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Convention Scholarship Recipients Announced

Tania Kohut on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

ACCE is pleased to announce this year's recipients of convention scholarships in the names of Mike Hauser and Shelia Lee -- leaders of the chamber movement and ACCE.   Many thanks to those who donated to these scholarship funds! We look forward to seeing you in Oklahoma City, July 23-26, for ACCE Convention 2013.

Mike Hauser Scholarship:

  • Shannon Viera - Brunswick County (NC) Chamber of Commerce 
  • Mandy Senn  -Chattanooga Area (TN) Chamber of Commerce

Shelia Lee Scholarship:

  • Christine Sortino - Greece (NY) Chamber of Commerce
  • Amy Mattison - Jacksonville (AR) Chamber of Commerce
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Breaking Records in Charlotte

Ian Scott on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:25:00 am 

The Charlotte Chamber is celebrating a new high watermark for their annual Total Resource Campaign - $5,114,261.  More than $5.1 million in 12 weeks.  That’s more than $425k a week…more than $85k a business day. 

“These funds provide more than half the Charlotte Chamber’s annual operating expenses,” said Bob Morgan, president of the Charlotte Chamber.  “They will be deployed toward our mission to grow the economy, to serve as a voice for business and to engage our members in providing innovate products, programs and services.”  

Pretty impressive work by Bob and his team.  Of course they had help.  26 corporate teams, involving 130 volunteers, connected with more than 1600 companies to sell memberships and raise revenue on the Chamber’s behalf.  And when you consider some of the corporate teams leading the way - Bank of America, Bissell, Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, – it’s no surprise they set an all-time record.

Tags: funding; TRC; total resource campaign; volunteers

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Chamber Exec Named Father of the Year

Tania Kohut on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

Just in time for Father’s Day! Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, is one of five men who will be honored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Father’s Day Council of Grand Rapids, Mich., as Father of the Year.  The men will  be recognized on June 6 for their commitment to help stop diabetes in West Michigan.

According to a press release issued by the Greater Michigan ADA, these fathers were selected as Father of the Year honorees based on their ability to balance their personal and professional lives and serve as a role model for their children, while making a positive difference in their communities.

"We are proud of these exceptional fathers who have demonstrated the ability to balance a high level of success in their chosen careers and serve as great role models in our community,” said Tiana Davidson, director of the Greater Michigan ADA. “They deserve recognition not only as fathers and community leaders, but for their commitment to change the future of all people living with diabetes.”

Baker, father to Jennifer (23) and Brian (21),  is a native of Minnesota and has a distinguished 25-year career in chamber  management. He has held executive positions with chambers in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, and has been leading the Grand Rapids Area Chamber since April of 2011.  

Baker is a graduate of the University of Colorado Institute for Organization Management and is an active member of ACCE and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Boards of Directors of The Right Place, Inc., Downtown Alliance and the West Michigan Policy Forum. He also serves on the Heart of West Michigan United Way Campaign cabinet, City of Grand Rapids Sustainable Streets Task Force, the local government Collaboration Work Group and the State of Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives Advisory Council.

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Chattanooga Chamber v. “Iron Man 3”

Tania Kohut on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

If box office reports are any indication,  “Iron Man 3” gets a double thumbs up. But, the folks at the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce are giving it a double thumbs down. Turns out that they aren’t too pleased about how the city and its Internet service is portrayed in the movie.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know that at one point Robert Downey Jr.’s character, Tony Stark, is in Chattanooga and experiences a slow Internet connection. But, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce wants you to know that such a situation, in this case, only happens in the movies. Last week the chamber sent a press release setting the record straight. See some of the media attention the chamber has been garnering:

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A sea lion walks into a chamber . . .

Tania Kohut on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

No, it’s not the opening line to a joke, but rather the start to a real story! The Imperial Beach (CA) Chamber of Commerce recently had an unexpected visitor come through its front door. Click here to read about a sea lion pup who made himself at home at the chamber’s offices.

 

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Life Member Honored for Volunteer Work

Tania Kohut on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

For ACCE Life Member John Garman, CCE, the chamber profession truly is a life, not a career. Despite his retirement in 2003 as a chamber exec, John continues to serve by volunteering at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro (NC) Chamber of Commerce. In April, he completed his 400th member visit. He has been volunteering with the chamber for two years, visiting one-on-one with business owners and managers to learn and report on their business needs and to improve the connections between the chamber staff and its nearly 1,400 members. In recognition of his service to the chamber and its members, John was recognized last month with the Chair's Award for Excellence, presented by the chamber’s Board of Directors Chair, Paige Zinn. 

John was born in upstate New York and earned his B.A. in history and oriental studies, and his M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Columbia University. In 2003, after completing a 30-year career as a chamber exec in communities in Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina, he retired and served as a consultant and instructor for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) with assignments in Russia, Bosnia, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan and Jamaica. John moved to North Carolina’s Research Triangle in 2010 with his wife, Nancy, and lives in a home built by his son. He currently serves as a trustee for the North Carolina Humanities Council.

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Looking good at 75 and 100

Tania Kohut on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

The Myrtle Beach Area (SC) Chamber of Commerce and Orlando (FL) Regional Chamber of Commerce are celebrating big milestones this month.

On Friday, April 19, 22 past presidents of the Orlando Regional Chamber and its current volunteer leadership attended a special luncheon to kickoff the 100th anniversary of Orlando, Inc. (Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce). The chamber will continue the celebration in September with a gala event. See the website the chamber prepared in honor of its big anniversary.

Then on Tuesday, April 23, about 500 miles north of Orlando, the Myrtle Beach Area (SC)Chamber honored its 75 years of service during an annual meeting and celebration with its membership at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The event not only recognized the chamber, but also members who have served the community for 50 plus years.

Congratulations to both organizations!

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ACCE Partner Central Holidays Offers Cuba Visits

Marlene Oliver on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

New “Discover Cuba” Itinerary Offers Americans Legal Travel to Cuba via People-to-People Cultural Travel Program

Central Holidays is pleased present an exciting new “Discover Cuba” travel program that takes U.S. travelers to connect with locals in Cuba and learn about the architecture, music, art and culture of this enchanting country.  The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control has granted a license to provide people-to-people cultural exchange travel programs to Cuba to Premier World Discovery/CE, strategic partner of Central Holidays, enabling the company to offer this trip to U.S. travelers.

The fascinating 8-day “Discover Cuba” itinerary provides a full time schedule of activities that result in meaningful exchanges through people-to-people contact, offering insightful, cross-cultural and educational experiences at every turn.  Travelers will explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Havana with the largest collection of Spanish-Colonial architecture in the Americas, the beautiful baroque-style Cathedral of Havana built in 1748, and the “Maqueta de la Habana Vieja” Museum that houses a detailed scale model of the City of Havana.  Further along, travelers visit Viñales Valley and Pinar del Rio, known for its stunning scenery, a landscape of prehistoric looking flat-top mountains or “mogotes”, tobacco plantations, caves, and rivers.  An excursion to Guanabacoa takes travelers to discover the religious diversity of this land and visit Hemingway’s Farm where the Nobel Prize winner lived with his wife for 21 years.  This itinerary features experiences that showcase the treasures of Cuba including a tour of an authentic cigar factory, tobacco farm, and rum factory as well as meals in local restaurants.  Visitors will also tour an art studio and craft market, and dance studio and interact with welcoming locals, artists and dancers.

“Adding Cuba to our destination offerings allows us to further cater to our robust family of repeat customers who wish to explore the world in the signature Central Holidays way,” said Gianni Miradoli, CEO of Central Holidays. “We are pleased to introduce this novel Cuba itinerary that brings travelers the rare opportunity to visit a fascinating country on an enriching travel program replete with cross-cultural interaction, education, and discovery.”

For additional information about the Discover Cuba travel program available through Central Holidays, please call Central Holidays at 800-935-5000 or visit them online at www.centralholidays.com. 

About Central Holidays:
Founded in 1972, Central Holidays offers superior travel programs, value and service to enchanting destinations across the globe including Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, plus dozens of Mediterranean and European River Cruise itineraries, worldwide ski programs, as well as people-to-people educational exchange travel to Cuba!  For more information, contact Central Holidays at 1-800-935-5000 or visit their Web site at www.centralholidays.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Marlene Oliver
(305) 491-0512, moliver@njccorp.com
NJC Communications


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Up Close and Personal with Mick Fleming

Brad Holt on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 11:30:00 am 

Mick Fleming, president of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, was a featured guest on the Executive Leaders Radio Show recently. He discussed  influences that led him to his career as an advocate of chambers as community leaders, competition for the ACCE leadership job that he accepted in 2001, challenges he overcame in those early days, and much more in the 12-minute interview.

The show’s profiles of business executives primarily from the Mid-East are heard on radio stations in 20 states across the country, and are available online via iTunes, radio.com and numerous other podcast directories. Listen to the interview.

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The Emmy-Winning Memphis Chamber

Ian Scott on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 10:45:00 am 

How many chambers of commerce have an Emmy in their lobby? The Greater Memphis Chamber now has three for The Soundtrack Project, a series of eight documentary shorts that capture the entrepreneurial spirit in Memphis.

The Soundtrack Project began in 2010 as a partnership between the Chamber and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra to highlight both the strength of the Memphis arts community and breadth of the local small business community.

“These multimedia movements serve as both a local point of pride and as a snapshot of Memphis’s business community for a global audience,” said John Moore, president and CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber. “You really get a sense of the authentic and determined spirit of Memphis’ small business owners when you watch each video.”

Watch the videos at: http://www.memphischamber.com/soundtrack 

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