The 1st annual Caffeinated Thoughts Briefing is in the can. It is hard to believe that it has come and gone so quickly. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when Brian Myers and I had coffee and discussed the idea of such an event. As with any first-time events there were lessons learned. I also spent a better part of yesterday afternoon brainstorming some ideas for next year.
I definitely walked away from Saturday’s Briefing with the conviction that this was a unique event, that it fills a void, and that we need to do it again.
We will make some changes and work to improve the foundation that was laid this year. We want this conference to be an event that equips the saints to be salt and light where public policy and faith meet. We want prepare conservative Christians to engage in public policy debates in both Des Moines and Washington, DC through quality speakers and rich content.
We will announce our 2015 date soon so please watch for that. We will have videos of each speech and Q&A panel out later this week.
Our first Caffeinated Thoughts Briefing could not have happened without you. Thank you to our readers, supporters and their friends who took time to spend their entire day with us. We know that was a sacrifice, and we thank you for making it.
Second we want to thank our generous sponsors without their financial and/or in-kind support the conference would not have been realized.
- American Principles Project
- Jeff George and Providence Industrial Electronics Repair
- M&A Moving and Hauling
- Vera Myers
- Sherri Lang and Nurse Force
- The Institute on Religion & Democracy
- American Pride Roasters
Third, there were a number of people who helped behind the scenes before the conference and during the Briefing to help it run smoothly. Thank you so much!
- Cameron Tarbell and Nathan Long – our videographers
- Shawn Barr – Registration
- Morgan Vander Hart – Greeting/AV
- Kelvey Vander Hart – Greeting /AV
- Debbie Myers – Registration
- Gabriel Ives and Ripple Studios – Intro video
- Manda Bolick and staff at the Airport Holiday Inn & Conference Center
- Jennifer Williams of Wilcox Printing
- Thank you to Iowa Right to Life (Jenifer Bowen), The FAMiLY Leader (Dave Barnett), Concerned Women for America of Iowa (Tamara Scott), and American Principles Project (Kate Bryan) who promoted the briefing through their email lists and social media.
Fourth, thank you to our speakers (minus myself). I should point out that not a single person was paid to come speak.
- Dr. E. Calvin Biesner – Cornwall Alliance for Biblical Stewardship
- Dr. Sam Clovis – former radio talk show host & U.S. Senate candidate, candidate for Iowa State Treasurer
- Michael Farris – Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, Founder of Home School Legal Defense Association
- Jan Mickelson – Host of Mickelson in the Morning on WHO Radio 1040 AM
- Steve Lonegan – FixTheDollar.com & Director of Monetary Policy with American Principles in Action
- Chelsen Vicari – Evangelical Action Director at the Institute of Religion & Democracy, author of Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith
- State Senator Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) – Republican Senate Whip, former Iowa State Football standout
- Dr. Bob Stouffer – Principal, Oskaloosa Christian School
- Eric Goranson – Iowa Association of Christian Schools & Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education
- Jenifer Bowen – Iowa Right to Life
- Dr. James Wanliss – Associate Professor of Physics, Presbyterian College
I would also like to thank Brian Myers for being the emcee for the Briefing, and for all of the behind-the-scenes work he did to help make this happen. I have to totally give him credit for the idea. This was totally his brain child.
I would also like to thank my wife, Cheryl, and my kids who had to put up with the extra time this took and for the times I was stressed out and not so fun to be around.
Most of all thank you to those of you who told me that you were praying for this event to go well. I also thank God for His favor, provision, and blessing on this Briefing.
We look forward to doing it again.