John Andrews is Director of the Centennial Institute and a CCU cabinet member, as well as a leading voice in the Colorado media and author of the book Responsibility Reborn. He was previously president of the Colorado Senate, chairman of the State Policy Network, and director of TCI Cable News. He has also served on a foreign scholarships commission for President George W. Bush, was a speechwriter for President Nixon and an education appointee under President Reagan, and founded the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado.
As a state senator from 1998 to 2005, Andrews served as minority leader and led the GOP back to majority control. As Senate President, he helped pass bills establishing education vouchers, expanding charter schools, extending tort reform, cutting the capital gains tax, reducing union control of state employees, requiring parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion, and restoring the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms. He was honored as National Legislator of the Year by the American Legislative Exchange Council and as Family Legislator of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Family Council. The Colorado Union of Taxpayers saluted him as a defender of TABOR, the state’s tax limit.
In higher education, he was a Hillsdale College vice president and editor of Imprimis for four years, and a member of the adjunct faculty in public policy at the Colorado School of Mines for 18 years. He and his wife Donna, who met at a summer camp in the Rockies in 1960, have three grown children and a grandson. “I’m committed to defending the permanent things,” Andrews states. “We must reassert the timeless political principles of the American founding, together with the moral and spiritual truths of our Judeo-Christian heritage.”
William Armstrong served for 18 years in the nation’s capitol, six in the House of Representatives and 12 as a U.S. senator. He was a member of the Senate Banking, Senate Finance, and Senate Budget committees and for six years was chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
A successful businessman, he has started or purchased four mortgage banking firms and was formerly chairman of Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, which grew 4,000 percent under his guidance. Armstrong has been a director of six public companies and chairman/owner/operator of 13 private companies, including radio and television stations, a daily newspaper, investment firms, a real estate brokerage company, and a title insurance company. He is the chairman of both the Denver-based Oppenheimer Funds and software developer Blueberry Systems, director of oil and gas drilling contractor Helmerich & Payne, and was for 17 years a board member of Campus Crusade for Christ.
During his years in the Senate, Armstrong established a reputation as a principled, issue-oriented legislator and was prominently “mentioned” as a potential candidate for the U.S. presidency or vice presidency. Relentlessly opposed to big government and excessive regulation, he championed lower taxes, political reform, balanced budgets, and the G.I. Bill. The New York Times described him as “a man whose restless intellect is admired by his foes as well as his friends” and The Denver Post praised his service in the Senate, pointing out that his decision not to run in 1990 came despite the fact that “reelection was virtually guaranteed.”
Armstrong became president of Colorado Christian University (CCU; Lakewood, Colo.) in 2006. “I feel a great sense of destiny about the opportunity to help educate a new generation of leaders,” he says. “It is the most significant, energizing, and rewarding work I have ever undertaken.”
Jeannie Edwards joined Centennial Institute as Assistant Director in early 2012 and began making an immediate impact with her event planning abilities as executive producer of the Western Conservative Summit and her creative organizational touch with our student mentoring program, the 1776 Scholars. She previously served as Division Manager, Custom Products and Services for Zenger Miller/Achieve in Cupertino, California after starting her corporate career at Raychem in Menlo Park.
Edwards has designed, implemented and marketed dozens of high-impact skills training solutions for a range of organizations. She served as a community leader and volunteer in California, Virginia, Colorado and Hawaii, while raising three children with her husband, Paul. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Davis, and a master’s from Stanford University. She is a member of the Leadership Program of the Rockies Class of 2014.
Keri Brehm manages the daily operations of the Centennial Institute including constituent communications, accounts payable/receivable, Issue Monday events, Western Conservative Summit speaker details, and assisting with the supervision of student staff and the 1776 Scholars. She previously spearheaded the Citizen Project at a local church, a ministry that provided resources and voter education from a Biblical perspective. She has also led a church adoption ministry and Christmas for Our Troops – a prayer and care package outreach to our military.
A graduate of CCU (class of 1990, magna cum laude), Brehm is active in her community as a District Captain for the Douglas County Republicans and serves on the Board of Directors of Colorado Citizens for Life. Her passion is to see the principles of America’s Founders become part of the fabric of our society once again and a revival of the forgotten Constitutional buffers against governmental overreach. She enjoys singing in an a capella ladies’ group, and lives in the Castle Rock area with her husband Scott, two daughters, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and a Puggle.
Antonette is a business leader and entrepreneur who brings to Centennial Institute skills and experience in marketing, communication, community engagement and public affairs. Known for her creativity and energy, she focuses on member relations, development, growth, and reputation management. Her background includes leadership roles with First Data, Western Union and CH2M HILL, and she started her career in Washington, DC working for Senator Bill Armstrong.
A Colorado native, Antonette is active in the community, supporting several center-right organizations, including Colorado Women’s Alliance and the Federalist Society, and serving on several nonprofit boards, including Cancer League of Colorado and Friends of Colorado State Parks. She holds her BA in political science from The Colorado College and an MBA from the University of Denver – Daniels College of Business. She is a graduate of Leadership Denver, the Leadership Program of the Rockies, and she holds her Six Sigma green belt certification.
Centennial Institute Fellows
Fellow in Anglosphere Studies – Nick Adams of Australia, just turned 30, joins the Centennial Institute policy team as an eloquent young voice for the English-speaking peoples’ global influence and a high-achieving member of the millennial generation. The childhood cancer survivor was still a student at the University of Sydney when he was elected to the local city council and then chosen by his colleagues as deputy mayor. Pursuing a lifelong dream to see America, he entrepreneurially carved out a niche in the USA as a sought-after speaker and media commentator, including many appearances on Fox News. Adams is the author of American Boomerang: How the World’s Greatest Turnaround Nation Will Do It Again (WND Books, 2014).
Fellow in National Security – Allen is the man to whom Ronald Reagan, seeking the presidency, said the outcome of the Cold War should be, “We win, they lose.” The candidate’s chief foreign policy adviser from 1977, he was National Security Advisory for President Reagan from 1981 to 1982. Allen was previously a top adviser to President Richard Nixon. He is now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, with which he has been associated since 1966. The holder of a master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame, Allen divides his times between homes in Colorado, New Jersey, and New Zealand.
Fellow in Media and Journalism – Now a nationally syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard, Ambrose formerly edited their dailies in Denver and El Paso and covered the New York State Capitol for their Albany paper, where he was also editorial page editor. He has been a member of the ASNE board and judge for the Pulitzer Prizes. By age 23 he was already running a country weekly in his native Kentucky, where he graduated from Transylvania University. Over the years he has also studied or taught at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and Virginia Commonwealth University. His other think tank affiliations include PERC, the Hoover Institution, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Fellow in American Heritage – Politics, economics, civics, and history are not rocket science, but even if they were, James Bennett would still be uniquely suited to analyze and practice them all. His 30 years of business experience in commercial space exploration and high technology, along with his studies at the University of Michigan and Paideia University and his vast original research, laid the groundwork for Bennett’s notable 2004 book, The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the 21st Century. He has been a columnist for UPI as well as a research contributor to the Hudson Institute and the Reason Foundation.
Distinguished Fellow in Immigration Policy – Linda Chavez has been a leading voice for America’s freedom heritage and melting-pot tradition for over 30 years. She was the highest-ranking woman in the Reagan White House and was President George W. Bush’s choice for Secretary of Labor (the first Latina ever nominated for a cabinet post), withdrawing amid strong partisan opposition. Experienced as a board member of Fortune 1000 companies, she currently heads two think tanks, the Becoming American Institute and the Center for Equal Opportunity. A nationally syndicated columnist since the 1980s, Chavez is the author of three books, including Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation. She and her husband live in Boulder, Colorado.
Fellow in Worldviews and Economics – Brad Hughes has 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry where he retired from Qwest as a Director of Strategy. He has international business experience in Russia and was a loaned executive to the CU College of Engineering. He holds five degrees, including an MBA and an MS in Engineering. He has held leadership positions in large business, small business, nonprofit, and religious institutions. Brad has completed advanced studies in economics, worldviews, and apologetics. He has been married to Linda for 35 years and they have two adult sons.
Fellow in Education Policy – Kafer is a writer and consultant specializing in education reform, on contract to government agencies and think tanks. She returned to her native Colorado in 2004 after a decade in Washington, working as a policy staffer for Rep. Bob Schaffer and a senior expert on education at the Heritage Foundation. She is the author of a book on school choice and a frequent cohost on Backbone Radio. Her other affiliations include the Independence Institute and the Claremont Institute, where she was a Lincoln Fellow.
Fellow in New Media – Stephen Keating is the founder of Keating Media, LLC, providing clients with strategy, communications and multimedia solutions. He is a former business editor of The Denver Post and the author ofCutthroat, a book on the cable and satellite TV industries, which won the Colorado Book Award for nonfiction. Keating has worked on projects including political websites, the Privacy Foundation, a TV show concept and social media initiatives.
Fellow in Business and Law – King is Dean Emeritus of the School of Business and Leadership at CCU. Prior to receiving his J.D. from the University of Denver, he earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He was an attorney in private practice for over 20 years, a senior executive in human resources and labor relations for Samsonite Corporation, and an FBI agent. He has directed VALS, the annual Values-Aligned Leadership Summit, for CCU, and has conducted seminars throughout the United States and Asia.
Fellow in Citizenship – McGuire teaches American government and political theory at CU-Boulder in the university’s Kittredge Honors Program as well as its as well as its small, British-style Farrand Academic Program in the residence halls. Originally from the East Coast, he earned his B.A. from CU in 1979, then returned to New York where he taught high school social studies and earned a master’s in political science from New York University. Later returning to CU, he took the Ph.D. in political science in 1995. “My interests,” he says, “are films as metaphor for American society and politics, bringing broader intellectual diversity to the university, and debunking received academic wisdom.”
Fellow in Immigration Policy – An American by choice, born and raised in Communist China, Helen Raleigh came to this country in 1996 for graduate study in finance and became a U.S. citizen in 2013. She owns and runs Red Meadow Advisors, an investment firm; teaches at the College for Financial Planning, and sits on the advisory council for Leadership Program of the Rockies. Her autobiography is entitled Confucius Never Said. She and her husband live in Littleton, Colorado, and attend a Baptist church.
Fellow in Geopolitics & Global Justice – In a day when the classical idea of justice is often distorted to connote retribution, redistribution, and revolution, Centennial Institute prizes its affiliation with Sosamma Samuel-Burnett’s countervailing work for justice to be understood biblically, with practical application to humanity’s most difficult problems. After a decade in Sacramento CA, where she established and led William Jessup University’s public policy academic department and public policy institute, Mrs. Samuel Burnett and her family now live in Loveland CO. With degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Minnesota Law School, her extensive human-rights experience includes work in Mexico, South Asia, and the Middle East. The acronym of her new nonprofit, GLOBAL Justice, stands for “geopolitical learning opportunities for biblical advocacy and leadership.”
Fellow in Constitutional Government – Schaller brings his specialization in constitutional government, classical republicanism, and the American Founding to the Colorado Christian University faculty. He completed his M.A. at Villanova and B.A. at Eastern University; he is currently completing a Ph.D. at Temple University in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining CCU, Schaller taught at Villanova, St. Joseph’s, and Seton Hall; held an Earhart fellowship; and provided research and writing services for the Pennsylvania legislature. He and his wife, Rachel, have two daughters and enjoy hiking the Colorado 14ers.
Fellow in Political Thought – Steve Shumaker joined the CCU faculty in 2013 from Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania, where he was dean of arts and sciences, led the honors program, and constructed a unique Christian Great Books M.A. degree. His Ph.D. in Political Philosophy and M.A. in Politics are from the University of Dallas. His B.A. is from The Master’s College.
Fellow in Energy & Environment – Kelly Sloan is a writer and public policy/communications consultant based in Grand Junction, Colorado. He is a regular contributor to the Colorado Energy News and a columnist for the Business Times. Sloan has years of experience in the oil and gas industry and on numerous political campaigns both in Canada and the U.S. A native of Alberta, Canada, he took a degree in criminology and history from Mount Royal University in 1994 and served six years in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Fellow in Politics and Policy – Rob Witwer is an attorney in private practice, a former Republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives, and co-author of The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care. The book, which he wrote with TV journalist Adam Schrager in 2010, attracted widespread attention for its revelations about new techniques in political campaigning that were tested here in 2004 and have since rolled out nationally. Witwer graduated from Amherst College and holds a law degree from the University of Chicago. With his wife, Heather, also an attorney, he has five young sons.
Fellow in Founding Principles – Crippen is founder and president of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society and Law, a para-academic center dedicated to developing principled public leadership and based in Colorado Springs. He previously helped lead the Witherspoon Fellowship and the Family Research Council. A former Army officer, he holds degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary and Philadelphia Biblical University. He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of five children.
Fellow in Law and Politics – Francone is president of RML Technologies, a predictive modeling, data analytics, and software company. He has authored a university textbook on artificial intel-ligence and inductive modeling, practiced as an attorney for California’s entertainment and technology industries, and been a guest lecturer at West Point and the Colorado School of Mines. His law degree is from Cal-Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, where he was a law review editor, and he has an advanced technical degree in Complex Systems from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
Fellow in Worldviews – Groothuis has taught at Denver Seminary since 1993. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oregon. He is the author of ten books, including Truth Decay and On Jesus. He has published numerous articles in scholarly and popular publications on the rationality of the Christian worldview and public policy. His comments on religion and culture have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Time, The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, and other publications.
Fellow in Islam & the West – Guandolo operates a consulting practice in Washington DC, advising senior government officials on strategic threats to the United States, especially as it relates to radical Islam. He became one of the FBI’s leading authorities on counter-terrorism and Muslim Brotherhood subversion during 12 years of distinguished service in the Bureau’s Washington field office, 1996-2008. He twice received the US Attorneys’ award for investigative excellence, and was honored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (D) and Jon Kyl (R) with their Defender of the Homeland in 2007. Guandolo saw combat in Operation Desert Storm, 1991, after taking his commission as an officer of Marines from the Naval Academy in 1989. He is the founder of Destination Cure: The Race Against MS.
Fellow in State Policy – Hillman is a wheat farmer in Burlington, Colorado, as well as a political leader, newspaper columnist, and radio commentator. He was to elected two terms in the Colorado State Senate and served as Majority Leader, as well as Colorado State Treasurer. He currently represents Colorado on the Republican National Committee. He and his wife, Heidi, have two young sons, Lucas and Matthew.
Fellow in Freedom and Virtue – Miller is president of Whitestone Miller, a consultancy on business turnarounds and new ventures. A native of Burlington, Colorado, his undergraduate and graduate degrees are from Oklahoma State University. He taught at Colorado Christian University from 1994 to 1999 and was founding dean of the CCU School of Business. His book Freedom Nationally, Virtue Locally – or Socialism will be published by Denali Press in late 2010. He leads seminars on the Vanguard process for Christian citizenship and the competing stewardships model for executives. A goal in all this, Miller says, is to “help Christians see ourselves from the outside looking in,” as he previously did before becoming a Christian. He and his wife Cathy have two children.
Fellow in Conservative Thought – Education reform keyed to competition and choice was Bill Moloney’s signature as chief school officer from 1997 to 2007, a decade in which he worked with governors, legislators, and state board members of both parties to foster a nationally-recognized climate of excellence in Colorado classrooms. Moloney’s doctorate in educational management is from Harvard; he also did graduate work in history at Oxford and the University of London. He has been a teacher, principal, and superintendent in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island, as well as his native Massachusetts. He is a past member of the National Assessment Governing Board and co-author of two books on school reform.
Fellow in National Policy – Musgrave served in the United States House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009, elected from Colorado’s rural 4th District. Born in Greeley and a graduate of Colorado State, she was a businesswoman and teacher before winning election to the Fort Morgan School Board in 1990, energized by the life issue. She went on to the state House in 1994 and then the state Senate in 1998. While in Congress she was noted for standing up to her own party and the White House on tax and spending issues, and for leadership on the Federal Marriage Amendment. She now helps direct Susan B. Anthony’s List, a pro-life political action committee.
Fellow in Public Policy – Jane E. Norton was the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado, elected with Gov. Bill Owens for his second term beginning in 2003 and serving until 2007. She was previously a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, 1986-87, an appointee of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush as regional director of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and a member of Gov. Owens’ first term cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in which post she led the state’s defunding of Planned Parenthood in compliance with a voter-approved ban on public funding of abortions. In 2010, Norton contended for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic US Senator Michael Bennet. She is married to Mike Norton, a former US Attorney for Colorado and a prominent litigator on religious-freedom cases.
Fellow in Economics – Prentice graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. He served as an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture under President Reagan. He was later a visiting scholar at the U.S. Department of Treasury. He currently teaches in an adjunct capacity at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and is a local civic leader with such groups as the Pikes Peak Urban League and the Limited Government Forum.
Fellow in Apologetics – Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune, is a best-selling author of nearly twenty books, including The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator. For two seasons, he hosted the weekly national network television programFaith Under Fire. He has also appeared on such national radio programs as The Bible Answer Man and Focus on the Family. He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Yale. Formerly on the pastoral staff at Willow Creek Church in Illinois and Saddleback Valley Church in California, he now lives in Castle Rock, Colorado, with his wife Leslie.
Fellow in Contemporary Thought – Admired by many Coloradans for his dozen years as pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church, Donald Sweeting is now president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, where he also holds the Hassell chair of church history and teaches regular courses. Sweeting holds a master’s degree from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has authored several books and is a board member for both the National Association of Evangelicals and Colorado Christian University.
Fellow in Health Care Policy – Dr. Jill Vecchio, MD, is a fellowship-trained breast imager affiliated with Rocky Mountain Radiologists and the Lutheran Breast Care Center in Denver. She graduated from the University of Colorado Medical School in 1989 after completing undergraduate work at the University of Iowa. Since 2009 she has been in the forefront of physician-led efforts to help Americans understand Obamacare and its market-based alternatives. Dr. Vecchio has helped build the national organization of Docs 4 Patient Care, spoken at policy conferences for the Heartland Institute and Leadership Program of the Rockies, and done countless media interviews on health policy, including a regular commentary for Crawford Broadcasting.
Fellow in Environment & Natural Resources – Western Colorado native Greg Walcher grew up in agriculture and made his way in public policy up from the grassroots, heading the respected intergovernmental association of Club 20 for over a decade. He headed the Colorado Department of Natural Resources as a cabinet officer for Gov. Bill Owens, then narrowly lost a 2004 congressional race in CO-3. Walcher is now president of the Natural Resources Group, a consulting firm, and the author of Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back
Fellow in Western Civilization – Born in California, Watson saw military duty in Berlin during the Cold War, then earned a B.A. in Ancient History from Cal State Pomona, an M.Div. from Talbot Theological Seminary, then an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of California. He met his wife, a native of New Zealand, while completing graduate work at the University of London. They have two children. He has taught at Colorado Christian University since 1996.