
Lauren Hart
September 2, 2011
LI’s Youth Leadership School Welcomed New Mexico Lt. Governor
September 2, Arlington, VA—The Leadership Institute went out on the road again last weekend to train young conservatives at LI's flagship school, the Youth Leadership School, which advances political careers. Notable graduates of this training include: Senator Mitch McConnell; Iowa Governor Terry Branstad; Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist; Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips; Senator Jim DeMint's Speechwriter Amanda Carpenter; and Karl Rove, senior advisor to President George W. Bush, among others. LI trained 31 students in Albuquerque and had three top graduates who exemplified superior performance and engagement throughout the training. Santa Barbara City College student Poornima Wagh said, “The training was fantastic, very informative, detailed, and gave the complete A to Z of political training in just two days.” Washington and Lee University recent graduate Jordy Stern “loved the special projects presentation and learning how to write a press release.” LI's Youth Leadership School Coordinator Meghan Swella said, “Lt. Governor John Sanchez gave a summary Saturday morning of why conservative leadership is so important.” Meghan was touched when “he shared how he and his siblings made shoes out of cardboard.” Lt. Governor Sanchez encouraged students to “lean right” in the group picture. Meghan has high hopes for the YLS students. “I hope students use what they learned to impact the 2012 elections, especially since New Mexico is a swing state,” Meghan said. High School Senior Arinea Salas said, “I plan to use this training by participating in a youth effort for the upcoming 2012 elections, specifically Senator Jeff Bingaman's seat.” Chairman of the New Mexico Federation of College Republicans Krystalynn Wilkins said she would describe her training experience to others by “telling them it's pretty much all you need to know about youth involvement in campaigns in one weekend.” Executive Director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party Charles McMillian said that this is “the best training around” and he plans to use it “win in New Mexico!” Interested in bringing the Youth Leadership School to your area? Visit our website for a list of our upcoming trainings or contact Meghan Swella to bring the Youth Leadership School to your area.
LI is Shaking Things Up!
Lauren Hart
August 25, 2011
LI is Shaking Things Up!
August 25, 2011, Arlington, VA—“Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'll wish you'd been there,” the 22nd Law of Public Policy Process says. Well, this is no political meeting, but the Leadership Institute's happy hour September 6th and campaign training September 6-9 is something you won't want to miss. Mark your calendars now. LI is now offering the very best campaign training every month PLUS a happy hour with free drinks for the first 100 people. Mix and mingle with great folks and get trained by the rockstars from the conservative movement all in the same week! “We are very excited to offer our campaign trainings the first full week of every month,” said LI's Director of Political & New Media Training Tyler Foote. Each month the Institute will offer either the Campaign Management School or the Future Candidate School. “By increasing the frequency of these trainings,” Tyler said, “we are able to expose more conservative activists to the strategies and techniques needed to raise their level of effectiveness in the public policy process.” Join the Leadership Institute at a happy hour Tuesday, September 6th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Clarendon Grill, located on the first floor of LI's headquarters at 1101 North Highland Street, Arlington, Virginia -- just steps from the Clarendon metro stop. Come network with LI faculty, staff and alum. Jobseekers - bring your résumé for a free consultation from one of our experts from ConservativeJobs.com, the Leadership Institute's one-stop shop for conservative jobseekers and employers. The first 100 guests to arrive will receive a ticket for a free drink! Happy Hour Specials: • Miller Lite Draft/Bottle - $1.75 • Bud Light Draft/Bottle - $1.75 • Coors Light Bottle - $1.75 • Bud Bottle - $1.75 • Yuengling Draft - $2.75 • Heineken/Heineken Light - $3.00 • Corona/Corona Light - $3.00 • ½ Price Bottles of Wine RSVP for the Happy Hour by Monday, September 5th or call Courtney Trollinger at 703-247-2000. The upcoming Campaign Management School provides campaign managers and staff with the tools and information necessary to manage a winning campaign with a strong grassroots organization and an effective media strategy. You will learn how to: • Write a campaign plan • Develop campaign strategy • Target and identify voters • Manage grassroots outreach • Raise funds To register for the very best campaign training September 6-9th please click here. We look forward to talking with you over drinks about the exciting, conservative politics!
LI Grad of the Week: President of New Mexico think tank
Lauren Hart and Mariya Swella
August 8, 2011
LI Grad of the Week: President of New Mexico think tank
August 8, 2011, Arlington, VA—Paul Gessing, president of New Mexico's free market think tank—the Rio Grande Foundation—is the Leadership Institute's Graduate of the Week. “LI has been a big part of my success within the free market/conservative movement,” Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing said. “LI gives some of the best training in politics, public policy, and campaigns of anyone (regardless of ideology) in the nation.” The Rio Grande Foundation is “a research institute dedicated to increasing liberty and prosperity for all of New Mexico's citizens. We do this by informing New Mexicans of the importance of individual freedom, limited government, and economic opportunity,” their website says. A native from Ohio, Paul moved to the Washington, D.C. area to work in public policy in 1997. He recalls, “I was a liberal when I came to DC, but through self-reflection and a lucky connection with a Ron Paul staffer, [I] became much more liberty-minded.” Paul spent most of his professional career in DC working in government affairs at the National Taxpayers Union; however, after 8.5 years in DC he was ready to move on. “There happened to be a think tank leadership opening in New Mexico, which I took since I had significant family in the Albuquerque area,” Paul said. Paul has attended 6 trainings at the Leadership Institute. They include: Internet Activist Workshop; On-Camera Television Workshop; Public Speaking Workshop 2; Public Speaking Workshop; Grassroots Communications Workshop; and another Public Speaking Workshop in 2004. When asked how LI trainings have helped him, Paul said, “I've always been a good writer and have never struggled putting ideas on paper, but public speaking and on-camera speaking were never my strengths. I learned how to be much more poised and use [LI] techniques to make my points stronger. These techniques helped me interview for my current job and help me very day as I attempt to communicate the message of liberty to a New Mexico audience.” “The Leadership Institute is the granddaddy of conservative training organizations,” Paul said. “If you ever want to run for office, work for a political campaign, volunteer for a candidate, or want to maximize your effectiveness in working with a political party, be sure to attend [one of their trainings].” We welcome Paul Gessing as LI's Grad of the Week! Thank you for all you do to defend liberty in New Mexico. If you would like to learn public speaking and TV techniques like Paul, visit our schedule of upcoming trainings. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Students learn media manners at LI’s Advanced Public Relations School this week
Noelle Huffman and Lauren Hart
August 5, 2011
Students learn media manners at LI’s Advanced Public Relations School this week
August 5, 2011, Arlington, VA— “Be a resource,” Jim Eltringham, vice president of Advocacy Group, Inc, said. “You will always go back to your resources, so mind your media manners!” Students learned how to develop media manners this week at the Leadership Institute's Advanced Public Relations School. Constructing appropriate responses in crises situations, writing effective press releases, conducting informative interviews, and holding focused press conferences were among the many topics addressed by expert faculty. LI Faculty member Ian Ivey, program expert at General Services Administration, shared tips for helpful argumentation. “No matter how brilliant the response, if you are slow on uptake, your communications strategy will fail.” “Timing is the most important aspect,” Ian continued, “you must have targeted and emotional communication, while getting it out fast enough to be effective. You must get your message out before it's framed.” For LI student Sam Sheetz who works in U.S. Representative Sam Johnson's office, the most important skill gained was “learning how to perform under pressure and answer tough questions.” Peter Smith, another student at this week's Advanced PR School, summed up his experience: “It's a fun, educational experience with value regardless of the profession; it opens your eyes to new perspectives and helps develop new skills. The school is a valuable resource.” Ian discussed strategies to assess numerous “plays” enacted in public relations, both good and bad. Students interacted with the faculty members to determine specific PR techniques in proposed situations. “Just because you run a play doesn't mean it will work,” Ian warned. “Even if you know what the play is.” LI student Jennifer Lundy, project assistant at Areva Enrichment Services, described the training as “a great place to learn, to network, and to advance the conservative movement in many aspects of your life.” She plans to use her newly acquired skills in “future campaign or political opportunities to shape the message and win.” Vice President of Advocacy Group Inc. and former LI staffer Jim Eltringham communicated the four critical “R's” when dealing with the media: relationship, response, respect, and resource. In order to attain all four, “you must get your foot in the door and make it easy for a reporter to pay attention to you,” Jim explained. “Boil complex issues down so they can be understood quickly.” Jim urged students to “argue factually and pointedly and to never assume yourself off the record.” In order to apply the many media techniques addressed, Erik Hower at AT&T and Eric Slee of the DCI Group held a mock press conference. Students divided into teams and prepared remarks to present in front of “reporters.” Challenging questions were encouraged and all participants received valuable feedback on their comments. Bryan Fuentes of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society said, “I learn something new every time I attend the Leadership Institute.” You too can learn new techniques in communication and other areas. Check out LI's upcoming trainings here to register early and receive a discount.
LI’s Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast Welcomes Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist
Noelle Huffman and Lauren Hart
August 4, 2011
LI’s Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast Welcomes Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist
August 4, 2011, Arlington, VA— “We must recognize that there is a difference between compromise and losing,” explained Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), to the Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast attendees yesterday. “We slowed the march toward statism and are moving in the right direction.” A crowd of 86 conservatives filled LI yesterday morning to hear from the acclaimed tax reform promoter. Grover discussed the nature of the current fiscal crisis as well as his organization's role in promoting limited government through the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. By way of a written commitment candidates and elected officials in federal and state offices pledge to oppose all tax increases. “The pledge makes possible elected official credibility,” said Grover. “Voters know who they are voting for when candidates put their promises in writing.” The pledge has been signed by all but six GOP leaders in the U.S. House and seven in the U.S. Senate, according to the ATR website. Two-hundred and thirty-six U.S. representatives and 41 senators have made a written commitment to not raise taxes on the American people. Their website also reports that more than 1,263 state legislators have signed the pledge, including: 13 governors, 5 lieutenant governors, 4 attorney generals, 3 secretaries of state, 3 treasurers, 1 auditor, and 1 board of equalization member. Conservatives are united against expansive government spending and in favor of individual responsibility. “It is not necessary for all to agree on what to do with liberty, but it is necessary that we all have liberty. Politically we are on the same page,” Grover said. “The tea party is a visible part of the conservative movement and they care about spending. It acts as a hammer that says, ‘Don't spend too much.' It has effectively made spending a vote moving issue and acts as a mechanism for reigning in government spending.” With increased pressure from grassroots conservatives in holding candidates and elected officials' feet to the fire, Washington is on the path to responsible spending, despite minor setbacks, Grover said. He is hopeful about this new direction. Although the fiscal situation is far from ideal, “taxes have not been increased,” Grover said, “and the nation saw dollar for dollar spending cuts for every raise in the debt ceiling.” “If one side is moving East and the other West, there is no room for compromise,” Grover noted, “however, if we're moving, someone's winning and we just won—two and a half trillion dollars are off the table.” Grover affirmed that the country has taken a step in the right direction. “This is a small battle—it was only the first budget cut, not the last. It set the rules for the fight and will make it easier to win.” The next Wake-Up Club Breakfast scheduled for September 7th will host Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation. For more information and to RSVP, please go here.
LI Graduate of the Week: Annette James, campaign manager for Virginia House of Delegates Candidate Mike Watson
Lauren Hart and Mariya Swella
July 25, 2011
LI Graduate of the Week: Annette James, campaign manager for Virginia House of Delegates Candidate Mike Watson
v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:.5in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} The Leadership Institute's featured graduate of the week is Annette James, who works as the campaign manager for Virginia House of Delegates Candidate Mike Watson in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. The two met each other at LI's Campaign Manager School in December 2010 and decided to team up for Mike's campaign. “LI is one of the best things that you can do if you are interested in politics,” Annette said. “The amount of information you receive is a bit like ‘drinking from a fire hose.'" She continued, "The experience at LI was amazing. Not only did I learn more than I could retain, I was thrilled to spend the entire week around people who were proud to wear the political junkie label, as was I. It was an entire room full of people that you could relate to and share stories with. "One of those people was Mike Watson. The first time we had a chance to talk I thought, ‘This guy should run for office.' When I asked him if he had considered it, he said he had, but it was not time yet. "Over the next couple of months Mike and I stayed in touch, bemoaning Washington politics and speculating on the upcoming 2012 presidential candidates. When redistricting put Mike into an unexpected district, it was a natural move for him to file the paperwork and run for office, as his heart was already in it. “Because Mike felt comfortable with my background,” Annette said, “and the common ground we had from LI, he made me an offer to join the campaign as his campaign manager.” Annette, from Florida, moved to Virginia to campaign for Mike. She's prepared to manage his campaign thanks to Institute training. Annette has attended five trainings at the Leadership Institute varying from the Event Planning Workshop, the Travel Campaign Management School, the Public Speaking Workshop, the Youth Leadership School, and the Campaign Management School. “Of course," Annette said, "for obvious reasons, the part of LI that I value the most is the networking. You will never find a whole room of people more similar to you in their political drive than at LI." To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Largest On Record:  LI’s Written Communications Workshop Welcomes 114 Aspiring Communicators
Noelle Huffman and Lauren Hart
July 21, 2011
Largest On Record: LI’s Written Communications Workshop Welcomes 114 Aspiring Communicators
July 21, 2011, Arlington, VA—Efficient social media, impactful journalism, conservative media trends, and relevant Op-Eds, press releases, and media advisories are all essential aspects of effective communication. At this week's largest-ever Leadership Institute Written Communications Workshop students learned how to acquire and apply these very tools in public policy. LI welcomed more than 114 current and aspiring political writers who had the pleasure of learning from expert faculty such as Lindsey Mask, communications director for Congressman McKeon; Amanda Carpenter, senior communications advisor for Senator DeMint; American Conservative Union CPAC Director Christopher Malagisi; and others. “LI provided me with training to improve my ability to communicate with our company leaders on a daily basis,” commented Scott McGeary, attorney and area manager at Washington Gas. Former LI staffer and the Daily Caller's Senior Contributor Matt Lewis spoke on the conservative media landscape and current trends. “Everyone has an opinion; everybody owns a megaphone and a ‘printing press'. You are competing against all who can press ‘print now,” Lewis said, referring to the waning practice of blogging and the movement from strictly opinion pieces to both opinion and fact-based writing. “People are looking for new information and substantial content: find your niche.” Lewis also exhorted students to be relevant and timely. “Be accurate, fair, and credible—and get it done five minutes ago! Timeliness in writing is so important—three or four minutes often make the difference. Be fast, accurate, and beat the other guy to the punch, but never sacrifice accuracy for speed.” Dan Graham, principle of Graham Associates, shared the importance of audience analysis, avoidance of logical errors in sentence structure, elimination of “deadwood” or ambivalent words, and comprehension and improvement of readability. Dan shared hints for capturing and holding the audience's attention: “The better you know someone, the better you can tell them what you do; present tense is conducive, as opposed to speculative future tense; when writing in the passive voice, you have readers guessing wrong.” Christopher Malagisi, director of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) of the American Conservative Union, outlined the elements of an effective op-ed and Communications Director Lindsey Mask touched on the basic components and variance of successful press releases and media advisories. “The best writers are those who niche themselves in one or two specific areas,” Chris said. “A lot of people in politics are generalists—what is one unique thing that can set you apart? You may want to weigh in on the national political environment, but you are an expert on what is going on in your community.” Students enjoyed interacting with each other and faculty members, while gaining valuable insights into the current political writing scene. Areva Enrichment Services Project Assistant Jennifer Lundy described the training as “a great way to learn and network with fellow conservatives.” Intern Brianna Walden of the Family Research Council said, “Many concepts that I had floating around in my head were really defined and nailed down at this workshop. My biggest take-away: develop your own niche.” Brianna summarized her experience: “The Leadership Institute offers thorough and enlightening training sessions and the Written Communications Workshop was no exception. I gained practical tools that will help me throughout life whether I enter a career in communications or not.” She went onto conclude: “I am now better equipped to market myself online and have gained the tools to help my writing in everyday life.” Please click here to register for an upcoming LI training.
LI’s Youth Leadership School Last Weekend—“Encouraging, enlightening, and excellent”
Noelle Huffman and Lauren Hart
July 15, 2011
LI’s Youth Leadership School Last Weekend—“Encouraging, enlightening, and excellent”
Each summer hundreds of competing weekend events and excursions fill the time of DC students and interns. Instead of hitting the beach, an amusement park, or one of the many local DC attractions, 129 conservative students spent two full days and nights learning how to become more effective conservative activists at the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School. Leah Courtney of the University of West Florida said, “You learn more in two days than in the four years it takes to get a political science degree.” Students representing 74 colleges, 30 states, 20 Capitol Hill offices, 19 conservative organizations, and four countries heard from excellent speakers, networked with their classmates, earned a pile of conservative books and literature, and most importantly, left with the tools needed to advance their values. The Youth Leadership School is a two-day, intensive training designed to teach young conservatives how to effectively organize young people for conservative candidates and causes. Students gained a wealth of information that prepared them for leadership, building an organization, handling media and public relations, holding mock elections, and staging a candidate's campus visit. San Jose State University student Nithin Mathew founded a conservative group on his campus and said, “If you are serious about being effective on campaigns or college groups, LI is the boot camp to attend.” In addition to hearing from experts, students engaged in various exercises to implement some of the newly learned techniques. One exercise placed students in a hypothetical crises situation and encouraged them to work with each other on composing a political strategy in a brief amount of time. “I plan on implementing the strategies I learned at LI the next time I work on a campaign,” explained Alicia Powe, a former student at John Jay College and founder of a conservative college club. “I would describe [the training] as a political boot camp worth every moment. It helps you build skills that you can take with you no matter what profession you are in.” James Sturch, a student at University of Arkansas - Little Rock, described the training as, "The best training I've ever had- encouraging, enlightening, and excellent." LI hosts more than 30 Youth Leadership Schools throughout the country each year. If you would like to organize a Youth Leadership School on your campus, please contact LI's Youth Leadership School Director Kent Strang.
More than 800 Conservatives Celebrate Independence Day at the 40th Annual Soiree
Noelle Huffman and Lauren Hart
July 13, 2011
More than 800 Conservatives Celebrate Independence Day at the 40th Annual Soiree
This Independence Day more than 800 conservatives joined many sponsoring organizations to celebrate freedom, family, friends, faith, and good food at the 40th National Conservative Fourth of July Soiree. Guests enjoyed an array of homemade desserts and barbeque as well as good conversation with current and future political leaders, such as Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. While adults listened to speakers and competed in the National Conservative Fourth of July Soiree Quiz, children enjoying a variety of activities at the Kid's Tent. Children got the thrill of playing with goats and chickens at the petting zoo, jumping on the giant moon bounce, having their face painted, participating in field games as well as arts & crafts, and licking snow cones and munching on popcorn. Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute, welcomed many local candidates to share their ideas on preserving our country's principles, while offering voters the opportunity to connect with their prospective political leaders. Speakers ranged from those running for U.S. Senate and House positions, to those pursuing state senate and delegate spots. After hearing briefly from candidates Morton announced the keynote speaker Ken Cuccinelli. The attorney general was greeted with enthusiastic applause and pleased the crowd. He spoke about the disregard for the rule of law in specific cases, such as in the healthcare bill. By lending insights taken from years of personal experience, the attorney general stressed the need for conservatives to take action. The entire event was possible through the support of Soiree sponsors. Sponsors include: • 60 Plus Association • Americans for Prosperity Foundation • Being American • Citizens United • Eberle Associates • Fairfax Christian School • Government is Not God (Religious Freedom Coalition) • Gun Owners of America • The Heritage Foundation • Let Freedom Ring • Morgan, Meredith & Associates • National Rifle Association - ILA • National Right to Work • Reagan Institute • Robertson School of Government • Stephen Clouse & Associates • Tea Party Review Magazine • The Conservative Caucus, Inc. • TriMark Corporation • Young Americans for Liberty • Young America's Foundation • Youth for Western Civilization Thank you to all who came out and celebrated the birth of our exceptional nation, and please plan ahead to celebrate with us next July 4th. We invite you to continue partnering with us as we train conservative leaders so that together we can promote the freedoms celebrated this Independence Day.
Graduate of the Week: Raymond Johnson, a Political Newcomer’s Path to Victory
Lauren Hart and Mariya Swella
July 5, 2011
Graduate of the Week: Raymond Johnson, a Political Newcomer’s Path to Victory
July 5, 2011, Arlington, VA— Despite having no political family connections or a deep-pocket money purse, Raymond Johnson has shaped political campaigns in Northeast Florida in a very tangible way. He started Campaign Consulting Enterprises, LLC, a company that seeks to place Christian conservatives in public office, and has launched Biblical Concepts Ministries, a non-profit Christian ministry that teaches Biblical concepts of government in church and political groups nationally. Raymond also serves as the Northeast Florida chairman of United Christians of Florida, a statewide PAC. Raymond, like many other Americans, got involved in politics during the transition from the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration. Raymond recalls, “As a conservative Christian I saw the need to involve more Christians in the process and elect Christians to office.” Since completing the Leadership Institute's Campaign Manager School in 2008, he has won 4 of 7 campaigns he's worked on. Raymond worked on Matt Schellenberg's campaign for city council district 6 in Jacksonville, FL and says, “I credit LI for teaching me the needed skills applied to defeat our sitting city council president here in Jacksonville, FL.” Mr. Schellenberg ran against the incumbent city council president Jack Webb and won by a 6-point margin with just a difference of 1,005 votes. “I assumed the role of field and faith-based director for Schellenberg's campaign and applied some unique strategies, some of which I learned from LI [at their Grassroots Activist School in December 2009].” Raymond says, “During this campaign I actually experienced a situation discussed at LI. The campaign coordinator of our opponent—council president Jack Webb—was caught in the act of stealing our commercial campaign signs and dumping them in a retention pond. I was able to draw from the LI school as I knew catching a suspect and getting media coverage was a must.” “I was able to find a witness, get the witness to file a witness statement in addition to the police report, and get the witness to tell his story to the media. We had several stories aired and one written,” Raymond said. Raymond prides himself on assisting conservative Christian candidates. He works a faith-based outreach campaign that allows him to reach out to churches and Christians in the state of Florida to endorse these candidates. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI’s International Department Returns to Mongolia to Train an Additional 500 Conservatives
Lauren Hart
June 28, 2011
LI’s International Department Returns to Mongolia to Train an Additional 500 Conservatives
June 27, 2011, Arlington, VA— Next week from July 2-8 the Leadership Institute's international programs department will go again to Mongolia to train around 500 key leaders in government, politics, and business, as well as those seeking public office and those who will run and contribute in the next presidential campaign. The Leadership Institute has currently trained more than 1,000 key Mongolian leaders in Arlington, Virginia, USA and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Leadership Institute International Programs Consultant Torey Hall met with Mongolia's President Tsakhia Elbegdorj last week when he was in town for meetings with President Obama and several conservative organizations. Mr. Elbegdorj was overjoyed that Mongolia has established democracy after 65 years of a communist government. “We will build a strong relationship with the USA and emulate President Ronald Reagan," President Elbegdorj said. President Elbegdorj, accompanied by his personal advisor and LI Graduate Mrs. Battsetseg Shagdar, was very happy to see LI's Torey Hall. He expressed great enthusiasm and thanked LI for training those who ran his political campaign, as well as other Mongolian business leaders and social entrepreneurs. LI's Director of International Programs Miguel Moreno and three other LI international speakers will address several audiences of key Mongolian leaders in the capital Ulaanbaatar next week.
Graduate of the Week—Aspiring Politico Hilary Ranieri
Noelle Huffman
June 27, 2011
Graduate of the Week—Aspiring Politico Hilary Ranieri
June 27, 2011, Arlington, VA— For college senior Hilary Ranieri, the high school debate team sparked more than just an increased interest in politics. It launched a young career in politics. Hilary first learned of the Leadership Institute when she attended the Youth Leadership Training Conference the summer after her junior year of high school. “I just loved being in Washington, D.C., speaking with and listening to members of Congress, participating in a mock Senate, and learning more about the political arena,” she explained. The conference piqued Hilary's interest in politics, law, and the media, which led her to intern for law firms, the American Association of Christian Schools, and Senator Jim DeMint (SC), by whom she is currently employed. When Hilary learned of LI's June Public Relations School, she jumped at the chance to attend. “I thought it looked and sounded very interesting and educational.” Hilary's hopes for the school were more than met. “I am really glad I attended! I learned so much and now know more of what I should do when participating in an interview or even if I'm ever in a media crisis. The lecturers at the school were very knowledgeable and kept my attention,” she said. “I'm really thankful that LI has these kinds of opportunities available, especially for interns,” Hilary added. “They're extremely helpful.” As Hilary looks forward to her future – her last year of college and beyond – she finds many opportunities on her horizon. “After a few years of working on [Capitol] Hill, I'd like to go to law school,” Hilary said. “Afterward, I'd like to either continue working on the Hill as a legislative correspondent or assistant, possibly running for political office, or practicing law as a prosecuting criminal attorney.” To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact Lauren Hart, LI's External Affairs Officer.
Public Speaking Workshop--Tools for Both the Amateur and the Veteran Presenter
Lauren Hart
June 23, 2011
Public Speaking Workshop--Tools for Both the Amateur and the Veteran Presenter
June 23, 2011, Arlington, VA— Conveying a message is more than the simple articulation of ideas; it involves stylistic and intentional verbiage, appropriate hand gestures and body movements, and a correct understanding of the audience. Last week, 15 students learned how to relay an effective message through persuasive delivery at the Leadership Institute's Public Speaking Workshop. Roncalli Communications President Dr. John Shosky discussed the importance of crafting goals for a speech based on the message and audience. “I know that I benefited greatly from Dr. Shoskey's discussion on the substance of a good speech,” remarked student Andrew Patterson from Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Ian Ivey, program expert for General Services Administration, taught four roles imperative to becoming an excellent presenter. “You must be an expert, an owner, a performer, and a teacher through preparation and practice.” Accompanied by energetic gestures and exclamations, Ian shared various tips for effective communication: “Know 10 times what you'll tell them; write good transitions that effectively relate things to one another; when your mouth is moving, you're looking at someone's eyes; intent is not result.” Student Caitlin Byrd, assistant policy analyst at the National Tax Payers Union Foundation, said, “Both speakers were unique and had different deliveries, but were equally effective and very influential.” Andrew summed up his experience at the workshop. “The Leadership Institute's Public Speaking Workshop provides public speaking tools that can be used by both the amateur and veteran presenter.” To learn how to receive this training and others, please click here.
LI Grad of the Week: Former Tax Reform Activist and Conservative News Associate Editor Michele Kirk
Lauren Hart
June 20, 2011
LI Grad of the Week: Former Tax Reform Activist and Conservative News Associate Editor Michele Kirk
June 20, 2011, Arlington, VA—Michele Kirk, a former tax reform activist turned political consultant and BizPac Review's Associate Editor, is the Leadership Institute's Graduate of the Week. Michele is the proud mother of three boys, one who serves honorably as a United States Marine. She and her husband, Chris, have been small business owners in Palm Beach County, Florida for more than ten years. Michele has attended three LI trainings—Activist and Campaign School in February, Youth Leadership School in March, and the intensive week-long Campaign Management School in May. In an article for the Bizpac Review, a conservative news website, Leadership Institute graduate Michele Kirk praised LI training declaring, “This is how we win!” Having just attended the Campaign Management School, she wrote “my recent discovery of the school feels like the uncovering of a massive buried treasure.” To read the complete article from the BizPac Review please click here. Interested in learning the skills Michele praised? Click here for the LI Training calendar The Leadership Institute recognizes Michele for her work as an activist and thanks her for sharing her LI experience with BizPac Review readers.
LI’s Conservative Intern Workshop: Becoming an Unforgettable Asset
Noelle Huffman
June 17, 2011
LI’s Conservative Intern Workshop: Becoming an Unforgettable Asset
June 17, 2011, Arlington, VA- Last week, the Leadership Institute welcomed over 122 DC-area summer interns to the Conservative Intern Workshop. Representing numerous states and organizations, interns enthusiastically engaged in discussions with speakers and networked with each other throughout the intensive, day-long event. Topics ranged from learning how to navigate DC and making the most of an internship, to constructing an effective resume and building a valuable network. “Become an unforgettable asset,” said Steve Sutton, vice president of development at LI. “You want to be the ‘go to' guy. Show initiative and do more than the minimum.” Sutton encouraged interns to “press the advantage by always doing the job of the person ahead of you. If you want the job, do the job. And, never say no for someone else.” Students also learned how to translate first impressions into lasting impressions. Brian Bernys, national field director at LI, explained that manners are the hallmark of profession presence and that there is no end to making first impressions. “You need 60 seconds of information to position who you are, why you're important, and why people should remember you. Know yourself through self-assessment.” Andrea McCarthy, director of employment placement services at LI, shared tips on how to get your resume noticed. Student Bennet Opitz, intern of the American Legislative Exchange Council, described the training as “a great learning experience. I learned a lot about constructing a resume and forming it to fit my future career path.” The workshop concluded with CPAC Director Chris Malagisi of the American Conservative Union instructing interns that networking is not only helpful, it is critical. “Networking today equals opportunities tomorrow; it is an investment in your future.” Malagisi emphasized that following up on connections is the most important aspect in building an effective network. “In politics, most opportunities result from a single independent human being. The follow up can make or break a network.” “The networking talk was especially good because it shared how to take advantage of more opportunities while in DC. It really matters who you know,” commented Kevin Schafer, intern of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. This year's annual workshop was the largest yet. Students enjoyed the energy, relevance, and interactive nature of the speakers. Intern Stephanie Jaczkowski of the National Taxpayer's Union summed up her experience: “This was nothing like any other workshop I've been to. The speakers were respected professionals and captivatingly witty. It exceeded my expectations a hundredfold!”
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