Libertas Institute Staff

Connor Boyack, President
Connor Boyack founded Libertas Institute in 2011 and serves as its president. He is also president of The Association for Teaching Kids Economics. Connor is the author of 13 books along with hundreds of columns and articles championing personal freedom and free markets. A California native and Brigham Young University graduate, Connor currently resides in Lehi, Utah, with his wife and two children.
DJ Schanz, Vice President
DJ has owned and operated several successful businesses, including a medical records company and a political phone bank. An undergraduate of Brigham Young University, he received his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. DJ’s large network, entrepreneurial drive, and strategic mindset complement the work of Libertas and help build coalitions and increase our profile and policy success. DJ lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and four children.
Nichelle Aiden, Director of Communications
Nichelle’s diverse background includes acting, directing, writing, and journalism. In short, she is a storyteller, and uses her media experience to help Utahns understand the personal impact of public policies—how government overreach can negatively impact families, and how liberty can unleash personal growth and a meaningful pursuit of happiness. A lifelong resident of Utah, Nichelle lives in Orem.
Bryan Hyde, Director of Development
Whether through spoken or written word, Bryan has become a familiar voice for the cause of liberty. His background as an opinion leader includes more than 30 years as a radio commentator and 12 years as a regular columnist. During that time, he has sought to raise the level of discussion from bumper sticker slogans to serious discourse of the principles at stake. Bryan has also worked as a professional public speaker, educator and voice-over artist. A Salt Lake City native, he and his wife are the parents of six children.
Michael Melendez, Director of Policy
Michael has been a liberty activist since his high school days, and has recently focused on educating, organizing, and mobilizing college students throughout Utah as Utah state chairman of the Young Americans for Liberty. Michael has managed and worked on dozens of campaigns for liberty-minded candidates all over the country, and prior to joining Libertas was staffer to a state senator and the government affairs manager for Waterford Institute, a digital education non-profit.
Molly Davis, Policy Analyst
Molly graduated from Rocky Mountain College with a double major in political science and communication studies and a double minor in economics and business management. She founded and became president of club chapters for Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and also maintained student coordinators for Students for Liberty (SFL). She joined Libertas after completing an education policy internship at Reason Foundation in Washington D.C.
Nole Oppermann, Operations Manager
Nole graduated from Baylor University in three years with degrees in environmental science and political science. He was the president and founder of BU Young Americans for Liberty, and later worked at the YAL National Headquarters. Nole is passionate in bringing about a free society. He is currently attending the University of Utah with a focus on environmental law and sustainable development. Before moving to Utah, Nole and his wife lived on the island of Kauai, where he was involved with management in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Chris Jones, Education Outreach Coordinator
Over a thirty-year career in and out of politics, Chris has been involved in public policy and election campaigning at every level of the political scene. His battlefield political experience includes a city council race, two terms as legislative district chair, a run for state legislature, and assisting three congressional campaigns, a gubernatorial campaign, and a presidential campaign. Chris lives with his wife Jeanette and their eight children in Lehi.
Josh Daniels, Policy Advisor
Josh Daniels brings a broad range of educational and practical experience to Libertas. Having studied economics, business, and political science, and receiving a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center, Josh adds strong value to our policy research and advocacy. His experience also includes eight years in the Marine Corps and work on state and federal campaigns. Prior to joining Libertas, he was a senior aide to U.S. Congressman Pete Olson in Texas. Josh lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife and four children.

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