ALA students can earn a maximum of five credits through webinars, though students are welcome to view as many as they choose.

It’s easy to call out the government for shoddy work, or bad regulations- but think tanks have a responsibility to go beyond complaints, and offer solutions that improve the lives of those around us. At the Atlas Leadership Academy we talk a lot about the importance of strategy, and setting clear goals. But once those goals are set- the real work can begin.

From strategic planning to project implementation, everyday operations matter to a think tank’s growth. How does your think tank set its policy priorities for the upcoming year? Once those are defined, how do you integrate research, policy development, and marketing & communications into a successful campaign? How do you keep the policy and marketing teams coordinated? And when does fundraising enter the loop?

In this upcoming webinar, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Director of Research Michael Van Beek and Vice President for Marketing and Communications John Mozena will share how their think tank’s planning process aligns these functions to carry good policy from concept to reality. The Mackinac Center has won several impressive battles to improve the lives of Michiganders, including leading the charge to turn Michigan into a Right to Work state in 2013.

Michael Van Beek is director of research for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He joined the Mackinac Center in June 2009 as director of education policy. He has authored several studies for the Center as well as analysis and commentaries that have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Grand Rapids Press, The Oakland Press, and elsewhere. For four years prior to working at the Center, Van Beek taught political philosophy, government, economics and history at North Hills Classical Academy, a private primary and secondary school in Grand Rapids. He also served one year as a North Hills assistant administrator. Van Beek obtained his Master of Arts in American history from Purdue University and his Bachelor of Arts in history from Hope College.

John Mozena is vice president for marketing and communications for the Mackinac Center. He joined the Center in 2016 after a 20-year private sector career developing and executing strategic communications campaigns for public, private, governmental and nonprofit organizations of all sizes. His clients ranged from some of the world’s largest corporations to small nonprofits and entrepreneurial startups; from beloved consumer-facing brands to national industry trade associations. He began his professional career as a print reporter and editor covering Michigan’s health care industry and was a credentialed member of the state House and Senate press corps. At the Mackinac Center, he has been quoted or had his commentaries published in the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Crain’s Detroit Business, Michigan Chronicle, Detroit Metro Times, NextCity, Daily Signal, The Grand Rapids Press, WJR-AM, WWJ-TV, and more. He holds an accreditation in public relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America and certifications in disaster public affairs from the American Red Cross, for whom he volunteers as a disaster public affairs specialist and Disaster Action Team leader.