2019 Chamber of the Year finalists
The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives today announced finalists for the 2019 Chamber of the Year competition, sponsored by MemberClicks.
Finalists for 2019 Chamber of the Year are (sorted by category):
Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce
Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce
Effingham County Chamber of Commerce
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce
Longview Chamber of Commerce
Grapevine Chamber of Commerce
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Asheville, North Carolina
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership
Salt Lake Chamber
Salt Lake City, Utah
Greater Louisville Inc.
Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce
In the final phase of the competition, a judging committee conducts in-person interviews with leaders representing each finalist chamber. One winner from each category will be named at the 2019 ACCE Annual Convention in Long Beach, California.
Learn more about Chamber of the Year here.
Tags: Salt Lake Chamber, Chamber of the Year, Top Chambers of Commerce, Chamber Professional, Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, #ACCE19, Greater Louisville Inc., #ACCEAwards, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Longview Chamber of Commerce, Awards, Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce, Best Chambers, Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
10 Reasons to Attend ACCE Convention 2019
ACCE Annual Convention 2019, scheduled for July 14–17, is shaping up to be a sun-sational event for chamber of commerce professionals around the globe. Personalized and immersive with an inspiring focus on the future, the forward-looking innovation and insights featured at this year’s event are sure to give you chills—even in the vibrant warmth of the Long Beach sun.
- Breakout sessions: Get best practices and expert insights from the best in the business with sessions exploring topics and trends that matter most to you or your chamber. From digital communications and membership sales to education and workforce development, ACCE's convention offers sessions for all chamber professionals.
- Long Beach: Sandy beaches and waves ideal for splashing or surfing... a culinary scene that will delight your taste buds... an arts and entertainment scene where the fun never ends... Long Beach, California, has so much to offer. You'll quickly understand why Long Beach was voted one of America's “Most Walkable Cities.”
- Networking: As the saying goes, “If you’ve seen one chamber of commerce, you’ve only seen one chamber of commerce." Driven by your passion for building communities and connections, #ACCE19 provides the unique opportunity to build a strong network of peers from around the world. Start building your network on the first night of the convention! Be sure to sign up for a networking dinner at the convention registration desk when checking in.
- Exhibit Hall: Meet companies serving the chamber industry and see the latest innovative products and services for your organization. Experience the expo hall and the chance to win prizes in a new way on our interactive convention app.
- Food: Long Beach offers a diverse array of cuisines from all over the world. From authentic Spanish tapas to yummy oriental noodles, you will never run out of things to try...or complain about "Chamber Chicken".
- Awards Show: It’s your night to shine as we celebrate the men and women of the chamber world who have made an impact on the profession and those whose innovative efforts are influencing the work of chambers of the future. Hosted by ACCE’s favorite comedian James Cunningham, we’ll induct this year’s Life Member honorees, welcome a new class of Certified Chamber Executives, salute communications and membership superstars and cheer on the 2019 Chambers of the Year.
- Revitalize your passion: What better way to reenergize your passion for the profession than by being around 1,000 of the best and most fun chamber executives in the world. #ACCE19 is the ticket for taking your chamber from transactional to transformational.
- Closing Party: Step aboard the legendary Queen Mary as we visit the 1930s when this stately ocean liner hosted the world’s rich and famous. We will gather on the Verandah Grill and Deck where hand painted murals cover the walls of what used to be the first-class nightclub and restaurant. Enjoy music, fine food and drink as you stroll through to the sun deck to take in dramatic nighttime views of the Long Beach skyline. This is one party you will not want to miss.
- New Ideas, Tools, Tips, Tactics: Explore trends shaping the future of the chamber industry and take your skills to the next level. We’re making sure that you will go home with tactical and practical tools that can be used at your chamber of commerce.
- Keynotes: Ready to be inspired? This year’s keynote speakers will deliver knowledge, motivation, forward focused ideas and strategies for success. Stay tuned for the announcement of our closing keynote!
What are your reasons for attending? Tweet us @ACCEHQ to tell us why you are attending #ACCE19!
ACCE Partners with National Skills Coalition
ACCE’s new strategic partnership with the National Skills Coalition and its Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) program pairs BLU’s business-driven skills policy expertise with ACCE’s robust member network to elevate the voice of employers in workforce policy discussions.
With the support of the Ballmer Group and J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, ACCE and BLU will develop a network of seven state-based BLU affiliates in 2019, to be joined by a second cohort in 2020. These BLU affiliates, led by representatives of the chamber community in each state, will be charged with organizing a diverse coalition of businesses and business associations from across each state in order to develop a shared skills policy agenda on behalf of the state’s business community.
BLU will provide infrastructure support and policy guidance to each state affiliate, and ACCE will assist the lead organizations with targeted coalition building and network growth.
Bethany Orban Joins ACCE Team
Bethany Orban joins ACCE as the marketing and communications manager after directing the communications and programming efforts for the Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance in Tennessee. Bethany will lead ACCE’s efforts to revamp the association’s communications strategy to more effectively showcase the evolving role chambers play as catalytic community leaders. Bethany is passionate about storytelling and wants to hear your stories. Share exciting news from your chamber by contacting Bethany via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Bronder, Sarah Amoyaw Join ACCE Team
ACCE welcomes two new staff members.
Beth Bronder, vice president, development and partnerships joins ACCE with more than 20 years of development and organizational management experience. Previously, Beth spent several years consulting for the National Governors Association and held a leadership role at CQ Roll Call/The Economist Group. She also held senior-level positions at a number of companies including Bloomberg and Unisys. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Sarah Amoyaw joins the team as the community advancement and communications coordinator. In this role, Sarah will coordinate professional development activities for ACCE members and develop original content to highlight best practices, industry trends and community impact. She will also support the Education and Talent Development Division’s work with the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United. Sarah is a graduate of Towson University and an active member of the local Change Foundation. Contact Sarah via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Sky, Montana: Community Housing
In Montana, the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded many of the discussions and initiatives around affordable housing, referred to locally as “community housing.” Like other resort areas, the Big Sky area has a high percentage of affluent second-home owners and a large percentage of in-commuters who cannot afford to live where they work, according to CEO Candace Carr Strauss.
In 2013, the chamber acted as a project manager for a citizens’ group that was studying and discussing the issue, making it eligible to receive funds from the local resort area tax district to fund an affordable work force housing study. The study, prepared by a consultant, made several recommendations, including that the area form a non-profit organization dedicated to the issue.
One of the next steps was submitting an application for a Community Development Block Grant. The chamber teamed with a local county to apply for a grant to fund a preliminary architectural report designed to address issues such as site options and preliminary architectural renderings. It was the chamber that provided the required matching funds; the application was successful.
In 2016, the Big Sky Community Housing Trust was formed to function as a land trust to provide affordable housing units via acquisition of property. The chamber contracted with a non-profit community action agency to provide a half-time employee to manage the trust. Town halls put on by the chamber followed, as well as a Big Sky Housing Action Plan prepared by a consultant. Now, after years of planning, education and laying the groundwork, Big Sky is well on its way to development of a community housing project. In 2018, the Community Housing Trust received $1.945 million in appropriations from the Big Sky Resort Area District and was able to sign an agreement with a developer to acquire land for a 52-unit affordable housing project.
Learn how chambers in university towns, resort communities and fast-growing locales are among those seeking solutions for affordable housing. Click here to read the cover story, "Workforce Housing," from the fall 2018 issue of Chamber Executive.
Amy Shields Joins ACCE Team
ACCE welcomes Amy Shields as its new senior manager of community advancement. In this role, Amy will lead professional development and peer learning opportunities for ACCE members to help them improve education and workforce development outcomes; pursue sustainable and inclusive economic growth and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities they serve.
“Amy is passionate about our mission and excited to help chambers across the country create positive change,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Her strengths in program management, stakeholder engagement and communications make her a perfect fit for this role.”
Amy joins ACCE’s bicoastal team that was formed through a strategic partnership between ACCE and the Los Angeles Area Chamber to leverage the LA Chamber’s expertise in strengthening education systems and ACCE’s national reach and professional development platform. She will manage community advancement programming and work to identify industry trends to showcase the mission-based value chambers bring to communities across the country.
Prior to joining ACCE, she served as program manager for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), overseeing GEO’s publications and managing programs to help grantmakers and nonprofits make a greater impact through their philanthropic work. Prior to that, she worked for the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, an ACCE member organization in Virginia.
ACCE launches Healthy Communities program
Ten chambers were selected to participate in a new ACCE professional development program designed to help chambers of commerce lead effective and innovative community health initiatives and demonstrate the leadership roles chambers in smaller communities can play to strengthen quality of life and support equitable prosperity.
This year-long program will take participants through a design thinking lab to help develop and implement a plan to tackle a community health challenge. Each chamber has teamed with a community partner to participate alongside them throughout the program.
Participating chamber professionals include:
- Jennifer Reiser, Chief Operating Officer, Billings Chamber
- Vicki Clark, President, Cape May Chamber
- MelissaWorthington, Vice President of Chamber Membership and Strategic Advancement, Envision Greater Fond du Lac
- Pat Patrick, President/CEO, Lodi District Chamber
- Kelly Hall, President, Longview Chamber
- Robert Goltz, President/CEO, Miramar Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Bob DuBois, CEO, Noblesville Chamber
- Barbara Ann Heegan, President/CEO, Otsego County Chamber
- Chris Clark, President/CEO, Queen Creek Chamber
- Ananda Sweet, Workforce Development Manager, Santa Rosa Metro Chamber
Visit ACCE.org/healthycommunities to learn more about chambers of commerce that are championing health and wellness issues in their communities. Email Emily Counts, community advancement coordinator at ACCE, for additional ways to connect on this topic.
Chamber leaders named to ACCE Talent Fellowship
Leaders from 20 chambers of commerce, representing communities throughout the United States, have been selected to participate in ACCE’s Fellowship for Education and Talent Development. This is the fifth cohort of Fellows to participate in this program.
The Fellowship is an immersive professional development program that provides chamber of commerce professionals with education, peer connections and tools to improve the education and workforce development outcomes in the communities they serve.
Throughout the year-long experience, participants develop regional action plans to address a specific education attainment or workforce development issues in their communities.
Congratulations to this year’s Fellows!
Talent & Education Director
Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce
Binghamton, New York
Vice President of Economic Development
Salina Area Chamber of Commerce
Senior Vice President of Talent Development, Attraction & Retention
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Fort Worth, Texas
Director, Education & Workforce
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development
Charlotte, North Carolina
President & CEO
North Orange County Chamber
Vice President of Regional Economic Growth
Greater Louisville Inc.
Director of Public Policy & Economic Development
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Director Education & Workforce/Spokane STEM
Greater Spokane Incorporated
Senior Director of Talent
Greater Omaha Chamber
Manager, Policy Initiatives
Director of Education Policy
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO
Bristol TN/VA Chamber of Commerce
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Vice President, Talent & Economic Inclusion
Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Kwee Lan Teo
Vice President of Talent & Workforce
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
Director of Talent Development
Baton Rouge Area Chamber
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Director of Talent & Workforce Solutions
Greenville, South Carolina
Arvada Chamber of Commerce
Associate Vice President of Talent Pipeline Strategies
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
North Charleston, South Carolina
Learn more about the Fellowship here. ACCE will begin accepting applications for the next Fellowship cohort in May 2019.
Meet the newest Certified Chamber Executives
Eleven chamber of commerce leaders from eight states have recently joined an elite roster of professionals who have earned the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation.
Since the first CCE designation was conferred some 40 years ago, more than 500 chamber professionals have become certified. More than 250 people have an active certification today.
ACCE celebrated this year’s Certified Chamber Executives — Steve Baas, Marvin Bond, Lisa Hermes, Tony Howard, Jamee Jolly, Christine Kennedy, Sandra Lindquist, Roy Nascimento, Lynn Olberding, Jodie Perry and Erin Williams — in Des Moines at the #ACCEAwards Show on Wednesday, July 18.
“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 Bob Quick, CCE, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. and 2017-18 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.”
Congratulations, from your friends at ACCE!
Steve Baas, CCE
Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs & Public Policy
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Marvin Bond, CCE
Vice President of Investor Relations
Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Hermes, CCE
President & CEO
McKinney Chamber of Commerce
Tony Howard, CCE
President & CEO
Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce
Jamee Jolly, CCE
President & CEO
Plano Chamber of Commerce
Christine Kennedy, CCE
COO and Executive Vice President
Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance
Sandra Lindquist, CCE
Executive Vice President & COO
New Orleans Chamber
New Orleans, La.
Roy Nascimento, CCE
President & CEO
North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
Lynn Olberding, CCE
Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce
Jodie Perry, CCE
Richland Area Chamber of Commerce
Erin Williams, CCE
President & CEO
O'Fallon Chamber of Commerce & Industries