Convention Speaker: John Stemberger

John Stemberger is an Eagle Scout, a former Scoutmaster, and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.  He was the founder of the national On My Honor movement in the Boy Scouts of America and became the Chairman of the Board for Trail Life USA in 2013.

Professionally John is an AV Rated Orlando attorney with a civil trial and business law private practice who has also been a marriage and family advocate for over 30 years.  As a native Floridian, he attended Florida State University where he studied political science and philosophy before obtaining a Juris Doctorate of Law at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.  In 1987, he founded the Institute for Conservative Studies (ICS), a permanent student led think-tank at Florida State University.

After legislative internships in both the Florida House and Senate, Stemberger worked with attorney Ken Connor in Tallahassee for several years and then served as the lobbyist for Florida Right to Life with Connor in 1989.  Stemberger has a unique understanding of law, government, and the media from his extensive political background having served as a consultant to state, federal, and presidential campaigns.  In 1992, he was appointed as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Florida during the final campaign of former President George H. W. Bush.  Stemberger has been quoted in news and media sources hundreds of times as an expert on marriage, family, culture and politics including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, The Economist and National Public Radio. His legal, political and non-profit advocacy work has appeared on ABC News Nightline, Fox News, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and Court TV.  Starting in 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush twice appointed Stemberger to the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where he served for eight years screening and recommending new judge candidates in Central Florida.

A sought after speaker around the country, John Stemberger is also a member of the Council for National Policy and in a feature article on his work, the Miami Herald called him, “One of the most interesting and influential people you’ve never heard of.” In 2009, Orlando Magazine named him one of the top 50 most powerful people in Central Florida.

In addition to the private practice of law, in 2004 Stemberger became the President of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC).  Since starting the FFPC he was Chairman of the 2008 campaign to amend Florida’s Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman which was adopted by 61.9% of Florida voters.  He also launched the “Florida Judicial Accountability Project” by filing a federal lawsuit against the Florida Bar and Judicial Qualifications Commission to strike down Florida’s gag order which prohibits judges candidates from addressing issues during their campaigns and created a statewide judicial voter guide.  He has also launched Strong Marriages Florida, a statewide coalition campaign, to reduce the divorce rate and strengthen marriages across Florida.

In 2009, Stemberger’s law firm received international media attention for representing Rifqa Bary, the Muslim teenager from Columbus, Ohio, who fled to Orlando, Florida after she was threatened to be killed by her father for not renouncing her faith after her conversion from Islam to Christianity was discovered.

Most importantly, he has been married to his wife Olivia for twenty-five years and they have four children Joseph, Benjamin, Hannah and Rachel.  John's two sons are members of Trail Life USA and his daughters are in American Heritage Girls at Orangewood Church in Maitland, FL.