Carla Gericke was born in South Africa under apartheid, raised in a diplomatic household, and moved to the U.S. in 1996 after winning a green card in the Diversity lottery. She practiced law in South Africa and in-house at Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley before completing her M.F.A. in New York City.
After moving to New Hampshire in 2008 as part of Free State Project, a movement to attract 20,000 liberty activists to the Granite State, Carla twice organized the Porcupine Freedom Festival (a.k.a. PorcFest), one of the world’s largest liberty gatherings. She became president of the organization in 2011.
From 2008-2012, Carla also worked part-time at the New Hampshire Writers’ Project at Southern New Hampshire University. She started as program manager, organizing NHWP’s annual Writers’ Day conference and regional literary festivals, and left as acting executive director.
In 2013, Carla successfully spearheaded efforts to remove fraudulent claims about Free Staters from a City of Concord federal BEARCAT grant application. In 2014, Carla, acting as plaintiff, won a First Circuit Court of Appeals case affirming the 1st Amendment right to film police encounters. She was named one of NH Magazine’s 2014 “Remarkable Women”.
In early 2016, two years ahead of projections, Carla oversaw “triggering the move” by securing the 20,000th FSP signer. In March, she stepped down from her executive role, but remains on the FSP board as president emeritus. Carla now serves as president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence.
Carla writes and speaks on a variety of topics. She has been quoted in The Economist, WSJ, New York Magazine, New York Times, Playboy, GQ, and elsewhere, and has appeared on CNN and WMUR. She is working on a forthcoming memoir, Chill Don’t Kill, about the her role in the FSP, her arrest for wiretapping, and the landmark decision that followed.
In her spare time, Carla enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, watching documentaries, and practicing yoga. She is an avid foodie and traveler, having visited almost 40 countries to date. For many years now, Carla has been hosting a private bi-weekly writing workshop at her home. She lives in Manchester, NH, with her husband and their rescued dog, Nervous Nellie.
Carla believes in peaceful solutions and the exploration of new ideas to further the ideals of freedom and liberty for all.
Vince adds diverse experience to the Foundation with a background in broadcasting, accounting, and telecommunications. He loves living in the freest state in America, New Hampshire. With a “Live Free or Die” attitude and a strong independent streak, Vince feels right at home among his fellow NH citizens. He was raised to respect others and to work hard to achieve his goals, and thus takes pride in saying he has “the best parents, ever.” When Vince isn’t working on the Foundation, he enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with a great New England micro brew.
Chandler is a software engineer with a background in customer service and user interface design. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking in New Hampshire’s wilderness areas and exploring the history and culture of his beloved home state. A long-time resident of Bedford, he now lives in Merrimack with his wife and son.
Ellen works in a rehabilitation clinic with the mentally handicapped by day, and at night she can be found co-hosting podcasts with friends both in NH and other parts of the country. A Michigan native, Ellen enjoys the natural charm of the Lakes Region in New Hampshire particularly for swimming and running. Her future goals include studying chemical engineering and biological systems while embodying the love of living life to the fullest in a free society.
Robert holds a bachelors degree in Computer Information Technology, with experience in management, sales, and broadcasting. Residing and working in Manchester, Robert has embraced his desire for independence, echoing our state’s motto of “Live Free or Die”. In his free time, Robert enjoys media production and many of the coffee houses and hookah bars that New Hampshire has to offer.