Creating Pride of Place in Saratoga

Tania Kohut on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 

Saratoga has built it and now they want you to come and see it—and take home ideas for your own community! In April the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce will host a conference: “Experience Saratoga Springs – How to Create a Vibrant Downtown.” This two-day event (April 3-4) will showcase Saratoga Springs and explain how it has become one of the most vibrant downtowns in America. The event is the first of its kind for the chamber, and it’s being presented with help from the mayor, the City Center, and the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau.

According to Todd Shimkus, CCE, president of the Saratoga Springs Chamber, the keynote presentation by Sally Hogshead at last year’s ACCE convention inspired the chamber to structure this conference as an experiential learning event. “This past summer at the ACCE national leadership conference, I saw a presentation by Sally Hogshead on how organizations can be fascinating,” said Shimkus. “From that session, we transformed our plans for this conference from one where people interested in downtown development sit in an auditorium and listen to expert speakers to one that is more captivating, engaging and fun. Our three unique and separate conference experiences, and the assignment of local personal escorts, will enable attendees to really see, feel and taste (because of the Springs) the vibrancy of our downtown and to learn how the actions our community took to rebuild our downtown over many years can be replicated.”

Conference attendees – including economic developers, city planners, downtown business association leaders, chamber executives, and others – will be organized into small groups of between 12 and 20, and a personal escort will be assigned to each group. Participants will have the choice of three unique “experiences” where they will stay overnight in one of three different hotels, dine at select local restaurants, visit with retailers and meet with different local leaders depending upon the experience they select. The “Spa-Set” experience will focus on how cities can attract upscale residents, tourists and development to their downtowns. The “Saratoga Adventure Awaits” experience will explore how cities can attract young professionals to live and visit their downtowns. The “Saratoga Community” experience will delve into details of how local people can rebuild their downtowns one project at a time through public-private partnerships. Along with the experiences, the conference will include a few general assemblies with panel presentations led by local experts.

For more information about the conference or to register, visit:

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Touchdown Greater Omaha Chamber! (Thanks, Peyton Manning!)

Tania Kohut on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 

With Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning barking “Omaha!” a reported 44 times during last Sunday’s (1/12) divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, the Greater Omaha Chamber wasn’t going to shrug off all the resulting attention.

As the chamber's press release explains, after Manning’s “Omaha! Omaha!” shouts garnered more than 1,000 print, broadcast and Internet mentions, the Greater Omaha Chamber decided to send some love back to Peyton and Denver with a fun video: “Denver's Set. XOXO Omaha.” 

“This 30-second spot highlights our city that prides itself on moving the ball forward,” said David G. Brown, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We think there are a lot of new football fans that will be watching the Denver Broncos this Sunday, and we hope there are a lot of new Omaha fans as well.”

The Omaha business community is also getting into the game by sending its own “shout-out” to the superstar quarterback. Omaha-based companies, including ConAgra Foods, First National Bank of Omaha, Mutual of OmahaOmaha Steaks, Union PacificCenturyLink and DJ's Dugout, have pledged to donate a combined $700 to Manning’s “Peyback Foundation” every time he says “Omaha” during this Sunday’s playoff game against the New England Patriots. Follow the latest on the effort on social media: #OmahaPeysback.

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Oslo Business for Peace Award: Submit Nominees

Tania Kohut on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation are seeking nominees for the 2014 Oslo Business for Peace Award, a global honor recognizing inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs who combine ethical responsibility with business success. Submit a nomination for the award by Feb. 1.

The ICC, an official supporting partner of the award, together with local chambers of commerce, assists in the global nomination process for the Business for Peace Award by searching for outstanding business people who have been able to achieve business success while acting in an ethically responsible way. The 2013 Business for Peace Awards were given to six outstanding business people from Brazil, Denmark, Pakistan, Yemen, and the United States. View the complete list of last year’s winners.

The Business for Peace Awards were given for the first time in 2009 in Oslo, Norway, the home of the Nobel Peace Prize, with honorees chosen by a committee of past Nobel Prize winners.

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A Chamber's Great Idea to File for Christmas 2014

Tania Kohut on Monday, December 30, 2013 at 7:45:00 am 

Laura E. Weis, IOM, ACE, president and CEO of the Champaign County (IL) Chamber of Commerce, recently shared with ACCE an idea that has proven to be an easy, fun way to reach out to members and get them engaged during the holidays.

In her email to ACCE, Laura wrote: "Sometimes it’s the 'quick, really didn’t give it much thought' idea that gets everyone talking. What started as an innocent conversation among our staff about 'Elf on the Shelf' phenomenon turned into 'Charlie Chamber Shops Local.'”

For the 12 days of Christmas, Charlie Chamber visited local companies and the chamber posted his adventures on Facebook. On Day 1, staff spent the good part of the day stopping in at various chamber member locations and posed Charlie in their place at work. The chamber posted clues through Facebook and gave away gift cards between Dec. 12 until Christmas. According to Laura, "People loved it." 

Catch Charlie's adventures by visiting the Champaign County Chamber's Facebook page



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Google Assists in Honoring Veterans

Tania Kohut on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

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

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San Francisco Chamber Unveils New Look

Tania Kohut on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

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.clientuploads/blogcontent/New-SF-Chamber-of-Commerce-LOGO.jpg

“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.”


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Chamberís Cyber Monday Offer

Tania Kohut on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

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.

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Helping Those Impacted By Devastating Storms in Midwest

Tania Kohut on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

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."

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Tulsa Regional Chamber Wins Oklahoma Quality Award

Tania Kohut on Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

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.”


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Lyons, Co., Chamber Seeks Your Help

Tania Kohut on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

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.

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