The Mendel Center's Response to COVID-19 Learn More
For a list of postponed or canceled events click here
The Mendel Center Box Office is currently open via phone or email from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday.
The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series brings people of all generations together for the shared experience of gaining a deeper understanding about the world around us. By presenting speakers from a wide range of fields and expertise, this non-partisan, non-political series is dedicated to the discussion of social, economic, and public policy questions important in today's complex society. The Speaker Series acts as a catalyst for innovative thought and personal growth while adding to our region's quality of life.
The Speaker Series provides our community with a rare opportunity to go beyond the surface of current events to learn more, ask questions, and engage in meaningful discussions. By inviting diverse viewpoints from a wide range of newsmakers and experts, community members are exposed to fresh ideas that promote healthy discussion and inspire creative approaches to local challenges and opportunities.
The Speaker Series is an exciting and inspirational way for people of all generations to come together for the shared experience of learning more about the world around us. By presenting speakers from a wide range of fields and expertise, this non-partisan, non-political speakers series is dedicated to the discussion of social, economic, and public policy questions important in today’s complex society. By embracing and promoting diverse views and opinions, The Speakers Series acts as a catalyst for innovative thought and personal growth, while adding to our region’s quality of life.
The Speaker Series is more relevant now than ever. In today’s headline- and soundbite-driven, social media world, The Speaker Series provides our community with a rare opportunity to go beyond the surface of current events to learn more, ask questions, and engage in meaningful discussion. By hearing from a wide range of newsmakers and experts, community members are exposed to fresh ideas and different points of view. This broadens our collective understanding of each other and the world, and can even help us develop creative approaches to local challenges and opportunities.
People want to live and do business in thriving, energetic places. The Speaker Series helps our region shine in its effort to attract business investment, strong leaders, and top employees. The annual lineup of world-famous speakers helps us set ourselves apart from other communities – many times our size – that don’t have a similar resource. And while it elevates our community’s stature, The Speaker Series also strengthens our community by being a place for professionals to network and build business. With more than 1,500 people in attendance at each event, there’s always someone new to meet and old friends and colleagues to catch up with.
Each generation owes it to the next to provide opportunities for discovery. Talk to anyone who makes a positive impact on our world and they will point to a person or experience in their youth that ignited their passion for the path they are on today. The Speaker Series connects area middle school, high school, and college students with world-famous personalities. Young people meet with speakers to ask questions and learn about the possibilities in the fields of science, business, public service, and more. They then attend the speaker presentations to gain insight on topics that will impact their futures. The next great inventor, researcher, or leader just might come from southwestern Michigan as a result of the inspiration and self-belief gained from attending a Speaker Series Event.
During the past two seasons, more than 700 area high school and college students, chaperones, and members of community service groups have participated free of charge in pre-event Q&A sessions with speakers. Groups have included Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor, Harbor Habitat for Humanity, Mosaic Resale and Resource Center, Girl Scouts of America, The OutCenter, First Tee of Benton Harbor, multiple area high schools and middle schools and Lake Michigan College