Anne and Charles Willey – St. Louis, Missouri

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In Member Stories

The WilleysWhen asked why they are conservatives, Heritage Foundation members Charles and Anne Willey have a ready answer. Personal liberty, self-reliance and limited government are important principles, they say. And Americans, they add, do not need or want meddling, ill-informed government butting into their lives.

The best government, in their view, is a limited government defined by the rule of law. Problems are best solved, innovations are created and the human condition is improved when individuals and voluntary associations of individuals act in their mutual self-interest.

Anne explains:

We are deeply frustrated with a government which manipulates its citizenry through tax incentives and entitlements to encourage dependency, picking winners and losers, and swelling the debt and budget of the country. We are frustrated with a government which over-criminalizes its citizenry to engineer liberal progressivism into all parts of our lives: our health care, our families and social choices, our education, our energy choices, the media, and our businesses and banking enterprises, among others.

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Member Story: James M. Knott Sr., Whitinsville, MA

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In Member Stories

James M. Knott Sr.

Heritage member James M. Knott, Sr. started a small business—and had to face down regulators.

No one knows better than James Knott, Sr. the dangers and frustrations overzealous regulatory agencies impose on small business owners. In fact, among the issues that concern him most is our “lack of control over bureaucrats.”

And no wonder: Knott, a Heritage Foundation member since 1999, has faced challenges from both OSHA and the EPA at Riverdale Mills Corporation, where he serves as president. However, having “experienced attempted brutality by bureaucrats” has only strengthened his conservative beliefs.

Knott represents many Americans who have worked hard as entrepreneurs. Ever since his honorable discharge in 1956 from the United States Army as a first lieutenant, he has been self-employed. Riverdale Mills provides products used for lobster traps, erosion control, poultry farm flooring and security fencing.

But in 1997, bureaucrats in Washington butted in. Continue Reading »

Member Story: John Amanchukwu–Raleigh, North Carolina

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Mr. and Mrs. John Amanchukwu

Heritage member John Amanchukwu, shown here with his wife, believes strongly in Heritage's conservative mission.

Heritage Patriots Club member John Amanchukwu is the 27-year-old executive director of the Upper Room Christian Academy, a private school in Raleigh, NC that serves students pre-K through 12th grade.

A Christian first and a conservative second, John says he came to conservatism because of his biblical principles. Now that he is a father, leader, minister and school leader, he shares these same principles with the people that he serves.

John loves sharing conservative answers to today’s issues. The Heritage Foundation, he says, contributes to this love by providing information that helps conservatives frame their arguments.

Conservative ideas offer solutions to today’s problems, he argues: Continue Reading »

Michael Giobbe – Boca Grande, Florida

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Michael Giobbe

Michael Giobbe views his membership in the Heritage Legacy Society as a sound investment

To say that Heritage Foundation member Michael Giobbe knows a thing or two about finance would be quite an understatement considering he’s spent his entire professional life working on Wall Street. Given Mike’s thorough understanding of finances, it should come as no surprise that one of the ways he’s chosen to support The Heritage Foundation’s work is to establish multiple charitable gift annuities.

“There’s only so much I can do as an individual,” says Mike. “Supporting Heritage is a way for me to turn my resources into action. It’s important for me to have a voice on Capitol Hill, and Heritage is that voice.”

Mike was immediately intrigued by the idea of using charitable gift annuities to support Heritage’s long-range efforts, and he’s established multiple annuities over the years. Continue Reading »

Member Story: Joe Simonds – Houston, TX

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In Member Stories

Loren and Joe Simonds with their daughter.

Loren and Joe Simonds hope their new daughter will grow up in an America more committed to conservative principles.

Having just brought a baby girl into this world, Young President’s Club member Joe Simonds fears his daughter won’t know what it means to be a proud American by the age of 10. “I fear that she could be expelled from school from saying a prayer or perhaps even the pledge of Allegiance because it contains the word ‘God’ in it.”

“Our country was built on conservative principles,” he says. “That is what has made us so unique and powerful as a nation. My fear is we have completely lost sight of what got us here in the first place.” Continue Reading »

Member Story: Tim and Rebecca Kachuriak – Dallas, TX

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In Member Stories

Tim and Rebecca Kachuriak

Tim and Rebecca Kachuriak

When asked why he’s a conservative, Heritage Young President’s Club member Tim Kachuriak responds, “I suppose the default answer is because I was raised that way. But it’s definitely not the same answer for my bride.” 

Rebecca, Tim’s wife and a fellow Heritage Young President’s Club member, did not share the same conservative upbringing as her husband. 

“Funny back-story, I was raised liberal,” Rebecca says. She admits she voted for Al Gore in 2000. 

But despite differences in their ideological rearing, Tim and Rebecca have long held one fundamental belief in common: The sanctity of all human life. It is the pro-life cause that forms the core of their now shared conservative beliefs. After all, “without life,” Kachuriak explains, “all other issues are meaningless.” Continue Reading »

Member Story: Dana Blauvelt – Ellenville, NY

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In Member Stories

Dana Blauvelt

Dana Blauvelt, a member of Heritage's Young Leaders Program

Adjusting to life as an intern at The Heritage Foundation was probably the easiest transition I have ever made. As a student from a conservative college with a strong background in America’s founding principles, there couldn’t have been a better fit for me this summer.

Nor could my experience have come at a better time. I have had the privilege of a front row seat in the theater of American politics at a time of unprecedented fiscal debate. I was able to promote essential conservative principles while being exposed to heated political discourse. The textbook knowledge I gained in my economics, American history and Constitutional law classes came alive in Washington as I dug deeper into the reasoning behind the latest legislative proposals. Continue Reading »

Member Story: Ken Gardner – Fort Worth, TX

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Ken Gardner

Ken Gardner

Like most organizations, Heritage relies on our members and supporters to get the message out about our research to their friends and family. Ken Gardner is one of The Heritage Foundation’s most effective supporters on social media, promoting our work to his friends and family on a daily basis.

Despite working full-time as a lawyer tackling issues unrelated to politics, Ken works hard spreading Heritage research to his fan base on Twitter and Facebook. When the Morning Bell is sent each day, for example, Ken posts snippets of the most relevant information to 4,000 Twitter followers. Continue Reading »

Member Story: Kimberly Squire — Los Angeles, CA

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In Member Stories

Kimberly Squire, Member of Heritage Young Leaders Program and Young President’s Club

Moving to Washington, DC from Los Angeles, CA was a huge transition for me — it was quite the culture shock. But my passion for public policy and conservatism was enough to lead me to accept an internship with The Heritage Foundation. And I could not be happier with my decision.

My time at Heritage has been a wonderful experience intellectually, professionally, and socially. I made the right choice!

Not only have I learned a great deal about our nation’s rich, conservative heritage, I have developed a deeper understanding of why I am conservative and how important the work that we accomplish here is. It was fascinating to attend weekly briefings and lectures from some of the nation’s foremost scholars on topics ranging from health care and entitlement reform to first principles and their relevance to today’s public policy debates. Continue Reading »

Member Story: Wes Lippman — Washington, D.C.

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In Member Stories

Heritage Young President's Club Member Wes Lippman

“America should be proud of what it is and what it stands for,” says proud American and Heritage Foundation Young President’s Club Member Wes Lippman.

So what does America stand for? In Lippman’s own words, his homeland represents:

Constitutionally-based self-government… a unique exception to the idea that people are subservient to their governments and that their “betters” must decide for them how to act, think, and thrive.

It is this deep understanding of American exceptionalism, Lippman explains, that has assumed a defining role in his life, both politically and professionally.

“I’m a conservative because I believe very strongly in individual freedom,” he says, “and that the size and scope of government must be constantly checked and curtailed.”

His belief in American ideals inspired Lippman to join the United States Marine Corps. “It was very important to me that I serve my country in a meaningful way, and the Marine Corps provided the perfect opportunity to do so. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and was a truly singular and life-changing experience.”

As a former Marine Corps officer and a young conservative,  Lippman, 29, finds himself most interested in issues relating to national defense.

“America is and should always remain a force of good throughout the world,” he explains, so we must maintain our capacity and strength.

Military strength is something to be proud of, he continues: “At no point in history has such a powerful country acted with such restraint and had such a positive impact on the rest of the world.”

After graduating from Dartmouth College and completing his military service, Lippman studied business at the University of Virginia. He now puts his MBA to good use as a consultant at IBM.

So how has Lippman kept up with politics amidst this busy life? “Heritage is one of the primary ways I stay involved in conservative politics and abreast of current conservative thought and research.”

Like many Heritage Foundation members, Wes Lippman believes deeply in our nation and her people.  We’re proud to have him at our side.

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