Board of Directors

SI Logo with Winter Scene

Board of Directors

Akins with Ben Carson 08-22-2014

Jennifer L. Schubert-Akin — Chairman

Jennifer Schubert-Akin and her husband, Rick Akin, co-founded The Steamboat Institute in 2008. They have lived in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado, since 1995. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and received her M.B.A. from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Jennifer founded Marathon Accounting Services, LLC, in 1999, providing accounting and consulting services to a variety of small businesses. Beginning in 2014, Jennifer is the full-time Chairman and CEO of The Steamboat Institute.
Jennifer is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and also served on that organization’s Advisory Board for several years. In 2013, she and Rick received the “Leaders in Action” award from the Leadership Program of the Rockies. Jennifer was formerly Chairman of the Routt County Republican Central Committee and has also participated in many community activities in Steamboat Springs, including serving as Community Representative on the Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board, Steamboat Marathon Committee, Tax Policy Advisory Board appointed by the Steamboat Springs City Council and many other activities. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys trail running with her 4-legged children, Boomer and Cruiser. She has completed 3 Leadville Trail 100-mile Races, the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and the last 20 consecutive Boston Marathons, raising $72,000+ for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society along the way.

Rick Akin — Vice Chairman

Founding Member, The Akin Law Firm, LLC, Attorneys and Counselors, Denver, Austin, and Steamboat Springs

Jennifer’s husband, Rick, is the Vice Chairman and a co-founder of The Steamboat Institute.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Letters Degree with Highest Honors from the University of Oklahoma and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of Order of the Coif and The Texas Law Review.  Rick is currently an owner of The Akin Law Firm, LLC with offices in Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Rick began his career at Austin’s largest law firm, Clark Thomas & Winters, where he was a shareholder and member of the management committee before moving to Steamboat Springs in 1995.  Rick has also served as a member of the board of Directors of Marathon Kids, a non-profit corporation dedicated to exercise and healthy habits for school age children.  He is a former member of Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board and the Routt County Airport Board and is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.   In 2013, Jennifer and Rick received the “Leaders in Action” award from the Leadership Program of the Rockies.  Rick enjoys fishing, canoeing, hiking, and climbing 14ers.

Gary Hofmeister — Treasurer

Most people know Gary Hofmeister from Hofmeister Personal Jewelers which he founded 36 years ago and remains the C.E.O. Prior to entering the jewelry industry, he was a professional singer/actor, salesman and health administrator. Though he says he never had one conservative professor all the way through his undergraduate studies nor his graduate work at Purdue, he has been an active conservative most of his life and was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in 1998 for the 10th congressional district.
Gary’s political beliefs also led him to teach Applied Economics for Junior Achievement in several high schools for 10 years. Taking it to another level in 1992, he began going to the former Soviet Union to share Democratic Capitalism and his experiences as an entrepreneur after the Berlin Wall fell. He made 18 such trips developing his own curricula and running seminars from one to three days in various cities. Most trips lasted about three weeks.
Gary also hosted a political talk show in 1990-91 called TALK OF THE CITY and another for WFYI from 2004-06 called BROADWAY MEMORIES: MUSIC AND THE STARS, drawing on his experiences as a Broadway singer.
He is married to JoAnne and together they share 20 grandchildren.

Anne pic

Anne A. Lowe – Secretary

Pharm D

Anne and her husband Rich have lived part time in Steamboat Springs for more than a decade, and have been full time residents since 2007.  Steamboat provides excellent recreational opportunities for the sports Anne enjoys such as skiing, hiking, biking and horseback riding.  Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Anne earned a BS in Biology and later a BS in Pharmacy, both from the University of Utah.  She later received her Pharmacy Doctorate (Pharm D) from the University of Colorado in 2006.  Anne is a Clinical Pharmacist and Anticoagulation Specialist at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.  She also fills in periodically at the locally owned community pharmacy, Lyons Drug Store. This year Anne graduated from The Leadership Program of the Rockies, LPR Class of 2013.  She and her husband have three grown children and two grandkids.  Anne claims that becoming a grandma has been her motivation for involvement with The Steamboat Institute and LPR in the principled fight for liberty. She realizes that as Ronald Reagan said,  “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Cheri Carsten

Cheri Carsten is an active and enthusiastic volunteer for conservative causes and candidates in Colorado, and nationally. She is a native of Colorado and an avid horsewoman. She had a first career as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army serving in Asia, Europe and the U.S. and then as a civilian with the Department of Defense in Germany and Washington DC with a specialty in Organizational Development. Cheri holds a degree in psychology from the University of Maryland. In her second career, Cheri was a senior Human Resources Management executive for several large corporations including Prudential and a subsidiary of Air Canada. Cheri is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.


Allen Fuller

With over a decade of experience in political technology, Allen Fuller is the product manager for Voter Gravity, a map and mobile-based application that turns data into votes. Prior to joining Voter Gravity, Allen was the managing partner of Flat Creek Digital, a digital advocacy firm focused on bringing cutting edge technology to campaigns and advocacy organizations. Previously he served as a legislative staffer in the U.S. Senate and communications director in the U.S. House. Allen holds a masters degree in eCommerce from The University of Alabama. He is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and the recipient of the 2013 Defender of the Declaration award.


Matthew Spalding

Associate Vice President and Dean of Educational Programs — Hillsdale College

Matthew Spalding is Associate Vice President and Dean of Educational Programs for Hillsdale College in Washington, D.C. As such he oversees the operations of the Kirby Center and the various academic and educational programs of Hillsdale in the nation’s capital.

He is the best-selling author of We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, which details America’s core principles, shows how they have come under assault by modern progressive-liberalism and lays out a strategy to recover them. Spalding also is executive editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, a line-by-line analysis of each clause of the U.S. Constitution. His other books include A Sacred Union of Citizens: Washington’s Farewell Address and the American Character; Patriot Sage: George Washington and the American Political Tradition; and The Founders’ Almanac: A Practical Guide to the Notable Events, Greatest Leaders & Most Eloquent Words of the American Founding.

Prior to joining Hillsdale, Dr. Spalding was Vice President of American Studies at The Heritage Foundation and founding director of its B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. He continues at Heritage as the Henry Salvatori Visiting Fellow, and is also a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. He received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. In addition to teaching at Hillsdale, he has taught at George Mason University, the Catholic University of America and Claremont McKenna College.

He and his wife Elizabeth, a 1988 Hillsdale alumna, currently reside with their two children in Arlington, Virginia.