Economic Club of Nashville
Who We Are
The Economic Club of Nashville (ECON) provides a dynamic forum at weekly lunch meetings for business and community leaders to identify and discuss economic, social or political issues of special interest to Nashvillians. Members seek to interact with local businesses and government officials and support key nonprofit organizations that contribute to the quality of life in the Greater Nashville area.
Where We Came From
The ECON draws its history and tradition from the Exchange Club of Nashville. One of the largest clubs of the national organization, the Nashville Chapter was chartered in April 16, 1920, to support the national mission: “Exchange, America’s Premier Service Club, working to make our communities better places to live.” This mission resonates with members of the new club, which continues many of the existing initiatives.
A History of Service
The Club has been instrumental in helping make Nashville the great city that it is today. The list of achievements in its early years includes:
Widening Church Street west of the viaduct and the extension of Ninth Avenue from Church Street to Union Station, without cost to the city of Nashville;
The increase of parking facilities at Union Station;
The beautification of Memorial Park opposite the state Capitol;
The first overall street marking program in Nashville;
Building children’s playgrounds at the Davidson County Tuberculosis Hospital;
Equipping the Vanderbilt band with its first uniforms;
Sponsoring the first successful fundraising campaign for the American Red Cross conducted in Nashville.
Providing support for the public development of Cheekwood in 1960, transforming the private residence into a public garden and art museum.
The Club also played a prominent role in inspiring the art exhibit maintained in the Parthenon at Centennial Park. During World War II, the Exchange Club of Nashville led all other Nashville civic clubs in the sale of war bonds and sponsored a food friendship train to Europe, shipping tons of food for European allies.
Today, the Club participates in programs to support NeedLink Nashville (formerly known as Big Brothers of Nashville), Salvation Army, Cheekwood and The Family Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.
The ECON will continue in its support of The Family Center as well as provide generous support to many charities in Nashville. In 2014, the ECON formed the Cultural Assistance Program (CAP) to provide opportunities for children and their families to participate in Nashville’s cultural and arts programs. Since 1991, the ECON and Cheekwood have co-sponsored the annual Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville. This show has become the club’s main fundraising activity, thus allowing ECON Charities, Inc., to contribute more than $2.0 million to local charities.