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ACCE Membership Development Division

December 2016

Newsletter Contents

  • Message from the Chair
  • New MDD Leadership
  • National Sales Training
  • 2016 Handouts & Recordings
  • 2016-17 Sales Contest
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • HERO News & Notes
  • CCE: Three letters. One distinction.

About the Division

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Message from the Chair Chad Hamman

Happy holidays from Dallas! I am thrilled to serve as your MDD chair in 2016-17 and look forward to the year ahead.

It's budget time for a lot of organizations. The Dallas Regional Chamber is finalizing budgets for next year as I type. I may be in the minority, but I love budget season. I love seeing the fruit of our labor come together, meeting goals, and awaiting the promise of a new year and a fresh start.

In our most recent budget and goal-setting discussions, membership—and more specifically first-year retention—has been a hot topic. First-year retention has a reputation for being unstable and providing low expectations. But who is ultimately responsible for first-year retention in your organization? Is it a mix of all staff? Is it strictly retention staff or the sales team? That answer will vary depending on the size and culture of your organization.

Ultimately, I believe retention is the responsibility of all staff. First-year retention is so critical to the future of the membership base that it should be a priority. Take some time to consider how to better set expectations for your new members and deliver value. You will be glad you did.

The MDD will explore first-year retention at an upcoming roundtable discussion that is in the works for this winter. Such peer-driven discussions and benchmarking are a useful way to share ideas. The 2017 National Sales Training will also be a great place to discuss first-year retention tools, prospecting, and more. Make plans to join us in St. Louis on March 9-10, 2017.

Kelle M. Marsalis, CCE, IOM
Chair, Membership Development Division Advisory Board
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Dallas Regional Chamber

New MDD leadership

It is with great pleasure that we welcome the Dallas Regional Chamber's (DRC) Kelle Marsalis as the chair of our Membership Development Division Advisory Board. Kelle, a newly minted CCE, has served as the chamber's vice president, strategic initiatives, since 2010. Prior to joining the DRC, she was the executive director of Ignite Young Professionals, an organization within the Rockford, Ill., Chamber of Commerce. Kelle is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for Organization Management and is the incoming chair of the Board of Regents for the West Institute.

We thank Chad Hamman, vice president of membership development and service at the Greater Cleveland Partnership, for his service as chair of the MDD Advisory Board in 2015-16. We also thank and bid farewell to Ruth Littlefield, CCE, formerly of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, who served as chair-elect of the MDD in 2015-16.

National Sales Training: Meet us in St. Louis

The 2017 National Sales Training for new and seasoned sales and membership development professionals will take place at the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce on March 9–10, 2017. Participants will discover new approaches to selling and receive tools and tips from the experts to reach and surpass membership sales goals. Plans are underway for even more opportunities for in-person and online networking at this year's conference.

Have a great idea for a workshop or general session presentation? Submit a session proposal by Dec. 9.

Visit to register and take advantage of early bird savings, get hotel information and view the conference's preliminary scheduling information. Speaker and session information will be added in early January.

2016 ACCE Convention: Handouts & workshop recordings

Visit to access handouts from many convention sessions and to purchase audio and video recordings of select convention sessions (including many membership workshops). Get a recording of our annual "60 Membership Ideas in 60 Minutes" session, including written session notes, for only $5!

Planning for the 2017 convention's membership track is underway. Have a session idea to pitch? Submit your proposal here.

2016-17 Sales Contest

The second quarter of our 2016-17 Sales Contest just ended. Submit your 2nd quarter sales numbers (through November 30) by Dec. 7, 2016. Check out the current standings here.

Here are additional reminders about the sales contest:

For this year's contest, you will need to submit a short Sales Contest Entrance Form along with your first quarterly entry for the contest year. If you already submitted an entry form, there is no need to submit it again.

Remember that you must be a member of the Circle of Champions to participate in the Sales Contest. If you haven't joined yet, you can do so by submitting the Sales Contest Entrance Form and checking the box indicating that you'd like to join. If you are currently a Circle of Champions member, there is no need to re-join each year.

The remaining sales contest deadlines are below:

  • Q2 (September 1–November 30): Dec. 7, 2016
  • Q3 (December 1–February 28): March 7, 2017
  • Q4 (March 1–May 31): June 2, 2017

ACCE Webinars

Rebecca Wood, director of membership at the Calgary Regional Chamber, recently led a terrific webinar on onboarding new membership professionals. A recording of that webinar, along with Rebecca's slides and handouts, are posted on the Membership Development Division's page and the ACCE University webinar page.

Check out our upcoming live webinars on membership topics for next quarter:

  • Emotional Intelligence: Mental Skills for Chamber Success
    Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 @ 2 p.m. EST | REGISTER
  • Membership Statistics in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking
    Wednesday, April 19 @ 12:30 p.m. EST | REGISTER

If you have a great idea for a call or a webinar, please contact Susan McGuire at

HERO News and Notes

Your ACCE login (<<SSA_LOGIN>>) and password (<<SSA_PASSWD>>) are required to access some HERO pages.

Membership statistics and more
Need to benchmark your retention rates with peers? Participate in the surveys for Fiscal Year 2016 (go back even further from 2015 to 2012 for comprehensive trend data). FY 2016 reports will be available for download by April 2017. You can also download any previous Fiscal Year reports (2015 back to 2012) including the Membership Statistics Report, Operations Trend Report and the brand new Key Performance Indicators Report. Questions? Ask ACCE!

ACCE's 2017 Membership Achievement Awards
ACCE's Membership Achievement Awards (MAA) recognize the outstanding work of chambers in the area of membership. To be considered for the annual MAA, participate in the Fiscal Year 2016 surveys by March 25, 2017. Awards are presented each year at ACCE's annual convention to the top ten chambers in their respective total revenue category for each of the following areas: member retention of accounts, member retention of dollars, and new member retention of accounts. See previous winners here.

Get the 411 on membership from HERO
Remember that you can access information, samples, research, and more in just a few clicks, through HERO. Our Membership Management Chamberpedia resources feature information on membership dues models, billing, database management, new member orientation, membership brochures and marketing, and much more. If you need additional information, contact

CCECCE: Three Little Letters. One Big Distinction.  

Remember that the learning and networking you do at ACCE (including convention, sales conferences, and webinar participation), all count towards earning your Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation: the only national certification for chamber professionals. For more information on how you can become one of the select few to attain this prestigious certification, visit or contact Susan McGuire. The application deadline for the 2017 class is Jan. 9, 2017.


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