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Executive Leadership

Tracie Sharp
President and CEO

As president and CEO of State Policy Network (SPN), Tracie Sharp serves a 130+ member peer network community of independent, non-partisan, free market allies in all 50 states.

State Policy Network is the incubator and connector of the free market, independent, state-focused think tank network. Tracie has been an active leader in state and local public policy since 1988, serving on the SPN board of directors since 1992 and chosen as president in 1999.

Under Tracie’s leadership,  State Policy Network has grown from 36 think tanks in 34 states with combined revenues of about $15 million. Today SPN serves over 130 think tank members, including 65 state-focused think tanks in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with combined revenues estimated at $140 million. During that time SPN's own revenues have grown from just under $200,000 in 1999 to exceeding $9 million in 2015.

Tony Woodlief
Executive Vice President

Tony Woodlief is Executive Vice President at the State Policy Network. He helps oversee SPN operations, supports SPN’s president in her guidance of the leadership team, and helps ensure the organization’s projects and programs measure success, evolve as SPN grows, and maintain alignment with our vision and mission.

Advance Policy Team

The Advance Policy Team works alongside state-based institute staff to identify key policy reforms, help craft innovative ideas to advance human flourishing, and connect idea partners all across the country.

Jennifer Butler
Senior Policy Advisor

Jennifer Butler's lifelong belief in self-sufficiency and free markets led her to State Policy Network where she now works as a Senior Policy Advisor in the issue areas of energy, lands, and federalism. 

Starlee Coleman
Senior Policy Advisor 

Starlee is a Senior Policy Advisor at State Policy Network where she brings 18 years of experience turning public policy ideas into laws. 

Sarah Ferrara
Coalitions Manager

Sarah Ferrara is the Coalitions Manager at the State Policy Network. In this role she highlights the work of the state think tanks and coordinates coalition efforts at the national level. She also manages the affiliate and associate membership programs and is a member of the Advance Policy Team, working on emerging issues in the states. 


Lynn Harsh
Vice President of Strategy

Lynn Harsh is Vice President of Strategy for State Policy Network and a member of the Leadership Development Initiative team, as well as the Advance Policy Team. She was co-founder and former chief executive officer of Washington State's Freedom Foundation where game-changing research, litigation, community outreach, and communications initiatives were realized. 
Kathleen O'Hearn
Director of Policy Advancement

Kathleen O’Hearn is State Policy Network’s Director of Policy Advancement. Kathleen leads the Advance Policy team, which works alongside state-based think tank staff to identify key policy reforms, help craft innovative ideas to advance human flourishing, and connect coalition partners across the country.

Communications Team

Carrie Conko
Vice President of Communications

Carrie Conko is the Vice President for Communications of State Policy Network, which is is the incubator and connector of the free market, independent, state-focused think tank network. She provides strategic guidance to enhance and promote the State Policy Network brand and help build the communications capabilities of the network. 

Rebecca Phillips
Communications Manager

Rebecca Phillips is the Communications Manager for State Policy Network and a member of the Leadership Development Initiative team. She works alongside the Director of Strategic Communications to provide strategic communications training programs to SPN member organizations. She also manages several network-wide communications channels, including SPN's website and bi-monthly newsletter, SPN News.

Leadership Development Initiative Team

The Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) provides state-based institutions with the practical guidance and support required to execute their missions, including knowledge and skill-building around leadership, strategic planning, board education, development, communications, and operations. LDI also assists leaders interested in establishing new state-based organizations.

Teresa Brown
Vice President of Leadership Development

Teresa Brown is State Policy Network’s Vice President of Leadership Development. Teresa leads SPN’s Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) team, which provides state-based institutions with the practical guidance and support required to execute their missions, including knowledge and skill-building around leadership, strategic planning, board education, development, communications, and operations. LDI also assists leaders interested in establishing new state-based organizations.

Todd Davidson
Policy Specialist

Todd Davidson is State Policy Network's Policy Specialist. Todd serves on the Leadership Development Initiative where he plans and executes professional development opportunities for SPN member organizations' policy professionals. In addition to his role on the Leadership Development Initiative, Todd serves on SPN's Advance Policy Team where he assists SPN affiliates in removing barriers to job creation.

Kristina Mitten Sanders
Leadership and Development Specialist

Kristina Mitten Sanders is the Leadership and Development Specialist at State Policy Network. In this role, she serves as a resource to SPN members on a wide range of development issues and connects development experts across the country with one another to be more effective leaders of philanthropy.

Meredith Turney
Director of Strategic Communications

Meredith Turney is the Director of Strategic Communications for State Policy Network's Leadership Development Initiative. She also serves on SPN's Communications Team, overseeing SPN's internal and external communications strategy, as well as assisting SPN affiliates in developing effective and compelling messaging.

Development Team

The Development Team builds partnerships with investors who believe the pathway to secure freedom for future generations is through significant victories at the state level – strategic victories that ultimately change the course of the nation.   

Alexis Baker
Manager of Donor Relations

Alexis Baker is a Donor Relations Manager, serving as a liaison between SPN and its investors in the northeast and Michigan. 

Crystal Bouziden
Donor Relations Manager

Crystal Bouziden is a Manager of Donor Relations, serving as a liaison between SPN and its investors in the northwestern states. 

Rebecca Bruchhauser
Director of Donor Relations

Rebecca Bruchhauser is the Director of Donor Relations for State Policy Network. She serves as a liaison between SPN and its investors.

Daniel J. Erspamer
Vice President for Strategic Partnerships

Daniel J. Erspamer is the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at State Policy Network. In this role, he serves as a liaison between the organization and its investors and partners across the country and works to connect them with key opportunities to secure big wins for freedom.

Spencer Hughes
Manager of Development Operations

Spencer Hughes is manager of development operations for State Policy Network. Prior to joining SPN, Spencer held multiple internships, including time at Cato Institute and with Senator Jim DeMint.

Betsy Thraves
Executive Assistant

Betsy Thraves serves as executive assistant to SPN's Vice President for Strategic Partnerships. In this role, her primary task is to secure visits with major investors and pre-investors and to manage travel and calendar for the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships. 

Victoria Wakefield
Donor Relations & Stewardship Assistant

Victoria Wakefield is the Donor Relations and Stewardship Assistant for SPN. 

Maura Weber
Donor Relations Assistant

Maura Weber is the Donor Relations Assistant for SPN. Prior to joining SPN, Maura interned at The Heritage Foundation as well as on Congressman Zach Wamp’s gubernatorial campaign. She also served as a Community Development fellow at a non-profit organization in Memphis, TN.

Operations Team

The Operations Team is responsible for all financial, human resources, information technology, legal compliance, and office space management for SPN.

Brad Gruber
Operations Director

Brad Gruber is the Operations Director for the State Policy Network. He serves as the point person for all day-to-day internal SPN operations to include finance, HR, IT, and a variety of other things. Prior to joining SPN he spent six years in the commercial sector in numerous management roles and six years in the Air Force. 

Sharon Milhollin
Events Manager

As SPN's Events Manager, Sharon Milhollin plans and executes meetings and retreats for all SPN team, including SPN's signature event, the SPN Annual Meeting.   

Michelle Poehlmann
Administrative Associate

Michelle Poehlmann is an administrative associate for State Policy Network, managing frequent database updates and maintenance, as well as various administrative tasks.

Madison Ray
Program Assistant

Madison Ray is the Program Assistant at State Policy Network, serving on the operations team.  

Denise Stevenson
Office Manager

Denise Stevenson is the Office Manager for State Policy Network. She brings over 15 years of experience in Office Administration, Human Resources and Customer Service from both the private and public sector. In this role, she designs and implements office policies by establishing standards and procedures that keeps the D.C office running smoothly, manages IT infrastructures for the entire SPN team,  forges vendor relationships to maximize performance as well as maintains employee health benefits and files.

 Thomas A. Roe, Founding Chairman, 1927-2000

SPN's Founding Chairman, Thomas Anderson Roe, Jr., was born and raised in Greenville County, South Carolina. Everyone who knew Tom credited his remarkable vision and down-to-earth nature for his many successes. He was an outstanding businessman and philanthropist and a devoted friend of freedom and free enterprise both at home and abroad.

Tom graduated from Greenville's Furman University in 1948, worked as a research assistant in the University's cancer research project funded by a Carnegie Foundation grant, and co-authored several research papers. He also earned a business degree from LaSalle Extension University and a certificate in advanced studies from the Brookings Institution Program on Urban Policy.

Tom became Chairman of the Board of Builder Marts of America, a company he transformed from a small building material supply company into an international corporation. He served as Vice President of American Holdings, a firm with ice cream, refrigerator, and furniture manufacturing interests in the United States, along with land holding and air cargo operations in the Dominican Republic.

Tom was active in the South Carolina Republican Party from 1954 to 1964, serving numerous terms as a Greenville County Committeeman. Gradually disillusioned with practical politics, he was impressed with the work of national think tanks to promote sound ideas as a basis for prudent public policies.

In the Reagan era, Tom was considered a national player in U.S. policy, advising former President Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He became a Trustee and played an active role in the development of The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. In the mid-80s, he founded the South Carolina Policy Council with a group of Greenville-area businessmen.

Tom's contributions to his state and country were recognized in numerous ways, including an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Furman University in 1980, the Order of the Palmetto of the State of South Carolina in 1995, and the Clare Boothe Luce Award from The Heritage Foundation in 1999.

Tom was dedicated to State Policy Network and its mission to extend and strengthen the community of state-based policy organizations. He worked tirelessly to make SPN a success, serving as Chairman for many years and providing untold hours of informal support in the early days of the state think tank movement. And, he provided funding through his own Roe Foundation, which continues to provide financial support to free-market policy groups across the country.

In 1992, SPN established the annual Roe Awards in Tom's honor to recognize leadership, innovation and accomplishment in the free market state think tank community.

Board of Directors 

Theodore D. Abram
American Institute for Full Employment
Adam Meyerson
Philanthropy Roundtable
Carl Helstrom (Chairman)
The JM Foundation
Tracie J. Sharp (President)
State Policy Network
Thomas Willcox (Treasurer) 
The Roe Foundation
Stanford D. Swim (Secretary)
The GFC Foundation
John Jackson
Adolph Coors Foundation
Bridgett G. Wagner
The Heritage Foundation




About SPN

State Policy Network is made up of free market think tanks - at least one in every state - fighting to limit government and advance market-friendly public policy at the state and local levels. SPN and our members make the Founders' vision for the American Republic a reality as the nation's only 50-state distribution network for market-oriented public policy ideas. Our programs advance and defend American liberty and free enterprise by assisting new start-up organizations, growing existing state think tanks, recruiting talent to the think tank industry, developing strategic partnerships, and promoting the free-market state movement. Read More

Contact Information

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Phone (703) 243-1655
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State Policy Network is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization under Section 501 (c)(3). All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.