Club Events

The Economic Club of Traverse City is a member organization whose mission is to enlighten our membership on relevant economic issues.  See Membership tab to learn how to become a member.   


Our monthly meetings are held at the Traverse City Country Club.

1725 S Union Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
Tel: 231-947-9140

Map / Directions

2022 Events & Speaker Info

Members enjoy outstanding speakers at ten monthly programs from January to November, over lunch at 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., typically the 3rd Friday of each month. Our Annual Dinner is a special ticketed program held in September.  Registration for each event opens near the first of each month.


 Coming May 20th:

Traverse City Horse Shows

John Bacon picture June 2022.jpeg

John U. Bacon


 Coming June 17th: John U. Bacon

Author of the bestseller "Let Them Lead"

New York Times bestselling author John U. Bacon has written twelve books on sports, business, health, and history. His newest title, released September 2021, is Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst High School Hockey Team.


He free-lances for The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, and others, appears often on TV, including HBO, ESPN, Fox Business, MSNBC, and the Big Ten Network, and delivers weekly essays for Michigan Radio and occasionally NPR, which awarded him the PRNDI prize for nation's best commentary in 2014.


Bacon is a popular corporate speaker, executive coach, and leadership consultant, who occasionally teaches at the University of Michigan, where the students awarded him the Golden Apple Award, given to one instructor annually for "Excellence in Teaching."


John is also a decent Spanish speaker, an average hockey player, and a poor piano player, but he still enjoys all three! He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son.

 Coming August 12th: Jamie Gallagher

CEO of Faber Castell

Jamie Gallagher

 Coming October 21st:

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, & Kim Pontius, CEO of Aspire North Realtors 


Dr. Lawrence Yun

Kim Pontius Headshot.jpeg

Kim Pontius

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and oversees the Research group at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He supervises and is responsible for a wide range of research activity for the association including NAR’s Existing Home Sales statistics, Affordability Index, and Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. He regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1.4 million REALTORS®.


Dr. Yun creates NAR’s forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, among them the Blue Chip Council and the Wall Street Journal Forecasting Survey. He also participates in the Industrial Economists Discussion Group at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. He appears regularly on financial news outlets, is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States, and has testified before Congress. Dr. Yun has also appeared as a guest on CSPAN’s Washington Journal.


Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.


Since October 2007 Kimberly Pontius has been the CEO for the Aspire North REALTORS® (formerly Traverse Area Association of REALTORS®) He has passion for transportation and environmental subjects, especially those that foster disruptive innovation. Formerly he was the Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development Services division of the Ivy Tech Community College system of Indiana where he acted as a liaison to Indiana’s rural economic development taskforce.


Mr. Pontius also served twenty-six years in the tool/die and high-volume machining industry as a CNC machinist/programmer, manufacturing engineer, and operations management specialist. He has a Masters degree in Public Management through Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and is a graduate of Indiana Institute of Technology (Indiana Tech) with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management. Kim is also a graduate of the Earlham College Institute of Executive Training.


He was a founding member of the Indiana SATSLab, a jointly funded program between the FAA, NASA and the National Consortium for Air Mobility and a member of the Indiana High Speed Rail initiative.


Kim and his wife Karen also own Suttons Bay Trading Company, Inc a spice blending, sales, and distribution company founded in November 2000 in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is now located in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Married 35 years to wife Karen, they have three children and five grandchildren.


 Coming November 18th: Dr. Nick Nissley

President of Northwestern Michigan College

Previous 2022 Speakers


Chris Towner

"Red Ink Rising: The U.S. National Debt and Economy in a Post-Pandemic World"

Chris Towner is the Research Director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, where he analyzes budget, tax, health, and retirement policy as well as manages the day-to-day workflow of the policy team. Prior to this, Chris advocated for children in federal budget issues at First Focus on Children, leading the annual production of First Focus's Children's Budget. This is Chris's second stint at the Committee; he was previously a policy analyst after serving in a variety of positions beginning as an intern. Chris was the lead analyst for the McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative, where he managed the production and publication of two volumes on improving the Social Security Disability Insurance program. 

Originally hailing from just outside Chicago, Chris holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Political Science from Boston University.

Skip Pruss is the co-founder of 5 Lakes Energy LLC, a clean energy consultancy and until recently, the Board Chair of FLOW (For Love of Water).  Prior to that he served as the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth Director and Michigan’s Chief Energy Officer, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of Michigan's clean energy economy diversification efforts. 

Skip has served as Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Special Advisor for Renewable Energy and the Environment and served on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee which provided input to Energy Secretary Steven Chu on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and programs and policies under the Obama Administration. Skip has also held office as the Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

An attorney by background, Skip was the Assistant Attorney General, overseeing Michigan's Consumer Protection Division and also chaired the Department’s Public Protection Practice Group.

Tony Anderson took over as General Manager of Cherryland Electric Cooperative in March of 2003. Anderson has been in the electric cooperative business for more than 38 years and previously managed cooperatives in Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Community activities include recipient of the 2018 Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award, 2012 Governor’s Service Awards Michigan Volunteer of the Year, Past Chair of Traverse City Chamber board, board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan, founder of Marathon4Kids, a charitable fundraiser for BBBS. Anderson is also Vice President of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Vice President of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association.  


Hobbies include Green Bay Packers football, writing and running marathons. Tony has completed 51 marathons in 50 states plus DC while raising $900,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Michigan. Tony has been married to his last prom date, Mary, for 37 years. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Bob Mannes is the President and CEO of Core Energy, LLC based in Traverse City, MI, a company he founded 19 years ago. Core Energy is an oil and gas producer that specializes in producing low carbon intensity oil in Northern Michigan through a process called CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery. The only project like it in the Midwest, Core’s operations capture CO2 that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere and inject it into permanent storage underground. To date Core has captured over 3 million tonnes of CO2 and is continuing to capture at a rate of 900 tonnes daily. This is the equivalent emission to 70,000 cars per year.

Bob was a founding member of the Carbon Capture Coalition which is a policy advocacy organization comprised of over 80 organizations ranging from oil and gas companies to steel companies to environmental organizations like the National Wildlife Federation and others. The coalition is active on the federal level and operates based on 100% consensus of its diverse membership.


Bob has an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy generation and is a proponent of finding ways to decarbonize baseload power as a needed complement to renewable energy. Bob serves on the Board of the Michigan Oil & Gas Association and the Executive Committee of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Bob is also an early investor and Board member of ALGIX, LLC which holds patents on converting algae into plastics and forms of rubber.

Bob graduated from Calvin College and he and his wife Kristen have lived in Traverse City all 30 years of their married life. They have 3 kids that have left the nest and one grandson.

Director of Institutional Asset Management at Ritholtz Wealth Management, Ben Carlson is the author of four books, a columnist for Fortune, the creator of the blog A Wealth of Common Sense and co-host of the popular Animal Spirits podcast.

Past Events



Created in 2015 and located on Bates Road in Williamsburg, the Traverse City Horse Shows and Flintfields Horse Park has grown into one of the top events and venues in North America. In 2021, the Traverse City Horse Shows hosted 12 weeks of competition, riders from 48 states, 28 countries, Olympic
athletes and 5,109 horses all competing for collectively $6.1 million in prize money.


Equestrian enthusiasts are highly active, mobile and have high disposal income levels, according to demographic research from the United States Equestrian Federation. The following statistics tell the story of the economic contribution these visitors bring to our region:
* Majority are between 34-54 years years old
* Average income of $180k, more than double the U.S. average
* Median home values of $594k, $400k higher than U.S. median
* 22% own two or more homes
* Own an average of three cars
* 40% own a farm; 66% of those are 10+ acres
* 43% take an average of 16 airline flights a year


Please JOIN US to hear Audra Jackson, Director of Community Relations, Traverse City Horse Shows, tell their story and the economic contribution this quiet powerhouse contributes to our region.