February 9, 2012
Washington, D.C., Feb. 9, 2012-- John Von Kannon, a key figure in the growth of The Heritage Foundation for more than three decades, tonight received the John Ashbrook Award for service to the conservative movement. Von Kannon, vice president and senior counselor at the leading Washington think tank, was honored during the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Marriott Warden Park hotel.
The award is bestowed annually to recognize an individual who upholds the ideals of limited constitutional government championed by John M. Ashbrook, the late Ohio congressman and co-founder of the American Conservative Union. Past recipients include President Ronald Reagan, Attorney General Ed Meese and actor Charleton Heston.
“Several years ago, two researchers wanted to understand why some non-profit organizations become great, and how the best groups achieve real results,” Von Kannon, 62, said at the award ceremony, referring to the book “Forces for Good.” “You won’t be surprised to learn that The Heritage Foundation was one of those 12 ‘highly effective’ organizations.”
Von Kannon certainly has been a highly effective builder of the conservative movement -- and of Heritage in particular. Serving the think tank in a variety of development positions, he helped to grow its budget from $4 million in 1982 to more than $80 million this year. Membership surged as well. Today, Heritage boasts nearly 700,000 active members, making it the most broadly supported think tank in the world.
Before joining Heritage in 1980, Von Kannon first made his mark as publisher of The American Spectator. He cut his teeth in the movement at 15, however, by volunteering for Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign for president.
Von Kannon accepted the Ashbrook Award during the Presidential Banquet at the Marriott Ballroom, as more than 10,000 conservatives gathered for CPAC sessions scheduled Feb. 9 to 11. The award sponsor, Ashbrook Center at Ashland (Ohio) University, has been dedicated since 1983 to teaching “what it means to be an American,” including the principles of self-government.
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation develops public policy solutions that advance free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defense.