See these world-famous people live in Southwestern Michigan! 

Don’t miss this rare opportunity. See five of the world’s most influential, courageous and creative news-makers — not just on the Internet or television — but in-person at The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. 

Joining by September 10, 2016 guarantees you a seat at the lowest ticket prices.

No other venue in our region offers this caliber of speaker series. Joining The Economic Club gives you definite advantages. The Mendel Center will guarantee you a seat at each of the five meetings and you’ll get your tickets at the lowest per-meeting cost.

Choose between two membership levels: Upton Hall and Mainstage. 

Upton Hall Membership: With this membership you have the privilege to see all of this season’s speakers live in the Grand Upton Hall. This is an excellent venue to meet and talk with friends and community leaders. Most of our guest speakers are willing to answer your questions after their talks and many are open to signing autographs. You’ll find the interaction and engagement with our renowned speakers very rewarding.

As a member you may choose to have dinner or attend the meeting without having dinner. Prior to each meeting you will request either a Dinner or Speaker-Only ticket. With a Dinner ticket you will get a full meal served by a wait staff at tables set up in a portion of the hall. A Speaker-Only ticket gives you a seat in chairs arranged theater-style in the other portion. A cash bar is available to all attendees up until dinner is served.

Annual Membership: $195

Dinner Ticket: $23 per meeting. You may order up until noon, four business days before the meeting date.

Speaker-Only Ticket: no additional charge. You may order your ticket up until the time of the meeting

For complete membership privileges and policies, click here.

Buy Membership

Mainstage Membership: This membership is also an excellent social opportunity, but in a more informal setting at The Mendel Center Mainstage Theater. You will enjoy a social hour with complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Then you will take a seat in the Mainstage Theater to see the speaker in person. Typically, there is a 20-minute question-and-answer (Q&A) session when you can ask your questions. This will be followed by the speaker’s Upton Hall presentation and Q&A broadcast live on a large screen in the Mainstage Theater. It is a dynamic, enriching experience unparalleled in our region.

Annual Membership: $150

Mainstage Tickets: no additional charge. You will automatically receive all five speaker tickets with your membership. There is no need to order a ticket for each meeting.
For complete membership benefits and policies, click here.

Buy Membership

New! Individual Speaker Tickets Go On Sale September 11, 2016.

Starting September 11, the general public can buy tickets through the Box Office to each of the speaker meetings.  Members are also welcome to purchase individual tickets to bring guests. There are a limited number of tickets for both our Upton Hall and Mainstage venues, so please order in advance. Ticket sales for each speaker close at noon four business days before the meeting.

General Ticket Sales begin September 11, 2016 and end May 14, 2017.

Upton Hall Dinner Ticket: $88 

Upton Hall Speaker-Only Ticket: $65 

Mainstage Ticket: $50 


Meeting location and directions

Upton Hall and Mainstage Theater meetings are held at The Mendel Center, Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor, MI (I-94, Exit 30).

For directions, click here.


Three easy ways to join and order tickets

Call the Box Office at 269-927-1221. It is open Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Online. To join The Club, click on the Membership Registration button. To place your meeting ticket order, click on the Meeting Tickets button. This 24/7 service includes a convenience fee.

In person. Come to the Box Office located on the south side of The Mendel Center, Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Box Office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, cash and checks made out to Lake Michigan College.

You may choose to get your tickets by email, mobile, at the will call window or by mail.

Have ordering questions? Contact The Mendel Center Box Office at 269-927-1221 or


For membership questions, please contact us at:


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A legacy of bringing some of the world’s most sought-after speakers to our region since 1943

Our mission: To conduct meetings and provide speakers for the purpose of aiding in the creation and expression of enlightened public opinion on the important economic and social questions of the day … but without endorsement of a particular cause.  




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Mitt Romney

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Former Presidential Candidate, Governor and Business Leader

“The Future of America/The Politics of Today.”

October 18

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Dana Perino

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Co-Host of Fox’s “The Five” and Former White House Press Secretary

“Politics Right Now.”

November 14

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Capt. Scott Kelly

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History-Making NASA Astronaut and Retired U.S. Navy Captain

“The Sky Is Not the Limit: Lessons from a Year in Space.”

March 22

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Michio Kaku

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World-Renowned Physicist, Futurist and Best-Selling Author

"The Future of the Mind."

April 20

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Anderson Cooper

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Broadcast Journalist and Anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°”

“360o Look at World Events.”

May 17