This fall, the Ethan Allen Institute (EAI) welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors. We are excited and grateful that Lawrence Reed, Matthew Strong, and M. Myers Mermel have joined our organization. Each new Board member brings unique and valuable talents, expertise, and perspectives that will support our agenda to expand our impact in Vermont. I am proud to introduce our new Board members below.
Below are bios of our newest members.
Economist and historian Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed is President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE.org) in Atlanta, Georgia. Before retiring to the emeritus role in 2019, he served as President of FEE for eleven years. Prior to that, he was founding president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, for twenty-one years, and served as an economics professor at Northwood University for seven years.
Larry is the author of seven books, the most recent of which are Was Jesus a Socialist? (2020) and Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction (2016). He has also authored more than 2,000 articles and newspaper columns around the world and lectured in all 50 states and most of the 87 countries he has visited. He holds two honorary doctorates (in Public Administration and in Laws) from Central Michigan University and Northwood University. He serves on the Board of Directors of other organizations as diverse as the Frontier Institute in Montana, Just Facts in Texas, and the Carnegie Library Foundation in Georgia.
In 2022, the President of Poland announced that he would bestow upon Reed the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic Poland, which is the highest honor that Poland gives to a foreigner. He blogs at www.lawrencewreed.com.
Matthew Strong served as the Executive Director of Vermonters For Good Government (VFGG) in 2022. He oversaw an extensive statewide campaign to defeat the Proposal 5/ Article 22 state constitutional amendment. Over the past eight years, he has played an active role as part of EAI’s extended team. He has been a frequent guest host and co-host of EAI's Common Sense Radio show with Bill Sayre, and also contributed to various projects, research/ writing, and support tasks for our organization.
Matthew has been long engaged with grassroots campaigning and advocacy in Vermont. He plays a significant role in the state's libertarian movement. He is a state committee member of the Vermont Libertarian Party (VTLP) and chairs the Bylaws and Platform Committee. As Chair of the VTLP Elections Working Group, he catalyzed meaningful progress in center-right coalition building by facilitating multiple House, Senate, and Congressional VTGOP-VTLP candidates in the 2022 election. Matthew graduated from Grove City College in 2001. After several years in the Northeast Kingdom and Stowe, he recently moved to Island Pond where he lives with his wife and children.
Myers Mermel has over 35 years of experience in real estate finance, advisory, acquisition, and principal activities. Over this period, he has completed $42B in public/ strategic advisory transactions, $23B in private financial advisory transactions, and 25MM square feet of acquisitions. He is currently Managing Member of Mermel & McLain Management LLC, a real estate acquisition firm, and CEO of Tenantwise, a real estate advisory firm that is New York City’s largest intermediary of air rights.
Myers founded The Corsair Group in 1994 – a real estate investment bank formed in a joint venture with Morgan Stanley. Previously, he led Morgan Stanley's Corporate Real Estate Group within the investment banking division from 1990 to 1994, and served as Vice President at William A. White/ Tishman East, and before that as an Assistant Treasurer in the commercial lending division of The Bank of New York.
Myers received a B.A. from the University of Vermont, an M.A. from Columbia University in American History, and an MDiv. from the Yale Divinity School. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale. He served for eight years as Trustee of the New York Annual Conference; eight years as a Trustee of Christ Church United Methodist Church; four years on the Board of Visitors, Columbia University, Department of History; five years as a Trustee of the New York City Mission Society (New York City); and sixteen years as an Officer of The Delta Psi Corporation, a not-for-profit institution founded in 1850 (Burlington, Vermont). Myers has deep roots in Vermont and is a direct descendant of a soldier who fought with the Green Mountain Boys and for the Vermont Republic in the American Revolution.
On behalf of the EAI tribe, I wish to thank all the Directors who serve on EAI’s Board. Here’s to strengthening our collaborative efforts to advance our institute’s mission and vision!
– Meg Hansen is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.