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 that spirit that Teneo was born.
We chose the name Teneo from its Latin origin which translated in Latin means ‘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 our 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 also an angel investor and was previousl…
Founder, CEO, Teneo
Evan is the Executive Chairman of Teneo, where he passionately works to advance the ideas of modern conservatism. Previously he cofounded Ab…
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 politics/policy. She is the author of Bleedi…
Sam Corcos is a founder and former head of technology at CarDash (cardash.com), a Y Combinator company that seeks to make automotive repair …
Attorney, Benbrook Law Group
Steve Duvernay is an attorney with Benbrook Law Group in Sacramento, where he specializes in constitutional litigation in state and federal …
Senior Executive, Financial Services
John Coleman is an executive in financial services based in Atlanta. John's past experience includes asset management and consulting. He's a…
VP of Business Development, Freedom Solar
Lila Ontiveros grew up in Kingwood, Texas. She graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Cornell University, where she was a Meinig Scholar…
Partner, Technology Investment Firm
Paul Vronsky is a partner at a technology investment firm based in San Francisco. He helps oversee firm strategy and management. Previously,…
VP, MLM International
Hillary Waldron is Vice President at MLM International, a Washington-based company specializing in the international distribution of ammunit…
Founder and General Partner, Trust Ventures
Salen is the founder and general partner of Trust Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in and supports startups in heavily-regulate…
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.