A mission of community impact and personal growth

The Speakers 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.

 

Encouraging lifelong learning and engagement

The Speakers Series is more relevant now than ever. In today’s headline- and soundbite-driven, social media world, The Speakers 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.

 

Advancing community vitality and connections

People want to live and do business in thriving, energetic places. The Speakers 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 Speakers 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.

 

Inspiring the next generation

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 Speakers 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 Speakers 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.

WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS THIS SEASON
New members may join as space permits. Join today!


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS MEMBERSHIP LEVEL
To encourage the next generation of leaders to experience the career and personal growth opportunities The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series provides, a limited number of new Young Professionals memberships are now available. Included is access to all six season speakers, a special speaker intended primarily for young professionals, and networking opportunities. If you, a family member, or employee under the age of 40 would benefit from this programming, contact the Box Office at 269-927-8700, option 1.

Past Speakers

1982-1983

Herbert E. Neil, Walter D. Frackler, Daniel Ford, Dr. Joel Ross

 

1981-1982

Hon. Coleman Young, Leonard Silk, Salim B. (Sandy) Lewis, R. Adm. (Ret) Gene La Rocque

 

1980-1981

Wayne W. “Woody” Hayes, David N. Dremen, Terry Savage, Hon. Charles E. Wiggins, Joan Claybrook

 

1979-1980

William E. Colby, Frank Vogl, William H. Sullivan

 

1978-1979

Earl R. Butz, Walter Fackler, Margaret “Midge” Constanza, Richard D. Morrow, Emmett Dedmon

 

1977-1978

Robert G. Dederick, Joseph N. Sorrentino, Dr. James S. Coleman, James L. Browning Jr.

1976-1977

Dr. John H. Knowles M.D., Hon. L.L.W. Sebe, John Burns

 

1975-1976

Herbert Neil, W. Michael Blumenthal, Hon. Reginald Maulding, Abe Raskin, Mme. Nila Magidott

 

1974-1975

Jerald F. terHorst, Dr. John T. Manning M.D., Gov. Tom McCall, Lewis A. Engman, Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt

 

1973-1974

William Turner, Herbert Stein, Henry E. Peterson, Myron E. Cherry, William D. Ruckelshaus

 

1972-1973

Sen. Fred Harris, Prof. Arthur Miller, J. Robert Schaetzel, William Davis, Jack Anderson, Sir Con O’Neill

 

1971-1972

Lynn A. Townsend, Roger Hilsman, Elisha Gray II, Robert Meserve, George Reedy

1970-1971

Betty Furness, Ian L. McHarg, Donald Lauria, James B. Reston

1969-1970

Justice Thos. F. Brennan, Wm. H. Stoneman, Sen. Robert P. Griffin, Robert Enstad/ Jerold Israel, Sen. Dan. K. Inouye

 

1968-1969

Sen. Jack Miller, Sen. Wm. Proxmire, James J. Kilpartrick, Lewis D. Gilbert, Ralph Nader

 

1967-1968

Robert Karr McCabe, Lord Harlech, Margaret Mead, Carl Gerstacker, Paul-Henri Spaak

 

1966-1967

Sen. Albert Gore, Leonard Woodcock, Drew Pearson, Dr. Paul W. McCracken, Robert Price

 

1965-1966

Bayard E. Sawyer, Hanson Baldwin, Bill Veeck, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Hon. Albert H. Quie

1964-1965

Sen. George McGovern, Sen. Frank Carlson, Dr. Yale Brozen, Malcolm Muggeridge, Hon. Kenneth T. Young, Jr., Judge George N. Leighton

 

1963-1964

Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Foot, Peter R. Nehemkis, Jr., Martin S. Ochs, George J. Sigler, Walter E. Schirmer, Issac Don Levine, John J. Flaharty

 

1962-1963

Dr. Dexter M. Keezer, Arthur M. “Red” Motley, Harrison Salisbury, Dr. David A. Stoddard

 

1961-1962

Joseph McD. Mitchell, Sen. Mike Mansfield, Dr. Robert A. Strusz-Hupe, Dr. Edward R. Annis, Nate R. White, Walter J. McNerney

 

1960-1961

Charles H. Perc, Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy, Amb. Carlos Santamria, F.T. Aschman, Ellis B. Merry, Bishop James A. Pike

1959-1960

W. Allen Wallis, Richard Kasischke, Lyman C. Conger, John Crosby, James Reston, Louis O. Keslo, Mortimer Smith

 

1958-1959

Rt. Hon. Anthony Nutting, Stuart Chase, Lemuel Boulware, Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Gen. Sir John B. Glubb, Robert E. Pickup, Hon. D. Hale Boggs, Sen. Carl T. Curtis

 

1957-1958

Louis W. Prentiss, Arthur G. Clarke, Arthur E. Bestor, Hon. Frank G. Clement, Vance Packard

 

1956-1957

Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, Hon. Christian Herter, Prof. L.L. Waters, Hon. J. Ernest Wilkins, Hon. Emanuel Celler, James Reston, Hon. Antoni N. Sadiak

1955-1956

David B. Steinman, Gen. Carlo P. Romulo, Gerald Piel, Arthur Bliss Lane, Gaganvihari L. Mehta, Dr. Marcus Bach, Alistair Cooke

 

1954-1955

Dr. Will Durant, Hon. Douglas McKay, Gen. Claude H. Dewhurst O.B.E., Gardner Cowles, Elliot Janeway

 

1953-1954

Eddy Gilmore, Charles R. Sligh, Philip Graham, Dr. Marcus Bach, Eleanor Roosevelt, T. Coleman Andrews, Charles Sawyer, John A. Hannah

 

1952-1953

Paul A. Hoffman, Hon. Nicholas Nyaradi, Dr. Melchior Palyi, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, Dr. Jan Herman Van Roijen, Prof. William A. Paton

1951-1952

William T. Faricy, Sen. Blair Moody, Sumner T. Pike, Isaiah Leo Shartman, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

 

1950-1951

Walter T. Tuohy, R. Adm Ellis M. Zachanas, Denis A. Greenhill, Dorothy Thompson

 

1949-1950

Dr. Ernest E. Irons, Dr. Hobert E. Wilson, Clinton S. Golden, Allen B. Kline, Angus Ward, Eugene C. Pullman, Wallace F. Bennett

 

1948-1949

Dr. Melchior Palyi, Earl Bunting, William A. Patterson, H.D. (Fritz) Crisier, Dr. George S. Benson

 

1947-1948

Paul A. Hoffman, James S. Knolson, Dr. Charles E. McAllister, Dr. Herold C. Hunt, George Weller, Dr. Ralph W. Sockman

1946-1947

Sen. Paul Douglas, Hon. Walter H. Judd, William R. Scheider, Donald K. David, Joseph M. Dodge

 

1945-1946

Robert Heller, Walter Trohan, Dr. Leo Wolman, Dr. Reuben G. Gustafson, Louis Bromfield, Philip D. Reed

 

1944-1945

Robert J. Watt, Raymond Moley, Gen. Robert E. Wood, Dr. Alexander G. Ruthven

 

1943-1944

Paul A. Hoffman, Dr. Gerald Wendt, Dr. Leo Wolman, Dr. Margaret Mead, Dr. Victor G. Heiser, Eric A. Johnson