Board of Directors

Home » ABOUT » Board of Directors
Diane Bast, Board Member since August 2009
Diane Bast

Diane Bast

Diane Carol Bast (Illinois) joined The Heartland Institute as publications director in February 1987. She has worn numerous hats in the organization since then and was named executive editor in January 2008.

Diane is executive editor of Heartland’s serial publications — School Reform News, Environment & Climate News, Budget & Tax News,  and QPR. She also edits and oversees the production of all books, policy studies and other publications produced by The Heartland.

She has edited or written more than 120 studies and a dozen books on national, state and local public policy, including Why We Spend Too Much on Health Care (1993), Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism (1994), Climate Change Reconsidered (five volumes between 2008 and 2014), and Rewards: How to use rewards to help children learn – and why teachers don’t use them well (2014).

Prior to joining The Heartland Institute, Diane was co-editor of the bimonthly libertarian magazine Nomos. The oldest of six kids, she’s an avid Green Bay Packers fan, yet holds no animosity toward Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in criminal justice and constitutional law from the University of Wisconsin.

Ken Bisson, MD, Board Member since October 2003, Secretary since May 2009
Ken Bisson, MD

Ken Bisson, MD

Ken Bisson (Indiana) has been active in the libertarian movement for more than two decades. He was a founding member of the Advocates, an early chairman of the Advocates, and then served as chair again from 2006-2009.

In 1988, he ran for Indiana State Representative as a Libertarian, and for U.S. House in 1996. Ken was elected to the Libertarian National Committee in 1998 as the Region 3 Representative, and in 2000 as an At-Large Member. From 2001 to 2004, he served as vice chair of the U.S. Libertarian Party. He is the long-standing Chairman of the Steuben County Libertarian Party.

Professionally, Ken is a “peer review” consultant for Cameron Hospital in Indiana. He is the medical director of Results Weight Loss, Inc. a Naples, Fla. based company which combines balanced nutrition and individual nutrition coaching to help people lose weight. He is also the owner of, and an accredited cruise counselor for Freedom Cruises, where he plans annual libertarian cruises. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, and has practiced general medicine for over 25 years.

Locally, Ken serves his community as a member of the finance committee of the local Community Foundation. He enjoys competitive duplicate bridge, playing golf and sailing with his wife Ellen. More of Ken’s time is being spent each year as “devoted grandpa,” a favorite role.

Sloane Frost, Board Member since September, 2013
Sloane Frost

Sloane Frost

Sloane Frost (New Jersey) graduated from Cornell University in 2008 with a degree in Policy Analysis & Management and concentration in Health Policy. While studying the economics and history of health policy in this country, Sloane became interested in the principles of liberty and individual responsibility that seem to be missing from modern policy initiatives. After serving with City Year, an AmeriCorps program, Sloane saw first hand the negative consequences of an intrusive government public education system. She returned to academia to earn a Masters in Public Policy and certificate in Health Administration and Policy at the University of Chicago in June 2011.

Various experiences in the university setting quickly taught Sloane that her fellow students are also deprived of many freedoms on campus, and she became dedicated to the student fight for liberty. In 2007, Sloane co-founded Students For Liberty (SFL) and now serves as the Chairwoman of SFL’s Board of Directors. SFL provides a forum of support for students and student leaders dedicated to liberty, and its resources include international and local conferences, free books, leadership training, and handbooks on student activism.

Like many college students, Sloane first took the World’s Smallest Political Quiz before she self-identified as a libertarian and was fascinated by how clearly it summarized her philosophy. Students across SFL’s network value the Operation Politically Homeless tabling kits as essential campus supplies. Sloane is thrilled to work with the Advocates to ensure that students continue to benefit from these wonderful resources.

By day, Sloane is a health policy research analyst for a private policy research firm in Princeton, NJ. She also tutors and volunteers with children in New Jersey who do not have permanent housing.

Sharon Harris, President / CEO
Sharon Harris

Sharon Harris

Sharon Harris (Georgia) has been president of the Advocates since 1995. A communication expert, she teaches libertarians to be powerful and successful communicators of the ideas of liberty.

She recently was awarded the Libertarian Party’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for “outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party.”

Sharon has been active in the libertarian movement since the early 70s. She was co-founder of the Libertarian Party of Georgia in 1972 and a candidate for Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture in 1994, winning over 300,000 votes.

Prior to being chosen as President of the Advocates, Sharon was a team-building trainer for businesses and organizations. Before that, she was owner and manager of a successful book indexing business for 17 years.

She also has worked as a free-lance writer, a magazine-article-writing instructor, managing editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia and as a team-building trainer for businesses and organizations.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology. She also earned certification from the Association for Psychological Type for teaching, administering and interpreting the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the world’s most widely used personality inventory.

Sharon is married to James W. Harris, has one grown daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. Favorite things to do in leisure time: playing around with acrylic painting, watching movies, playing rummy or Phase Ten, Sudoku, reading a good novel and singing in the Etowah Valley Chorale.

Doug Klippel, Member since October 2013
Doug Klippel

Doug Klippel

Doug Klippel (Florida) has been a long time libertarian, first becoming involved in the Southern California campaign efforts of Ed Clark during the 1980 presidential campaign. During the early 80’s, Doug continued to serve in leadership roles in student libertarian groups, as well as local Libertarian Party chapters in Southern California.

After taking some time off of politics for graduate school and the establishment of his professional career, Doug became active in Harry Browne’s 2000 presidential campaign, and continued to work with local libertarian groups in Florida, eventually becoming the Chairman of the Duval County Libertarian Party (Jacksonville, FL). He then went on to serve two consecutive terms as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida.

In addition to his work for libertarian groups, Doug also serves on the board of the ACLU of Florida (Northeast Chapter), and is also a board member for the First Coast Tiger Bay Club (a nonpartisan political discussion group). In addition, Doug has also served as an officer for the Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County, a local group that fights for responsible spending and low taxes.

A long-time supporter of the Advocates, Doug is particularly interested in discovering effective methods for teaching the lessons of liberty to our high school and college populations, and is also interested in how to effectively use the media to spread the message of liberty. He currently hosts a weekly television show in the Jacksonville area, The Libertarian Perspective, and for several years also hosted a 2 hour local weekend radio show of the same name.

Professionally, Doug serves as the President of People Development Partners LLC, a human resource management consulting firm. Trained as an industrial/organizational psychologist, Doug has held a variety of corporate, consulting, and academic positions throughout the course of his career. He currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

James Lark, III, PhD, Board Member since October 2003, Chair since May 2009
Advocates Board Chair James Lark

James Lark III, PhD

Jim Lark (Virginia) has been a friend and supporter of the Advocates since its earliest days.  A professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, Jim also served as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Virginia Tech and as the Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business at the University of Rochester.  He was the national chairman of the U.S. Libertarian Party during the 2000-2002 term.

He currently serves as a regional representative on the Libertarian National Committee, and as a member of the LNC’s Executive Committee.  He also serves as vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, secretary of the Jefferson Area Libertarians (Charlottesville, Va.), and advisor to several libertarian student groups at the University of Virginia.

He is the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Jefferson Award, the Libertarian Party’s highest honor that is given for lifetime achievement.  He is also the recipient of the 2004 Samuel Adams Award (given to the member deemed the most effective activist) and the 2012 Thomas Paine Award (given to the member deemed the most effective communicator).  He is the only person to receive each of these awards.

Dr. Lark is the secretary of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty and a member of the Board of Advisors of Students For Liberty.  He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland.

When not homebrewing beer, serving as gourmet chef or following English Premiership soccer, he helps organize libertarian student groups around the country.

Chris Rufer, Board Member since May 2007

Chris Rufer (California) founded The Morning Star Company in 1970 as a one-truck owner-operator, hauling tomatoes to other canneries. Today, Morning Star accounts for over 25% of the California processing tomato production, supplying 40% of the U.S. ingredient tomato paste and diced tomato markets.

Mark Rutherford, Board Member since November 2009
Mark Rutherford

Mark Rutherford

Mark W. Rutherford (Indiana) is an attorney and shareholder of Thrasher Buschmann and Voelkel, P.C. in Indianapolis. His practice focuses on business law and litigation, white collar criminal and administrative defense of businesses, and election law.

Professionally, he serves on the council of the Business Law Section of the Indiana State Bar Association and serves as its representative to the ABA Working Group on Opinion Letters, as well as on the faculty of the Trial Advocacy Skills College of the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Foundation. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Association Foundation and a Fellow of the Indiana State Bar Foundation. He also has served on law school site visitation teams for the American Bar Association.

Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Mark to the Indiana Public Defender Commission in 2007 as a Libertarian. Soon thereafter, he was elected Chairman of the Commission and continues to serve on the Commission as Chairman.

Active in the community, Mark currently serves as the President of the Central Indiana Tennis Association, Inc. and as Vice President of Woodstock Club. He also is a Director Emeritus of the Valparaiso University School of Law National Council, and has been on the Indianapolis Council of the Valparaiso School of Law since 2001. He is a past chairman of the Police Athletic League of Indianapolis, Inc. (1994-96), the National Junior Tennis League of Indianapolis, Inc. (1998-2000) and a past president of the Lambda Chi Alpha Home Association of Wabash College, Inc. (1993-2001).

Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity recognized Mark in 2000 with its Order of Merit. The Order of Merit is the highest recognition given by Lambda Chi Alpha to its volunteers.

Mark has served both as a member of Libertarian National Committee and as its vice chair since 2010. He previously served on the Libertarian National Committee from 2001-06 and as state chairman of the Libertarian Party of Indiana from 2000-07. He is Chairman and Founder of the libertarian Atlas!Liberty PAC, Inc.

Mark is an avid tennis and platform tennis player and enjoys weightlifting as well. He graduated from Wabash College and Valparaiso University School of Law. Mark has been a fan of the Chicago Cubs since he attended law school, and thus is infinitely patient.

Emily Salvette, Member Since October 2013
Emily Salvette

Emily Salvette

Emily Salvette (Michigan) has been active in the Libertarian party since 1980. She has served in many capacities at the local and state level including two terms as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan.  She was a member of the Libertarian National Committee from 2004-2008 and still serves on the LP National Credentials Committee. She has been a Libertarian candidate numerous times, most recently running for U. S. Congress from Michigan’s 1st district in 2012.

Outside of politics, she is a community volunteer for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan (Distinguished Alumni Service Award, 2007), the Thrift Shop Association of Ann Arbor, the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She also works part-time at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. She holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Telecommunication Arts, both from University of Michigan. She has been married to her husband John, an auto-industry executive, since 1977 and they have two adult sons.

 

Marshall Fritz (1943-2008), Founder and Board Member Emeritus
Advocates Founder Marshall Fritz

Marshall Fritz

Marshall Fritz founded the Advocates in 1985 and remained on the Board until his death. He is also the creator of the world-famous “World’s Smallest Political Quiz.”

In 1994, Marshall founded the Alliance for the Separation of School & State, which works to end state, federal and local government involvement in K-12 schools. He was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the phrase “separation of school and state” into the vernacular.

Previously, he served as president of the Pioneer Christian Academy and as executive director of the Libertarian Party of California. Marshall began his career at IBM in computer sales and design.

Marshall was born in California in 1943, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts from California State University Fullerton in 1964. A devout Catholic, he and his wife of 44 years, Joan, lived in Fresno, Calif.. They had four grown children and a dozen grandchildren.

George Schwappach (1953-2011), Board Member Emeritus

George Schwappach was on the Advocates Board since its founding, and boasted of being the first Advocates member/supporter. He served as chair from 1990 to 1992, and was founder and first president of the Advocates initial chapter, “Chapter One,” in Ohio.

He was a past chairman of the San Joaquin County, Calif. (1982-84) and Taylor County, Texas (1998-2001) Libertarian Party, was campaign manager for Debra Monde’s bid for U.S. House (Texas 17th District) in 2000, and was a Libertarian candidate for State Representative in 2002.

George was proud to tell people that he met Debra Monde using the Quiz at a dance hall in Columbus, Ohio.

He and Debra were the parents of four private-schooled sons, and they finalized their church wedding in October, 1989 with an official marriage license on both their parents anniversaries, July 6th (2003). Debra Monde passed away in 2005, and George is on record as being the first known person to hand out the Quiz at a funeral service.

Professionally, George worked as a CFO, COO and President of various real estate development companies from coast to coast.