Mike Rothfeld has more than three decades of experience as a political activist. He works with major organizations on virtually every conservative issue, both as a political operator and professional direct marketer. In addition, he has decades of senior campaign experience at the local, state, federal, and presidential levels.
He founded and built the National Association for Gun Rights and is the founder and President of the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership. He is a retired homeschooling father of four and grandfather.
Kirk Shelley started working in grassroots politics in North Carolina as a college activist on the late Senator Jessie Helms’ 1984 campaign. Following college, he completed his Officer Basic Course for the Army, and was then hired to work in state legislation by the National Right to Work Committee.
In seven years with the Oklahoma Freedom to Work Committee, Kirk created a 110,000-member organization.
As a general consultant, Kirk has worked on 237 State House and Senate campaigns in ten states, with a success rate of 89 percent. He has worked on a number of Congressional and statewide races and was a senior consultant for both the Ron Paul and Rand Paul presidential campaigns. He also worked for eight years as the senior consultant for State Operations for Campaign for Liberty. He has successfully completed legislative and election projects in 49 states.
Kirk has worked on a range of issues, including gun rights, homeschooling, right to life, medical scope of practice, property rights, superfund reform, tort reform and transportation issues. His work has included grassroots and grasstops mobilization, media work, campaign management, convention consulting and candidate recruitment.
He has taken the lessons learned from many years of practical political experience and created much of the material taught by the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership and was the Foundation’s first instructor.
Kirk is a graduate of East Carolina University. He is a father of four, lives in Oklahoma City, and is an active member of Crossings Community Church. He is an honorably discharged Captain of the U.S. Army Reserves and is a veteran of Operation Just Cause.
Dave Pridgeon is a grassroots activist from Harford County, Maryland, where he built a successful Campaign for Liberty organization. Dave has participated in numerous local elections, helping get constitutionally-minded candidates elected to office for County Council, Sheriff, Mayor of Aberdeen, and numerous spots on the county Republican Central Committee.
Dave has also been active at the state level, helping defeat both a sanctuary state and a Section 8 housing bill at the Maryland legislature.
He helped lead a successful statewide effort to replace Maryland Republican National Committeeman Louis Pope, who was responsible for numerous RNC rules limiting the ability of the grassroots to affect the party, particularly during election season.
Dave was employed with the 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaign and was responsible for finding and developing state leaders. Since 2012, he worked first with Campaign for Liberty, and now with the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership to help constitutionally-minded individuals start grassroots organizations and to train existing organizations and activists to be more effective and politically dangerous.
For over 30 years, he has been a Civil War reenactor and has helped raise millions of dollars for battlefield preservation. One of his proudest accomplishments is burying the modern-day power line at the scene of Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. For his tireless work in helping to preserve our nation’s history, he has received awards from organizations such as the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
Dave and his wife have been married nearly 40 years. He is a proud father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
John Tate is a life-long political and public policy activist. He started working the polls at age 8 and managed his first campaign at age 14.
He is the founder and President of JFT Consulting, Inc., a political non-profit consulting firm specializing in political strategy and management, fundraising, strategic planning, and grassroots lobbying. He’s worked on hundreds of campaigns at the local, state and federal levels in more than 40 states.
John has over 40 years of political experience in fundraising, direct mail, political strategy, and grassroots activism. A long-time convention operative, John has worked conventions for races from County Supervisor to U.S. Senate, including Oliver North for Senate, where he also served as Chairman of the Convention Rules Committee, and Mike Farris for Lt. Governor (the two largest assembled political conventions in American history).
He has worked conventions in more than 40 states, including for presidential races like Pat Robertson’s 1988 run. John was the Campaign Manager for the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign and served as National Political Director for the 2008 Ron Paul Presidential Campaign.
Previously, John served as President of Campaign for Liberty, a 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying organization that he founded and grew out of the 2008 Ron Paul Presidential Campaign.
After its founding in June of 2008, Campaign for Liberty grew to over 700,000 active members nationwide, with 23 state chapters and an annual budget of over $8 million.
Prior to joining Campaign for Liberty, John served as a Vice President at Leadership Institute and spent 14 years at the National Right to Work Committee, including five years as Vice President.
In 1996, John was the GOP nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District.
John is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in History. He has five children and five grandchildren (and counting). He and his wife, Beth, currently live in Ruckersville, Virginia with their three rescue dogs and a 29-year-old Goffin’s cockatoo.
Alex Salsman is a gun rights activist and Republican campaign strategist from the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri.
Inspired by her first FACL class, Alex co-founded NoMoCommonCore, an effort aimed at ending Common Core State Standards in Missouri.
She later joined the Missouri Firearms Coalition, a no-compromise gun rights advocacy group, as their Political Director, lobbying for gun rights in the halls of her state Capitol and has recently been appointed to their Executive Board. She has also facilitated tens of thousands of legal gun sales to law-abiding citizens as the Executive Director for Militia Armaments Gun Shows.
Alex manages political campaigns ranging from Mayoral to Congressional races. Her proudest victories include ousting her two-term incumbent Prosecutor and her two-term incumbent Sheriff in heated hometown primaries. She has also replaced her local politicians with liberty-loving fiscal conservatives for State Representative, Mayor, and Public Administrator, has managed and directed Congressional and Gubernatorial races, and has worked as an Election Director for YAL’s “Win At The Door” program.
Alex was recently elected Vice-Chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Central Committee and is proud to be an instructor for the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership.
Austin Hein is a conservative, libertarian activist who first became involved in politics as a freshman in high school and has worked in the conservative movement ever since.
His first grassroots activism occurred in 2013 when he organized student groups which helped defeat a bill that would have banned concealed carry permits on college campuses.
Austin currently serves as the Director of Political Operations with the National Association for Gun Rights. In this role, he manages and directs the political team to influence and shape national gun policy. He works to oppose gun grabs from federal politicians and punish those who don't get in line.
Before working for NAGR, Austin served as the Communications Director for the Colorado House Republican Caucus under Representative Patrick Neville. In this role, he helped guide the Republican resistance to COVID lockdowns and mandates in the Legislature. Austin also served as an executive staff member for Congressman Thomas Massie in Washington, D.C. and worked on Sen. Rand Paul’s Senate and Presidential campaigns.
In 2022, Austin primary challenged the sitting House Republican Leader, causing his campaign and their allies to spend nearly $750,000 to save his seat. Using the tools taught to him by FACL, Austin earned more than 70% of the vote in the county Assembly process.
He lives in Weatherford, Texas with his wife, Shaina, and baby Heston.
Due to his uncompromising and relentless thirst for Liberty, Austin is becoming one of the most feared young activists in conservative politics.
Barrett Young is a Reformed Baptist, Libertarian, and conservative from Nixa, Missouri (the home of Jason Bourne).
Prior to his involvement in confrontational politics, Barrett was named “The Next Great Communicator” by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, participated as a Normandy Scholar at the Albert H. Small Normandy Institute, and served as a “Young Ambassador” through the Lafayette Debates program.
Starting as a member of Young Americans for Liberty’s (YAL) George Washington University chapter, Barrett would go on to serve as Chapter President and intern for Congressman Dave Brat on the Hill. Through the Koch Internship Program, Barrett interned at YAL before being hired as a Regional Director.
Barrett worked at YAL for four-and-a-half years before ending his time there as the Vice President of Grassroots, overseeing YAL’s Operation Win at the Door Program and YAL’s Hazlitt Action Program. By electing champions in the election season and conducting robust outside operations in the legislative season, Barrett has seen the FACL model succeed first-hand.
During Barrett’s time at YAL, he helped elect over 170 legislators to join YAL’s Hazlitt Coalition and helped pass Liberty legislation across the country, ranging from Constitutional Carry in Texas to School Choice in Missouri.
Barrett currently serves as the Executive Director of Make Liberty Win, a Liberty Carey Committee dedicated to electing Liberty legislators at the state legislative level. To date, Barrett has been directly involved in over 350 independent expenditure programs and political campaigns.
Bethany Young is the Legislative Director for Texas Gun Rights and a Regional Director at the National Association for Gun Rights, where she mobilized gun owners to pass Constitutional Carry in Texas and Georgia.
Bethany got her start volunteering for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s campaign, helping transition her Students for Rand chapter into a Young Americans for Liberty chapter after his reelection. She is a proud college dropout, quitting school to manage Young Americans for Liberty’s northeast region full-time.
She has carried out legislative and electoral programs across Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Virginia, organized over two hundred college activism events across the Midwest and the Northeast, and recruited for campaigns nationwide.
While working for Let Them Live, a pro-life charity, Bethany raised funds to save 27 children from abortion.
In the wake of the great COVID freak-out (and the associated tyranny), Bethany organized a successful mask mandate repeal in her childhood hometown. Bethany applied the confrontational model at the local level by mobilizing over 100 people to attend the County Board of Commissioners’ meeting and applied immense pressure in the form of phone calls, emails, and petitions. Ultimately, the COVID tyrant County Chairwoman lost reelection over this issue, bringing the model full- circle.
She now lives in Kyle, Texas with her husband, fellow FACL Instructor Barrett Young, and their gaggle of animals.
Chanel Prunier is the former Executive Director of the Renew Massachusetts Coalition, and currently consults for Saber Communications, Inc.
She attended her first Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership School in 2011 and used what she learned to lead the grassroots of Massachusetts to elect many new conservative and liberty members to their Massachusetts Republican State Committee in 2012.
Chanel was then elected Republican National Committeewoman in 2013 and encouraged reform of the state Party to focus more on building a ground game and electing state legislators.
She’s been involved in hundreds of municipal campaigns and dozens of successful state legislative races, and has helped found a number of conservative 501(c)4s, from the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance to the Massachusetts Association for Gun Rights.
Ms. Prunier is a graduate of Assumption College and now resides in Hudson, Florida with her Labradoodle named “Sarah Palin.”
S. Chris Anders is the Executive Director of the Virginia Constitutional Conservatives. Chris has also worked with the National Association of Gun Rights, West Virginia Christian Conservatives, Campaign for Liberty, We the People, West Virginia Liberty Political Action Committee, and the Educational Freedom Foundation.
Chris is the President of Acton Advocacy Group, a state level political consulting firm and an instructor for the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership.
With over 15 years’ experience in politics, he has served on Congressional and state level campaigns while also working with issue-focused groups to promote the Constitution and individual liberty.
Chris led the effort to successfully stop Northam’s Gun Ban and is also the point leader for several national organizations on taking back the Virginia House of Delegates in the 2021 State Election.
Chris lives in Lovettsville Virginia and his daughter is a student in a four-year nursing program. He is an avid hunter and self-proclaimed ‘gun nut’. He is also an amateur historian and has organized large scale historical reenactments across the Country.
Dan Thiele is a veteran of legislative and electoral politics, both on the grassroots and the professional level.
He has planned and managed successful campaigns for local and state political offices, ranging from city council, to school board, to state legislator.
Dan has also engaged in many local issues, including successful opposition to increased school district taxes. He has trained and mentored conservative activists across the country on a variety of issues, including Life, the Second Amendment, and taxation.
Dan Thiele is the son of two retired educators, and he brings his parents’ enthusiasm for teaching to his own instructional style.
In addition to teaching for the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, Dan is a contractor with the National Association for Gun Rights, an advisor to the anti-abortion group Hoosiers for Life, and Chairman of the Northern Indiana Citizens Coalition.
Dan resides in northern Indiana.
DJ Parten is a real estate investor and political activist from Alabama. His top issues are ending the murder of the unborn and defending the right to keep and bear arms.
An ardent defender of the Second Amendment, DJ spent three years as the Executive Director of Florida Gun Rights where he successfully mobilized gun owners to defeat a Republican-backed bill that would have implemented Universal Background Checks (a.k.a. Universal Gun Registration) and expanded the “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation law. He also worked as an employee of the National
Association for Gun Rights where he fought aggressively for Constitutional Carry and against radical gun control in nearly a dozen states.
As a former Floridian, DJ served on the board of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida where he worked to grow their list and build support for key liberty issues within the state. He also served six years as an Airborne Infantryman in the Alabama Army National Guard.
When he is not training activists and punishing bad politicians, DJ enjoys spending time with his wife Mikendrah and son Samuel.
Hannah Hill is an experienced activist, policy analyst, and legal program director from South Carolina.
Over the years, Hannah worked on multiple state and federal campaigns, including managing her brother’s successful 2014 campaign for State Representative.
Hannah spent the next five years blowing the whistle on all the bad ideas proposed by the State Legislature.
Since then, Hannah has directed the National Foundation for Gun Rights, defending gun owners’ Second Amendment rights against legal attacks from the radical Left and knocking down unconstitutional local gun control laws across the United States.
Hannah resides in Colorado, but she slips back to South Carolina as frequently as possible for civilized weather, biscuits and gravy, and good times with her family.
Rep. Jonathon Hill is a stalwart defender of liberty and has been a driving force behind defunding Planned Parenthood, reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture, and defending our Second Amendment rights. His positions are sometimes irritating to his less enthusiastic Republican colleagues.
In 2008, Jonathon entered politics as a campaign volunteer, and shortly after, started the Anderson County Tea Party.
He has served in the South Carolina House of Representatives since 2015, and is the Second Vice Chairman of the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee.
One of his favorite political maxims is, “Every act of government is an act of force, and should be used sparingly.”
Born in Anderson, South Carolina, Jonathon was home educated in the rural upstate town of Donalds. He skipped college, taught himself software development, and achieved professional success at tech firms from Atlanta to Silicon Valley.
Mary Nisly has been involved in both local and state-level politics for more than a decade in her home state of Indiana, proving herself a force to be reckoned with in her own right, as well as in her work alongside her husband, State Representative Curt Nisly.
She has helped secure multiple victories in her work planning and managing campaigns for State Senate and State House legislators.
Mary was Elkhart County Republican Party Chairman in Indiana from 2013-2017. She supervised more than a dozen caucuses to elect candidates in unexpired terms for public office. Mary also helped her county introduce voting centers and restored her county Republican Party Committee to sound financial footing. She worked with the County Clerk’s office during elections, hiring election workers, and was a resource for Republican candidates.
She has become a valuable ally and mentor for activist groups looking to make a difference across the Hoosier State. Mary is the author of much of the content on her husband’s website, keeping constituents up-to-date on what is happening on the inside with legislation and their elected officials.
Mary works with the Liberty Caucus on legislation, bringing in activist groups throughout Indiana to help cause political pain to legislators who don’t vote the way they should on Life, the Second Amendment, and Medical Freedom -- the latter of which is of personal concern as she’s seen the threats to our medical freedoms in her job as a nurse and Certified Health Coach.
She serves on the Executive Board of Bible Memory Ministries in Goshen, as well as on the Executive Board of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair -- the largest county fair in the state of Indiana.
Mary continues to be instrumental in helping activist groups get started across the state of Indiana. She and her husband, Curt, have four adult children and reside in northern Indiana.
Patrick L. McGrady is an expert in robocall marketing for issues and campaigns. He has experience in party politics, issue advocacy, PAC operations, and online marketing.
Patrick's motivation for working with the great activists of the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership is to show activists that our political destiny does not need to be determined by others.
With the right training and learning from every engagement, the good guys can win.
Patrick was elected Mayor of Aberdeen, Maryland in November, 2015. As the Mayor of Aberdeen, Patrick is the CEO of the City and the Chairman of the City Council. When he is not working with city governance, he manufactures stainless steel auto parts for vintage cars and works in real estate development and general capitalism.
Patrick has a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in Economics from Pennsylvania State University.
Patrick is married to Liz McGrady and they have two children, Independence and Remy. The McGradys are members of Living Hope PCA Church in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Shawn Dow is a small business owner from Arizona. In 2009, after attending a training school put on by the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, he began putting the principles he learned into action.
Now, removing politicians from office, killing bad legislation, and forcing politicians to pass legislation that expands our liberties are just a few of his favorite activities.
Shawn has taken the model of confrontational politics to 29 states, winning over 70 elections and writing legislation that has ultimately been passed into law in over 15 states.
He has led the fight to remove red light cameras all across the country, winning 100 percent of elections involving these automatic ticketing machines. Ending these contracts has saved Americans an estimated one billion dollars per year.
In 2012, Shawn served as Ron Paul's State Director, and worked on Rand Paul's presidential campaign in 2016.
Shawn is considered by many to be the most inspiring of the Foundation’s trainers, and is universally recognized as the most energetic.
Shawn and his lovely wife of more than 20 years live in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Retired legislator, State Senator Ted Harvey (R-CO), never lost an election, nor his passion for protecting the unborn or promoting core conservative values.
At the age of 22, Ted received a political appointment to serve in the White House of President Ronald Reagan.
He returned to Colorado empowered by the vision of the Reagan Revolution and committed to defending the foundational and constitutional values of our nation.
After returning home, Ted quickly became involved in Colorado politics and secured a staff position in the Colorado House of Representatives as the House Reading Clerk. After two years, Ted became the Program Director at the Independence Institute, a conservative/libertarian Colorado think tank.
In December of 2001, through a vacancy election, Ted was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives and became a conservative champion inside the Capitol. He was re-elected in both 2002 and 2004, and was then elected to the State Senate in 2006 and 2010.
During his legislative tenure, Ted has proven himself to be a leader of the conservative movement. He led the fight against illegal immigration, for the passage of Right to Work, and sponsored the only abortion restriction ever passed in Colorado -- the Parental Notification Act. Ted has also been one of the legislature’s staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment.
Ted is also a founding member and Chairman of the Stop Hillary PAC, renamed the Committee to Defend the President following the election of 2016. It is now the largest pro-Trump PAC in the country.
Ted and his wife, Janie, have been married for 24 years. They are passionate Christians and are very active in their church.
Janie is a highly accomplished dyslexia therapist working with elementary-age children while also teaching at the college level.
Ted and Janie have two children. Their son, Jack, is a student at Colorado School of Mines where he is earning a degree in Petroleum Engineering. Their daughter, Brooke, is a junior in high school and spends her summers doing Christian missionary work throughout China.
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