Email insights: Auburn-based, national conservative group announces 10 new board members

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In an email Monday, Auburn-based Take Back Our Republic (TBOR), a right-leaning campaign finance reform group that’s building conservative support for reducing the influence of private wealth in politics, announced new members selected to their National Board of Governors. Leading the Board is Chair Mark McKinnon, a seasoned political advisor and global vice chair of Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

Read the entire announcement email below.

Distinguished business, political and community leaders from across the country accepted positions on the National Board of Governors for Take Back Our Republic, an independent nonpartisan group that is focusing on conservative solutions to problems with the campaign finance system. Please click the names of each of the 10 new members, listed in alphabetical order by first name, as well as Advisory Board member Abby Moffat, for their video introduction.

Bruce McEver, NY, founded Berkshire Capital in 1983, pioneering the concept of providing independent merger, acquisition and strategic advisory services for investment managers and securities firms.  Based in New York, Bruce is an avid biker, hiker and reader.  He recently hosted a TBOR fundraiser in New York.

Camille Solberg, WI, served with John Pudner on the National Faith and Values Coalition for Romney 2008. Camille is a Latina leader and a distinguished alumna of one of the most conservative Catholic college in the nation (Catholic University). Camille also serves as Regional Director for US Senator Ron Johnson.

Francis Johnson, CA, was featured in Black Enterprise and Ebony Magazine as one of the top five Black Republicans in the country for his ability to raise money and organize grassroots. Francis runs a public affairs/public relations firm.

Kahlil Byrd, NY, is a Republican whose expertise is building and leading large, disruptive, technology-based, bipartisan reform organizations.  He was president of the education reform effort – StudentsFirst; and, cofounder and CEO of Americans Elect.  His current firm, Forward Progress in Politics, is building a national bipartisan community of funders committed to essential and aggressive issue reform.

Kathy Hayden
, VA, has served as GOP National Committeewoman for Virginia since 2007; recently ending one of the longest serving committee member terms on April 29, 2016.  She brings years of leadership, experience with grassroots efforts, and a wealth of knowledge about the workings of the American political system – all of which will help lead and direct TBOR’s current and future efforts.  Kathy understands that sometimes we need to “roll up our sleeves and get to work” to affect much needed change.

Kim Vaughn, AL, currently chairs the Women’s Committee of the Madison County Farmers Federation, part of one of the largest Farm Bureaus in the country, which also runs the largest insurance company in Alabama.  Kim is also on the board of the Madison Farmers’ Market, which serves the thriving Huntsville market that is home to high-level engineers for thriving defense companies and NASA.  Kim also runs hospitality for Providence Baptist Church.

LaNell Morold, TX, is an operational and crisis management consultant assisting companies facing challenges during difficult financial and leadership circumstances. LaNell is also an author and talk radio personality. In the past she was a groundbreaking title insurance and real estate executive, who oversaw cash management and P&L, including an annual budget exceeding $100 million, and listed real estate in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the Caribbean as well as her local market of Dallas/Fort Worth.

Judge Ola Lewis, NC, made news by switching to the Republican Party as a judge. She recently felt the full blunt of huge dark money when she ran for State Supreme Court. Elected as the youngest District Court Judge, and first African-American in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Created five Speciality Courts (drug treatment, a true night court, mental health therapeutic, DWI therapeutic, sex offender accountability and rehabilitation court)

Randy Brooks, AL, most recently built a real estate operation of more than 100 people, following years of experience having interactions with politicians involving development deals. Randy is one of the greatest promoters of multifaceted efforts, from Take Back’s mission to supporting youth sports.

Robert Schaaf, MO, a graduate of Harvard College, has worked with his father, Republican State Senator Rob Schaaf, to prepare and promote the Missouri Anti-Corruption Act and other legislation. Some of his additional experience includes advising small business owners at the Cambridge Microfinance Initiative and working with a team to build a successful startup at TILLS Animal Health.

The 10 new members join Chair Mark McKinnon, Juleanna Glover and Richard Painter, whose bios can be found, along with that of Executive Director John Pudnerhere. In addition, the recently named Advisory Board was represented at the meeting by Abby Moffat, is Chaired by Beth Coulson (IL) and includes Peter Schweizer (FL), Ed MacDougall (FL), Curtis Colgate (VA) and Nick Bellas (NY).

Abby Moffat (Advisory Board), MD, serves on the Board of Trustees for The Heritage Foundation. She is a former owner‐operator of an event planning business, and is chair of the Board of Trustees of the Media Research Center and a member of the Board of Overseers of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Abby is a veteran leader on the boards of nonprofits – currently, she runs the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation.

As expressed on Take Back Our Republic’s website, “We believe that the way in which we elect our officials is not a partisan issue; it is an American issue. …Our organization was formed and is run by individuals who understand the political process from the inside out, and are now seeking to educate people about the power they have to shape the process from the outside in. Our staff members have participated in elections of all shapes and sizes across this great nation.”

Take Back Our Republic (www.takeback.org), or TBOR, is based near the campus of Auburn University just 90 minutes from the Atlanta airport. Its mission is to conduct research, analysis and public education on conservative ideas for improving the financing of campaigns for public office. One such idea is to incentivize small campaign donations from private citizens. TBOR believes that if more Americans have a voice, politicians will focus less on a handful of big check writers at corporations, unions or special interest groups who expect something in return.

Press inquiries can be directed to Jared Thomas at jaredt@takeback.org or 404-663-3646, and the office can be reached at 334-329-7258.

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