Menu

Blogs

Chamber Leaders Selected for ACCE Economic Recovery Fellowship

Amy Shields on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 2:00:00 pm 

ACCE is pleased to announce that 42 chamber of commerce professionals, representing urban and rural communities from 24 states, have been selected by ACCE to participate in its Fellowship for Economic Recovery.

Throughout this year-long, immersive executive development program, fellows will address different aspects of economic recovery— from education and talent to economic development and entrepreneurship. The curriculum will focus on strategies for building more equitable economic outcomes and creating economies that work for everyone. 

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this executive leadership training initiative and the high caliber of applicants,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Ann Kelly. “The Fellowship is the latest step in our strategy to engage business leaders and advocates in shaping recovery efforts, building resilient local economies and creating opportunities for everyone in the community to thrive.”

ACCE’s Fellowship for Economic Recovery is designed to help chambers refine their economic recovery goals and ultimately help the business associations nationwide build replicable programs and processes. The program will begin with its first virtual session in September.

 

2020 Education and Talent Development Fellows

Lucia Cape
Senior Vice President, Economic Development
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber (Ala.)

Kim Casko 
President & CEO
Iowa City Area Business Partnership (Iowa)

Tori Colarusso
Director of Communications and Leadership Development
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (Vt.)

Krystal Crockett
President/CEO
Bixby Metro Chamber of Commerce (Okla.)

Regina Duncan
President
Nassau County (Florida) Chamber of Commerce (Fla.)

Tiffany Esposito, CCE 
President & CEO
Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (Fla.)

Julie Forsythe
Senior Vice President, Business & Economic Growth
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce (Iowa)

Michael Gallops
President/CEO
Rowlett Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Cheryl Garrison
Director of Talent and Workforce Development
Greenville Chamber (S.C.)

Claire Greenwood
Vice President and Executive Director, CEO Council for Growth
Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (Pa.)

Michael Haley
Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development; Senior Vice President, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (N.C.)

Kaylie Hogan-Schnittker
Director of Talent Strategy
Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (Neb.)

Miles Huff
Senior Director of Talent Initiatives
Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce (Tenn.)

Jeffrey Hunt, CCE
President & CEO
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.)

Ann Hutchison
Executive Vice President
Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce (Colo.)

Katerina Klawes
Program Manager
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce (Wis.)

Clint Knight
Director of Workforce Development
Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development (Ohio)

Jessica Linder Gallo
President/CEO
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ill.)

Kelle Marsalis, CCE, IOM
President & CEO
Plano Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Freddy Mawyin
Senior Economic Advisor
Topeka Chamber - Greater Topeka Partnership (Kan.)

Debbi Moore
President/CEO
Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce (N.M.)

Glenn Morris
President & CEO
Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce (Calif.)

Saul Newton
Executive Director
Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce (Wis.)

Gabriela Ortigoni
President & CEO
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (Fla.)

Jim Page
President & CEO
Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama

Scott Pedowitz
Government Affairs Manager
Arlington Chamber of Commerce (Va.)

Tanya Perea Doose
CEO & Director
Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce | aka | Rifle Area Chamber (Colo.)

Douglas Peters
President & CEO
Abilene Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Theresa Pinto
Executive Director
Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (Fla.)

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce (Kan.)

Breann Preston
Director of Market Intelligence
Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC (Colo.)

Caitlin Pusateri
Vice President, Leadership Development
Rockford Chamber of Commerce (Ill.)

Rue Ramsey
Vice President Workforce & Talent Strategies, Economic Development
Tulsa Regional Chamber (Okla.)

James Reddish
Executive Vice President
Little Rock Regional Chamber (Ark.)

Laura Stewart
Vice President of Community Engagement
Forsyth County Chamber (Ga.)

Sara Swisher
Vice President of Talent & Workforce
Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ohio)

Christi Taylor
Director, Programs and Employer Partnerships
Detroit Regional Chamber (Mich.)

Patty VanderWal
President
Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce (Ala.)

Corine Waldau
Economic Development Director
Boulder Chamber (Colo.)

Cindy Williams
CEO
Cartersville-Bartow Chamber (Ga.)

Erik Williams
Director of Community Development
Vail Valley Partnership (Colo.)

Rebecca Wood
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Investor Development
Greater Louisville Inc. (Ky.)

Tags: Economic Development, Economic Recovery, Economic Recovery Fellowship, Entrepreneurship, workforce

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
Spotlight | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

National Survey to Identify Small Business Funding Programs

Will Burns on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Economic recovery for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic prompts a series of critical, practical questions:

  • What resources exist to support US small businesses during the on-going response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How many of them are capitalized by federal, state, non-profit, or philanthropic funding and have special requirements?
  • How many target micro businesses?
  • How many are focused on supporting minority business owners, veteran business owners, and woman business owners?
  • If you are helping a small business better understand their options to endure the economic impacts of the pandemic, what resources exist in your state?

ACCE is working with several national organizations to ask our members to help gather this information so it can be readily accessed from a single source.

Please share this message and link with your network of funding resources – community foundation, local CDFI, etc. Completing this questionnaire should take less than five minutes and it will yield significant insights regarding the available support for small businesses across our nation.  It is anticipated that a wide range of vital resources will be identified through the broad networks of business and economic development partners.

Here is the survey link: https://forms.gle/VUbkdWwnE29GE1sGA

This questionnaire will remain open for input until August 14.

Since we are partnering with multiple organizations, it is possible that you will receive a request to complete this more than once.  Please complete the form only once.  

Thank you for helping us canvas the nation to identify vital resources to support our nation’s small businesses.

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
COVID 19 Updates | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

Meet the Newest Certified Chamber Executives

Tania Kohut on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Six chamber of commerce leaders have recently joined an elite roster of professionals who have earned the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation.

The first CCE designation was conferred more than 40 years ago. CCE is recognized as the highest professional designation in the chamber of commerce profession. It’s the only globally-recognized certification program exclusive to the chamber of commerce industry.

“We are thrilled to have this year’s class join a long tradition of professional excellence,” said Matt McCormick, CCE, IOM, president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce (Mo.) and CCE commission chairman. “Chamber professionals who are designated CCEs have earned this recognition through hard work, countless hours of dedication to the chamber industry and leadership of their chamber to achieve the organization’s goals.”

Congratulations, from your friends at ACCE!

These six leaders represent chambers of commerce in six states, including Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

Jane Clark, CCE, IOM
Jane Clark has served as president of the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce since 2012. Jane currently serves as vice chair of the ACCE Foundation Board of Directors, is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 and is a former member of the ACCE Board of Directors. In 2019, she was recognized with the MACP Michigan Chamber Professional Award and in 2020 was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. Jane focused her CCE presentation on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a transformative leadership and management tool she has implemented with the West Coast Chamber and has shared with chamber professionals nationwide.

 

Brian E. Hall, CCE
Brian has served as senior vice president and executive director of equity and inclusion of the Greater Cleveland Partnership since 2014. He has served on the board of directors of University Hospital Health Systems, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the University of Cincinnati Foundation. He has been honored as Distinguished Alumnus by Baldwin Wallace University, Bridge Builder by the American Jewish Committee and Man of the Year by Cleveland Public Theater. Brian focused his CCE presentation on the process to launch CommitCLE, a focused cohort of major corporations agreeing to expand opportunities and growth for MBE firms.

 

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, CCE, MPA, IOM
Sarah has served as president & CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) since January 2020. She has been with GLI since 2014, rising from leading GLI’s government affairs activities as vice president of government affairs to now president & CEO. Sarah serves on several community boards, including Evolve 502, Louisville Fund for the Arts, Leadership Louisville, Louisville Downtown Development Board, KentuckianaWorks and Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership. Sarah is the recipient of several notable awards including 2020 Business First’s National Influencers to Watch, 2020 Louisville Business First’s Enterprising Woman and 2019 ACCE 40 under 40. Sarah focused her CCE presentation around the comprehensive sales and revenue growth initiatives she led at GLI, which also led it to be named a 2019 ACCE Chamber of the Year. 

 

Jim Johnson, CCE, IOM
Jim has served as president & CEO of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce since 2018. Prior to joining the Chamber, Jim was president & CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce and served as the vice president of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. Jim is a board member of the Western Association of Chamber Executives and the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives. He currently serves on the faculty for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management. Jim focused his CCE presentation on a campaign that engaged the community to relaunch businesses forced to evacuate and close operations following a gas leak that spread throughout Georgetown’s unique soil. 

 

Tiffany Tauscheck, CCE, IOM, CDME
Tiffany has served as chief strategy officer of the Greater Des Moines Partnership since 2017, serving as chief communications officer for the two years prior. Prior to joining the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Tiffany was vice president of marketing and development at Catch Des Moines. Tiffany is chair of ACCE’s Marketing and Communications Advisory Board and has been named as a national Forty Under 40 honoree by USAE and Development Counsellors International. Tiffany focused her CCE presentation on The Partnership’s 5-year Investor Campaign.

 

Allison B. Walden, CCE, CFRE, IOM
Allison joined the Tulsa Regional Chamber in 2010 and serves as senior vice president of resource development. During her tenure, Walden has overseen campaigns garnering more than $60 million toward the chamber’s mission. She sits on the Southeast Board of Regents for the Institute for Organization Management with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and serves as a sales mentor and advisory board member for ACCE’s Membership Development Division. Walden also sits on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Quality Foundation and YWCA Tulsa. Previous honors include 40 Under 40 recognitions from ACCE in 2019 and in 2016 by Oklahoma Magazine. Allison focused her CCE presentation on member/customer segmentation and non-dues revenue cultivation strategy. 

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
Spotlight | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

Congress to Take Up Next COVID Relief Bill We Need Your Voice

Will Burns on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Congress returns this week and is expected to begin debating the details of the next COVID relief package.

According to the latest reports, the two parties remain far apart on several key issues, including expanded unemployment benefits, funding for state and local government, school funding, liability protections and more. House Democrats passed a $3 trillion Heroes Act in May. Senate Republicans are expected to introduce a $1 trillion package this week.

This fourth relief package could be the last major initiative before the election. As the debate begins, ACCE encourages you to contact your federal officials and urge them to support expanding eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations.

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
COVID 19 Updates | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

How is Your Chamber Engaging on School Reopening?

Will Burns on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

As many regions of the country continue to deal with COVID-19 spikes and new rounds of shutdowns, this week’s chamber peer calls raised lots of questions and concerns around schools reopening in the fall. 

Just this week, California’s two largest school districts announced that instruction will be online-only this fall. Different jurisdictions are taking different approaches to reopening schools, creating struggles for chambers seeking to help businesses navigate workforce challenges created by the unpredictability of fall school schedules.

We know that lots of chambers are having discussions with government and school district leaders. ACCE is interested in learning more about how your chamber is engaging on these challenging issues. If you have any input to share with the rest of the chamber community, or if your chamber has issued a statement on school reopen, please share it with me at wburns@acce.org.

Here are a few recent examples we’ve come across. 

  • The Greater Boston Chamber has been very active trying to gain a greater understanding of the plan for reopening schools. The Chamber’s “Future of Boston” series will hold an event on August 4 to hear from state and city leaders, and help industries and communities thrive.
  • The Kentucky Chamber continues to keep members informed about ongoing discussions between state and local government and education leaders. The chamber also published an op-ed to highlight the critical importance of affordable and reliable broadband for students participating in distance learning activities.
  • Greater Rochester Chamber President & CEO discussed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to make his announcement the first week of August during a recent video update to members.
Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
COVID 19 Updates | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

Chambers Continue to Wrestle with Reopening Challenges

Will Burns on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

As our communities continue efforts to reopen amid the COVID-19 crisis, chambers of commerce are working to address ongoing challenges to help avoid additional spikes, shutdowns and dips in consumer confidence.

Promoting responsible behavior around social distancing and facial coverings remains a priority. Many chambers placed their initial focus on rallying their business members around responsible reopening guidelines as a way to promote safety and boost consumer confidence as restrictions ease and consumers return to shopping, dining and recreation.

Discussion on recent ACCE roundtable calls has shifted to marketing efforts to promote responsible behavior to the public as local debates around mask mandates continue in many communities. With local mandates varying widely and confusion around enforcement and liability issues, last week we saw the U.S. Chamber and other business associations call for national standards on masks.

Examples of outreach to promote wearing masks
Many chambers have launched or supported regional initiatives to promote wearing masks:

 

What We’re Reading

 

Recent ACCE Programs

  • Membership: Webinar on selling in the age of COVID featuring the Nashville Area Chamber and Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.
  • YP Programs: Webinar on how chamber YP programs are adapting amid the COVID-19 crisis featuring the Tulsa Regional Chamber and ChamberRVA.
  • Events: Several recent Events Division calls focused on virtual and hybrid events.
  • View all upcoming webinars and roundtable calls.

Tags: Covid-19

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
COVID 19 Updates | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

ACCE Recognizes Chamber Sales Professionals

Tania Kohut on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

ACCE is pleased to announce the winners of the Dana Ketterling Lifetime Sales Achievement Award and the Sales Contest. The awards are presented by the ACCE Membership Development Division Circle of Champions program, which connects chamber sales professionals and inspires and recognizes excellence in membership sales performance.

Dana Ketterling Lifetime Sales Achievement Award
The Dana Ketterling Lifetime Sales Achievement Award recognizes career sales achievement, with awards based on the total number or total dollar amount of chamber membership sales. The award is presented in memory of Dana Ketterling, ACCE’s resource development officer, who was a gifted membership professional and champion of chambers of commerce and the communities they serve.

DIAMOND
Individuals who have achieved $1.5 million in sales in chamber memberships throughout their careers.

Karri Clark
Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce  

PLATINUM
Individuals who have achieved $750,000 in sales in chamber memberships throughout their careers.

Art Goldberg
Vegas Chamber

Nancy McCoy Duncan
Union County Chamber

Renee Shafer
Williamson Inc.

Rachel Wonder
Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
 

GOLD
Individuals who have achieved 1,000 sales or $500,000 in sales in chamber memberships throughout their careers.

Randy Newell
Greater Cleveland Partnership

Kailey Northcutt
Dallas Regional Chamber             

Shannon Spiess
Greater Kansas City Chamber    

SILVER
Individuals who have achieved 750 sales or $300,000 in sales in chamber memberships throughout their careers.       

Jenny Avis
Clear Lake Area Chamber

Ben Haag
Dallas Regional Chamber

Susan Moody, IOM
Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce

Kristina O'Leary
Seminole County Chamber

Kishia Williamson Townsend
Greater Cleveland Partnership  

Michelle Weston
Vegas Chamber

Rebecca Wood
Greater Louisville Inc.    
           

BRONZE
Individuals who have achieved 500 sales or $175,000 in sales in chamber memberships throughout their careers.

D'Andre Allegra
McKinney Chamber of Commerce

Tina Blankenship
Huntsville Madison County Chamber      

Becky Brown
Effingham County Chamber

Ansley Jones
Gwinnett Chamber

Kelly Killeen-Haupt
Charleston Metro Chamber        

Kathy Marcum
Plano Chamber of Commerce

Christopher Slocombe
Greater Cleveland Partnership  

Laura Traxler
Grand Rapids Chamber 

Hunter Walsh
Hampton Roads Chamber

 

Sales Contest
Chamber sales professionals benchmark their sales success against like-sized organizations by submitting their quarterly sales figures to ACCE. The top sales professionals in each of three dues income categories are recognized based on total number of new member sales and on total dollar value of new member sales.

Under $500,000 

Number of New Personal Sales                                          

First Place: Vicki Keibler
Barrow County Chamber              

Second Place: Jenny Avis
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

Third Place: Kim Niskey
Garner Chamber of Commerce 

Dollar Value of New Personal Sales

First Place: Vicki Keibler
Barrow County Chamber

Second Place: Kristina O'Leary
Seminole County Chamber          

Third Place: Jenny Avis
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

$500,000-$2 million

Number of New Personal Sales                                          

First Place: Gina Martens    
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce 

Second Place: D'Andre Allegra      
McKinney Chamber of Commerce 

Third Place: Kathy Marcum
Plano Chamber of Commerce

Dollar Value of New Personal Sales

First Place: Jeffrey Durbin          
Greater Phoenix Chamber

Second Place: Kathy Marcum
Plano Chamber of Commerce    

Third Place: D'Andre Allegra      
McKinney Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Over $2 million

Number of New Personal Sales                                          

First Place: Linda Ferguson
Greater Cleveland Partnership  

Second Place: Christopher Slocombe
Greater Cleveland Partnership  

Third Place: Kishia Williamson
Townsend Greater Cleveland Partnership  

Dollar Value of New Personal Sales

First Place: Linda Ferguson
Greater Cleveland Partnership 

Second Place: Tina DeRobertis
Dallas Regional Chamber    
       
Third Place: Christopher Slocombe
Greater Cleveland Partnership  

 

 

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
Spotlight | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

Chamber Inclusion in PPP

Will Burns on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

This week we thank Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tim Scott (R-SC) for introducing legislation to expand Paycheck Protection Program eligibility to chambers of commerce and destinatioin marketing organizations.

While expanding eligibility to PPP may not happen until the next major legislative package is negotiated between the two houses of Congress, we are grateful to see lawmakers showing their support for the important role chambers are playing during this crisis.

Our partners at ASAE have launched a new sign-on letter. Monday is the deadline to add your chamber to the letter. Sign on today and continue to communicate with your elected officials.  

 

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
COVID 19 Updates | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

ACCE DEI Resource Roundup

Will Burns on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

As communities grapple with the challenges of racial inequity, we’ve seen an uptick in questions about best practices for chambers of commerce to engage on diversity, equity and inclusion issues.

In recent updates we’ve highlighted chamber responses to the current national dialogue on racial equity. We’ve also laid out steps your chamber can take to boost your organization’s credibility and begin to take action.

This week’s ACCE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division roundtable call featured a discussion of actions taken in the St. Louis region following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. St. Louis Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Inclusion and Talent Attraction Valerie Patton joined the call to discuss the work of the Ferguson Commission, a group of regional leaders that come together to solutions for equity in the region by addressing systemic racism.

If your chamber is exploring how it can support meaningful change in your community, the Ferguson Commission Report is a great place to turn for actionable ideas. The report includes 189 policy recommendations. There is also a follow up action plan that measures the success of the work, continued to push for policy change and establish the action strategies necessary to sustain the work. We hope these resources are helpful. You can listen to the complete call here.

 

Recent Chamber of Commerce Equity Pledges 

 

Chamber Executive Articles 

 

Recent DEI Division Roundtable Call Recordings

 

Chamber Best Practice Examples

 

What is Your Chamber Working On?

Send us updates on your diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and programs. Contact Amy Shields at ashields@acce.org.

Tags: DEI

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |

Tips for Chambers to Engage on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Amy Shields on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

As protests and demonstrations continue across the country, chambers are examining their role in responding to racism and systemic inequities. Below, we have provided some steps for chambers to consider as they chart their path forward. There are also examples from chambers who have done this work. ACCE encourages everyone to consider taking one or more of these actions. As a member recently said, “You can come for this issue, or it will come for you.”

Internal Actions

All work on diversity, equity and inclusion has to start internally. If we want to be seen as credible in this space, we need to take steps with our own board and staff.

  • Have open and honest conversations with your staff and board. Your staff may be struggling, and it may be uncomfortable to have a conversation with them about racism and equity. We will not become more comfortable having conversations about race if we aren’t willing to be uncomfortable in the process. If needed, consider brining in external facilitators or consultants to support the conversation.
    • Matt Pivarnik, president and CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership, spoke to his staff about his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
    • The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s board voted to support the city council’s declaration of racism as a public health crisis
  • Provide specific training for your staff and board on diversity, equity and inclusion. Training will not solve systemic racism, but it is a start to creating a culture that supports equity and inclusion. Consider working with a local nonprofit or an organization like the Racial Equity Institute. Topics might include implicit bias, microaggressions, lessons on historic policies that have contributed to current inequities, or other topics.
  • Evaluate your policies and procedures with an intentional DEI lens. Your chamber’s policies and procedures should reinforce your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Review your bylaws and governance documents, hiring and evaluation practices, employee manual, staff onboarding procedures, internal communications and other relevant policies and procedures.
  • Be honest about your chamber’s past. Our industry isn’t perfect, and some chambers have been on the wrong side of history when it comes to issues of equity and inclusion. In order to move forward, we must be honest about our mistakes and reconcile that with our desire to be better moving forward.
    • Mike Neal, president & CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, acknowledged troubling passages from historic chamber meeting minutes in the aftermath of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and reaffirmed the organization’s dedication to doing better. The chamber also donated a copy of its historic meeting minutes to the Greenwood Cultural Center.
  • Consider where your chamber should lead efforts and where you should support. Chambers are natural conveners and leaders, but you don’t have to be at the center of every conversation. In this work, identify community partners and others who are already embedded in this work, and ask them how you can best support their efforts.
    • Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber, talked about the importance of listening and working in partnership at a recent virtual workshop
    • The Greenville Chamber released a joint statement with the Urban League of the Upstate & United Way of Greenville County calling for more community dialogue

External Actions

Chambers can choose from a wide array of options to support diversity, equity and inclusion in their communities. Even small steps can be valuable in the long run.

  • Issue a statement of support or place an op-ed in the local paper. A public commitment to equity and inclusion makes a powerful statement, whether individually, in partnership with other organizations. Consider how it might be interpreted if your chamber chooses not to say anything publicly in this moment.
  • Host or promote dialogues for your members, the business community, or the broader community. Does it make sense for you to host a conversation, or does it make sense for the chamber to be the listener in the conversation? Who is the right audience, and are you ready to hear the perspectives of community members no matter what they express?
  • Support minority-owned businesses. Support for minority-owned businesses is particularly important during this time, in part because these businesses have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
    • The Indy Chamber is administering Rapid Response Loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19, including those who may not have been able to access PPP funding
    • The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has a successful minority business accelerator, and Darrin Redus, Senior Vice President, spoke to Congress about the importance of their work
    • The Dayton Chamber’s Minority Business Partnership creates supply chain opportunities for minority-owned businesses with large buying organizations within the region.
  • Provide training and support for members on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Many organizations, particularly smaller businesses, may not have the resources to bring in their own speakers or instructors. Chambers can step in to fill the gap and provide important information to members.
    • The Grand Rapids Chamber offers its Institute for Healing Racism, a two-day program design to “attack the disease of racism from all sides”
    • The Raleigh Area Chamber of Commerce runs the Triangle DEI Alliance, which offers a variety of programming, including virtual and in-person conferences and learning events
    • The Greater Cleveland Partnership offers members a Diversity and Inclusion Assessment that helps them benchmark their company’s diversity and inclusion data against others in the region
  • Integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into everything you do. Chambers are examining everything from their economic development incentives to their legislative agendas. Use the same lens for external work as you do for internal policies and procedures.

Other Resources

Many people, especially white people, may be at a loss for where to begin when it comes to learning more about diversity, equity and inclusion. It can be tempting to turn to colleagues of color and to ask them to elaborate on their own experiences. In this time, remember that your colleagues may be feeling a variety of emotions about the current situation. Instead of asking them to expend their emotional and mental energy for your benefit, consider checking out one of these resources:

Tags: DEI

Rate this Article  rating of 0 from 0 votes
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | 0 Comments | Add a Comment | Permalink |
STRATEGIC PARTNERS
OFFICIAL CORPORATE SPONSORS
Accrisoft is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Aventura World by Central Holidays West is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Benfits Trust is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Citslinc is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Collette is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Grow With Google is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE New Insperity The U.S. Chamber is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE
SILVER SPONSORS
Cognizant Constant Contact POWER 10 sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives United Networks of America is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE YouScience sponsor ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Compass Media sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives