"Supporting Freedom and Liberty: Economic, Political, and Religious"

This year's Liberty, Faith and Economics Summit theme is "Supporting Freedom and Liberty: Economic, Political, and Religious." This event will feature multiple guest speakers throughout the day and conclude with our keynote speaker, Rick Graber.


  • 11:30 AM: Lunch | Robert W. Plaster Center Collaboratorium
  • 12:15 PM: Why are some countries rich and others poor? - Dr. Mark Schug and Dr. Scott Niederjohn | Robert W. Plaster Center Collaboratorium
  • 1:30 PM: Mr. George Harbison | Robert W. Plaster Center Collaboratorium
  • 2:45 PM: Mr. Mark Rienzi | Robert W. Plaster Center Collaboratorium
  • 5:00 PM: Reception | Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship (CCES)
  • 6:00 PM: Rick Graber | Keynote Speaker | Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship (CCES)
  • Registration is preferred for this FREE event. To sign up, click or on the Register Now button.
Mark C. Schug is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and President of Mark Schug Consulting Services. Mark taught for 36 years at the middle school, high school, and university levels. A widely recognized scholar, he has written and edited over 230 articles, books, and national curriculum materials. He has spoken to local, state, and national groups throughout the United States and in 11 other countries. He has been the guest co-editor of 14 issues of Social Education, the flagship journal of the National Council for the Social Studies. His latest books are Economic Episodes in American History published by Wohl Publishing and co-authored by William C. Wood, Tawni Hunt Ferrarini and M. Scott Niederjohn, now in its second edition. The same author’s team of Ferrarini, Niederjohn, Schug, and Wood wrote Teachers Can Be Financially Fit: Economists’ Advice for Educators which was published in 2020 by Springer Nature. Mark is co-author of Economic Episodes in Civics and American Government (Wohl Publishing).

Mark does consulting for several local, state, and national organizations and has served on the boards of local, state, and national non-profit organizations including the (national) Association of Private Enterprise Education, Economics Wisconsin, Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM), St. Andrew Lutheran Church, School Choice Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies. Mark earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has received six national awards for leadership, curriculum writing (two), service, and research (two) in economic education.

Mark and his wife, Io, have been married for 55 years, have two grown daughters, and four grandchildren. They live in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

About Mr. George Harbison:

George P. Harbison is a writer, speaker, political activist, and retired chief financial officer.

In 2016, at the request of a YAF student leader, Mr. Harbison created and delivered a lecture titled “The Victims of Socialism” at the University of California, Riverside. Since then, he has delivered this lecture at over twenty college campuses and at several student conferences put on by Young America’s Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA and Reston, VA.

Mr. Harbison’s lecture focuses on the death and destruction caused by three socialist regimes in the twentieth century: Russia, China, and Cambodia. The presentation consists of narrative, pictures, music, and graphics that put into perspective the staggering death toll, pain, and suffering inflicted on the citizens of these regimes. The lecture touches on the worldwide death toll of socialism and brings forward to current times the ongoing threat of this destructive ideology.

As a result of his work on this topic, Mr. Harbison has been named to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Speakers Bureau.

Mr. Harbison has also written extensively on tax policy, focusing on dispelling false tax assertions. In 2013, he wrote an article for Forbes.com that completely debunked Warren Buffett’s famous and politically charged assertion that his federal tax rate was only half that paid by his lower-paid office workers. Since then, his tax myth-busting articles have appeared in Forbes.com, RealClearMarkets.com, RealClearPolitics.com, and AmericanThinker.com.

A native of Michigan, Mr. Harbison received a BA from Kenyon College, where he majored in physics. He continued his education at the University of Michigan, where he received an MBA (emphasis in finance and accounting).

Mr. Harbison resides in Mullett Lake, Michigan.

About Mr. Mark Rienzi:

Mark joined the Becket team in 2011 and has served as President since 2018. He is also a Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where he is co-director of the Center for Religious Liberty, and has served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He teaches constitutional law, religious liberty, and evidence, and has been voted Teacher of the Year three times by the Law School’s Student Bar Association.

With the team at Becket, Mark has litigated and won an uninterrupted string of important First Amendment cases at the U.S. Supreme Court including Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC (2012), Little Sisters of the Poor (2013), McCullen v. Coakley (2014), Hobby Lobby (2014), Wheaton College (2014), Holt v. Hobbs (2015), Zubik v. Burwell (2016), Our Lady of Guadalupe (2020), Little Sisters of the Poor (2020), Diocese of Brooklyn/Agudath Israel (2020), and Fulton v. Philadelphia (2021).

Mark’s scholarship on constitutional issues has appeared in a variety of prestigious journals including the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review (online), and Notre Dame Law Review. He has been quoted on religious liberty issues in a variety of prestigious outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and he has been featured on the Kelly File, Fox News Sunday, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Geraldo at Large, CNN Tonight, CNN Live, Andrea Mitchell Reports, and Wall Street Journal Live.

Prior to joining Becket, Mark served as counsel for WilmerHale LLP and a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and B.A. from Princeton University, both with honors.

About Mr. Richard Graber:

Richard W. Graber was named President and Chief Executive Officer of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in July 2016. He has served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2014. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rick served as the Senior Vice President for Global Government Relations for Honeywell International from 2012 until 2016. In that role, he was responsible for leading Honeywell’s worldwide government relations initiatives. Rick joined Honeywell in 2010 as Vice President of Government Relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He served as the United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2006 to 2009, where he actively engaged the Czech government and private sector on a number of issues, including President Bush’s proposed missile defense system, transparency, corruption and judicial reform. Rick managed a 280-person embassy and was responsible for effectively maintaining and strengthening the historic relations between the two countries.

Prior to his time in Prague, Rick practiced law in the international, corporate and government relations practices at the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren law firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the firm from 2004 to 2006 and Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to 2004.

Rick serves on the Board of Directors of The Philanthropy Roundtable, The Kern Family Foundation, and Curt Joa, Inc. He earned a J.D. from Boston University Law School and graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. from Duke University. Rick is married to Alexandria (Alex) and they have two sons, Scott and Erik.