Our Team

Show-Me Institute

Brenda Talent

Before joining the Show-Me Institute, Brenda Talent served as counsel to the Saint Louis law firm Bryan Cave. She has argued cases before the Missouri Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Missouri, and has litigated cases in the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Director of Development

Jessica Gatewood joined the Show-Me Institute as Director of Development in July 2016. She previously served as Director of Development and Director of Corporate Relations at Lindenwood University.

Donor Relations Manager

Before joining the Show Me Institute, Christina worked as a Portfolio Administrator at Acropolis Investment Management in Saint Louis. She holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston College.

Corianna Baier

Corianna grew up in Michigan, where she earned her B.S. in Economics from Hillsdale College. She then earned her M.A. in Economics from Troy University. Corianna is interested in business regulation and tax policy.


Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute. He is a native of Kansas City and graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned honors degrees in finance and political science and a law degree with a business concentration.

Director of Research and Education Policy

Susan Pendergrass was Vice President of Research and Evaluation for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools before joining the Show-Me Institute. Prior to coming to the National Alliance, Susan was a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education during the Bush administration and a senior research scientist at the National Center for Education Statistics during...

Policy Analyst

Graham Renz is a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute.

Elias - Web
Senior Analyst

Elias Tsapelas earned his Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Missouri in 2016. His research interests include economic development, health policy, and budget-related issues.

Senior Fellow

A former foreign correspondent who spent four years in the Middle East and served as Business Week’s London bureau chief during Margaret Thatcher’s first two terms as Britain’s prime minister, Andrew is a regular contributor to leading national publications, including the American Spectator, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal.

Jakob Puckett

Jakob Puckett received his M.S. in Economics from University of Illinois in 2019. An Ohio native, his research interests include energy, transportation, and macroeconomic issues.


Show-Me Opportunity

Director of Communications

Zach Lawhorn joined Show-Me Opportunity in 2018. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Missouri. Prior to joining SMO he worked in marketing and strategic communications for the University of Missouri School of Health Professions and was a senior media producer at Mizzou Video Production.

Mike Ederer

Mike Ederer joined Show-Me opportunity in 2015. He earned his bachelor's degree at Truman State University and his master's degree in English at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Before joining SMO he worked for 20 years in the publishing industry, primarily editing medical and social science textbooks.

Associate Editor
Scott Tanner is an Associate Editor with Show-Me Opportunity.
Graphic Designer

Greg Kenkel, a Saint Louis native, has been in and around the design field for over 15 years. He earned his bachelor of arts degree studying graphic design and photography at the University of Missouri‑Saint Louis. His passion for art began at 7 years old taking painting classes at the Saint Louis Art Museum, which he continued for the next 6 years.