As Your Wealth Lecture Series speakers present, their profile information and the video links to their lecture will be posted here.

Dr. Howard Wall directs the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise and is a professor of economics in the Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Lindenwood University

Tax Cuts Matter

Dr. Wall looked at how reduced taxes have stimulated the economy at the federal and state levels, providing local examples

Dr. Tawni Ferrarini is the Robert W. Plaster Professor of Economic Education and Senior Fellow at the Hammond Institute at Lindenwood University

The State of the Michigan Economy: 2008-2018

Dr. Ferrarini provided great insight into understanding our state’s fiscal health and presented her overview of the state’s funding needs for proposed and current state programs, including Education

Watch the video of the lecture HERE

“Headwinds in Higher Education: What’s Happening to Tuition Prices, University Finances, and Why It Matters”
Scott Beaulier, NMU Economics Alumnus, Dean of the College of Business at North Dakota State University

Dr. Beaulier has 15 years of experience in higher education as a professor and university administrator. He has spent his career understanding and advocating for policies that foster dynamic, vibrant economies that best allow businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive, but recognizing that people — innovative, creative, and dedicated business leaders — are the life blood of any economy. Previously, Dr. Beaulier was head of a research center in the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and of the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University. Dr. Beaulier holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and History from Northern Michigan University and a Master of Arts and PhD in Economics from George Mason University.

The talk focused on national trends in higher education, some of the shocks we are seeing to budgets throughout the country and will connect the big picture narrative to Dr. Beaulier’s own experiences.

Organized by the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship with the Economics Student Association, and the support of the NMU Foundation. This lecture is also part of the Skill Builders! series.

Click HERE to watch the lecture.

Professor Tawni H. Ferrarini presented "In Our Backyard: Michigan's Upper Peninsula Economic and Community Development. "

With a look into the region that 6 out of 10 of NMU students call home, the Community and Economic Profiles for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula booklet is an invaluable tool to help faculty know more about their students’ home and to help students become informed ambassadors for their communities. It showcases the major exporters, the key employers, the educational institutions, and the cultural and recreational assets of each of the 15 counties.

Lecture was held on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Mead Auditorium, West Science Hall

Tawni Ferrarini is the Sam M. Cohodas Professor of Economics, Senior Fellow at the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, a Faculty Scholar at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute (Canada), and the past-president of the National Association of Economic Educators. To watch the video click here.

James P. Studinger presented "Student Debt and Budgeting for College Students"

The lecture focuses on Zero Balanced Budget. In James Studinger words: "I believe strongly in a great budget. My philosophy on the budget isn’t to discover what you can’t do, but to find opportunities to do more."

Lecture was held on Friday, March 24, 2017, 4:00 p.m. Mead Auditorium, West Science Hall

James Studinger believes that the answer to our current financial troubles rests within the warm foundation of financial education. He has become actively involved with increasing financial acumen opportunities inside our schools. He is author of Wealth Is a Choice, and owner of the JPStudinger Group, a wealth-management company. To watch the video click here.

On September 28, 2016, Michael van Beek from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy gave a lecture on Over-regulation. The hidden costs of government.

Image of Michael Van Beek

Michael Van Beek is director of research for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He joined the Mackinac Center in June 2009 as director of education policy. He has authored several studies for the Center as well as analysis and commentaries that have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Grand Rapids Press, The Oakland Press and elsewhere.

Watch his presentation here.

Financing your future

A two-part workshop:

Mead Auditorium

Most would agree that college education is a good investment. However, like with any debt, when is worth it? When does it make economic sense and when does it not? An important factor to consider is what your career is going to look like. Certainly, you need to make the best possible investment. Knowing your comparative advantage based on your preferences, your education, your experience, and what the market is demanding is important. But it doesn’t end there, you need to be entrepreneurial about it.

Dr. Tawni H. Ferrarini, Sam M. Cohodas Professor

Dr. Hugo Eyzaguirre, Director, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship

Carlos Bertoni

Image of Carlos Bertoni

The Future of Mining in the UP: Developing New Copper Deposits

On October 28, 2015 in the Mead Auditorium, Carlos Bertoni gave a talk as part of the Your Wealth Lecture series. Carlos Bertoni is the Executive Vice President and Project Development Manager at Highland Copper. He is a Professional Geoscientist and a seasoned mining industry executive with over 30 years of experience. A M.Sc. graduate of Queen’s University, Mr. Bertoni has been acting as project manager of Highland since 2013. From 2007 to 2013, he acted as chief operating officer and Brazil country manager for Aura Minerals Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Bertoni was President and CEO of Northern Mining Explorations Ltd. and Guyanor Resources S.A.

Link to presentation

Martin Regalia

Martin Regalia  

National and International Economic Issues in the U.S.

On September 21, 2015 at Mead Auditorium, Dr. Martin Regalia gave a talk as part of the Your Wealth Lecture series. Dr. Martin A. Regalia is senior vice president for economic and tax policy and chief economist at the United States Chamber of Commerce. He has been named as one of the top 10 economists in the nation.

 Steven HorwitzSteven Horwitz is Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics and department chair at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.  An Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA and a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, BC, Horwitz completed his MA and PhD in economics at George Mason University and received his A.B. in economics and philosophy from The University of Michigan.  He is the author of two books, Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000) and Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992), and he has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and macroeconomics.

In addition to several dozen articles in numerous professional journals, he has also done nationally recognized public policy work on the role of the private sector during Hurricane Katrina.  The author of numerous op-eds, Horwitz is also a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, and has a series of popular YouTube videos for the Learn Liberty series from the Institute for Humane Studies. He also blogs at “Coordination Problem” and “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” He was awarded the Hayek Prize in 2010 by the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order for his work on the economics of the family among other contributions. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, Horwitz has spoken to professional, student, policymaker, and general audiences throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America. His current research is on the economics and social theory of the family, and he has a forthcoming book on the Hayek, the family, and classical liberalism, due out from Palgrave-Macmillan in 2015.

Link to presentation


Narayana Kocherlakota

Narayana Kocherlakota

Narayana Kocherlakota took office as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on Oct. 8, 2009. In that capacity. He serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve System. Kocherlakota was a professor at the University of Minnesota and has published Stanford University and has published more than 30 articles in academic journals. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1987 and an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton in 1983.     

Link to presentation


Rich Tegge

Rich Tegge

Rich is the President and Founder of Wealth Strategy Group.  His passion is in helping others to understand the strategies and tools needed to assist them in reaching their financial goals.  His more than 15 years’ experience guiding clients through the most turbulent markets seen in generations gives him the perspective to help others succeed.  He has attained recognition as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.  He served as a Second Vice President while supervising the Marquette branch of a large Wall Street investment. Rich’s prior successes include cofounding a computer integration firm which was later sold to a publicly traded Canadian company and was a three year letter winner with the NMU Football team.

Link to presentation (Rich Tegge and Tawni Ferrarini)

Image of Dr. Tawni FerrariniDr. Tawni Ferrarini
Tawni is the Director of the Center for Economic Education and Enterpreneurship, the Sam M. Cohodas Professor of Economics at Northern Michigan University and also serves as Chief Economic Contributor for WSG.  Regionally she is recognized for her work on the economy of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Nationally and internationally,, and workshops she works diligently to bring the importance and value of economics to a broad cross section of individuals and institutions. She is a regular reviewer for and is widely published in both education and economic journals; she regularly presents at professional conferences and leads various workshops on economics to organizations across the U.S.  Her books include co-authoring Common Sense Economics:What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity” and “Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History”.

Image of Jason Schneider

Jason Schneider (SONI)
Interests: Rock Climbing, Surfing, Culture, Local Politics, Economic Development, Cooperatives.SONI comes from Saesoni. It was my name while living in Tonga for the two years of volunteering with the Peace Corps. Tongans could not pronounce my name so it was the closest they could get.

Photography has been a part of my life for 20 years. I came into it as a student at NMU and focused on it both academically and professionally. For a number of years afterwards it took a back seat to other interests but my time in Tonga brought it back as a centerpiece of my life. I’m thankful to be able to capture intimate moments of people’s lives that tell a story and pull the viewer into the image. In thanks to my friends and life in Tonga, I’m proud to offer SONI Photography to my community at home.

Jason Schneider Presentation


John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil and author of "Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider," is a leader with a unique perspective on not only the oil industry, but on the nation's energy situation as a whole. Hofmeister was known for being a straight shooter, willing to challenge his peers throughout the industry. Now, he's a man on a mission as the founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, a non-profit association, crisscrossing the country in a grassroots campaign to change the way we look at energy in this country. His purpose is "To educate citizens and government officials about pragmatic, non-partisan affordable energy solutions, environmental protection, energy alternatives, efficiency, infrastructure, public policy, competitiveness, social cohesion, and quality of life." Hofmeister serves as the chair of the National Urban League and is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee. He is senior advisor to two energy start-ups: Liberty Power of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and NewEarth Technologies of Seattle, Wash. Hofmeister also serves on the boards of the Foreign Policy Association, Strategic Partners, LLC, the Gas Technology Institute and the Center for Houston's Future. While pundits proffer false new promises of green energy independence, or flatly deny the existence of a problem, Hofmeister offers an insider's view of what's behind the energy companies' posturing, and how.

John Hofmeister Presentation

Image of James P. Studinger

In 2002 James P. Studinger opened his own company, JPStudinger Group, a firm that specializes in financial education and meeting clients’ needs rather than the sales side of the business. In 2009 he became the Vice Chair for the Michigan JumpStart Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to raising the financial literacy bar for kids. Studinger’s passion for making smart financial decisions helped him createWealth Is a Choice so that others would embrace, not fear financial decisions. Studinger’s message is engaging, enlightening, and he’s ready to share it with those who wish to become financially stable. He has the firm belief that through sound financial education everyone can once more enjoy sound financial times. 

James P. Studinger Presentation


Image of Suzanna de Baca


​Suzanna de Baca is vice president of client acquisition, retirement and wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, Inc.  She has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In her 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21 presentation in Mead Auditorium, she will be discussing how women can take control of their finances, as well as giving advice on how to make informed financial decisions.  Other topics she will be speaking about are how to gain control over your financial situation and protecting the people and things you love.

Prior to joining Ameriprise, de Baca served as an advisor to high net worth individuals and families and held senior-level positions in sales management and business development at several asset management firms, including Bank of America’s Private Bank and Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Group.

De Baca appears frequently on national television and radio, providing commentary on retirement, financial management and consumer finance. She is regularly quoted in national news and consumer publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. In addition, she is a regular contributor to industry and consumer business publications, including a weekly family finance column for  She is also a business book reviewer for Publishers Weekly.

De Baca earned a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s from Iowa State University.

Suzanna de Baca Presentation

Niels Veldhuis

Niels Veldhuis is the president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of the best-selling and award-winning book The Canadian Century. In his Nov. 12 presentation, he spoke about the lessons the United States can learn from its northern neighbor and what Washington would look like on a Canadian diet.

American's view Canadians as friendly, hockey-loving people, but usually don't look to them for leadership on public policy issues. True that liberals laud Canada's socialized health care system, but conservatives see it as emblematic of an uncompetitive welfare state. However, it is time for an image makeover. While U.S. politicians expanded government, Canadians cut government spending, reduced tax rates, and balanced budgets. Now Canada is among the top five most economically free countries in the world, well ahead of the United States, which has fallen to 18th overall, according to the Fraser Institute's annual Economic Freedom of the World report.

Niels Veldhuis Presentation