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Essential Tools of Personal & Economic Freedom

Saturday February 20, 2021

8:00 a.m.         Melanie Sturm

10:15 a.m.       John Shadegg

11:00 a.m.       Justice Clint Bolick

Noon               James T Harris

1:00 p.m.         Larry Schweikart

1:45 p.m.         Doug Napier

2:30 p.m.         Jeff Utsch


Melanie Sturm

As a coach in the art of persuasion, Melanie Sturm teaches how to inspire an audience – even skeptics – to follow your lead, not based on what you say, but on what your audience hears you  say.  Even in our hyper-partisan era, most people are persuadable if approached the right way, a unifying reality awaiting compelling communicators to forge.


Based on the truism that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, Melanie focuses on how to become more “hearable” by cultivating Six Powers of Persuasion, teaching how to win people over to the common ground they instinctively share.  Melanie trains leaders of all stripes – elected and government officials, candidates, non-profit and corporate executives, students, policy analysts, activists – as a conference presenter and as a personal coach. Melanie also specializes in crafting customized, issue-focused persuasive messaging. 


Melanie’s commentary -- “Think Again, you might change your mind” – has been published in the Aspen Times and across the Rocky Mountains, as well as nationally in the Washington Examiner and Daily Caller.  Taking on the most contentious issues, Melanie earned the trust of readers, enabling her to unearth uniting conclusions, demonstrating how much common ground is actually shared.


Having learned through her column how to communicate with people who think they disagree, Melanie launched Engage to Win in 2014 to teach and write persuasive communications. In addition to conducting persuasion workshops and private coaching, Melanie speaks publicly, sharing her lessons on how to uncover and fortify common ground, even on controversial issues that divide people. Melanie has been a featured presenter at major conferences and smaller retreats.


Melanie’s prior work experience is in finance: project finance at International Finance Corporation (private sector affiliate of the World Bank) and mergers & acquisitions at Morgan Stanley (London) and Drexel Burnham Lambert (New York). Melanie has an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and undergraduate degrees in international relations and economics from Tufts University.


John Shadegg

Former Congressman John Shadegg’s lifetime experience in both state and federal government, public policy and the private sector gives him a unique perspective and skill set to analyze and resolve client challenges. He advises and represents clients in a variety of issue areas including health care and health care reform, energy and environmental regulation and policy, telecommunications and a variety of other areas of government and business interaction at both federal and state level. 

Congressman Shadegg served in Congress for eight terms, from 1995 to 2011. While in Congress he held a variety of leadership positions including Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth highest ranking position in elected Republican leadership. The Policy Committee analyzed and recommended legislative policy positions for the Republican Majority. Congressman Shadegg also chaired the Republican Study Committee whose membership consisted of Members of Congress from across the country. During his tenure as Chairman of the Committee, its membership increased by 75%, making it one of the most influential and respected forces in the U.S. House.

During his tenure in Congress, Congressman Shadegg focused heavily on health care policy and reform. He introduced key legislation to restrain cost increases, improve quality, advance patient choice, cover individuals with pre-existing conditions, fund high risk pools and allow the sale of health insurance across state lines. He served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and as a member of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Congressman Shadegg also worked extensively on energy reform focused on utilizing a wide variety of energy sources, as well as increasing energy production and supply to grow the economy and increase jobs.

Prior to his time in Congress, Congressman Shadegg, who is an attorney licensed in Arizona as well as Washington D.C., clerked for the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court following graduation from law school. He also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General in Arizona, Counsel to the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and as a member of the initial staff of the United State Sentencing Commission.  On behalf of his clients he continues to oversee litigation in his areas of focus. His work in these positions, along with his 16 years in the U.S. Congress, gives Congressman Shadegg a truly unique perspective on the inner workings of government and enables him to provide the creative problem solving insights clients need to achieve their objectives in an era of ever-expanding government interaction with and regulation of businesses and business activity. 


Justice Clint Bolick, Esq.

The Honorable Clint Bolick was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey in January 2016 to serve on the Arizona Supreme Court and in 2018 was retained by the voters for a six-year term. 


Prior to joining the Court, Justice Bolick litigated constitutional cases in state and federal courts from coast to coast, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Among other positions, he served as Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, President and General Counsel of Alliance for School Choice, and as Co-founder and Vice President for Litigation at the Institute for Justice. He has litigated in support of school choice, freedom of enterprise, private property rights, freedom of speech, and federalism, and against racial classifications and government subsidies.


Justice Bolick received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California at Davis, where he has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus, and his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Drew University. He serves as a research fellow with the Hoover Institution. Among other honors, he was named one of the 90 Greatest DC Lawyers in the Last 30 Years by Legal Times in 2008, received a Bradley Prize in 2006, and was recognized as one of the nation’s three lawyers of the year by American Lawyer in 2002 for his successful defense of school vouchers in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris.


Justice Bolick is a prolific author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles. Among his most recent books are Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, co-authored with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; and David’s Hammer: The Case for an Activist Judiciary. He serves as an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of law, and has served as a lecturer at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Justice Bolick resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Shawnna with whom he has two children.


James T. Harris

For more than 20 years, James T. Harris has been a sought-after international speaker, cultural and political commentator, and radio talk show host. He has spoken to a vast array of audiences – from hundreds of thousands of attendees at sports arenas, to small groups of business leaders, academics and students.

James has been published in a variety of news media, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Town Hall and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – just to name a few. His perspective and commentary have been featured on CNN, FOX News Network and ABC News, as well as a host of local television, radio and online programs.

There’s a reason for this.

James T. Harris invites audiences to observe culture in ways that they have not before. His varied experiences – growing up in a Midwest rustbelt manufacturing hub, studying in the U.K., traveling the world (and getting lost on three continents), raising a family in a central-city urban neighborhood and later in a wealthy suburb, living as a American of African descent but also with an independent mind unbound by race – help to illuminate the seasons, rhythms and rhymes of history and society.


Larry Schweikart

Larry E. Schweikart, a former rock drummer who opened for “Steppenwolf,” is an American historian and the author of more than a dozen books.

Dr. Schweikart was born on April 21, 1951 in Mesa, AZ and lived in Higley, AZ, where his father Earl was a ranch foreman for the Daugherty Ranch. Earl was a rodeo roper and excellent horseman. In 1961, Earl died and LS moved with his mother, Eunice, to Chandler where he attended Chandler High School from 1964 to 1968. He then enrolled in Arizona State University in the Political Science Program.

Throughout high school and college, however, Dr. Schweikart spent most of his time playing drums in a variety of rock bands until the mid-1970s, when he returned to Arizona to obtain a teaching certificate, taking a history course that inspired him to become a history professor. He entered the ASU Master’s program, publishing two national Phi Alpha Theta prize-winning articles in consecutive years—at that point, the only time that had ever occurred. Upon receiving the MA, he was admitted to the University of California, Santa Barbara, and had already published his first book, A History of Banking in Arizona. During his study at UCSB, he published his second book, a study of the Trident submarine program with his former professor at ASU, D. Douglas Dalgleish. Graduating in 1984, LS took a one-year position at the University of Wisconsin-Richland Center, then, in 1985, received an appointment to the University of Dayton. His doctoral dissertation, published as Banking in the American South was awarded one of the top three economic history dissertations in the United States.

In the 1990s he began to focus on “trade” books as opposed to academic or textbooks, beginning with his history of American business, The Entrepreneurial Adventure, than in 2004, after almost a decade of research and writing, co-authored the best-selling U.S. history book, A Patriot’s History of the United States. He continued to publish major trade books on national defense, history and historiography, and the U.S. economy.


Douglas H. Napier, Esq.

Douglas H. Napier, Esq., served as Senior Vice President of Alliance Relations for Alliance Defending Freedom where he focused on serving, strengthening, and expanding strategic alliances throughout the country and world.

Napier joined the organization in 2007 to work with a network of thousands of allied attorneys and eventually became the head of all litigation efforts in the U.S.  He has conducted regional and national training to help equip allied attorneys, pastors, business leaders, and other allies across the globe. 

He also led a multi-national team involved in international legal advocacy efforts throughout Europe, India, Latin America, and at the United Nations. Doug managed offices in Vienna, Brussels, Geneva, Strasbourg, New Delhi, New York, Washington, DC, Mexico City, and Scottsdale, AZ that were engaged in advancing global and local human rights.

Napier earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) degree in 1990 from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he graduated with distinction. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from the University of Iowa in 1985 and a Master of Arts degree in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1988.

He is admitted to the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court, the Iowa Supreme Court, and various federal appellate and district courts across the U.S. He is a fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, is a member of the Center for National Policy, and serves on the boards of Family Policy Alliance and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

Napier resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Christi with whom he has two grown children.


Jeffrey Utsch

Jeff Utsch is a Leadership and History Instructor at the Leadership and Freedom Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he teaches leadership lessons learned from the battle and forging trusted teams and leaders. Jeff also teaches professional development and leading with a purpose courses to law enforcement and other agencies around the country.


He is the Founder of Heirs of the Republic Educational Foundation a 501 c 3 organization dedicated to “Securing the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity”.  He previously served as a Director and Ambassador for the Navy SEAL Foundation, where he assisted in establishing an endowment within the Foundation. At the Foundation, Jeff chaired the Development Committee and organized and assisted with benefit galas in Tucson, AZ, Coronado, CA, and Virginia Beach, VA. He also has 27 years’ experience as President and CEO of a small company and 25 years’ experience training U.S. military personnel.

Through intensive self-study, Jeff has become a constitutional scholar and historian with a keen interest in the founding of our country.  He started a monthly constitution study group 15 years ago that continues to this day.  He can be heard on the iHeart Radio Podcast “Constitutional Conversations” with radio personality James T. Harris.  Jeff has published articles on a variety of subjects at the Daily Caller, the Daily Rant, and the Arizona Daily Independent and been a regular radio guest for Constitutional Monday’s on the James T. Harris show for years.


Using his aerospace engineering undergraduate degree, he consults with Paradynamics, a Tucson-based powered parafoil company contracted with U.S. Government to develop parachute type canopies capable of flying specific missions as required by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  He currently is assisting in contracting, business development, company structure, and prototype testing. As President and CEO of Western Associates Development for 18 years, Jeff bought and sold more than 1000 Real Estate properties worth more than $100 million, including more than 2,500 lots in subdivisions in Southern Arizona. 


Jeff graduated from University of Arizona in 1991 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, where he also served as captain of the Swim Team.  During his swimming carrer, Jeff was a member of the US National Team 1984-87, Top 10 World Rankings 1984-1988, and NCAA All-American in 1988. Using the skills, he developed as an All-American swimmer and Captain of the University of Arizona swim team, Jeff currently serves as an Instructor to the Navy SEALs / Naval Special Warfare community where he teaches Navy SEALS and support personnel specialized tactical swimming. In addition Jeff has taught Air Force Para Rescue Jumpers, Combat Controllers, Force Recon Marines, Coast Guard MSST, and other military personnel.   

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