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. 

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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.

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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

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.
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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

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