On November 12-13, alumni, supporters and board members attended the annual Leadership Network Conference in Palm Beach, Fla.
The weekend was filled with meetings of TFAS leadership as well as sessions with experts analyzing the 2010 elections and current public policy issues.
Alumni were welcomed to Florida at a happy hour on Thursday, November 11 at E.R. Bradley’s Saloon in West Palm Beach. More than 25 people attended, including a few south Florida area alumni and members of the Alumni Council. The group became acquainted with one another and enjoyed light appetizers on the outdoor patio.
The conference kicked off the following day with meetings of the Alumni Council and Boards of Trustees and Regents. Once business was completed, guests had the unique opportunity to hear a variety of fascinating speakers.
Alumnus Will Weatherford (B 02), a state representative from Florida, spoke to guests at the opening dinner about how his experience at the Institute on Business and Government Affairs inspired him to run for office and engage in the political process.
Another alumnus, Stephen Hayes (A 94) of FOX News and The Weekly Standard, sat on a panel with his colleague and TFAS trustee Fred Barnes. The two discussed the post-election landscape, noting that in the 2010 election independents returned to the Republican fold.
TFAS faculty members were also represented in the lineup of speakers. IPVS professor James Otteson spoke on the topic of the American political experiment, while ICPES professor Ben Powell discussed market systems in the United States and abroad. Joshua Mitchell, former IPVS professor, talked about his experience in Iraq over the past three years.
Other headliners included John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations, who focused on the implications of the elections in relation to international issues, and Stuart Varney of FOX Business Network.
Varney gave an optimistic talk about the future of the American economy, noting that immigration and a robust birth rate in the United States gives the country an advantage over much of the developed world.
Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, spoke about American Exceptionalism and the need to return American public policy to its traditional roots of limited government and free market economic policies.
In their free time guests enjoyed the beautiful white sand beaches at the Four Seasons, while a group of alumni and staff took part in a beach volleyball game.