By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- Indian River County residents will have the opportunity to hear from some high-profile political figures in the New Year.
The Emerson Center's Celebrated Speaker Series has a lineup of four speakers with political resumes and experiences miles long.
Season subscriptions are now available for the 2013 series and are $220 per person. VIP subscriptions are $440.
The announced speakers are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, founding director of the congressional budget office and leading economist, Alice M. Rivlin, former presidential advisor, conservative speaker Mary Matalin and finally, James A. Baker III, who has served under three U.S. presidents, led presidential campaigns, served as secretary of state and has held many other public service positions.
Each speaker will give two presentations, the first at 4 p.m., the second at 7 p.m., with a VIP reception between shows.
Don Croteau, chairman of public programs at The Emerson Center, said the list of guest speakers reflects the interests of the audience.
The speakers for the series are chosen based on input from patrons of the series, individuals who go above and beyond the subscription price and donate funds to the organization, Mr. Croteau said.
In such a political season, audiences truly sought insight from experts, leading to the resulting chosen speakers.
In past years, patrons have enjoyed hearing from authors such as David McCullough, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and scientist and researcher Jane Goodall.
Any of the speakers in the series are worth hearing. There is excitement for each one, Mr. Croteau said.
"They are all fantastic or we wouldn't be bringing them," he said with a laugh.
First on the list is former Gov. Bush on Jan. 13.
He is currently the head of a consulting business, Jeb Bush and Associates, where his clients range from small technology start-ups to well-known Fortune 500 companies.
He is also invested in education reform and is the chairman for Excellence in Education, a national foundation.
Ms. Rivlin will take the stage on Feb. 2.
She is a frequent contributor to newspapers, television and radio and has authored several books on economic issues.
She is a member of the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange and served as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton.
Popular conservative author, television and radio host Mary Matalin is scheduled to appear on Feb. 23. Ms. Matalin co-hosts the nationally syndicated radio program "Both Sides Now" with Arianna Huffington, who came to Vero Beach last year to participate in the Celebrated Speaker Series.
She is a widely sought-after political contributor and public speaker and served under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The final speaker, Mr. Baker, will close the series on March 16.
His years of public service began in 1975 as undersecretary of commerce to President Gerald Ford and his service continued in various capacities through 1992.
In 2006, he published his memoir "Work Hard, Study...and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life."
Subscription tickets are available online or over the phone. Single tickets, if there are any left, will be sold for $65 on Dec. 1.
For more information, call (772) 778-5249 or visit www.theemersoncenter.org/css2013.asp.