ART THOMPSON - PRESIDENT / CHAIRMAN
Art Thompson was born in Seattle, Washington in 1938. Art attended the University of Washington, the Washington Military Academy and other business-related institutions, before going into business for himself. He joined the staff of the John Birch Society in May, 1964 and became a successful Area Coordinator for the Society in the 1970’s. He left the staff to go back into business in 1981 and returned to the staff again in the 1990’s. In the 1980’s and early 90’s, Mr. Thompson’s business took him all over the United States. A frequent visitor to Western Europe on business, as a tourist, and once on a political fact-finding tour for the JBS, Mr. Thompson was at the Berlin Wall as it was coming down. During this tour, he became acquainted with many businessmen, academics, and members of the German cabinet and European Union. Mr. Thompson has also served on his small town City Council, as the chairman of his local Chamber of Commerce, as an official and an elector for the Republican Party, and as a local leader in the state of Washington for the Christian Coalition. He also served as an officer in the Select Reserve Force of the Army and National Guard.
GARY BENOIT - VICE PRESIDENT
Gary Benoit is the editor of The New American, a biweekly magazine affiliated with the John Birch Society. The New American’s mission is encapsulated by the slogan on its cover — “That Freedom Shall Not Perish.” Mr. Benoit has been on the staff of John Birch Society since 1977, and over the years his positions with the organization have included eastern manager of the Society’s speakers bureau, director of the Society’s tax-reform program, director of the research department, and editor of The John Birch Society Bulletin. He has been associated with the magazine since its inception in 1985 and has been editor for most of its existence. Since 1977, Mr. Benoit has taught classes on the principles of freedom and the importance of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, at more than three dozen week-long youth camps for teenagers held at various locations throughout the country. Those camps, originally sponsored by the John Birch Society, are now sponsored by the American Opinion Foundation. Mr. Benoit was appointed to the board of the American Opinion Foundation at its inception in 2005. Mr. Benoit graduated from the University of Lowell (now the University of Massachusetts – Lowell) magna cum laude in physics in 1976. Between his junior and senior years, he worked through the summer at a nuclear power plant. Gary Benoit and his wife Laurie reside in Wisconsin, where they enjoy being close to their 11 children and 10 grandchildren.
LARRY GREENLEY - SECRETARY / TREASURER
Larry Greenley was born in Independence, Iowa, in 1941. He grew up in the Waterloo, Iowa, area, then went to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Graduating in 1964, Mr. Greenley received a B.S. degree in Humanities (philosophy) and Science (molecular biology) from M.I.T. After two years of graduate studies in philosophy and psychology at the University of Iowa, Mr. Greenley started his career as a science and math teacher in a public school in southwest Iowa. Although he never returned to college full time, he did study American and European history on the graduate level for many years as a part-time student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Mr. Greenley spent 24 years of his career in marketing and sales of scientific products for biological research labs. He joined the staff of The John Birch Society in 1996 and is currently the Director of Marketing. In 2005, Mr. Greenley was appointed to the Board of Directors for the American Opinion Foundation and uses his marketing skills to benefit the marketing initiatives of the Foundation. Although Larry lived most of his adult life in the Northern Virginia area near Washington, D.C., since 1998 he and his wife Rosalie have resided in Appleton, Wisconsin.
CLARK CURRY - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Clark was born and raised in Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central State College in Edmond, Oklahoma. Upon graduation he immediately found employment in the insurance industry. After an insurance career of nearly fifty years associated with the same company, he was appointed Chief Operations Officer of The John Birch Society in June, 2010. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Council of The John Birch Society for several years. Clark currently serves as Chairman of The John Birch Society and Chief Strategy Officer of Freedom Project. Providing leadership for educational non-profits has been a passion of his for many years and he currently serves on the board of several corporations. Clark and his wife Janis were married in 1968. Clark is an elder at their church. They have two children and six grandchildren and reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.
MARY BLACK - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Mrs. Mary Black earned her B.A. in elementary education from Marian College and did graduate work at Butler University, Ohio State University, and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. In her forty-six years as an educator, Mrs. Black has taught Kindergarten through 12th grade students in public schools, Catholic schools, private schools, a one-room schoolhouse, and a life skills classroom. Her experience also includes homeschooling her own children.
Within months of retiring from the classroom in 2010, Mrs. Black accepted a position as Curriculum Director with FreedomProject Academy. Her responsibilities included developing the curriculum for all grades- Kindergarten through 12th - and working with teachers, parents, and students. Currently, Mrs. Black is the Educational Advisor for FPA and has the opportunity to focus on her favorite part of being an educator – working with parents, students, and teachers.
About the time she joined FPA in 2011, Mrs. Black became aware of the Common Core standards. She became an active opponent to CC; activities included filming a video with Dr. Duke Pesta, speaking before many audiences, conducting a number of radio interviews, and writing many articles. Currently, Mrs. Black is working to awaken all who will listen to the danger Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) poses to our freedom and children, especially state legislators in her home state of Indiana.
Her connection to the JBS began in the mid-1960s when her late parents became members. Her father, Dr. Philip Binzel, was a member of the John Birch Society Executive Council for several decades. Mrs. Black joined the JBS in 1975. She served as a Chapter leader when living in California and is currently a Chapter leader for an Indianapolis chapter.
JOHN F. MCMANUS - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
John F. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in 1966, serving originally as a field coordinator for several New England states. In 1968, he was transferred to a position at the Society’s national headquarters. In 1973, Mr. McManus accepted appointment by Robert Welch, the Society’s Founder, as the organization’s Director of Public Affairs. In this post, he became and remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation. Mr. McManus has written and produced numerous audiovisual programs. He is in wide demand as a speaker and is the author of several books. In addition to being a regular contributor of articles to The New American magazine, he serves as its Publisher. He is also the Publisher of the Society’s monthly Bulletin sent to all members and subscribers. Mr. McManus was named President of The John Birch Society in 1991. Over the years since its summer camp program was launched in 1970, Mr. McManus has served as an instructor. He was instrumental in arranging that this valuable program is now a project of the American Opinion Foundation. As President of this educational foundation since its inception in 2005, he will continue to instruct at the camps as well as ensure that each grows in quality and influence. Born in 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, he is a graduate of Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. He served on active duty as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years. For six years before accepting a staff position with the Society, he was employed as an electronics engineer. The father of four and grandparent of several, Mr. McManus has been married to the former Mary Helen O’Reilly of Boston since 1957.
H. ROBERT ADELMANN - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Bob Adelmann is a graduate of Cornell University with two degrees (including a Master’s of Business Administration with a major in economics and finance), a successful entrepreneur, and an author, speaker, and coach. He is now a full-time professional speaker, and he currently gives a presentation called “What in Heaven’s Name is happening to our Country?” This is an uplifting look at life across the United States. You won’t get even a smidge of the usual “doom and gloom” about what is wrong in our country. On the contrary, Bob gives dozens of examples of victories, large and small, that are being deliberately filtered, ignored, or spiked by the national media. These range from the growth of the National Rifle Association and their improving understanding of the real cultural battle taking place over the right to own firearms, to the amazing influence the home-school movement is having in local politics. There is a sea change on the issue of the right to life among young people that is virtually hidden behind the façade of the national news media’s attempts to present “fair and balanced” reporting on key issues. The sanctity of marriage is once again being taught at, of all places, Princeton University! The list goes on. He also gives a presentation called “Selling America to Americans.”Using his hard-earned entrepreneurial skills, he provides “sales training” for those in the culture wars who want to know the most effective strategies for reaching out to those who are concerned, confused, and anxious about the impending loss of our freedoms. This particular presentation is geared for those who are already well-informed, concerned citizens, to turn them into able-bodied warriors in the freedom fight. These presentations are designed not only to uplift, encourage, and inspire, but to invite those considering active participation in the fight to step forward and put on the whole armor of God.
ANDY “HIRSH” DLINN - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Andy “Hirsh” Dlinn, CSA, President and Senior Portfolio Manager with Senior Wealth Management, LLC in Pittsburgh, PA and has been a financial advisor and advice-based portfolio manager since 1993 specializing in multi-generational financial planning and institutional investment management. He has achieved distinction as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) helping Seniors maximize their golden years. Securities offered through Capital Guardian LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Mr. Dlinn has a long track record of political/community activism. Andy is a 29 year veteran member of The John Birch Society, an electorate educational organization advocating less government and more responsibility, and serves as the organization’s Southwestern Pennsylvania Section Leader. In early 2006, Mr. Dlinn realized the time was right to get Republican politics back to its Americanist roots, so along with a strong core of other community leaders, a meeting was held and it was decided to form a statewide affiliate of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies and the reorganization of the PA Republican Assembly was launched with Mr. Dlinn serving as its president. Today he serves as the president of the PA Republican Leadership Council. He is chairman of the city of Pittsburgh’s 5th Council District Republican Committee. Andy is a Past-President of the Pittsburgh Rotary Club, a past Chair of the Rotary Club Foundation Board and current acts as the Club’s webmaster. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, the FBI Citizen’s Academy and the Citizen’s Police Academy. Commander Dlinn is a retired Navy Public Affairs Officer and has served in every time zone in the world! Among his honors and awards, Andy was the 2014 Yeshiva Schools Honoree for his work in the Jewish Community. He has been named a Five Star Wealth Manager by Pittsburgh Magazine two years in a row (2012/13). He also received the Marjorie S. Eiseman Community Leadership Award. He has also received the Prudential Securities Community Champions Award for four consecutive years. He is a past-president of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and Founder/Director of the Squirrel Hill Citizen’s Patrol. He produced a weekly local radio show “The Jewish Experience,” an hour of music, news and information which is enjoyed by Jews and Gentiles alike. Andy can be heard on WPXI’s PCNC NightTalk on Cable TV when called to comment on political issues.Graduating from the University of South Carolina, Andy earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1974. He went on to achieve a master’s degree in mass communications with a 3.8 grade point average at the same school. He was the News Director of a nightly news program on WUSC-FM in Columbia, SC. He was on the team that launched the first AM Stereo station and acted as assistant General Manager at WIS-AM taking them through their 50th anniversary.He stays active in his local synagogue and is married with six wonderful children.
ART CRINO - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Art Crino is a graduate of Oregon State University in Electrical Engineering followed by two years of employer sponsored graduate studies. His entire career was designing and manufacturing equipment for electrical utilities. It started with ten years of steam electric generating stations. The rest of the career was high voltage switching equipment. First as manager of a Siemens factory in Portland Oregon and later as founder and CEO of the Pacific Air Switch Corporation in Forest Grove Oregon. In 2001 he retired as a Registered Professional Engineer in California and Oregon as well as from industry.
PAUL GALVIN - MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Attorney / CPA in private tax/legal/business practice with principal emphasis on client business problems & issues in the areas of income, estate & gift taxation. Client types & profiles include partnerships, trusts, corporations, tax exempt organizations, individuals, among others...
In Business Consulting Practice, Springfield, MA Touche Ross (now Deloitte Consulting), Boston, MA, CPAs Maloney,Williams & Baer, Boston, MA, Attorneys State Street Bank & Trust, Boston, MA, Vice-President, Financial Planning
LL.M, Boston University School of Law J.D., Boston College Law School B.S., Boston College
JEFF LECLAIRE - FINANCIAL OFFICER
Jeff LeClaire, Corporate Finance Director for The John Birch Society, has served as the Finance Director for the American Opinion Foundation from its inception in late 2005. Mr. LeClaire brings to American Opinion Foundation 30 years of Accounting/Business related experience in manufacturing, insurance, consulting, wholesale/retail distribution, magazine publishing, construction, non-profits, and income tax accounting. Mr. LeClaire holds Associate Degrees in both Accounting and Marketing, a Bachelors Degree in Business Management, and currently possesses a Certified Public Accountant certificate. He has implemented many Accounting software packages over his years of employment, and has attended numerous management and accounting training seminars/workshops over the past 30 years. Mr. LeClaire has recently designed and implemented a non-profit software package for American Opinion Foundation which will be utilized on 1/1/08. He has received training from the Foundation Center in New York City for proposal budgeting. Mr. LeClaire has served as a member of the board of directors of Community First Credit Union for ten years. He has also held volunteer positions on his local church finance committee as well as many other church related positions. He was personally entrusted with the safekeeping of weekly church offerings. Mr. LeClaire served in the United States Army from 1974 – 1977 and received his honorable discharge.