Young professionals

The Center’s Young Leadership Council kicks off with impressive attendance

More than a hundred young conservative leaders from the Twin Cities attended the inaugural event of the Center’s Young Leadership Council (YLC) in September at Marin Restaurant in Minneapolis.

The Center created the YLC earlier this year to help build a constituency of young professionals who understand the importance of public policies built on solid, conservative values, according to Tara Anderson, the local lawyer who agreed to chair the group.

Anderson practices at Eden Prairie-based Fafinski Mark & Johnson. At 32, she is the youngest member of the board of directors at Center of the American Experiment.

Attendees ranged from entrepreneurs and investment bankers to medical professionals and legislators. They mingled and listened to brief remarks from Anderson, Kristen Sheehan, the Center’s development director, and Center board member Bill Guidera. Additional Center board members were on hand, as well as founder and president Mitch Pearlstein and executive vice president Kim Crockett to answer questions about the Center and discuss current policy issues one-on-one with guests.

Also attending was Ron Eibensteiner, the Center’s development committee chair, who conceived of the YLC after visiting the Manhattan Institute. He said it was “an inspiration” to see so many people motivated by public policy.

“Young professionals bring a fresh perspective on policy issues,” he said. “Their input will ensure that the Center’s work is relevant across the generations.”

Anderson said a number of attendees remarked how the group is unique in Minnesota. “There are a lot of opportunities to network in the Twin Cities, both for political and professional groups” she said. “The YLC is attractive because it offers the benefits of many of the professional groups in the area while also focusing specifically on policy.”

The YLC also named two new co-chairs, Emma Johnson, a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and Ryan Miske, a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels. The leadership group of Johnson and Miske, along with Anderson and co-chairs Anne Mason and Ben Wilmoth, is forming a cross-disciplinary advisory board for the YLC to help set the direction for the group as it continues to develop its programs over the next year.

Going forward, programs will be crafted based on the feedback received from attendees of various events through surveys. The group expects to offer a mix of social events, policy forums and speakers, while also offering opportunities to participate in more in-depth policy work alongside the Center’s policy staff.

The YLC’s next event will be its holiday party on December 1 at the Minneapolis Club. Please contact Samantha Peterson (speterson@americanexperiment.org) for details.