Meet Rob Chatfield, Our New CEO | A Quick Q&A with the New Boss

Q: What attracted you to Free To Choose Network?

A: I saw an advertisement for “Free To Choose Network” and immediately thought: “That has to be about Milton Friedman!”  But good looks only go so far in a relationship.  After I met with the entire team in Erie, I knew their culture of self-management and determination to grow the organization would draw me in like a magnet.

Q: It’s always a daunting challenge to fill the shoes of a founder. What will your FTCN shoes look like?

A: Probably J&M slip-ons, with a tassel…  We need to be flexible to work in any environment, but let the tassel represent how FTCN strives for quality in all the work we do.  We should take that one extra step to elevate ourselves above “good enough.”

Q: What was your first experience with Milton Friedman’s work?

A: I’m a nerd.  My first experience was researching a finance paper and thumbing through A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960.  That was a real page turner!  Then, I read Capitalism and Freedom and read Free to Choose before I ever saw a single video with Milton.

Q: How do you think today’s digital economy and social networking environment would influence Milton Friedman today?

A: I think Milton would be most interested in discussing the concepts of cyber-currency and its potential effect on global monetary policy.  He would still prefer writing poignant editorials in the Wall Street Journal over blogging.

Q: If you could ask Friedman any question, what would it be?

A: What was Bob Chitester really like?

Q: What are your impressions of Milton and Rose Friedman’s summer home,Capitaf ?

A: When I learned that Bob and a group of investors purchased Capitaf in order to hold seminars and programs about topics of interest, I was a bit worried it might take time away from the mission of our organization. However, I also believe we have a responsibility to train the next generation of leaders. Capitaf provides a perfect setting for this and also gives Bob a long-term project to sink his teeth into while coaching me in my new role. And one sample of Milton’s Own Maple Sugar will make a believer out of anyone! It’s Lickety Hell Good!

Q: Do you have a favorite FTCM program? If so, why is that your favorite?

A: The concept of the free market clicked for me the first time I read the story of the butcher, the brewer and the baker.  It led me to a long career in finance and academia and I consider The Real Adam Smith to be one of the finest documentaries ever produced in any genre (see “nerd” under question 3).

Q: What book(s) is currently on your nightstand or in your briefcase?

A: I swear I’m not making this up… on our most recent trip, I was reading Harvesting Profits on Wall Street by the Wizard of Wexford, Ron Muhlenkamp. Hey – the price was right…  You will also find something by Ray Bradbury on top of my bookcase.