How We Accomplish Our Mission

We seek to identify areas of growth and gaps in the Christian education space in order to catalyze effective and scalable programs across the nation. Our mission will be lived out by providing programs such as online content, up to date news, training and events, grants and hands-on organizational improvement initiatives.

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The HF Team

Meet the Herzog Foundation Board of Directors and learn more about their passion for Christian education.

Todd Graves

Chairman of the Board

Todd Graves

Chairman of the Board

Raised on a family farm near Tarkio, Missouri, Todd went on to receive a bachelor’s degree, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Missouri in 1988. In 1991, Todd received his law degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Virginia.

Todd is a founding partner of Graves Garrett, LLC in Kansas City, Missouri. Todd represents clients nationwide before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. His areas of expertise include white collar criminal defense, political speech and election law, internal investigations, regulatory compliance, and complex commercial litigation.

Before forming Graves Garrett, Todd served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. As United States Attorney, Todd was responsible for prosecuting federal crimes including mail and wire fraud, money laundering, public corruption, health care fraud, child pornography, firearms violations, narcotics trafficking, pharmaceutical diversion, corporate fraud, and terrorism financing. During Graves’ tenure, felony filings doubled.

In addition, Todd was responsible for defending civil lawsuits brought against the United States, handling federal forfeiture actions, and collecting debts and restitution. Todd managed a staff of 120 with headquarters in Kansas City and two branch offices.

Todd also served as a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, advising the Attorney General on Department of Justice national priorities and policies. Todd participated in drafting Department of Justice policies in corporate investigations including charging, pre-trial diversion, and sentencing. Todd was also a member of the national Executive Working Group, which includes six Department of Justice officials, six state attorneys general, and six district attorneys. Todd was appointed United States Attorney from his position as Platte County Prosecuting Attorney, an office to which he was elected in 1994 and 1998. At the time of his election in 1994, he was the youngest full-time prosecuting attorney in Missouri.

As Prosecuting Attorney and as United States Attorney, Todd actively managed cases and trials under his authority and personally tried numerous jury trials to verdict, including cases of child molestation, drug distribution, murder and capital murder. Prior to his service as Platte County Prosecuting Attorney, Todd was in private practice with the Bryan Cave law firm. Before joining Bryan Cave, he was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri.

He is the immediate past President of the Pony Express Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for Ballotpedia, an organization dedicated to building the Encyclopedia of American Politics, and is a founding board member of the Kansas City Missouri Police Foundation. Todd has been married over 30 years to his wife, Tracy. The couple has four children, and they reside on a 270 acre farm north of Kansas City that has been in the family since 1867.

John Elliott

Vice-Chairman

John Elliott

Vice-Chairman

John Elliott was raised in rural Grundy County Missouri, graduated from Trenton High School and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984. During his tenure in college, John attained the highest FFA honor when he was awarded the American Farmer Degree.

He worked in the financial and banking industry for thirteen years including seven years at Wells Bank of Platte City. He was responsible for compliance and worked in both the operations and lending departments. John is the Vice President of Inside Information, a company he founded with wife, Julie, to provide marketing and research services to electric utilities nationwide. Inside Information has provided services for more than 300 electric cooperatives in 34 states. Inside Information, Inc. has thirteen employees and annual revenue of more than $2,000,000.

John also served Platte County, Missouri as District 2 Associate Commissioner where he was actively involved in implementing long-term planning and budgeting from 2017-2020 and oversaw the County’s Information Technology Department and Public Works Department. He was the County’s representative to both the Platte County Economic Development Council and the Kansas City, Missouri Economic Development Council.

John and Julie were founding members of Northland Christian Education System. NCES began in 2006 with 25 high school students. It is now a pre-k through 12 school system with three campuses and more than 400 students. John served as the NCES board president for 16 years and attended eight Kingdom Education Institute conferences with school administrators and faculty. John’s passion is making Christian education more accessible, more affordable and more sustainable.

During this period, NCES became accredited and re-accredited (renewed every five years) with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and AdvancED.

John currently serves as president of the American Democracy Alliance and formerly served as the president of the Adam Smith Foundation and president of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom.

John and Julie have been married for over 30 years. They reside in Platte County, Missouri, and have two grown children, Samuel and Sadie, and daughter-in-law, Collins. They are also enjoying their first two grandchildren, Virginia and Magnolia. Sam, Collins, and Sadie graduated from Northland Christian School in Kansas City, Missouri. Sam received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia in May ‘20. Sadie received her MBA from ESCP Europe in July ‘20. Collins has an education degree from John Brown University and taught third grade at a Christian school for three years prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Kristen Blanchard Ansley

Secretary / Treasurer

Kristen Blanchard Ansley

Secretary / Treasurer

Kristen Blanchard Ansley specializes in advancing the conservative message of constitutionally-based principles. Prior to her current work, Blanchard Ansley practiced business defense litigation for the law firm Blanchard, Robertson, Mitchell & Carter, P.C. in her hometown of Joplin, Missouri, before being named Acting Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party following the 2016 election.

Blanchard Ansley served in the office of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, and later as Press Secretary and Majority Communications Director for Missouri Speaker of the House Ron Richard.

Blanchard Ansley earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. She resides in Kansas City with her family.

Latest News

Herzog Foundation Hosts Succession Planning Bootcamp for Christian Schools

Smithville, MO (November 18, 2022) – The Herzog Foundation hosted a new training opportunity for Christian school leaders on November 17 – 18, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Succession Planning…

Making The Leap Podcast: Keeping Up With The Herzog Foundation

  This week on a new episode of Making the Leap Podcast, co-hosts Chris and Christine Stigall catch up with the Herzog team and discuss the midterm election results. Education…

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