Churchill Club History
The first meeting of the Churchill Club was held November 12, 1985, featuring keynote speaker Robert Noyce, inventor of the integrated circuit and founder of Fairchild and Intel. More than 275 attended that first program.
Churchill Club was founded by Rich Karlgaard, now publisher of Forbes magazine, and Tony Perkins, now Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Red Herring Communications. Together, Tony, Rich, and a group of friends from the Ed Zschau senate campaign, built an organization dedicated to producing programs where "important people say important things". As a Churchill Club speaker, then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton suggested that America needs a nation of Churchills-leaders rather than followers.
Perhaps there is no historical personage who would more heartily approve of this endeavor than the Churchill Club’s namesake, Winston Churchill. Reared in the tradition of parliamentary democracy, Churchill's character and career personify the democratic values of open discourse and freedom as well as what is now called the "entrepreneurial spirit"-attributes epitomized in Churchill's own qualities of intelligence, creativity, risk-taking and boundless energy. His vision, perseverance, and wit provided the bridge necessary to bring together great leaders, opinions, ideas, and events. In fact, Churchill is just the sort of freely achieving personality that highlights democracy at its best. In America, we will gladly adopt him as our own and more particularly as the namesake of the Churchill Club.
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We welcome program ideas and speaker recommendations from our community.
Churchill programs range from one-on-one conversations from industry giants to panels with 3-4 speakers and a moderator. Our Open Forum programs often feature roundtable, moderated discussions with little or no individual presentations or PowerPoint. Our goal is to present topics that appeal to a broad segment of Silicon Valley, with speakers who are articulate, open, and even a bit contrarian. We think of our stage as a place for fresh conversations about what’s new, next, not broadly known rather than a platform for pre-articulated messages or a repeat of information readily available elsewhere.
The best programs are usually a mix of practical information, visionary thinking, compelling anecdotes, and opinionated discussion with a touch of wit and irreverence.
Successful proposals most often include:
- A suggested program title
- Short paragraph outlining the point-of-view of the program and why it would be of interest to our members
- Other executives who would be appropriate for the panel and whether you have connections to contact those potential panelists.
- We consider each proposal based upon the strength of the proposed panelists, the newsworthiness of the topic, recent and future confirmed programs and the potential appeal to our members.
Due to the high volume of proposals we receive, we cannot always give an immediate answer to each and every one. We thank you in advance for your patience.
We thank you for your interest and we hope to work with you on a future Churchill Club program.