Raul F. Brito is a co-founder and the current managing director of the Bastiat Society of Wichita.
Raul graduated from Wichita Collegiate School in 1976 and the University of Kansas in 1980. He worked as an exploration geologist for Abercrombie Drilling from 1980 to 1985. In 1985 he established Brito Oil Company, which explores for oil & gas in Kansas and has operated wells in Colorado and Texas. The company is currently very active in oil and gas exploration in western Kansas.
Raul is also a partner in Appleseed Holdings, ULC , a Canadian Applebee’s franchisee with locations in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario Canada and has been a Burger King franchisee in the past. Additionally he is a founding shareholder in AdvantEdge Quality Cars LLC and Advantage Ford, LLC. AdvantEdge is involved in used car sales and automobile financing and Advantage Ford is a Ford dealership located in Ottawa, Kansas.
Currently Raul serves several boards, including the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association. He is also on the Advisory Board for the University of Kansas Geology Associates, a member of the Board of Trustees at Wichita Collegiate School, and a Trustee of the Kansas Policy Institute.
Chapter Leader Q&A
Q: When did you first discover the free market “movement” and classical liberal ideas?
A: In high school during the mid to early 70’s. My high school required that students take four years of economics. There I learned about the power of the free market as well as the philosophy behind the ideas.
Q: What attracted you to the Bastiat Society idea, and how does it help you and your efforts in Wichita?
A: Myself and a group of friends had been trying to bring speakers in to talk to schools in the area about the philosophy of freedom and free markets, but we were having trouble getting the speakers to come. Tom Palmer, Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network, introduced us to the Bastiat Society, and believed that starting a chapter in Wichita could help us achieve our goals.
So we started the Bastiat Society of Wichita with a plan to bring academics in, and get them to talk to several different groups while they were in town.
Q: Speaking of setting up multiple events for the speakers who come to your chapter - Where do they talk, and what value do you think this adds to the local community?
A: They talk at our Bastiat Society meeting, as well as high schools and several other organizations in the area—like the local Pachyderm Club. They’ll often do local radio interviews as well.
Because we are bringing in speakers that locals would not have a chance to hear otherwise, we feel this adds quite a bit of value to Wichita.
We are very lucky because we have an open audience. Wichita is very entrepreneurial and is home to many well-known business people who support these ideas.
Q: Besides your business and the Bastiat Society, what else are you involved in?
A: I am a trustee for the Kansas Policy Institute which is about fifteen years old. The institute is a state-based free market think-tank that promotes free market solutions and the protection of personal freedom for those who live in Kansas.