National Economist Arthur Laffer To Keynote Bedwell Award Luncheon

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Dr. Arthur B. Laffer
Dr. Arthur B. Laffer

The 25th annual Bedwell Small Businessperson Award luncheon and Small Business Showcase sponsored by Pinnacle Financial Partners, has a new event date of May 9, in support of securing nationally renowned economist, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer as keynote.  

Dr. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an institutional economic research and consulting firm, as well as Laffer Investments, an institutional investment management firm. Laffer Associates’ research focuses on the interconnecting macroeconomic, political and demographic changes affecting global financial markets.  

Dr. Laffer’s economic acumen and influence in triggering a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980’s have earned him the distinction in many publications as “The Father of Supply-Side Economics.” One of his earliest successes in shaping public policy was his involvement in Proposition 13, the California initiative that cut property taxes in the state in 1978.  

Dr. Laffer was a two-term member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, a member of the Executive Committee of the Reagan/Bush Finance Committee and a founding member of the Reagan Executive Advisory Committee for the presidential race of 1980. He also advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on fiscal policy in the UK during the 1980s. 

He was formerly the Distinguished University Professor at Pepperdine University, a member of the Pepperdine Board of Directors and held the status as the Charles B. Thornton Professor of Business Economics at the University of Southern California. He was also an Associate Professor of Business Economics at the University of Chicago and a member of the Chicago faculty. 

Prior to this, Dr. Laffer was a consultant to Secretary of the Treasury William Simon, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld and Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz. He was the first to hold the title of Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget under Mr. Shultz.  

Dr. Laffer has been acknowledged for his economic achievements. He was noted in Time magazine’s March 29, 1999 cover story “The Century’s Greatest Minds” for inventing the Laffer Curve, which it deemed one of “a few of the advances that powered this extraordinary century.” He was listed in “A Dozen Who Shaped the ’80s,” in the Los Angeles Times in 1990, and in “A Gallery of the Greatest People Who Influenced Our Daily Business,” in The Wall Street Journal in 1989. His creation of the Laffer Curve was deemed a “memorable event” in financial history by the Institutional Investor in its July 1992 Silver Anniversary issue, “The Heroes, Villains, Triumphs, Failures and Other Memorable Events.” In addition, Bloomberg Businessweek selected the Laffer Curve as one of the “85 Most Disruptive Ideas In Our History” for its 85th anniversary issue in The awards that Dr. Laffer has received for his economic work include: two Graham and Dodd Awards from the Financial Analyst Federation for outstanding feature articles published in the Financial Analysts Journal; the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Investment Clubs; the Adam Smith Award for his insights and contributions to the Wealth of Nations; and the Daniel Webster Award for public speaking by the International Platform Association. In addition, Dr. Laffer earned the Father of the Year award from the West Coast Father’s Day Committee in 1983 and was awarded the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. In December 2017, Dr. Laffer became the first recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Laffer Award for Economic Excellence. 

Years of experience and success in advising on a governmental level have distinguished Dr. Laffer in the business community as well, said officials. He currently sits on the board of directors or board of advisors of a number of private and public companies. 

Dr. Laffer is the author of a number of books, including The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy—If We Let it Happen, which was a nominee for the F.A. Hayek book award in 2009, Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status, Eureka! How to Fix California, New York Times Best Seller An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States, and its sequel Wealth of States: More Ways to Enhance Freedom, Opportunity and Growth.  

The annual awards luncheon will also kick off a month-long focus on the contributions of small business to the economic well-being of Cleveland/Bradley County. Recognition of an outstanding small businessperson in the community highlights the annual event. The individual is recognized for his/her success in these six areas: staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, innovativeness of product or service offered, response to adversity, and evidence of contributions to the community.  

The Chamber board of directors renamed the Small Business Person of the Year Award to honor the memory of Mel Bedwell, known for his energy, determination, ingenuity, honesty, enthusiasm and loyalty—all traits necessary for a successful small business owner. Mr. Bedwell was co-founder with Jack Smith of Cleveland Business Machines.  

The Wednesday, May 9, luncheon, will begin with a business showcase at 11:30 a.m. at the Museum Center at 5ive Points. To make a reservation, call the Chamber at 472-6587 or visit the events calendar on the Chamber’s website, www.clevelandchamber.com, by Monday, May 7.



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