FSP Board and Organizer Biographies
Soon after finishing a master's degree in electrical engineering, Steve left his native Southern California for Leningrad, where he was fortunate to spend a formative year in the end times of communism. This led to a career not in the space program, as he had originally planned, but in arms control and non-proliferation, beginning as an INF Treaty inspector. Besides more than a decade in the former Soviet Union, he also worked six years in the commercial training field in Germany, where he experienced the joys of social democracy. Steve is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and one of the original organizers of the Free State Project.
Carla Gericke, JD, MFA, AKA “Queen Quill,” was born in the police state of South Africa and immigrated to California after winning a green card in the lottery. She practiced law as in-house counsel at Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley before redirecting her efforts to liberty activism and writing. In 2008, Carla moved with her husband, former FSP board member Louis Calitz, from New York City to New Hampshire. She is the program director of a NH-based arts non-profit, teaches writing, and is working on a book about the Free State Project. In 2009-2010, Carla was the organizer of the Porcupine Freedom Festival, which grew significantly under her reign. She used to co-hosts “She Talk Live,” an all-female edition of the nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live.” Carla likes cooking, yoga, keeping police accountable, voluntary monarchies, and killing the occasional turkey with her bare hands. She is president of the Free State Project.
Jon grew up in southern Florida before joining the U.S. Air Force and spending three years in England. He spent 13 years living in Massachusetts before moving to New Hampshire.
Has been a libertarian since grade school and is one of three graduates of Pioneer Christian Academy, a school started and operated by Marshall Fritz (founder of the Advocates for Self-Government and the Alliance for the Separation of School and State). Varrin ran for Congress in 2002 for the LP and has served as chair and vice-chair for the LP of Fresno County. Varrin is a 2002 Lights of Liberty award winner, has been the subject of local and national news articles, and has been published online and in print. Varrin is a Christian, has been married to Edi for over 15 years and they have a 8 year-old son, Edison, and a 7 year-old daughter, Erin. He works as an airline pilot, is a musician, has traveled to 46 states and over 45 territories and countries. He moved to New Hampshire in 2004.
Tom moved from Texas to New Hampshire in 2000 and has lived in several places across the Live Free or Die state, but prefers to call the Seacoast region home. During his time in New Hampshire, Tom started and organized the New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty group, served on the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire chapter of Freedom Force International and was the Welcome Wagon Coordinator for the Free State Project. In 2008, he was presented the Political Activist of the Year award by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance and was elected as a delegate to the New Hampshire Republican State Caucus. Tom also had the opportunity to speak at the City of Minneapolis GOP in 2009 about Americans' loss of liberty and the wonderful opportunity that the Free State Project offers to fellow liberty lovers. Tom took a brief work assignment in San Diego from May 2010 - May 2012 where he worked with local activists on various campaigns and organized a group of liberty lovers named Pirates of Liberty. Tom is thrilled to be back in The Shire!
Politics and economics have been a passion of Sharon's since high school, when it became quite apparent that she had an entirely different perspective from all of her peers. At Hillsdale College, she studied economics and was introduced to Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian School. She led her College Libertarians group and had the privilege of meeting Harry Browne, Walter Williams, and other notables who frequented Hillsdale for its reputation then of solid libertarian, small government values. After college, she worked in development at a non-profit DC libertarian think tank before moving into the for-profit business sector. She helped start a company where she specialized in sales and marketing. In 2010, she moved to New Hampshire with her husband, Jason Osborne, and their kids. They enjoy the good business climate and homeschool freedom in New Hampshire, as well as the community of like-minded individuals. In 2012, Sharon and Jason organized PorcFest.
Jody moved to NH in 2007 with her husband and dog. They, along with another couple and their dog, started Bardo Farm in Croydon, NH. Bardo, a Tibetan word meaning "between lives", is a place where people come to learn sustainability skills, to work, to chill, and to attend Bardo Farm Festival. Jody was a good rule-follower from public school through graduate school, and realized only after she left college that her real learning was just beginning and that all her schooling had not prepared her for it. She is currently (2012) chair of the Croydon NH school board, and is still trying to figure out how not to be a rule-follower while trying to keep the school administration in check. For fun, Jody dances. And yes, there are lots of social dancing opportunities in New Hampshire, especially in the Upper Valley!
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