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LEAD 2017 Speakers

Check back for new speakers—added every week!
Main Speakers

James Muffett

Founder & President, Student Statesmanship Institute

James has been active in Michigan’s public arena for over 25 years. Married to Margot since 1979, a father of 5, former pastor, nationally recognized spokesperson for traditional family values in Michigan, statewide organizational leader, and passionate citizen – he brings an experienced view and vibrant vision to Michigan’s cultural landscape. His perspective on how the Bible, history of our nation, current times, and future tie together inspires everyone, leading them into effective cultural engagement – whether running for office, educating their church or simply enhancing their appreciation of our religious freedom. His motivational speaking inspires and trains leaders for this and the next generation. James’ bucket list includes a visit to an SSI alum in the oval office.

 

WEEK 1

 

Greg Kelley

Executive Director of World Mission

Greg Kelley is a committed husband (Kathy) and father of 5 beautiful children.  God powerfully called him into full-time ministry from a career in the insurance industry.  He has served as the Executive Director of World Mission since 1998. Their primary objective is to impact unreached people groups with the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Many unreached peoples are also oral learners so World Mission distributes the Treasure which is a solar powered audio player existing in thousands of languages with more than 200 full New Testaments. Greg has spoken and preached in more than 30 countries as an advocate for bringing the gospel to the 2 billion people who have yet to hear the precious message that ‘Jesus saves!’.  He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and was the MVP of their 1991 football team.  He and his family reside in Byron Center, MI.  He enjoys golf, snowboarding, college football and anything with his family!

 

Wayne Lynn

Director, Transmission & Distribution Operations & Engineering, Board of Water & Light

In that role, Wayne is responsible for the day-today operations of the electric overhead and underground construction, maintenance, and service restoration as well Engineering and Vegetation Management for Lansing’s Board of Water and Light. Wayne has also worked for Consumers Energy,the Chicago-based Exelon Corp., and the South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina.

In the community, Wayne serves tirelessly in several capacities. He is the Chairman of the Deacon’s Ministry at Union Missionary Baptist Church; Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Turning Point of Lansing; Regional Father’s Auxiliary Chair for Jack & Jill of America, Midwestern Region; and he has served on the Board of Directors for the Metro YMCA. He is a training facilitator with his own company, Lynn Innovative Solutions. Wayne’s guiding scripture is: “…To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required…”, Luke 12:48. He has been married for 25 years to the lovely Melanie and has three beautiful daughters, Lauren, Brittney and Chanel.

 

Margaret O’Brien

State Senator for Michigan’s 20th District

State Senator O’Brien is a life-long resident of Kalamazoo County and grew up on local dairy farms with her parents and three brothers. After graduation from Mattawan High School and the James Madison College at Michigan State University, she was hired as a social worker for Catholic Charities. Currently, she continues to sell properties as a REALTOR® for RE/MAX Advantage. Together, she and her husband, Nick, parent four children and have two dogs. Senator O’Brien was elected in 2014 to represent the 20th Senate District which includes all of Kalamazoo County. Previously, she served two terms in the State House of Representatives, representing the 61st House district from 2011-2014. Prior to serving at the State Capitol, Senator O’Brien served on the Portage City Council from 2003-2010.

WEEK 2

 

Don Denyes

Senior Pastor at South Church

Don Denyes has served as the Senior Pastor at South Church in Lansing, Michigan since 1995. After giving his heart to Christ in his teen years, Don felt that God was calling him into the ministry. He sought further preparation in Bible College, studying at Bob Jones University, Biblical Theological Seminary, and finally earning his doctorate at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to his duties as pastor, Don serves on the boards of Cornerstone University and Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and teaches at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Nancy, have been blessed with five daughters and five grandsons.

 

Monica Stephens

Michigan Assistant Attorney General, SSI Alum

A 1999 SSI alumna and long-time advocate for citizens who are often overlooked in our society, including the elderly, children, and those with disabilities, Monica Stephens currently serves as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan. Previously, as an Assistant County Prosecutor in Jackson County, she protected neglected and abused children, and prosecuted various crimes. Prior to her legal career, Monica championed for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill in the adult foster care system, helping them to apply for government benefits and investigating employee Medicaid fraud on their behalf. Monica is a member of the Greater Bible Way Temple church where she has served as the Youth Leader for the past 15 years. Her passion for mentoring youth extends into the community where she teaches the gospel of Jesus Christ to teenagers and works in tandem with her church to encourage urban youth to pursue a post-highschool education. Monica is a graduate of Michigan State University and Thomas Cooley Law School and enjoys tennis, playing the piano, and traveling with family in her spare time.

 

Andrew Fink

Attorney & SSI Alum

Andrew was raised in Ypsilanti.  He is an alumnus of Hillsdale College and the University of Michigan Law School.  During law school, Andrew attended Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico and received a commission as a second lieutenant.  Following graduation, he was on active duty as a judge advocate for about three years.  He left active duty as a captain in 2014, Andrew participated in the Marine Corps Reserve while beginning private practice at Fink & Valvo, PLLC (now Fink & Fink, PLLC).

Andrew met his wife Lauren when they were both undergraduates at Hillsdale, and together they have four children: Evangeline (7), Fred (5), and Dietrich (3), and Van (1).

 

Bill Hardiman

Director of the Office of Interagency Collaboration and Reengineering (Michigan Department of Human Services)

Formerly the Mayor of Kentwood and a Michigan State Senator, The Honorable William Hardiman is the director of the Office of Interagency Collaboration and Reengineering within the Michigan Department of Human Services, which promotes cooperation and concurrence between state departments, faith-based groups, and community-based agencies to improve the quality of life for Michigan residents. He and his wife of 43 years, Clova, reside in Kentwood.

WEEK 3

 

Larry Carter

President of Great Lakes Christian College

Mr. Carter received a B.S. in Biblical Studies from Cincinnati Bible College. While a student, he served as Youth Minister of the New Burlington Church of Christ and the Felicity Church of Christ, as well as Youth Coordinator of an inner city Salvation Army. He then received a Masters of Christian Ministries degree from Huntington College, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

 

Michael Flory

Founder & Owner, CustomBuilt Decks

Born and raised in Michigan, Michael Flory is a self-proclaimed adventurer and risk taker with a love of building. At the tender age of 12, he and his brother, Chris, built their first deck – the first of literally hundreds of building projects he has overseen since then. Michael’s first venture was in 2001 as co-founder of Rockbuilt Construction, one of the largest college loft-bed construction businesses in the Midwest. In 2004, he founded Custom Built Decks and in 2006 merged with Chris’ company, Finished Basements International, to become Custom Built Basements and Decks. He continues to pursue his passion for business and personal development through life-long education. Michael serves on the board of the Greater Lansing Home Builders Association and is an active member of Lansing Trinity Church. He has embarked on eight humanitarian and evangelical missions worldwide. Family, the great outdoors, hockey and soccer are among his many interests.

 

Wally Hostetter

Co-Pastor at Mt. Pleasant Community Church

Wally and his wife Linda have served the Lord for thirty-nine years. They are “Revivalists” of the Twenty First Century having served in ministries ranging from a rural pastorate, a mega-church pastorate, a church planting pastorate and a mission’s ministry at a large church in Michigan. In 2001, God called them to the mission field to preach, teach and work with the widows of the world. Of late, Linda and Wally have been very involved with Widows Might Ministry. Wally and Linda have served and continue to serve the Lord by working with indigenous ministries and helping widows in Nigeria, Guatemala, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Belarus, Siberia and Moldova. Currently, Wally is serving as a co-pastor at Mt. Pleasant Community Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

House Track Speakers

DeeDee Briski

Author & Speaker

DeeDee Briski holds a Liberal Arts degree from Macomb Community College with a specialization in journalism and certification in Behavioral Sciences. A former newspaper journalist, she is also certified with the Macomb Literacy Partners as an English as a Second Language and reading tutor. She authored the book “Impressive Deception / Creation or Evolution-You Decide” in 2004.

 

The Honorable Brian Calley

Lieutenant Governor of Michigan

Continually referenced for redefining the role of lieutenant governor in Michigan, Brian Calley is a forward looking leader intent on building the best state for everybody. He is a tireless inclusion advocate, focused on ensuring all Michiganders have the opportunity to live more independent and self-determined lives. He has led many state initiatives working to address important issues including addiction, mental wellness, special education reform and child lead poisoning. He also advocates for greater inclusion in the workplace, encouraging businesses and state government to hire Michiganders with disabilities.

Prior to being elected to the office of lieutenant governor, Calley served in the Michigan House of Representatives, as an Ionia County commissioner and worked for more than a decade in community banking. He holds degrees from Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and Harvard University.

 

Alan Cropsey

Director of Legislative Relations for Attorney General Bill Schuette

Alan Cropsey earned his B.S. in mathematics education with a minor in composite science from Bob Jones University in 1975 and his J.D. from Cooley Law School in 1978. He was partner in the Kallman & Cropsey law firm, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Education, and served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on National Juvenile Justice Reform. In 1986, Cropsey wrote the Criminal Justice section of the Source Book of Model Legislation for the American Legislative Exchange Council. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1979-1982 and 1993-1998, in the State Senate from 1983-1990 and 2003-2010, and as Senate Floor Leader from 2007-2010. Cropsey is married with four children.

 

Lennie Mailand

Teacher, Worldview Instructor

For over twenty-five years, Mr. Mailand has worked in the field of education at the college and secondary level as an administrator, teacher, and coach. He has taught classes in Bible, apologetics, logic, history, government, economics, introductory Greek, and comparative worldviews utilizing an adaptation of the “Understanding the Times” curriculum. His other contributions have included curriculum development and teacher training.

 

The Honorable Andy Schor

State Representative

State Representative Andy Schor is in his third term representing residents of the 68th House District, which includes most of the city of Lansing and all of Lansing Township. Previous to his election to the House, Andy served for 10 years as an Ingham County Commissioner. Before that, Andy worked for State Senator Gary Peters (now U.S. Senator Peters) for five years and for state Representative Paul Condino for two years. He also served in Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration.

Andy’s community involvement includes service with the Ingham County Land Band, Tri-County Office on Aging, the Greater Lansing Food Bank, and Families Against Narcotics. He and his wife, Erin Schor, have lived in Lansing for 17 years. Their children, Ryan and Hannah, attend school in the Lansing Public Schools. Andy graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and in history.

 

Tim Van Loh

Chief Operations Officer, Student Statesmanship Institute

Tim joined the SSI team with a pastoral, teaching, and administrative background. He has been active in politics since high school and has always enjoyed public speaking as well. As a father of two SSI alumni, he fully appreciates the benefits of what SSI can do for students and families today. He is passionate about the Bible having memorized I Peter, Hebrews, Ephesians, and over half of Proverbs. Two interesting things about Tim is that he has lived in Japan for nine years and currently lives in a three generational household!

Senate Track Speakers

DeeDee Briski

Author & Speaker

DeeDee Briski holds a Liberal Arts degree from Macomb Community College with a specialization in journalism and certification in Behavioral Sciences. A former newspaper journalist, she is also certified with the Macomb Literacy Partners as an English as a Second Language and reading tutor. She authored the book “Impressive Deception / Creation or Evolution-You Decide” in 2004.

 

Lennie Mailand

Teacher, Worldview Instructor

For over twenty-five years, Mr. Mailand has worked in the field of education at the college and secondary level as an administrator, teacher, and coach. He has taught classes in Bible, apologetics, logic, history, government, economics, introductory Greek, and comparative worldviews utilizing an adaptation of the “Understanding the Times” curriculum. His other contributions have included curriculum development and teacher training.

 

Tim Van Loh

Chief Operations Officer, Student Statesmanship Institute

Tim joined the SSI team with a pastoral, teaching, and administrative background. He has been active in politics since high school and has always enjoyed public speaking as well. As a father of two SSI alumni, he fully appreciates the benefits of what SSI can do for students and families today. He is passionate about the Bible having memorized I Peter, Hebrews, Ephesians, and over half of Proverbs. Two interesting things about Tim is that he has lived in Japan for nine years and currently lives in a three generational household!

 

Media Track Speakers & Instructors

Dan Armstrong

Corporate Communications Specialist at Covenant Eyes

Dan Armstrong is the corporate communications specialist for Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering in Owosso, MI. He handles the public relations and promotion of the company. Prior to his current role, Dan directed the marketing and communications department at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and spent 10 years as a television news anchor and reporter at two NBC stations in Michigan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting from Bob Jones University and master’s degree in Journalism from Regent University.

Mary Jackson

Correspondent, World Magazine

Mary Jackson is a San Francisco Bay area correspondent for WORLD Magazine. She primarily writes feature stories with marriage and family-related themes and reviews children’s books. Previously she was a news and feature reporter for The Lansing State Journal and The Washington (D.C.) Times.  She has a bachelor of arts degree from Greenville College. She has been married 15 years to her husband Ryan and they have four children, ages 14 to 1. She home schools three of their children, administrating and teaching for their co-op.

 

Jacob Kanclerz

Reporter, MIRS News

Jacob Kanclerz covers state government, courts and politics in Lansing for MIRS News, an online newsletter read by lawmakers, lobbyists and others watching the state government closely. He primarily covers the executive branch and also has covered the state Supreme Court and the Detroit bankruptcy. Kanclerz graduated from Michigan State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. He previously worked as a general assignment reporter for The Newark Advocate in Newark, Ohio and interned as a business reporter with The Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio. He serves as president for the Mid-Michigan Society of Professional Journalists Chapter.

 

Josiah March

Freelance Film Producer

Josiah March is a media track coach and video editor/motion graphic designer for the broadcast media team. Josiah is an SSI alumni and veteran of the media track. His first year in the broadcast team inspired him to go on to college for video production at Compass College of Cinematic Arts where he earned his video production degree. Josiah has worked on several film productions as well as many smaller projects.

Currently Josiah is a freelance videographer and motion graphics designer in the Greater Grand Rapids area where he is avidly pursuing his passion of video production.

 

Zeke Talmage

Instructor & Teacher

Zeke has been attending the Student Statesmanship Institute since 2006, first as a student and then as an aide-de-camp helping with the Media Track. In 2014 he took on the role of Broadcast Director where he has been ever since.

In his youth, he had such jobs as paper boy, fencing instructor, Awana leader, philanthropist, cameraman, video editor, and library page but now finds purpose impacting the future generations by teaching classical fencing and LEGO robotics to 1st-12th graders. In his spare time, you may find him studying Italian martial arts from the 14th-19th centuries, listening to audio books, or debating literary canon.

 

Colton Welsey

Sports Writer, Social Media Developer

Colton Wesley has been the SSI Media Print Director since 2016, serving as Editor-in-Chief and Head of Design for the SSI Observer.

Wesley is a play-by-play and public address voice for semi-professional, collegiate and high school sports and is a senior contributor at Detroit Jock City, where he writes about the Detroit Lions and Michigan State Spartans. He also works as an online and social media developer and co-hosts the “We Are Adults” podcast. He graduated with honors in 2016 from Great Lakes Christian College, where he was sports information director, and is currently pursuing his M.A. in English.

 

Kendall Wingrove

Senior Editor at Office of Highway Safety Planning, Michigan State Police

Kendall Wingrove took a position with the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning in March of 2015. Kendall was formerly the Senior Writer at Delta Dental since 2011. Before that he worked in the Communications Department of the Senate Republicans, where he started in October 2005 after many years as a press secretary in the Michigan House. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. Kendall is also a free-lance historical writer and columnist who is regularly featured on the editorial page of several Michigan newspapers.

 

Advanced Worldview Instructors: 

 

John Beck

Teacher/Instructor

John Beck is a High School Government/History Teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo and part-time instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has earned a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in Political Science and History. John is married with 3 children.

 

Anthony Weber

High School Teacher

Born and raised a Mennonite in the backwoods of Alabama, the valleys of Oregon, and the wilds of Ohio, Anthony Weber eventually ended up at Cedarville University. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Education, making him officially unilingual. He has been teaching at Traverse City Christian School for 10 years (English, Bible, Logic) as well as coaching (girls and boys basketball). He currently pastors Church of the Living God in Traverse City. He earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Theology and Philosophy in 2013, and his brain is officially full.

Business Track Speakers & Instructors

Gary W. Britten

Associate Prof. of Business, Spring Arbor University

Gary W. Britten is a 1973 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Business and a 1976 graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law. He has been on the faculty of the Gainey School of Business at Spring Arbor University for twenty-seven years, teaching law and strategy courses.

 

Ryan Kolis

Business Instructor

Ryan Kolis attended Macomb Community College to earn his Associates Degree in general business and was on MCC dean’s list. He also attended Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. He has worked as a high school math tutor since 2008.

 

Scott Richards

Vice President, Hallmark Tool & Gage Company

Scott has taken his faith and family values and applied them to Hallmark Tool and Gage Company as well as HTG Fabrications and Assemblies where he is Vice President and co-owner respectively.  He began in 1992 at Hallmark Tool and Gage as a general laborer in small 4000 sq. ft. machine shop. He and his father struggled to get the company out of debt, but by 1995 they began to grow and expand. They moved into a 6000 sq. ft. building and bought their first CNC machine. This started a 10 year trend of adding a piece of equipment every six months and leasing more manufacture space totaling 14,000 sq. ft. In 2005, Scott and his father started their HTG Fabrication company to support their machining operations. Scott believes in his employees because without a talented staff you will have nothing. He made it his goal and dream to create a work environment that individuals can grow and feel appreciated. He has been married to the love of his life Cristie for almost 25 years.  They have two sons: Deven (17) and Cory (15). They are an active family who enjoy running, boxing, and working out. Scott and his family volunteer at Gleaners, Love Inc., and Labor of Love. They have fostered, hosted an exchange student, and sponsor a child in Nicaragua.

 

Blaine Schultz

President of AccessPoint – Staffing Division

Blaine Schultz is the President of the AccessPoint Staffing Division and responsible for the day-to-day management of the staff, financial, accounting and computer operations. Prior to joining AccessPoint in 2014, Blaine was President of Advance Employment. Previous positions include Controller of the Michigan Republican State Committee from and an accountant at Lindell Drop Forge. Blaine received a B.S. in Accounting from Michigan State University in 1986.

 

Mark Teachout

President, T&G Financial Solutions

Mark Teachout has also served many years as President for NAIFA of Lansing and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). He has provided reputable financial services to continually satisfied clients in over fifteen states for more than 30 years. In conjunction with his professionalism and experience, Mark’s insistence upon excellence, integrity and an individualized financial approach serves as the solid foundation for helping his clients grow, maintain, and build a legacy of wealth for their posterity.

 

Mike Winter

Life Coach

Mike has been married to his wife Kim for almost 30 years. They are the parents of ten children, ages 7 to 25 years. Mike and Kim also enjoy two granddaughters. Mike met his wife while attending Hope College where he received his BA in Religion. Since college, Mike has worked as an associate pastor, insurance agent, and insurance company manager but has served for the past 20 years with CBMC as a spiritual coach for business and professional men. Mike and Kim are the founders of CHESS and since 2007 Mike has been the executive director for INCH, Michigan’s largest home school network.  Mike’s weekly coaching blog can be accessed at knowgodcoach.com.

 

Advanced Worldview Instructors: 

 

John Beck

Teacher/Instructor

John Beck is a High School Government/History Teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo and part-time instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has earned a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in Political Science and History. John is married with 3 children.

 

Anthony Weber

High School Teacher

Born and raised a Mennonite in the backwoods of Alabama, the valleys of Oregon, and the wilds of Ohio, Anthony Weber eventually ended up at Cedarville University. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Education, making him officially unilingual. He has been teaching at Traverse City Christian School for 10 years (English, Bible, Logic) as well as coaching (girls and boys basketball). He currently pastors Church of the Living God in Traverse City. He earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Theology and Philosophy in 2013, and his brain is officially full.

Mock Trial Track Speakers & Instructors

Jeff Jentzen

Director of Autopsy & Forensic Services at the University of Michigan

Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen received his medical school training at Wayne State Medical School in Detroit, Michigan. He completed a pathology residency and forensic fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the chief medical examiner for Milwaukee County Wisconsin from 1987 to 2008. During that time he completed 45,000 death investigations, personally performed 6000 autopsies, and testified in courts throughout the United States. While in Milwaukee, he investigated the Jeffrey Dahmer case and over 2500 homicide cases. He received a PhD in medical history from the University of Wisconsin in 2007. He has been credited with creating the American Medicolegal Death Investigator Board and Forensic Autopsy Standards. He was the 2008 president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, a national organization representing some 900 medical examiners in the U.S. and internationally.

 

Steven Jentzen

Attorney

Steven M. Jentzen, founder of Steven M. Jentzen, P.C., has been in private practice for over 30 years and provides a broad range of legal services to clients throughout Michigan. He has participated in landmark cases in family law, land development, free speech and religious liberty, is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar, listed in Who’s Who in American Law and affiliated with several national attorney associations. Jentzen graduated from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1978. He received a B.A. in History cum laude from Colorado State University in 1975, where he was a Rhodes Scholar Nominee, recipient of the Merrill-Gheen Award, and captain of the Colorado State University Wrestling Team.

 

Jonathan Maire

Attorney

Jonathan Maire is a retired U.S. Navy officer, former prosecutor and judge. Admitted to practice law in both Michigan and California, well was as before the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Supreme Court, and others, Jonathan earned his law degree in 1964 from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law. He has served on the board of the Christian Legal Society and the Independent Bank of South Michigan, and was a founding board member of the Christian Conciliation Service of Central Michigan.

 

Kerry Morgan

Attorney

Kerry Lee Morgan is an Attorney admitted to practice in Michigan, Virginia, and the District of Columbia as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as an Attorney-Advisor with the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington D.C.  In addition to practicing law, since 1980, Mr. Morgan has also written a number of thought-provoking articles in the areas of natural law and unalienable rights. He completed an extensive legal review of religious liberty principles and Supreme Court cases titled, Unalienable Rights, Equality and The Free Exercise of Religion. In 1997, University Press of America published his book, Real Choice, Real Freedom in American Education, a scholarly work that articulates the legal and Constitutional case for parental rights and against governmental control of American Education.

 

Scott Robe

Attorney

Scott M. Robe, Esq., earned an A.B. degree summa cum laude in History at Ohio University in 1984. He received a Master of Public Policy and a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University in 1986, and 1989 respectively. He passed the Virginia Bar Exam in 1989, the District of Columbia exam in 1990, and the Ohio exam in 1991, and is admitted to practice in each of those jurisdictions.

 

The Honorable Michael Warren

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge

Michael Warren has served as an Oakland County circuit court judge since 2002. A founder of Patriot Week, he also served as a member of the Michigan State Board of Education from 1999-2002, is a member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education, and authored “America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming our First Principles and History.” Judge Warren graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in History in 1989 and received his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1992. He periodically serves as a Visiting and Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law at Western Michigan Cooley Law School.

 

Advanced Worldview Instructors: 

 

John Beck

Teacher/Instructor

John Beck is a High School Government/History Teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo and part-time instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has earned a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in Political Science and History. John is married with 3 children.

 

Anthony Weber

High School Teacher

Born and raised a Mennonite in the backwoods of Alabama, the valleys of Oregon, and the wilds of Ohio, Anthony Weber eventually ended up at Cedarville University. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Education, making him officially unilingual. He has been teaching at Traverse City Christian School for 10 years (English, Bible, Logic) as well as coaching (girls and boys basketball). He currently pastors Church of the Living God in Traverse City. He earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Theology and Philosophy in 2013, and his brain is officially full.

Moot Court Track Speakers & Instructors

Reka Holley

Moot Court Instructor

An SSI alumna and Moot Court instructor, Reka Holley earned both her law degree and her Master’s in Government from Regent University in Virginia. She has served as a summer associate with the American Center for Law and Justice, a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives, and currently works with the Michigan Agency for Energy as Assistant to the Director. She is a member of the Michigan Bar Association.

 

The Honorable Stephen Markman

Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court 

A former appeals court judge, federal prosecutor, U.S. Assistant Attorney General, and U.S. Senate counsel, the Honorable Stephen Markman serves as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. An accomplished scholar, he teaches constitutional law at Hillsdale College and has authored articles for publications such as the Stanford Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and numerous others. He has traveled to Ukraine on two occasions on behalf of the State Department to provide assistance in the development of that nation’s post-Soviet constitution. A Fellow of the Michigan Bar Foundation, he is also a Master of the Bench of the Inns of Court and a member of the One Hundred Club. Chief Justice Markman has spoken before hundreds of youth, civic, charitable, and legal groups throughout Michigan and nationally and has coached Little League baseball and basketball. He lives with his wife Mary Kathleen in Mason and has two sons, James and Charles.

 

William Wagner

Professor & Attorney

Professor William Wagner is an internationally recognized expert in constitutional law and good governance. As lead amicus counsel in various matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, he authored briefs on behalf of various Christian organizations. He also authored written testimony, evidence, and briefs in such forums as the Swedish Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, and the U.K. Parliament. He has further addressed many executive, legislative, parliamentary, and judicial audiences throughout the world, and presented at various diplomatic forums including the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. Professor Wagner’s public service includes serving as a Federal judge in the United States Courts, legal counsel in the U.S. Senate, senior assistant United States attorney in the Department of Justice, and as an American diplomat, as well as a special appointment as Commissioner to Canada. His writing is published in numerous journals, books, and other publications.

 

The Honorable Brian Zahra

Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court 

Justice Brian K. Zahra was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court on January 14, 2011, by Governor Rick Snyder. Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, he served 12 years on the Michigan Court of Appeals and 4 years on the Wayne County Circuit Court. He is currently a senior fellow of Law and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Dearborn and is also involved with many civic & charitable organizations. He resides in Northville Township with his Wife Suzanne and their two children.

 

Advanced Worldview Instructors: 

 

John Beck

Teacher/Instructor

John Beck is a High School Government/History Teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo and part-time instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has earned a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in Political Science and History. John is married with 3 children.

 

Anthony Weber

High School Teacher

Born and raised a Mennonite in the backwoods of Alabama, the valleys of Oregon, and the wilds of Ohio, Anthony Weber eventually ended up at Cedarville University. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Education, making him officially unilingual. He has been teaching at Traverse City Christian School for 10 years (English, Bible, Logic) as well as coaching (girls and boys basketball). He currently pastors Church of the Living God in Traverse City. He earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Theology and Philosophy in 2013, and his brain is officially full.

Campaign Track Speakers & Instructors

Matt Sowash

President of Sowash Strategies

Matt has served in many political positions including Victory Center Director for the Michigan Republican Party, Campaign Manager for State Senate and State House races, Legislative Assistant, Analyst and Legislative Director. In 2014 he started Sowash Strategies, which is a political consulting firm based in Lansing. During the 2014 election cycle, Sowash Strategies worked with over 15 House and Senate candidates, winning over 90% of the elections they worked on. He is also currently a lobbyist for Michigan Legislative Consultants.

 

Advanced Worldview Instructors: 

 

John Beck

Teacher/Instructor

John Beck is a High School Government/History Teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo and part-time instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has earned a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in Political Science and History. John is married with 3 children.

 

Anthony Weber

High School Teacher

Born and raised a Mennonite in the backwoods of Alabama, the valleys of Oregon, and the wilds of Ohio, Anthony Weber eventually ended up at Cedarville University. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Education, making him officially unilingual. He has been teaching at Traverse City Christian School for 10 years (English, Bible, Logic) as well as coaching (girls and boys basketball). He currently pastors Church of the Living God in Traverse City. He earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Theology and Philosophy in 2013, and his brain is officially full.

Mailing Address:

PO Box 80108
Lansing, MI 48908-0108 

 

Shipping Address:

6011 W. St. Joe Hwy. Ste 403
Lansing, MI 48917
 
Phone: 517-321-6233
Email: ssi@ssionline.org
 
Summer Phone: 989-272-2776