Keynote Speakers

October 9–12, 2022

Scottsdale, AZ

Meet Honorable Vice President

Mike Pence

Michael R. Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, on June 7, 1959, one of six children born to Edward and Nancy Pence. As a young boy he had a front row seat to the American Dream. After his grandfather immigrated to the United States when he was 17, his family settled in the Midwest. The future Vice President watched his Mom and Dad build everything that matters—a family, a business, and a good name. Sitting at the feet of his mother and his father, who started a successful convenience store business in their small Indiana town, he was raised to believe in the importance of hard work, faith, and family.

Vice President Pence set off for Hanover College, earning his bachelor’s degree in history in 1981. While there, he renewed his Christian faith which remains the driving force in his life. He later attended Indiana University School of Law and met the love of his life, Second Lady Karen Pence.

After graduating, Vice President Pence practiced law, led the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, and began hosting The Mike Pence Show, a syndicated talk radio show and a weekly television public affairs program in Indiana. Along the way he became the proud father to three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.

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Growing up in Indiana, surrounded by good, hardworking Hoosiers, Vice President Pence always knew that he needed to give back to the state and the country that had given him so much. In 2000, he launched a successful bid for his local congressional seat, entering the United States House of Representatives at the age of 40.

The people of East-Central Indiana elected Vice President Pence six times to represent them in Congress. On Capitol Hill he established himself as a champion of limited government, fiscal responsibility, economic development, educational opportunity, and the U.S. Constitution. His colleagues quickly recognized his leadership ability and unanimously elected him to serve as Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and House Republican Conference Chairman. In this role, the Vice President helped make government smaller and more effective, reduce spending, and return power to state and local governments.

In 2013, Vice President Pence left the nation’s capital when Hoosiers elected him the 50th Governor of Indiana. He brought the same limited government and low tax philosophy to the Indiana Statehouse. As Governor, he enacted the largest income tax cut in Indiana history, lowering individual income tax rates, the business personal property tax, and the corporate income tax in order to strengthen the State’s competitive edge and attract new investment and good-paying jobs. Due to his relentless focus on jobs, the state’s unemployment rate fell by half during his four years in office, and at the end of his term, more Hoosiers were working than at any point in the state’s 200-year history.

As Governor of Indiana, Vice President Pence increased school funding, expanded school choice, and created the first state-funded Pre-K plan in Indiana history. He made career and technical education a priority in every high school. Under Vice President Pence’s leadership, Indiana, known as “The Crossroads of America,” invested more than $800 million in new money for roads and bridges across the state. Despite the record tax cuts and new investments in roads and schools, the state remained fiscally responsible, as the Vice President worked with members of the Indiana General Assembly to pass two honestly balanced budgets that left the state with strong reserves and AAA credit ratings that were the envy of the nation.

It was Indiana’s success story, Vice President Pence’s record of legislative and executive experience, and his strong family values that prompted President Donald Trump to select Mike Pence as his running mate in July 2016. The American people elected President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence on November 8, 2016. President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence entered office on January 20, 2017.

In February 2021, Vice President Mike Pence joined the Heritage Foundation as a distinguished visiting fellow. The Heritage Foundation helped shape Vice President Mike Pence’s conservative philosophy for decades and played a pivotal role advancing conservative policies throughout the Trump Administration. Vice President Pence also joined Young America’s Foundation as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholar. Long before Mike Pence became Vice President to President Donald Trump, the vision and leadership of Ronald Reagan inspired his youth.

Vice President Mike Pence remains grateful for the grace of God, the love and support of his family, and the blessings of liberty that are every American’s birthright.

Meet Honorable Second Lady

Karen Pence

Karen Pence, wife of former Vice President Mike Pence, is a mother, educator, and award-winning watercolor artist. Mrs. Pence works to bring attention to art therapy and to the sacrifices made by military service members and their families.

Mrs. Pence dedicated 25 years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher before becoming the First Lady of Indiana in 2013. In her role as First Lady of Indiana, Mrs. Pence created the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation, a 501 (c)3, established with the purpose to encourage and support youth and families of Indiana. The Foundation’s board awarded over $600,000 in grants to charities throughout Indiana in three years. 

As Second Lady of the United States, Mrs. Pence was committed to raising awareness and educating the public about the mental health profession of art therapy in the United States and around the world. She observed art therapy programs in the Asia Pacific region, Australia, Europe, South America, Africa, Canada, and across the United States.

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Mrs. Pence served as the honorary chair of the Art Therapy Initiative at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis and was a member of Riley Children’s Foundation. She also served as a board member for Tracy’s Kids, an art therapy program for young cancer patients.

In February 2017, Tracy’s Kids honored Mrs. Pence with the Courage Award for her support of art therapy programs across the United States and world. Children’s National Health System also recognized Mrs. Pence for her support of art therapy and presented the Second Lady with the Hero Award in February 2017. In March 2017, Mrs. Pence received the Sister Cities International Diplomatic Leadership Award for her exceptional support of Sister Cities International mission: to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation— one individual, one community at a time. In July 2017, Sister Cities International appointed Mrs. Pence to serve as the Honorary Vice Chairwoman for Sister Cities International.

In October 2017, Mrs. Pence launched her art therapy initiative, Healing with the HeART. She wants to elevate the profession so that people understand that art therapy is a mental health profession, not arts and crafts. The former Second Lady also wants to help people understand that art therapy is an option for various conditions, illnesses, and life experiences; and to encourage young people to go into the profession.

Mrs. Pence also serves as an encourager to military service members, spouses, and their families. She has hosted and participated in numerous events to honor and recognize all of those in the Armed Forces. In September 2018, Mrs. Pence launched an awareness campaign to elevate and encourage our nation’s military spouses. As part of the campaign, Mrs. Pence educates military spouses about the available resources and opportunities to support spouses and their families. In August 2019, the American Legion Auxiliary awarded Mrs. Pence the Public Spirit Award for her contributions that positively impact communities through service to our military, veterans, and their families.

In January of 2020, Mrs. Pence accepted the honor of being the Lead Ambassador of PREVENTS, which stands for the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide. It is an interagency task force, which officially launched in June of 2020 that leads the development and implementation of a national, comprehensive roadmap to change how our nation treats mental health and understands suicide prevention. Her role as lead ambassador is to help veterans and all Americans remember to check in with themselves and loved ones and to keep their mental health a priority.

Mrs. Pence earned a B.S. and M.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University in Indianapolis. She is a Blue Star mom with a son in the United States Marine Corps and a son-in-law serving in the United States Navy. Mrs. Pence and former Vice President Mike Pence have been married since 1985 and are proud parents of their adult children, Michael and his wife Sarah, Charlotte and her husband Henry, and Audrey and her husband Dan. The Pences have one grandchild.

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