Michelle Receives the 2010 Vern Bickel Grassroots Leadership Award

Michelle with Vern Bickel Award in hand

I have been extremely honored to receive the Independence Institute’s 2010 prestigious Vern Bickel Award for Grassroots Leadership. On Thursday November 18th, the Independence Institute held its 26th Annual Founders Dinner in Denver and presented this award to me.            

The Vern Bickel Award

The award is given annually to one grassroots leader in memory of Vern Bickel, who passed away in August 2000. Bickel left a legacy of community activism, political mentorship, and heroic challenges to political correctness. Often from behind the scenes and without seeking credit, Bickel was the “Johnny Appleseed” of the economic and personal freedom movement in Colorado. He provided great financial and personal leadership for the Institute, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and the TABOR Amendment.          

David Limbaugh, author of the  new book Crimes Against Liberty, was the keynote speaker.  Bob Beauprez was presented with the David S. D’Evelyn Award.           

Special Thanks

I am honored beyond words to be given this award. Thank you to Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute for deeming me worthy of such a distinction.          

In addition to receiving the award, a huge highlight was that Shari Williams formally presented it to me.  Shari is President of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, my recent stomping grounds for training in both leadership skills and founding principles.  I am a proud graduate of the 2010 LPR class.  Thank you Shari for your leadership, vision, and mentorship.           

Thank you also to my family, readers, friends, co-laborers, and followers who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me to speak, act, and fight for precious freedom. Without all of you I wouldn’t have been eligible for something like this.            

Now… let’s all press on and bring the award of freedom back to her rightful place in America.          

Photography by Paul D deBerjeois, www.ColorBandit.com.  Thank you, Paul!

Michelle's acceptance speech

Jon Caldara, President of Independence Institute

Jon Caldara, President Independence Institute

Shari Williams, President Leadership Program of the Rockies

Shari Williams, President Leadership Program of the Rockies

Michelle's acceptance speech








Jon Caldara and Michelle

26th Annual Founders Dinner

26th Annual Founders Dinner

David Limbaugh, Keynote Speaker

David Limbaugh, Keynote Speaker

Bob and Claudia Beauprez

Mike Rosen, host of the Mike Rosen Radio Show


Michelle and Jon Caldara

Michelle and David Limbaugh



Michelle and Colorado State Senator-Elect Kent Lambert

Michelle and friend Laurie Bratten

The 2010 Vern Bickel Award

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