"It gives you a different look at the world when you've been around the world a number of times."
IWP supporter Bill Lickle's experiences include traveling the world, serving as Chairman of JP Morgan International Holdings, working on Presidential campaigns, and running several businesses. He met his beautiful wife, Renee, when he was in second grade. He says he knew that she was "the one" at age 12, when they went on a date to a baseball game.
Bill and Renee became involved with the Institute after taking a trip to Russia with IWP president John Lenczowski and a group of other intellectuals in 1992 - right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This trip came about after Bill hosted the head of the Russian military on a trip to the United States to show him what democracy was like. As he recalls, "The trip to Moscow was awful. We were guests of the KGB, and the change between the ruble and the dollar was creating chaos. It was certainly an eye opening experience."
Above: Renee and Bill Lickle in Russia, 1992
Over the years, Bill has found that "as a country, we are so naive, and it's hard to find the truth," especially as it pertains to what is really going on abroad. It is difficult to assess what is really happening because we are so dependent upon the media for our information. This is a major problem for foreign policy decision makers, who often rely heavily on news sources for their information on these matters. Bill has found that it usually takes travel on his part to a region to discover the real situation there. In addition, traveling gives perspective on culture and history of different regions - another aspect that is vital to international relations but is not easily gained through news media.
These are some of the reasons that Bill and Renee are so enthusiastic about IWP and its mission. Bill comments, "IWP believes that strong, knowledgeable people should be involved in creating our nation's foreign policy, not those shaped by trends in the media or political expediency... I like to keep contact with reality, which is why I like IWP."
Now, 20 years after the Russian trip, Bill and Renee continue to be friends of the Institute. This month, they hosted an event for IWP at their home in Palm Beach with about thirty of their friends, where John Lenczowski described America's current foreign policy challenges and the education provided at IWP. In addition, they introduced him and Tricia Lloyd (IWP's Vice President for Institutional Advancement) during their three day visit to other friends who would be interested in IWP's mission. The Institute now has several new friends and supporters who are excited to contribute towards the improvement of the caliber of our future foreign policy makers.
IWP is fortunate to have supporters in the Lickles. John Lenczowski comments, "Bill and Renee have a serious commitment to the common welfare of our society. America still affords our people the freedom to direct their energies and dispose of their resources in ways that are not prescribed by the government, and it is citizens like Bill and Renee who use this freedom who make private institutions like IWP possible."
Above: Bill and Renee Lickle with John Lenczowski