Marshall Stocker

Marshall L. Stocker is an international investor recognized for his research on the relationships between political-economic policy and investment. With more than fifteen years of experience in the asset management industry, his perspective on policy has been sought by ministers, policy institutes, and investors in a wide-range of forums from decision-level policy discussions in Yemen to the syndicated Dennis Miller Radio show.Stocker has opined or been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and Regulation Magazine. His seminal research “Equity Returns and Economic Freedom” was published in the Cato Institute’s Cato Journal and has been cited by numerous other academic papers. In his most recent written work, “Don’t Stand Under a Tree When It Rains”, he shares his perspective on life and business during the three years he lived in Egypt amidst the Arab spring.

Stocker earned both a B.S. in engineering and a MBA from Cornell University, where he was awarded the Park Leadership Fellowship. He is also a graduate of Culver Military Academy. Mr. Stocker currently works as a global macro equity strategist and portfolio manager in Boston.

He spoke to the CEC on September 27, 2017 in his talked titled, “Economic Reform and Stock Market Performance”

Greg Pulscher

Greg Pulscher joined the Civitas Institute as a development associate in 2015. Since moving to North Carolina from Colorado, Greg established a networking social group in Raleigh devoted to liberty minded individuals, is a contributor to Opportunity Lives and created a podcast called “Free To Brew” tackling the misunderstood and widely criticized world of alcohol using a free market approach.

Prior to joining the Civitas Institute, Greg graduated from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Legal Studies.  From there he began his career in the private sector of rental and insurance claims, but sought out the fight for liberty when the opportunity arose.

You can find additional articles and information written by Greg with the Civitas Institute, on his blog, and as a contributor with Opportunity lives.

The Free to Brew podcast centers around the premise; “free markets for all, even beer”, with the slogan “Without Beer There Can Be No Liberty, and Without Liberty There Can Be No Beer.” You can listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or on his blog.


Greg spoke to the Columbia Economics Club on August 2, 2017, in his talk titled: “Free the Brews: The Perils of Craft Beer Regulations”.

Beatriz Maldonado

Dr. Beatriz Maldonado is an Assistant Professor of Economics and International Studies at the College of Charleston. Her research in economic development and political economics has appeared in the European Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Development Studies, Applied Economics Letters, and Social Science Quarterly.

She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and later moved to Oklahoma. She studied at the University of Oklahoma where she received her B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics. She lives in Charleston with her husband Max Kovalov who teaches political science and international studies at the College of Charleston.

Beatriz spoke to the Columbia Economics Club on May 3, 2017, in her talk entitled, “Puerto Rico: Island of Enchantment and Debt”.

Todd Nesbit

Dr. Todd Nesbit is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Competitive Markets at The Ohio State University and an Adjunct Scholar at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Dr. Nesbit earned dual B.S. degrees in Economics and Mathematics from Capital University in 2001 and then went on to complete his Ph.D. in Economics at West Virginia University in 2005.  Dr. Nesbit has authored peer-reviewed professional publications appearing in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Southern Economic Journal, and Public Budgeting and Finance, among others.  His primary research interest is in public policy issues generally, and excise taxation specifically. 

Todd spoke to the Columbia Economics Club on March 15, 2017, in his talk “Education or Extortion? School Levies and the Impact of Pay-to-Participate”


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Katherine Restrepo

Katherine Restrepo is the Director of Healthcare policy at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, she interned at the Cato Institute under the direction of Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies. 

Katherine graduated from McDaniel College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish along with a minor in Communication. She earned her master’s degree in health care administration at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a contributor to Forbes.

Katherine spoke to the Columbia Economics Club on January 11, 2017, in her talk entitled, “Under the Knife: Why Certificate of Need Laws Need to Be Reconstructed”.

To learn more about Katherine, please visit:

Brad DeVos

Since moving to the Charleston area in 1999, Brad DeVos has worked for two engineering firms and owned a consulting company. As an electrical designer and sustainability consultant he was involved in over 250 construction projects throughout the Southeast.

In 2009, Brad turned his attention to economics, business, and philanthropy, and began working with the Bastiat Society in Charleston, SC as their Managing Director. In the spring of 2011, he accepted the position of Executive Director and was tasked with creating a network of independent Bastiat Society chapters that could run with minimal oversight and guidance from the international office in Charleston.  Since then, the Society has grown to over 20 chapters around the world hosting over 120 educational-based events annually.

He earned a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Urban Studies from the College of Charleston, as well as an associates degree in Computer Aided Design and Drafting from the ITT Technical Institute.

Brad is a member of the historic Mont Pelerin Society, a L.E.E.D. Accredited Professional, a graduate of the Atlas Leadership Academy’s Think-Tank MBA program, a member of the Foundation for Economic Education’s Faculty Network, and is an appointed member of the South Carolina Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

He lives on John’s Island, South Carolina with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Brad spoke to the Columbia Economics Club on December 7, 2016, in his talk entitled, “Peace Through Prosperity: The Role Business Plays in Advancing a Free Society”.

To learn more about Brad, please visit the Bastiat Society:

Curtis M. Loftis, Jr.

curtis-loftisCurtis M. Loftis, Jr. is the incumbent  State Treasurer for South Carolina. He was elected State Treasurer in 2010 — winning all 46 counties in his first bid for public office — and was re-elected in 2014. Mr. Loftis owns several businesses and is the founder and sole benefactor of the Saluda Charitable Foundation, a charity that operates in Ukraine, Bolivia and Haiti. He is a resident of West Columbia, SC and is a 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina.

He is the custodian of more than $43 billion in State funds, including the state’s pension funds. He serves as Vice Chairman of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, an executive body that provides oversight to such statewide policy matters as property, procurement and debt. He is the Chairman of the Board of Financial Institutions, which supervises state chartered financial institutions and supervises mortgage originators and lenders, finance companies, payday lenders, and title lenders, and is a member of the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission which manages the $30 billion retirement fund’s investments.

Curtis spoke to the Columbia Economics Club on October 12, 2016, in his talk entitled, “It’s All About the Billions”.

To learn more about Curtis, please visit his website.

Jerry Ellig

JDr Jerry Elligerry Ellig is a senior research fellow at  the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a former assistant professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in the federal regulatory process, economic regulation, and telecommunications regulation. Previously, Ellig was deputy director and acting director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He also served as senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress. Ellig received his MA and PhD in economics from George Mason University and his BA in economics from Xavier University.

He spoke to the CEC on August 3, 2016 about “Three Stories from the Wine Wars”.

To learn more about Jerry Ellig, explore his website.


Russell S. Sobel

Russell Sobel 2013 Dr. Russell S. Sobel, a native of Charleston, is a Professor of Economics & Entrepreneurship at The Citadel and a Visiting Fellow at the South Carolina Policy Council. Dr. Sobel has authored and co-authored over 150 books and articles, including nationally-best-selling college Principles of Economics textbook. He has also won numerous awards for both teaching and research, including the 2008 Sir Anthony Fisher Award for Best State Policy Publication of the Year.

He spoke to the CEC on May 25th, 2016 about “Economic Freedom, Entrepreneurship, and Prosperity”.

For more information, visit The Citadel website

Click here for Dr. Sobel’s vita

James R. Copland

James R. CoplandAs senior Fellow and director of Legal Policy at the Manhattan institute, James Copland develops and communicates novel, sound ideas on how to improve America’s civil- and criminal-justice systems. He has testified before Congress as well as state and municipal legislatures; and has authored many policy briefs, book chapters, articles and opinion pieces in a variety of publications, including the Harvard Business Law Review and Yale Journal on Regulation, the Wall Street Journal, National Law Journal, and USA Today. Copland speaks regularly on civil- and criminal-justice issues; has made hundreds of media appearances in such outlets as PBS, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, C-Span, and NPR; and is frequently cited in news articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, and Forbes. In 2011 and 2012, he was named to the National Association of Corporate Directors “Directorship 100” list, which designates the individuals most influential over U.S. corporate governance. Prior to joining MI, Copland was a management consultant with McKinsey and Company in New York. Earlier, he was a law clerk for Ralph K. Winter on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Copland has been a director of two privately held manufacturing companies since 1997 and has served on many public and nonprofit boards. He holds a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Yale, where he was an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics; an M.Sc. in the politics of the world economy from the London School of Economics; and a B.A. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar.

He spoke to the CEC on April 20th, 2016 on the topic of, “You’re Probably Guilty of Something…”

For more information visit the Manhattan Institute.

Official Site of the Columbia Economics Club