ACCE 2019 Education and Talent Development Fellows Announced
ACCE is proud to announce the sixth cohort of Education and Talent Development Fellows. The Fellowship for Education & Talent Development is a workforce and education incubator that provides chamber of commerce professionals the opportunity to interact with peers, ACCE staff and national experts. This is accomplished through a combination of in-person and virtual activities where fellows delve into cutting-edge theories, approaches and best practices in talent development. This year, 21 fellows have been selected amongst a national pool of applicants to represent communities all over the country.
Commenting on this year’s class, ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly said, “The new cohort of fellows is a thoughtful, experienced and knowledgeable group with a broad range of perspectives. With the creativity and energy they give their organizations, we are delighted to offer a program where these professionals can expand their portfolios and evolve their already impressive community initiatives. This class represents some of the foremost leaders in the chamber industry, and the impact they will have on their communities, as a result of their determination, will be immeasurable.”
ACCE’s Fellowship for Education and Talent Development is designed to inspire tangible and attainable talent development goals to be implemented in participants’ communities. The program will begin in September with the first in-person meeting shortly after in October.
2019 Education and Talent Development Fellows
Adrian Hale, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.)
Alex Greiwe, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce (Mo.)
Alexa Kramer, Grand Rapids Chamber (Mich.)
Christopher McDermott, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce (Mass.)
Corey Hutcherson, Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce (N.C.)
Cynthia Bennett, Newnan-Coweta Chamber (Ga.)
Cynthia Lyon, The Business Council of Fairfield County (Conn.)
Danielle Permenter, Orlando Economic Partnership (Fla.)
Dean Blinkhorn, Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (Fla.)
Georgina Chapman, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber (Ala.)
Karen Fox, Capital Region Chamber (N.Y.)
Kayla Rombalski, Portage County Business Council (Wis.)
Kimberly Vegliante, Greater Phoenix Chamber (Ariz.)
Laurie Radke, Greater Green Bay Chamber (Wis.)
Lindsay Keisler, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce (N.C.)
Lisa Hermes, McKinney Chamber of Commerce (Texas)
Norma Ritz Johnson,Lubbock Chamber of Commerce (Texas)
Sondra Howell, Greater Memphis Chamber (Tenn.)
Steve Cox, Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce (Ark.)
Sully Pinos, York County Economic Alliance (Pa.)
Travis Groth, Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance (Tenn.)
Chairmanís Award Presented at #ACCE19
At the ACCE Annual Convention in Long Beach, Immediate Past Board Chair Nancy Keefer, CCE, presented the 2019 Chairman’s Award to Jay Chesshir, CCE, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. The award is given annually to an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to the betterment of the chamber profession. In Keefer’s remarks, she commended Chesshir for “going beyond the call of duty, not only by leading the association in the very special role of Chairman for one year, but [he] took on a second year when our CEO transition occurred...”.
Chesshir served two consecutive one-year terms as ACCE board chair from 2016-2018.
Chamber Executives Earn Elite Designation
During ACCE's Annual Convention in Long Beach, Calif., last month, seven chamber executives were presented as Certified Chamber Executives (CCE). CCE is recognized as the highest, and most elite, professional designation in the chamber of commerce profession. It’s the only globally-recognized certification program exclusive to the chamber of commerce industry.
These seven leaders who were recognized during the #ACCEAwards Show on July 15, represent chambers of commerce in seven states, including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Montana and Utah:
Jeremy L. Arthur, CCE, IOM
Jeremy has served as president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) since 2012 and previously led the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce in Alabama. He is currently chair elect of the board of trustees for the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, chair of the Institute Curriculum Committee and a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Jeremy’s CCE presentation focused on the creation and successful implementation of the Alabama Small Business of the Year Awards, a statewide platform to celebrate and recognize small business success through local chambers of commerce in Alabama.
James “Chris” Clark, Jr., CCE, IOM
Chris is the president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Before assuming this leadership role in 2011, Chris was commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and deputy commissioner for the Department of Economic Development. He is on the board of directors for the Council of State Chambers and serves as its secretary/treasurer. He also sits on the boards of the Georgia Allies, the U.S. Chamber, the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and Georgia College and State University’s board of trustees. Chris’ CCE presentation highlighted the chamber’s Georgia 2030 project and the resulting innovative programs and initiatives he spearheaded to address the opportunities and risks of the state’s rapidly changing economic and business landscape.
Tiffany Esposito, CCE, IOM, MBA, APR
Tiffany was named president and CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (Fla.) in 2016. She is chair of ACCE’s Emerging Cities peer group and has served on the ACCE board of directors since 2017. Tiffany focused her CCE presentation on the creation of The Hub—a shared work space that positioned the chamber as the hub for progress by offering a physical space for members to connect, convene and collaborate.
Paul J. Farmer, CCE
Paul is CEO and chief member advocate of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce (Calif.). Prior to becoming the chamber’s leader in 2012, Paul served on his board’s executive committee and was co-founder and president of OfficeStar Computer Training Centers. He was the local and then state president of the California Junior Chamber (Jaycees). Paul’s CCE presentation on the “City Budget Crisis,” highlighted a series of research articles he wrote identifying the root causes and possible solutions to the City of Salinas’ structural budget deficit.
Sherry Menor-McNamara, CCE
In 2013, Sherry became the first female and youngest president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s 169-year history, after having served the organization in different capacities since 2006. In 2018, under Sherry’s leadership, the chamber won ACCE’s Chamber of the Year title in the state/province category. Sherry serves on the board of directors of ACCE, Council of State Chambers, Western Association of Chamber Executives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as the US Chamber Committee of 100. In her CCE presentation, Sherry discussed her leadership role in the annual Hawaii on the Hill. This statewide initiative brings more than 150 people from Hawaii to D.C. to showcase the state’s products and industries to U.S. leaders.
Jennifer Reiser, CCE, IOM
Since 2011, Jennifer has served as the chief operating officer of the Billings Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the U.S. Chamber Foundation West Institute Board of Regents since 2017, is a graduate of the CDC’s Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute and holds a certificate in public health from the University of Montana. Jennifer focused her CCE presentation on Transforming Information into Action through the Trailhead Leadership Academy.
Heidi Walker, CCE
Heidi has served as chief operating officer of the Salt Lake Chamber since 2010. Previously, she held several high-level management positions at the chamber, including seven years as vice president. Heidi has served on several boards in her community including the United Way, Women's Leadership Institute and nationally on the ACCE board. She received the Woman of Distinction Award in 2017. Heidi’s CCE project highlighted her leadership of the Salt Lake Chamber’s year-long plan to monetize more of the chamber’s programs and events and to create a more engaged business community in celebration of the chamber’s 130th anniversary.
“The CCE program assesses and tests the applicant's knowledge of core chamber management areas —management, planning and development, membership and communication, and operations,” says Linda Rabe, CCE, IOM, president and CEO of Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce (S.D.) and CCE commission chairman. “Chamber professionals who are designated CCEs have rightfully earned this outstanding recognition through hard work, countless hours of dedication to their field, and leadership of their chamber to achieve the chamber’s goals. We are proud to have this year’s class join a long tradition of professional excellence.”
Since the first CCE designation was conferred more than 40 years ago, about 500 professionals have become certified.
Learn more about ACCE’s CCE program by visiting www.ACCE.org/CCE.