Inspired by OKC: One Chamber Exec’s Story
Jackie Krawczak, executive director of the Alpena Area (MI) Chamber of Commerce, attended ACCE’s convention last month in Oklahoma City. Visiting OKC (along with participating in the convention) was an eye-opening, inspiring experience for this chamber exec who frankly admitted in a recent editorial that “Oklahoma City was never very high on my list of places I'd like to visit.” But, after spending four days there learning about its renaissance and experiencing what it offers, she is “now a fan of so many other things about that big, yet little, city."
Take a moment to read Jackie’s editorial which appeared in The Alpena News this week, and learn how Jackie’s observations about OKC and its story have inspired her in her work for her community and the Alpena Area Chamber.
Chamber Merger: Boost in Numbers, Opportunities
The Greater Lehigh Valley (PA) Chamber of Commerce (GLVCC) just got a membership boost. Last week, the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC) officially partnered with the GLVCC, solidifying the GLVCC’s position as the largest chamber in Pennsylvania.
While both organizations will still operate independently, the partnership provides networking opportunities and new resources for the CCEDC. For the GLVCC, the union offers a new membership base in Carbon County, increasing its roster to nearly 6,000 member organizations. Tony Ianelli, president and CEO of the GLVCC, commented on the mutual benefit of the partnership in an article on LVB.com. “Carbon saw the Lehigh Valley as a critical market for the business community, and the Lehigh Valley saw Carbon the same way,” Iannelli said. “We’re hoping to increase business-to-business relations and have an impact on public policy, getting attention in Harrisburg like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.”
The GLVCC has been growing its presence in the region, partnering with more than 20 chamber and civic organizations. Learn more about the partnership and what it means for both organizations here.
Need Professional Networking Help?
With the largest networking event for chamber professionals—the ACCE Convention—coming soon, this recent article from Bloomberg Business Week is a must-read. It shows how one woman made it her job to be your networking buddy, or your “professional wingman.” If you consider yourself a so-so networker or simply hate the process (you’re not alone), you can hire her for $250. She’ll accompany you to a networking event, and do the work that so many find difficult or just plain awful. The article offers important networking tips. Read it here.
The Coming Jobs War
The email below from Janet Steele, ACE, IOM, president of the Albany Area (OR) Chamber of Commerce, alerted ACCE about her chamber's effort to raise awareness of the impact of creating jobs and job opportunities.
I thought I'd brag a little about our Chamber. This past Monday [June 10], seven Board members and I delivered the book The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, to every Oregon House and Senate member, plus the Governor's office. The initial reaction was very positive and we learned today that the Governor is going to read the book.
This is a book I first heard about at the WACE conference this past February. Upon finishing it I asked my Exec Board to read it, they thought so much of it that in turn they asked every Board member to read it for our strategic planning retreat in April. They spent much of the retreat discussing the relevance of the book and how our mission/vision/programs could be directed more in line with pro-job strategies. I started giving out the book to other community leaders - the president of our community college had his key leadership staff read it, our key manufacturers have read it and shared it with staff. I gave it to our City Council and County Commissioners and the list keeps growing. We know the book doesn't have all the answers, nor should it, each chamber/community needs to decide what their vision and mission should be. But, this book continues the conversation we've been having with our members and community around jobs. "Business is a 4 Letter word - Jobs", and "Without Business there is No Community". They are more than tag lines they are a message that needs to go out to everyone.
I know I'm preaching to the choir but - someday we hope everyone will understand how important Jobs are to our communities and how we need to work together to bring jobs back to Albany, Oregon, and the USA.
Is your chamber social media friendly?
The staff at OnlineMBApage.com recently published its ranking of the top 100 most social media friendly chambers of commerce. In compiling the list, this social education community searched the most popular social media sites and recorded the number of followers, likes, pins, etc. for around 550 chambers of commerce that met their minimum requirements for consideration. Did your chamber make the list? View the rankings (and the requirements for consideration) here.
Bonus! If your chamber is included in the top 100, you are invited to post a badge promoting your achievement on your website or your social media accounts.
Convention Scholarship Recipients Announced
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
Breaking Records in Charlotte
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.
Chamber Exec Named Father of the Year
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.
Chattanooga Chamber v. “Iron Man 3”
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:
A sea lion walks into a chamber . . .
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.