ACCE Names New Board Chair & Executive Committee
Jay Byers elected to lead Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Board of Directors
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, was named chair of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Board of Directors during the organization’s annual meeting on Sept. 29.
“Jay is a future-focused leader and a community builder. During this disruptive time, we are grateful for his leadership and confident that the industry will benefit from his creativity and strategic thinking,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “The role of chambers of commerce has never been more crucial. Our association is fortunate to have a strong executive committee to lead our efforts to help chambers address the greatest challenges facing their communities.”
ACCE is a professional development organization serving the women and men who lead local, regional and statewide chambers of commerce and similar private sector-led economic development organizations around the world. The Alexandria, Va.-based association represents nearly 9,000 professionals who work for and with more than 1,300 chambers of commerce.
ACCE board chairs serve a one-year term. In this role, he will oversee activities of a 70-member board of directors that provides leadership and strategic direction to the association’s 25-person staff.
“As our industry continues to take on the challenges of COVID-19, racial inequity, unprecedented natural disasters and a toxic political climate, we can learn from lessons of the past and dig deep to find new innovative solutions as we lead our organizations and our communities into the future,” Byers said. “Some people talk about a different normal or the next normal, but I think we can create a better normal by being better at things such as sustainability, inclusion, innovation and resilience.”
Byers noted that chambers must continue to leverage top thought leaders, build on the ongoing work of the Horizon Initiative, and be proactive about responding to influences and mega-trends that continue to shape the future of the industry. Byers said that ACCE’s priorities for the year ahead include:
- Innovation and Disruption: Help chamber leaders be more effective change agents to position their organizations and communities for future success.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Provide the chamber community with more DEI resources and training opportunities over the next year than we’ve ever done before.
- Economic & Community Development: Support chamber efforts to lead through our current challenges and create opportunities for local economies and communities to thrive.
- International Focus: Empower chambers to approach their work with a global perspective, whether advocating for trade to expand global markets and immigration reform to attract global talent or leading trade missions and recruiting foreign direct investment economic development deals.
- Virtual Resources: Improve the association’s ability to showcase best practices, deliver helpful resources, facilitate peer learning opportunities and access professional development programing by launching an improved website and eLearning platform.
The other members of the ACCE Executive Committee announced during the Sept. 29 annual meeting include:
- Chair-elect: Chip Cherry, CCE, President & CEO, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber
- Immediate Past Chair: David Brown, President & CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
- Treasurer: Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber
- Vice Chair: Christy Gillenwater, CCE, IOM, President & CEO, Chattanooga Area Chamber
- Vice Chair: Michael Huber, President & CEO, Indy Chamber
- Vice Chair: Sherry Menor-McNamara, CCE, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
- Vice Chair: Adrian Cain, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Chamber Programs, Charleston Metro Chamber
- Metro Cities Council Chair: Carlos Phillips, President & CEO, Greenville Chamber of Commerce
- Partnership Liaison: David Rumbarger, President & CEO, Community Development Foundation
- Engaging the Public Sector Task Force: Adrienne Cole, President & CEO, Raleigh Chamber
- International Engagement Task Force: Greg Durocher, President & CEO, Cambridge Chamber
- ACCE Foundation Chair: Roy Williams, CCE, President & CEO, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
- At Large: Jim Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce