SMI Staff

Brenda Talent
CEO

Before joining the Show-Me Institute, Brenda Talent served as counsel to the Saint Louis law firm Bryan Cave. She has argued cases before the Missouri Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Missouri, and has litigated cases in the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Sara
Donor Development Manager

Sara Meyr Addison is from Southeast Missouri and earned her B.A. in 1991 from Missouri State University. In 1992, she represented Missouri in the Miss World America pageant. In 1994, Sara completed her post-graduate diploma from the University of Birmingham in England. She has traveled extensively as well as lived and worked in several different countries.

Communications Consultant

Rick Edlund is a communications consultant for Show-Me Opportunity, an organization associated with the Show-Me Institute.

Jessica
Director of Development
Jessica Gatewood joined the Show-Me Institute as Director of Development in July 2016. She previously served as Director of Development and Director of Corporate Relations at Lindenwood Unversity.
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute. He is a native of Kansas City and graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned honors degrees in finance and political science and a law degree with a business concentration.

Director of Education Policy
Mike McShane is the Director of Education Policy for the Show-Me Institute. He is a former high school teacher and earned his PhD in Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. Before coming to the Show-Me Institute, Mike worked at the American Enterprise Institute as a research fellow.
GrahamRenz.png
Policy Researcher
Graham Renz is a policy researcher at the Show-Me Institute.
Executive Assistant

Scott Tanner joined the Show-Me Institute in July of 2013. He earned a B.A. in political science from the College of Wooster. Scott previously worked for the Mitt Romney campaign in Iowa during both the caucuses and the general election of the 2012 cycle. In between, he worked at the Iowa State House for a legislative session.

Patrick Tuohey
Western Missouri Field Manager

Patrick Tuohey is the western Missouri field manager at the Show-Me Institute.

Fellow and Senior Writer
A former foreign correspondent who spent four years in the Middle East and served as Business Week’s London bureau chief during Margaret Thatcher’s first two terms as Britain’s prime minister, Andrew is a regular contributor of essays and commentaries to leading national publications, including the American Spectator, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal.
Director of Communications

Mike Ferguson is Director of Communications at the Show-Me Institute. His media work includes producing and hosting “Missouri Viewpoints,” which airs on television and radio throughout the state each week. He has also hosted radio talk shows in Kansas City and Columbia. He has served in several local offices in Grandview, Missouri, including on the city’s Board of Aldermen.

Emily R_Web.JPG
Research Assistant
Emily Runge is a research assistant at the Show-Me Institute. She earned her B.A. in politics from Hillsdale College in Michigan and is researching education with the Show-Me Institute.