Our Founders


THBTravis H. Brown is the author of How Money Walks and the co-author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States (with Art Laffer, Steve Moore, and Rex Sinquefield). Brown is an entrepreneur with a passion for helping cities and states grow via smart tax policies. He’s a frequent contributor to Fox and Friends as well as Forbes.com, and has appeared on various radio and television broadcasts such as Fox Business Network, CNBC, Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo, NPR’s All Things Considered, Bloomberg News, and CSPAN. Publications including US News and World Report, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Fiscal Times, and the Dallas Morning News have cited Brown’s work when reporting on taxes and the economy.


As an issue-advocate who has worked across 35 states throughout the past 20 years, Brown’s unique experience led his firm, Pelopidas, LLC (pronounced pe-LOP’ a dus), to find a way to share how working wealth was moving nationwide. Pelopidas, which is Greek for “freedom-fighting,” is most often recognized as an issue advocacy firm that takes on tough state and local issues that others often try to avoid. The company is based in both St. Louis, MO, and Miami, FL. A core mission at Pelopidas is to recruit and serve as “happy warriors,” spreading the fundamental truths that need to be told – through film, media, and issue advocacy. Brown embraces the role of assembling and supporting the best and brightest to work on the issues of the day, such as holding schools more accountable to individualized learning and improving the job climates within states.


Tackling tough issues that often miss their moment is a source of pride in Brown’s issue-based work. Civic leaders such as the late Lamar Hunt, then the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, hired his firm to pursue funding solutions for restoring Arrowhead Stadium. Medical doctors across the fields of anesthesia, cardiology, and orthopedic medicine have worked with his team to improve patient safety and tort reform laws. His Pelopidas media network is engaged in film finance, documentary film, and advertising promotions. Over the last several years, Brown has applied his attention to increasing tax policy awareness through the passage of several statewide ballot initiatives related to earnings taxes and city governance.


Brown’s career advising governors, chief executives, legislatures, mayors, and venture philanthropists got started by lobbying for his alma mater, the University of Missouri-Columbia. His undergraduate degrees were in both agricultural economics and political science from Mizzou, with an MBA from Washington University in Saint Louis. His corporate work in sales, marketing, and government affairs has included such companies or clients as the American Home Products Corporation, the Monsanto Company, the Oracle Corporation, the American Petroleum Institute, and Procter & Gamble.


A pilot himself, by bush-flying America to spread the results about where our growth is going, Brown hopes to inspire new small-business champions, non-profit charities, and community leaders to prepare their regions for our highly mobile age. Brown remains a serial small business owner at heart, and he is an active angel investor in several other startups across such fields as smart navigation and cancer vaccines. He loves to apply his passions for flying, bird hunting, sports, and wine collecting around his missions. Dedicated to giving back to his community, Brown sits on the board of the Saint Louis Science Center and is the vice chairman of the Wings of Hope Board of Directors. Wings of Hope provides international humanitarian relief using a fleet of nearly 70 airplanes and dedicated volunteers in more than a dozen third world nations.


Get engaged by following @HowMoneyWalks and @WOSbook on Twitter, or downloading his apps at www.howmoneywalks.com.


Rachel Keller is co-founder of Pelopidas, LLC, a comprehensive issue-advocacy firm that specializes in non-profit fundraising, capital campaign development, voter outreach, event planning, documentary filmmaking, and government and public affairs consulting. In addition, Keller was the former chief of staff for Missouri-based philanthropist Rex Sinquefield, for whom she advised on philanthropic initiatives and managed issue advocacy in the areas of tax policy and education reform. Keller is also principal and founder of Line Up a Legend, an organization that connects individuals and groups with sports celebrities, including many members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


Prior to these positions, Keller’s distinguished career covered every corner of the State of Missouri, and included issue, candidate, and capital fundraising, organizing statewide grassroots campaigns, and developing coalition strategies. Throughout the years, Keller has forged strong relationships with business, as well as civic, leaders and elected officials, both in Missouri and throughout the United States.


Keller is passionate about education, animal rescue and protection, youth in need, and both environmental and historic preservation. She sits on the boards of the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri (an organization she founded in 2006), the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation (a national fundraising board), the St. Vincent Home for Children, the Missouri History Museum, Opera Theatre Saint Louis, the Loop Trolley, Covenant House, the National Children’s Cancer Society, and Dance St. Louis. Additionally, she serves on the advisory committee of the Innovative Concept Academy.