Tom Piatak named Rockford Institute president

Thomas Piatak
Thomas Piatak

Online Staff Report

After several months of successful work as vice president, Thomas Piatak has been named president of The Rockford Institute by the Institute’s Board of Directors. Former President Thomas Fleming will continue to guide the Institute’s flagship publication as editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Piatak has been writing for Chronicles since 2001 and speaking at Institute functions on a variety of topics, including immigration, the sanctity of life, the importance of U.S. manufacturing, and conservative politics. Serving as vice president over the latter half of 2014, he raised the profile of Chronicles, building strong relationships with new donors and writers for the magazine — work that he will continue as he takes the Institute’s helm.

The board is profoundly grateful to Thomas Fleming for his 17 years of exemplary service as president of The Rockford Institute, and for his continued devotion to our peerless magazine, which, under his tireless direction, has been the vanguard of conservatism,” said Rockford Institute Board Chairman Raymond Welder. “Though filling his shoes seems an impossible task, Thomas Piatak, we are confident, will prove a worthy successor.”

Piatak earned his bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University, where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in history. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan, where he graduated cum laude. His wife, Valerie, serves as a finance director for a non-profit organization.

Piatak served as Pat Buchanan’s campaign chairman in Ohio during the 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns and also served as the executive director of The American Cause, a non-profit organization of which Buchanan was chairman. In college, Piatak served as president of the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom and student representative of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and in law school he was active in the Federalist Society and later headed the lawyers’ chapter of the Society in Cleveland.

Before joining the Institute, Piatak practiced labor and employment law in his hometown of Cleveland at Frantz Ward, whose labor and employment practice is ranked in the top tier by Chambers USA. Piatak has also been a partner at Arter & Hadden and Baker Hostetler.

Piatak is confident The Rockford Institute and its flagship monthly magazine and website are poised for significant growth and an expansion of the uniquely conservative influence that Chronicles has wielded for nearly 40 years.

It is a great honor to succeed Thomas Fleming as president of The Rockford Institute,” said Piatak. “The Rockford Institute and Chronicles have remained true to their conservative principles. My goal is to make this excellent work known to a wider audience.”

Since 1976, The Rockford Institute has carried out its mission of defending and advancing “the principles of a free society.” Founded in the year of the nation’s bicentennial celebration, the Institute has worked to preserve the institutions of the Christian West: the family, the church, and the rule of law; private property, free enterprise, and moral discipline; high standards of learning, art and literature.

Posted Jan. 19, 2015

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