Google Assists in Honoring Veterans
At this time of year, since 1992, the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America lays holiday wreaths on more than 100,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, which is about six miles from ACCE’s offices. It is a touching tradition and a visually stunning tribute to our fallen heroes. But this year, according to The Washington Post, Wreaths Across America, which places wreaths on graves in 900 cemeteries nationwide, faced a financial shortfall that threatened its work at Arlington Cemetery. Wreaths Across America “had about 12 percent more donations this year than last,” the Post reported, but “many corporate sponsors who previously had supported the Arlington effort decided this year to split their contributions between Arlington and other military cemeteries around the nation.”
Now, thanks to a $250,000 donation from Google (an official corporate sponsor of ACE), plus other individual donations, nearly 120,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery will be decorated with holiday wreaths the morning of Dec. 14.
If you would like to help Wreaths Across America meet its goal of placing a wreath at every one of Arlington’s 240,000 headstones next year, visit http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
San Francisco Chamber Unveils New Look
This fall, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce unveiled a bold new look and brand identity. Thanks to the talent of San Francisco’s world-renowned designer Primo Angeli and brand agency Stapley-Hildebrand, the chamber’s new look reflects the city’s unique and innovative business community.
“Over the past 160 years, this organization has evolved to serve San Francisco’s business community, which is the leading force of entrepreneurialism, invention and collaboration across the globe,” said San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Linscheid. “Our vision is to foster and bolster these ideals, driving business and economic success. Our new look and feel celebrates the attributes that make us unique and pays tribute to the many industries that support our city’s economic prosperity.”
Developing the logo and identity involved a study of the chamber, its work, and its service to the community. In fact, the chamber’s new tagline—“Our City. Your Business.”—conveys the chamber’s two-pronged mission to serve the interests of business and San Francisco. Commenting on the logo, Angeli said “the ‘C’ is for City, Chamber and Community.” Angeli, who has led the branding for major companies such as DHL Worldwide, Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola and Nestle, said: “Captured within the illustrative 'C,' we see a tapestry of people, business and landmarks, emphasizing the productive personality of the city and the rich visual landscape in which it thrives. The smaller 'C' connects individual people to a larger discourse of networking opportunities, culture and experiences.”
Chamberís Cyber Monday Offer
A great idea for your chamber!
Instead of just shopping on Cyber Monday, Ohio’s Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce got in on the event by offering a deal. On Monday, Dec. 2, the Internet’s version of Black Friday, the Twinsburg Chamber conducted an online membership sale. Their offer? Any first-timers joining the chamber at any membership level received 10 percent off a first year's membership. Added bonus? Those who took advantage of this membership deal received one free ad in the chamber's monthly e-newsletter.
Helping Those Impacted By Devastating Storms in Midwest
As our friends recover from the intense storms and deadly tornadoes that swept through the Midwest – including those among the hardest hit areas of Washington, Pekin, and East Peoria, Ill. -- ACCE asks you to consider donating to the Red Cross’ Central Illinois Disaster Relief effort. According to the Red Cross, funds collected will support supplies, food, and community restoration for the victims of the tornadoes that hit these communities this past Sunday, Nov. 17. According to Mary Ardapple, interim president of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, “many will be in need for a long period of time."
Tulsa Regional Chamber Wins Oklahoma Quality Award
The Tulsa Regional Chamber has received the Oklahoma Quality Award for Commitment from the Oklahoma Quality Foundation. The award is affiliated with the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Oklahoma’s Quality Award program is regarded as one of the most rigorous Baldrige programs in the country.
According to a press release issued by the chamber, the program helps businesses and not-for-profit organizations identify strengths and opportunities for improvements, and helps them consider processes that will increase efficiency, engage employees, examine strategic goals and improve customer relationships and sales. The program has three tiers: Commitment, Achievement and Excellence.
“Economic development is about creating jobs,” said Heather Griswold, executive director of the Oklahoma Quality Foundation. “Our Quality Award winners include formidable organizations from business, health care and education, and they credit the quality process with helping them become stronger and more competitive. Quality organizations create quality jobs, and these have created thousands of jobs in Oklahoma.”
This is the first year the Tulsa Regional Chamber has taken part in the Oklahoma Quality Award process.
“As a membership-based, business-driven leadership organization, we strive for nothing less than excellence in serving our members and the Tulsa regional community," said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the chamber. "Our staff began this exciting and important journey of continuous improvement to strengthen our organization from the inside out. Our staff decided from the beginning that this was not about earning a trophy; rather, it was about improving ourselves, our organization, and therefore, our community.”
Lyons, Co., Chamber Seeks Your Help
Last month, the community of Lyons, Co., was ravaged by flooding that washed away its roads and bridges, devastating many of this small town’s small businesses. The Lyons Chamber of Commerce, an ACCE member, is appealing to fellow chambers for financial support. 100% of the special flood relief membership dues and donations collected will be dispersed to their small businesses as cash grants to assist them through business interruption. All donations are tax deductible.
According to the Chamber’s website, they are seeking your support because:
- Insurance won’t cover many of our businesses because they weren't insured for the 1000 year flood.
- SBA disaster loans, bank programs, and all of the “typical” forms of assistance are not designed to address the needs of the small businesses that have incurred significant uninsured losses and must go for months without income.
- To-date Lyons is still without water, sewage, gas, and, in most places, electricity.
- Lyons is made up of almost 100% small family owned businesses that are falling through the cracks and face significant losses due to business interruption at the same time they are facing evacuation from their homes.
- These businesses form the backbone of Lyons’ economy. If they were to fail it would have a devastating impact on the town’s economy, jobs, schools, and residents.
Click here for more information or to donate funds.
A Vote of Confidence Revealed in Seattle
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber recently revealed the results of two polls (each conducted by different research firms) that show that Seattle voters view the chamber favorably and would be more likely to vote for a candidate backed by the chamber. View survey questions and results.
While the chamber does not directly make candidate endorsements, its political affiliate, the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), has played a major role in the 2013 primary elections. As a result of CASE’s work, all of the candidates it endorsed will be appearing on the general election ballot this November. Goes to show that a good government relations program can make a difference!
According to the chamber, “Not only are these poll findings positive reinforcement of our work, but they also counteract some long-held ‘conventional wisdom’ about the influence that candidates receive from Chamber support.”
The Award for Best Chamber Staff Webpage
The part of my job I love most is visiting our members (that’s you) in their offices. I love seeing your communities and the command centers where you make things happen. Before I visit, I always dig around your website. While I’m scoping your online presence, I always check out your staff webpage.
Most of you have a webpage listing all staff. Many of you include staff position descriptions and/or bios, some also include photos. But a few of you go the extra mile and inject genuine humor and personality into your staff listing page. Those chambers are in the running for Ian’s (unofficial) Best Staff Webpage Award.
The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce has long had my favorite staff listing page. The headshots for Casey, Sheena, John, Jackie and the team are the perfect blend of fun and professional. Descriptions of their roles are clear and concise yet wonderfully playful. When you can click to learn more you get answers from everyone on staff to great questions like: “if you could possess any super power, what would it be?” and “as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
I would have named the Durham Chamber undisputed winner of Ian’s (unofficial) Best Staff Webpage Award, until my recent swing through central Florida. There are a couple more that deserve consideration.
The Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership has given their staff listing page a kick with cool blue tone headshots, direct links to all staff’s LinkedIn and Twitter feeds, and quirky (often funny) insights about each member of the team. Communications Director Jarod Kintz authored these short quips and wasn’t afraid to push the envelope.
The St. Petersburg Area Chamber also deserves a nod for their super cool staff portraits in lieu of traditional headshots. The drawing of chamber president and CEO Chris Steinocher is probably my favorite. I guess the red eyes come from lots of late nights and early mornings.**For more on the organization and artists that supplied the staff portraits, check out www.creativeclay.org
I’m not the only chamber website visitor who delights in some humor and personality. Where better to show it than on your staff listing page? After all, you chambers are run by individuals with fascinating skills, hobbies and lives. If your staff page is bland, why not take a hint from Durham, Ocala and St. Petersburg and liven it up a little!
Think your chamber’s staff page is a contender for Ian’s (unofficial) Best Staff Webpage Award? Leave a comment with a link and tell me why.
Breaking Records in Springfield, MO
Last month, over the course of three days, 410 business and community leaders worked to help the 2012 Chamber of the Year award winning Springfield Area (MO) Chamber of Commerce bring in a total of 425 new members. This impressive achievement surpasses the chamber’s own record for the most investment dollars brought in by a chamber in a three-day membership event.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment, not just for our chamber, but for the community as a whole,” Chamber President Jim Anderson said. “The fact that we could do this not once, but twice, shows just how committed the business and professional community is to making a difference here in Springfield.”
Anderson attributed much of the event’s success to membership consulting company Your Chamber Connection. Jimmy Cusano and the team at Your Chamber Connection have been in the membership development industry for 24 years and have worked with more than 630 chambers across the United States and Canada. In 2010, during ACCE’s annual convention in Milwaukee, Your Chamber Connection also assisted ACCE with its own membership event to bring in new members.
“Our chamber volunteers made this happen, not once but twice,” Brent McCoy, the chamber’s vice president of membership said. “They, the volunteers, have worked non-stop over the last three days. You can only be the best chamber in the world if you have the best member-volunteers in the world--enough said.”
Rebranding Napa Chamber
Earlier this week, Chris Messina, IOM, ACE, president and CEO of the Napa Chamber, announced in the North Bay (CA) Business Journal that a renewed brand and vision for the organization would be rolling out in the coming weeks.
Messina previewed the chamber’s new logo, explained what went into the new look, and provided a rationale for the rebranding process. He wrote that the “rebranding process required an evaluation of every aspect of the organization, allowing us to redefine priorities and achieve a better understanding of where we need to go in order to best serve our members and the greater Napa Valley Community. Reflecting an engaged, progressive, and agile organization, this rebrand represents the Napa Chamber’s role in a growing and changing community.”
Messina, who assumed the chamber’s top post in February 2012, added, “This organizational face-lift will align our public image with a more modern, streamlined internal vision for the future. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to reinforce the foundation of the Napa Chamber. With a new team in place, a new brand about to be launched, and a more targeted vision, we are ready to take the Napa Chamber of Commerce to the next level.”
Read all about the effort here: http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/79015/new-brand-and-vision/