Author Profiles

Curt Smith serves as the president as the Indiana Family Institute.  His 30 year career in public policy development includes stints as an award-winning journalist, 15 years on Capitol Hill in a variety of senior staff roles, think-tank executive and his work at Sommer Barnard as Director of Public Policy and Public Affairs.

A native Hoosier, Curt was educated at Indiana University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Theology at Chicago’s Trinity International University.  He began his career working for two daily newspapers while also serving as a stringer for the New York Times.  He then worked on Capitol Hill as a press secretary, campaign manager, communications director, state director, and chief of staff over a 15 year span for Senator Dan Coats and U.S. Rep. John Hostettler.  Prior to coming to the Family Institute, he was the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Hudson Institute, an Indiana-based international think tank.  Curt joined Sommer Barnard fulltime in 2003 and he continues to serve on the Board and as the Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Family Institute, a public policy advocacy organization.

He and his wife, Debbie, have four children and live in Zionsville, Indiana.  He is active in his church, Traders Point Christian Church, where he serves as an elder and is a former Chairman of the Board of Elders.  Curt has received numerous awards and honors over the years, including being named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Robert D. Orr and being listed in Who’s Who in America.

Ryan McCann serves as the Director of Operations and Public Policy at the Indiana Family Institute, a nonprofit public policy development and advocacy organization focused on strengthening Hoosier families.

Serving in this capacity for the Institute, McCann assists the President in managing the day-to-day operations of the Institute, with a special focus on influencing public policy within Indiana and informing Hoosiers of ways in which they can mold their government and culture in family friendly ways.  IFI is among 32 Family Policy Councils across the nation and is affiliated with Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs, Colorado, ministry; Family Research Council, a Washington, D.C. based think tank; and the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation. These organizations all share a passion for promoting policies and practices in the public sphere to strengthen families, the bedrock institution of all great nations.

McCann graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a double major in political science/pre-law and history.  He graduated magna cum laude from the Regent University Robertson School of Government, earning a Master’s degree in government with a focus on public policy.  Among his list of accomplishments, he is the author of The Indiana Family Report, a detailed statistical analysis of the state of the family in Indiana.  He was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2006 to serve on the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana.  Ryan serves as Executive Director of Indiana Family Action and Indiana Family Action PAC.  IFA PAC is a political action committee dedicated to electing pro-family public servants in Indiana.  He also serves on the board of the Sterling Christian Church as a Deacon.  Ryan and his wife Tory currently reside in Carmel with their dog Buster.

Sue Swayze is Program Coordinator for the Indiana Family Institute.  She gives operational and faculty support to the Hoosier Congressional Policy Leadership Series and various marriage and family strengthening initiatives.

Specializing in planning and management, Sue has a master’s degree in Social Work from Indiana University, where she was a former occasional adjunct faculty member instructing on public policy and the human service delivery system.

Sue was the first Executive Director for the Indiana Christian Chamber of Commerce.  She is also a former Vice President with the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, where she represented the business community, working with local and state officials to advocate for business-friendly regulations and legislation on tax and fiscal issues, infrastructure, environmental and local and regional government consolidation.  She also staffed that chamber’s Political Action Committee.

Prior to her years at the chamber, Sue was Policy Director at the United Way of Central Indiana and was active in such issues as child abuse, senior citizen’s services and welfare reform.  She founded the Children’s Coalition of Indiana, a statewide children’s advocacy group which played a key role in the creation of Indiana’s “Kids First” license plate.

Sue is a Class XXI graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series and a former member of the Junior League of Indianapolis, for which she co-chaired its Public Affairs Committee. She is also a former board member and volunteer for Outreach, Inc., a street-based ministry program for homeless youth.  Sue also lobbies for Indiana Right to Life, a statewide pro-life advocacy organization.

Most importantly, Sue is a daughter of the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom she has pledged her life’s work.  She now approaches the political arena as a mission field for her Christian faith and strives to impact the lives of children and families by promoting marriage and life issues.

Micah Clark graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri with a bachelor's degree in Political Science.

Micah interned as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives' Republican staff during the 106th Indiana General Assembly. He served under five state representatives during the historic 50-50 Republican and Democratic membership division.

Micah left the Indiana House of Representatives in 1990 after the 106th Session to become the Assistant Campaign Manager for a State Senator in Kokomo.

In 1991, Micah returned to work in the 107th Indiana General Assembly as a legislative assistant for Citizens Concerned for the Constitution. As the Indiana Family Institute's Director of Public Policy, and later as Executive Director of AFA of Indiana, Micah has continued to work closely with the Indiana legislature in efforts to monitor legislation and inform Hoosiers of state policies affecting churches, businesses, and families.

Micah Clark has been a frequent writer for several publications and his editorials are often seen in newspapers across the state. In 1996, he authored the groundbreaking report, Shattered Dreams, A Report on Indiana's Divorce Culture and the Restoration of Marriage. Micah is a frequent guest on many Hoosier talk radio shows and has been featured in various newspaper and television outlets as a resource on several cultural and political issues. In the spring of 2001, Governor Frank O’Bannon appointed Micah to serve on his Education Roundtable. Micah was reappointed for a second term in 2003.

On November 1st Micah became the Executive Director of the American Family Association of Indiana. Micah is the only person to ever have worked for all three of Indiana's statewide pro-family organizations. His experience has helped AFA expand into an organization with a state house presence while maintaining its role as Indiana's leading decency organization.

Peter Heck.  In recent years, conservative talk radio has soared to unprecedented heights, and has become a major factor in the arena of public opinion. But too many of these programs fall into the trap of arguing and debating merely surface issues, without getting to core principles and truth. By blending critical and intellectual analysis with the use of parodies, humor, and an entertaining approach, The Peter Heck Show sets itself apart by seeking to address not just the "who and how" of politics, but the all-important "why."

Billed as conservative commentary on social and political issues, The Peter Heck Show provides listeners with an understanding of the beliefs, worldviews, fundamental philosophies, and religions that drive so many of our political discussions today. On The Peter Heck Show, we don't shy away from recognizing how faith influences politics.

Originally airing as a pre-recorded 15 minute broadcast early on Sunday mornings, The Peter Heck Show garnered much attention for its passion, entertainment value, and relevance to current issues. In just 5 months (which was the equivalent of 5 hours of air time), the program had generated over 500 email responses, and numerous calls to the radio station to expand.

Consequently, the program was extended to a 3-day-per-week, live, call-in format. Through dramatic increases in corporate and individual sponsorship, The Peter Heck Show continued to grow rapidly in popularity and influence in that format. Soon the show was operating on a daily hour long basis, but even that wasn't enough for listeners and sponsors.

As a result, WIOU Kokomo (The Peter Heck Show's flagship station) negotiated a deal to extend the show to its current state: a two hour long, daily call-in program airing live between 4 and 6 pm EST.  Additionally, an extra bonus hour of previously heard show segments can be heard between 3 and 4 pm every weekday but Tuesday.

Through the hard work and dedication of all those involved with Attaboy Productions, Inc., The Peter Heck Show is now pursuing expansion into other radio markets throughout the United States.

Christopher Mann is a veteran of Indiana politics and business. His experience includes tenures in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Hudson Institute, Indiana Right to Life, Republic Airlines and WORLD magazine. Mann also serves on the board of Hear Indiana, an advocacy organization for deaf and hard-of-hearing children, and operates his own public relations firm specializing in executive campaign management. He and his wife, Ruth, home educate their six Mann-cubs and are members of North Park Community Church in Fort Wayne. Contact Chris at

Craig Ladwig is the founder of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, Inc. The foundation, which began commissioning academic research in 1988 with $250, now is regularly quoted on state issues by such national publications as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. Its essays and columns are cited weekly in one or more of the 20 Indiana daily newspapers that are members of its Indiana Writers Group. The foundation's membership includes many of the major political figures and policy makers in Indiana. Its quarterly journal is considered among the most influential of its type in the nation.