Lifestyle Entrepreneur Martha Stewart Addresses The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Nov. 1

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart recently joined The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan's list of nationally renowned guest speakers, Club President Mike Cook announced today. She will appear Nov. 1. Cook said The Club is finalizing negotiations with other speakers and will announce this season's remaining guests soon.

martha stewart enlargeStewart is America's most famous homemaker. For nearly four decades, her creativity in the home and garden has inspired countless men and women around the world. But the business magnate, magazine publisher, best-selling author and media personality hasn't always made her living influencing lifestyles. She started her career at age 13 as a model and later was named by Glamour magazine as one of the Best Dressed College Girls in 1961. After college, Stewart became one of the first women stockbrokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. In 1972, she left Wall Street to focus on starting a catering business. Over the next decade, her gourmet menus and unique presentations grew her company into a $1 million business. She published her first best-selling book, "Entertaining," in 1982. It is now in its 30th printing.

She released Martha Stewart Living magazine in 1991. Her empire then grew exponentially to include four magazines, a recipe publication, cable television show, books, radio show, syndicated newspaper column, website and $763 million in retails sales. Today her publicly held company is worth $1.2 billion.

But in 2002, Stewart's reputation was tarnished by rumors of insider stock trading. Two years later, a jury found her guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements. She served five months in a minimum-security prison and another five months under house arrest. After serving her sentence, Stewart led her company in new directions and within a year, it was back to profitability.

Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People (2005), Stewart comes to Southwestern Michigan to share her lifestyle insights and views.

The Economic Club meetings are open to members only. Individuals interested in becoming new members may add their names to a waiting list at A limited number of new memberships will be available this year.

Current members will receive their membership renewal information for the 2012-2013 season by the end of the month. Anyone wishing more information about The Club may visit the website, email or call (269) 982-6010.