VENICE, FL - R. G. “Kelly” Caldwell Jr. always stays close to his roots in Venice. The CEO and president of Caldwell Trust Company, Kelly is also a graduate of Venice Senior High School, a proud Indian who likes to share the benefits of his success. The most recent instance of his philosophy occurred on Friday morning, February 27, when the company brought world-class economist Stephen Moore to the school. Moore presented a talk about the current economic situation and his outlook to 450 junior- and senior-year students, followed by a lively question-and-answer session. “I’m bullish on the economy,” he told the group.
One of Caldwell’s prestigious investment advisers, Moore was in town to address the company’s board of directors and trust officers. “Steve graciously made time on his schedule to meet with the students and I couldn’t have been more thrilled,” Kelly said. “Young people rarely have the opportunity to hear someone of his caliber. We’re delighted that we could bring Steve to them.”
Stephen Moore is an American economic writer and policy analyst who founded and served as president of the Club for Growth from 1999 to 2004. A member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, he frequently writes for their op-ed section and is known for advocating free-market policies and supply-side economics. He had been the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs at the Heritage Foundation from 1983 through 1987 and was also was a fellow of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. He returned to the Heritage Foundation in 2014 as its chief economist.
Moore was the senior economist of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee under Chairman Dick Armey of Texas and an architect of the Armey flat tax proposal in 1995. He was also part of the research team hired by Americans For Fair Taxation to create the FairTax, the most co-sponsored tax reform proposal in Congress. In 1999 he founded the Club for Growth and was president until his resignation in 2004, raising $20 million to fund candidates for the 2004 elections. In 2005 he founded the Free Enterprise Fund with other prominent Club for Growth members including long-time Caldwell Trust company adviser Dr. Arthur B. Laffer and Mallory Factor. A partner in the firm Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics, Moore released his seventh book in 2014. He holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. from George Mason University in economics.
Moore’s talk at Venice Senior High School was the latest example of Caldwell’s interest in educating students for a career in finance or at least learning about economic aspects of the world they will soon enter. The company has been a table sponsor for USFSM Brunch since 2005 and established The Caldwell Trust Company Business Scholarship in 2011 to provide scholarships for students of the USF College of Business on the Sarasota Manatee campus.