The National Exchange Club was established on March 27, 1911, in Detroit, MI, by businessmen who wanted to “exchange” ideas. Exchange began as a luncheon gathering, known as the Boosters’ Club, during which time members shared stories, provided business advice to each other and spoke about what they could accomplish with their collective talents and mutual interests.
Charles A. Berkey is credited with founding this great organization. At his suggestion, the name “Exchange” was selected based on the group’s desire to share ideas and information with like-minded individuals about how to better serve their communities.
After the initial Exchange Club was established in Detroit, the Exchange Club of Toledo, OH, formed in 1913. Subsequently, two others were organized in Grand Rapids, MI, and Cleveland, OH. These four clubs were the first to be chartered by The National Exchange Club after it was organized as a nonprofit, educational organization in 1917.
Exchange has included past presidents and celebrities among its ranks, even hosting Amelia Earhart in Toledo, OH, when the organization placed significant focus on aviation.
To learn more about Exchange’s history, please visit the “Who We Are” section of the organization’s website, NationalExchangeClub.org.
A strong America, safe communities, and unified people.
Exchange, inspiring communities to become better places to live.
Exchange’s Mission Statement was updated in January 2015, after approval by the National Board of Directors. The concise phrasing more effectively communicates our mission to members, potential members and the general public.
Exchange’s Motto was adopted in 1917. Its originator, Charles Berkey, said the motto was inspired by the 133rd Psalm: “Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
Each member of Exchange upholds three Core Values – Family, Community and Country.
Commitment to Family is interpreted not only as one’s own family needs, but also those of all American families. Strengthening families, with a focus on youth, is addressed in many ways through Exchange’s Programs of Service and National Project, child abuse prevention.
Commitment to the Community is the focal point for each Exchange Club’s unique efforts. Membership in Exchange offers members the flexibility to structure projects that target the specific needs of a particular geographic location, rather than being restricted to a certain cause.
Commitment to Country was born in the aftermath of World War II, a time of unquenchable patriotism.Exchangites are proud to join veterans and other civic groups in promoting Americanism as the rich blessing of democracy and freedom, and in educating today’s youth to cherish its values. These three values are translated into actions, every day, to bring about positive results through the work dedicated Exchangites.
Americanism, Community Service, Youth Programs, and its National Project – the prevention of child abuse – serve as the foundation for services provided by local Exchange Clubs throughout the country and in Puerto Rico.
The National Exchange Club’s National officially adopted child abuse prevention as its National Project in 1979 and each local-level Exchange Club chooses how to best serve its community through the National Project.
To learn more about Exchange’s National Project, including Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Centers and the evidence-based Parent Aide Program, please visit the “Programs of Service” section of Exchange’s website, NationalExchangeClub.org.