Ten years ago several friends and I sat at a restaurant in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, thinking seriously about what we wanted to do with our lives in order to make the world a better place.
We knew one thing to be true: a community of peers that would challenge us, equip us, and support us through living a life of purpose was essential. It was in that spirit that Teneo was born.
We chose its name—Teneo—from its Latin origin which translates as “to grasp” or “to endure.” After all, that is what we aimed for: to grasp a set of ideas and then to endure in their defense over our lifetime.
We began with a set of principles that reflect our best understanding of how to advance the human condition. We quickly learned that these methods and approaches were anchors we must also practice intentionally within our own community.
Allow me to highlight three values that have emerged as cornerstones of our community:
- Curiosity: though we share a few fundamental beliefs, we have healthy disagreements on a wide range of topics. The key to building a healthy pluralist community is curiosity: that amidst disagreement our posture is one of inquiry and interest, not one of attack.
- Gratitude: though we lament a wide range of the policies and outcomes we see around us, we continue to find things on a daily basis for which we are grateful.
- Hospitality: our community has not been built through giant conferences and hotel ballrooms. Rather, it is built in living rooms, kitchens, and back porches. The spirit of hospitality pervades the community to create an openness to each other and generosity to all.
A decade into this adventure, the Teneo community has flourished only because of our 100-plus volunteers who have served in regional or national leadership positions over this time. We have functioned mostly like a medium-sized organization largely through the work of men and women who make sacrifices for something they believe is bigger than themselves. For them I am eternally grateful.
We have been surprised and encouraged by the fruit produced through Teneo in its first decade. Bill Gates’ old adage has rung true: “You always overestimate what you can get done in a year and underestimate what you can get done in ten years.”
As I think ahead to our next decade, I’m excited for this community and the impact it can have on this country and world in which we are so fortunate to live.
Founder and CEO,
Our Leadership: The Board
Silicon Valley Executive and Investor; Teneo Board Chairman
Brandon serves in a global leadership role at an energy technology company in Silicon Valley. He is …
Director of Politics, Brigade
Jessica is the Director of Politics at Brigade, a startup that seeks to leverage technology to tackl…
Co-Founder, Fortress Energy
Jordan Strebeck is a proud West Texan, Red Raider, father, husband, and Believer. He is the co-found…
Founder, CEO, Teneo
Evan is the Executive Chairman of Teneo, where he passionately works to advance the ideas of modern …
Allison Lee Pillinger Choi
Full-time mom and author
Allison Lee Pillinger Choi is a full-time mom to two preschoolers and writes on right-of-center poli…
Sam Corcos is a founder and former head of technology at CarDash (cardash.com), a Y Combinator compa…
Attorney, Benbrook Law Group
Steve Duvernay is an attorney with Benbrook Law Group in Sacramento, where he specializes in constit…
What They Are Saying
Teneo: The Basics
Teneo is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that educates, connects and equips a network of outstanding leaders working to develop practical solutions to pressing global issues. Through events and retreats with top business leaders and leading policy experts, Teneo provides opportunities for members to learn about and discuss both key issues facing our country and world as well as five pillar ideas: (1) limited, constitutional government; (2) individual liberty and free enterprise; (3) robust civic society; (4) a strong national defense; and (5) belief in a transcendent order, whether founded in tradition, philosophy, or theology.
Teneo takes no positions on legislation or candidates.
Brandon serves in a global leadership role at an energy technology company in Silicon Valley. He is also an angel investor and was previously an attorney at Hogan Lovells in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Brandon’s experience includes significant work for leading Silicon Valley companies and investors, as well as projects in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Before entering private practice, Brandon served as law clerk to Chief Judge JL Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Brandon holds a JD from Stanford Law School and a BA from UC Berkeley.
Jessica is the Director of Politics at Brigade, a startup that seeks to leverage technology to tackle the problem of declining citizen power and engagement in democracy. She oversees partnerships with high-profile advocacy and political organizations to run successful campaigns on the platform. Jessica was formerly the Director of Campaigns at Causes.com, the world’s largest online campaigning site, prior to its acquisition by Brigade. Before joining Causes, Jessica was Campaigns Director at the Ad Council where she led multiple public service advertising campaigns. Jessica also serves on the advisory board for Lincoln Labs, a community of like-minded technologists who build and create technology to advance the cause of liberty. Finally, Jessica is on the Board of Directors for Teneo, an organization of exceptional young professionals committed to advancing conservative and libertarian values. Jessica resides in the Washington DC metro area with her husband Brock and their two children.
Jordan Strebeck is a proud West Texan, Red Raider, father, husband, and Believer. He is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Fortress Energy, an independent oil & gas company headquartered in Midland, TX. Jordan was previously the Vice President of Finance & Business Development for Piedra Resources. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, where he was elected co-President of the HBS Student Association as well as President of his Section. He attended HBS on a First Fellowship and graduated with Second Year Honors. He previously served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. He earned his undergraduate degree in Agricultural & Applied Economics with a minor in Personal Financial Planning. He has been happily married to his best friend, Brittany, also a graduate of Texas Tech, since 2007. They are the proud parents of two boys and one girl.
Evan is the Executive Chairman of Teneo, where he passionately works to advance the ideas of modern conservatism. Previously he cofounded Able, an online lending company serving the Fortune 5 Million—the 5.8 million small businesses representing the backbone of the American economy. His previous startup was Outbox, a consumer internet company aiming to take over the US Postal Service and backed by venture capitalists Peter Thiel and Mike Maples, and featured on Fox News, CNN, TechCrunch, FastCompany, Wall Street Journal, Jay Leno, INC, and the NYT. He is coauthor of Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams from Harvard Business Press (2015), which has hit #1 in Amazon’s business new releases. An honors graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Business School, he lives in Austin, TX, with his wife, Kristina Scurry Baehr, a litigator, and children Cooper and Madeleine.
Allison Lee Pillinger Choi
Allison Lee Pillinger Choi is a full-time mom to two preschoolers and writes on right-of-center politics/policy. She is the author of Bleeding Heart Conservatives: Why It's Good To Be Right and a Contributing Writer at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. Alli attended Harvard where she studied Economics, competed on the Varsity Tennis team, and worked at The Harvard Crimson. After graduating she moved to New York City, where she worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs and then at Equinox. Alli is affiliated with New York Hospital Weill Cornell Council, the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, and the Advisory Committee of the Manhattan Institute's Young Leaders Circle. She is originally from South Florida.
Sam Corcos is a founder and former head of technology at CarDash (cardash.com), a Y Combinator company that seeks to make automotive repair and maintenance as convenient and transparent as possible. His previous venture, Sightline Maps, provides an intuitive platform for 3D printing and visualizing topographical maps, marketed primarily towards the U.S. military. As of 2017, he sits on the board of Sightline Maps. He is originally from Sacramento, California and attended Claremont McKenna College, where he played football, rugby, and track. Upon graduating, he taught himself to code and started his own software development company. He has expertise in Node.js, React, Redux, GraphQL, Serverless architecture, Elixir, Phoenix, AWS, Mapbox, and D3, among a host of other technologies. He has also written a technical book, Learn Phoenix, on building scalable, highly-concurrent web and mobile applications with Phoenix, React, and React Native. His first company, California Estimates LLC, provided cost estimates for countertop fabricators, improving upon existing estimating software. While in high school, he co-authored a paper in the field of oncology on the effects of cisplatin used in conjunction with purified green tea polyphenols on non-small cell lung carcinoma and he hopes to get back into life sciences someday.
Steve Duvernay is an attorney with Benbrook Law Group in Sacramento, where he specializes in constitutional litigation in state and federal courts, and provides litigation and counsel services in matters arising in the political, administrative, and public policy arenas. In addition to his day job, Steve is a Senior Research Fellow at the California Constitution Center at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he is also a lecturer in advanced legal writing. He is also on the board of the Sacramento Chapter of the Federalist Society. Steve is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Notre Dame Law School. Prior to law school, Steve taught for a nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that focused on civic activism and political participation. Steve has volunteered his time to help on several political campaigns, with experience ranging from sign-posting and door-knocking to poll watching and election integrity. Steve is learning (however slowly) to master creole cooking. (Feel free to ask his father, a New Orleans native, about the red beans and rice.) Steve was born in Juneau, the youngest of six children in a Catholic family. He finds peace on a stretch of the Missouri river outside of Craig, Montana, and is hopeful that this summer he might finally try his hand at fly fishing again.