Kim Crockett: Now Executive Director of Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment

Kim Crockett, President and General Counsel

Kim Crockett, President and General Counsel


Kim Crockett is Center of American Experiment’s Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel.  She is the Executive Director of Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment.

Prior to joining the Minnesota Free Market Institute and the Center, Kim served as corporate counsel to a national bank and had a long legal career in commercial real estate law.

Kim, who is an enthusiastic student of the American Revolution and the written U.S. Constitution, has been a member of the Federalist Society since 1984 when she founded the student chapter at Penn Law in Philadelphia. She is currently Chairman of the Minneapolis Lawyers Chapter. She has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from Penn Law (1987).

Kim also started a small business in 2004 where she serves on the board. Kim is a retired member of the Deephaven City Council and chairman of the five-city Excelsior Fire District. She has served Governor Tim Pawlenty as an appointee to Minnesota Compensation Council and the Minnesota Supreme Court as member of the Committee on Minnesota’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

Kim “has issues” with relaxation, but when she is not reading or working, she might be found in the garden or on the slopes depending on the season. She is a devotee of pilates/yoga despite the attendant jibber jabber. She is a huge fan of Minnesota author, Vince Flynn, and his Mitch Rapp series.


John R. LaPlante: Policy Fellow

John LaPlante: Fellow

John LaPlante, Fellow

Since 1998, policy fellow John R. LaPlante has written on a range of public issues, including economic development, government-sponsored enterprises, and transportation.

His projects have included managing a healthcare policy website for State Policy Network, writing reports and commentaries on K-12 education for the Kansas Policy Institute, and commenting on think tanks for the St. Paul Legal Ledger/Capitol Report. He holds an M.A. in political science from The Ohio State University.

He is a contributor to The Michigan View, a state-focused equivalent to National Review, written by members of the Detroit News editorial board and a few selected others. He has been published in the Star-Tribune, Kansas City Star, and the DC Caller. He also been a guest on 760AM WJR (Detroit), 1280AM WWTC (Twin Cities) and other radio outlets.

A resident of Dakota County, he was the research director and webmaster of a coalition that prevailed twice on a ballot question regarding his city’s form of government. He enjoys snowboarding and mountain biking.



Don Parmeter: Policy Fellow

Don Parmeter

Don Parmeter

Don Parmeter is co-chairman of the National Water & Conservation Alliance, established in 2009 to develop and promote local and regional alternatives to expansion of federal authority under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. He is the founder of the American Environmental Institute. Don will be writing for the Minnesota Free Market Institute about “reinventing environmentalism” and property rights.




David Strom: Policy Fellow

David Strom

David Strom, Fellow

David Strom is a Policy Fellow at the Minnesota Free Market Institute.  He is an experienced public policy expert, educator, speechwriter  and media commentator. From 2007 to 2008 he was President of the Free Market Institute. From 2004 to 2007 he was the President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. He is a graduate of Carleton College, and holds a Masters degree in Political Science from Duke University. He has taught political philosophy at Duke University, North Carolina State University, Carleton College, and the University of St. Thomas. He is a fellow of the Claremont Institute. He has a long list of media credits including hosting his own radio show for 6 years and appearances on  public affairs programs radio and television programs such as KSTP’s At Issue and Twin Cites Public Television’s Almanac. More recently, he was the policy director and speechwriter for a gubernatorial campaign and he was a House majority caucus researcher for the 2011 Session.  He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Margaret Martin.









Dan Willey is a student at Brandeis University. Willey helps us with technology projects, including social media.


Help Wanted

We are always looking for new Policy Fellows and a part-time Webmaster/Office Manager. And we are always interested in guest posts. If you are interested, please contact Kim Crockett via email .

We also need volunteers to help with simple tasks such as database entry, so we can keep up with the member and donor information that is so important to our success. We also need volunteers to help staff events–this can be a lot of fun and a good networking opportunity. Again, contact Kim Crockett at if you have a few hours to volunteer.

The Minnesota Free Market Institute taps the resources of Policy Fellows with scholarly credentials and practical experience in a wide variety of pursuits from economics to corporate management, legal studies to litigation, and grassroots activism to government policy making. Our Policy Fellows are scholars, lawyers, journalists, teachers, business executives and technologists. The Free Market Institute integrates the theoretical knowledge and practical experience of its Policy Fellows through projects that bridge the divides among theory, research and policy.

Among the nations of the world the United States is unique in that to call oneself “American,” one need not be of a specific race or ethnicity. Bloodline makes a Frenchman a Frenchman, and an Englishman an Englishman, but an “American” is defined by belief in the existence of self-evident truths… “That all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed…”

The Founders did not require of man or woman that they pursue happiness in any specific manner, observe any particular religion or even hold any specific moral values. They only decreed that one acknowledge the “self-evident” truth of the essential equality of all human beings and that governmental power flowed from the people to the government. The Minnesota Free Market Institute aspires to no other standard.

Beyond unwavering faith in the self-evident truths expressed by the founders, a sincere desire to limit government to its proper role and trust that free market approaches to issues of the day inevitably produce more and wider spread prosperity than the collective, centrally planned economies, there is no ideological litmus test for Minnesota Free Market Institute Fellows. Fellows are chosen for their knowledge, experience and ability to integrate research and practical experience into a free market approach to policymaking. Disagreement and debate on policy among Fellows is welcomed and encouraged.