To provide a regular forum for today’s established and rising leaders to hear from prominent and distinguished speakers on the most important and relevant topics shaping our future and the world.
- We believe in the power of leaders to promote positive change when informed by experts who expand their knowledge and understanding.
- We believe that hearing speakers with different perspectives leads to stronger critical thinking, helping to address today's problems and tomorrow's challenges.
- We believe there is strength in diversity. We seek to develop leaders who will build a better world through positive relationships and informed discussion.
It all started in 1976 with an article in The New York Times.
The story was about the Economics Club of Detroit, a forum for distinguished speakers on issues of the day. Its membership was like a Who’s Who of American business, and its speakers were national and world leaders. Topics ranged from politics to foreign policy to business and the economy.
A great idea for Tallahassee, thought Stan Tait, who had just been appointed to a Florida Chamber of Commerce project known as the North Florida Task Force for Economic Understanding.
On June 8, 1976, Tait wrote a memo to the co-chairs of the task force — House Speaker Don Tucker and former Senate President Malory Horne — proposing the establishment of a “Florida Economics Club” as a good way to educate the public about economic matters.
On March 22, 1977, Speaker Tucker and the Florida Chamber of Commerce presented the proposal to a meeting of some 50 local business leaders. They enthusiastically endorsed the idea and asked Tait to serve as executive director to “handle the details” of organizing the new club.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
2021 Board of Directors
President, Capital City Investments and Capital City Trust Company
President & CEO, Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC
Shareholder Resident, Greenberg Traurig Tallahassee office
Senior Investment Officer, Florida State Board of Administration
Vice President, Strategic Development, Enterprise Florida, Inc.
Immediate Past Chair
Dominic M. Calabro
President & CEO, Florida TaxWatch, Inc.
Policy Director, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Managing Partner, University Partnerships at Gateway Investment Partners
Chairman, Bill Gunter & Associates
Credit Officer, Capital City Bank
President, Tallahassee Community College
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Florida Bankers Association
President & CEO, Community Foundation of North Florida
Consultant, Non-Profit Organizations
Publisher Emeritus, The Tallahassee Democrat
Former Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Florida
Former State Representative
John B. Mowell
Chairman & CEO, Mowell Financial Group, Inc.
Raymond Bye, Jr.
William C. Lamb, Jr.
Henry Lewis, III
John Marks, III
Stephen O’Connell, Sr.
Mary Lou Rajchel
Martha Gene Wigginton
Stan Tait Memorial Award
The initial planning committee behind the Florida Economics Club (as it was then called) included Bob Arnow, Bruce Bechard, Cliff Burkhart, Larry Dunn, Jack Mowell, Bill Rader, Bert Riedel, and Stan Tait.
Over the years, the Club would grow in size and stature. Stan Tait, who would eventually become the Club’s Executive Vice President, was instrumental in that growth. Under Stan’s leadership and steady hand at the helm, the Economic Club of Florida became recognized as one of the South’s most important forums for distinguished speakers on issues of the day.
The Stan Tait Memorial Award is a tribute to a remarkable man and friend who worked tirelessly to make the Club a success. The award recognizes current or former Club members in good standing who also display the character, dedication, integrity, and passion for service epitomized by Stan Tait. The award is an annual reminder that, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice guys DO finish first!