Sales Training Conference

Date: March 5 - 6, 2020Time: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (ET)
Location:  Show map Hyatt Regency Lexington
401 W. High Street
Lexington, KY 40507
Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:

ACCE's 2020 Sales Training Conference will take place on March 5-6, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Lexington, located at 401 W. High Street, Lexington, KY 40507


Conference Hotel

Hyatt Regency Lexington

401 W. High Street, Lexington, KY 40507

ACCE has arranged for a limited block of discounted hotel rooms for conference participants at the conference hotel at $119. 

To reserve your room either call 800-233-1234 and ask for group Code G-ACST, or use this link to reserve online: ACCE 2020 Sales Training Conference 

The conference hotel block will close on February 19, 2020 or when the block is full.


Tuition and registration:

ACCE members:

$499/early bird (through February 5, 2020)


Non-members: $699

To register, click here. ACCE members will need their ACCE usernames and passwords. (Forgot this information? Click here.) 



Registration link: ACCE 2020 Sales Training Conference  



We are looking forward to seeing you in Lexington!

For more information on the many things to do and sites to see in the Lexington area, check out this link. To participate in a group tour of local Lexington breweries on Friday afternoon after the conference, see information below. 

(Speakers and sessions are subject to change) 


Wednesday, March 4

5:00 - 6:30 pm                   

Attendees in town are welcome to join us for an informal meetup at Bluegrass Tavern, located at 115 Cheapside, Lexington, walking distance from the Hyatt Regency. 


Thursday, March 5

8:00 a.m.                           Registration, light breakfast

9:00 a.m.                           Conference welcome: Lynda Amato Bebrowsky, Executive Vice President Membership & Engagement, Commerce Lexington Inc.

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.             General session presentation

Next Level Investment Menus   / Presentation slides and recorded webinar

Kyle Sexton, Founder, ChamberThink Strategies

After 13 years of experience in rebuilding investment structures for chambers and economic development organizations, Kyle Sexton has discovered the organizational and mechanical adjustments that attract investment and help your chamber grow. In our opening session, Kyle will provide an update on membership models that meet the challenges of today’s economy and allow chambers to demonstrate clear return on investment. Kyle will also explore common challenges and rewards of transitioning to updated membership models, incorporating the lessons he has learned over the years.

10:45 a.m. – Noon           General session presentation 

Selling the Intangible

Moderator, Adrian Cain, Chief Development Officer, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce


  • Samantha Brady, Executive Director, Bardstown-Nelson County Chamber of Commerce
  • Kathy Blank, Vice President, McKinney Chamber of Commerce
  • Ashleigh Christian, Director of Investor Development, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce

Chambers struggle to create tangible benefits for their members. In this fast-paced session, a panel of senior membership and chamber executives will share how they create concrete member benefits that resonate with their members and prospects. Learn how they position their chamber, structure their member benefit programs and sell the intangible to that hard-to-please member.

Noon – 1 p.m.                   Lunch

1 – 2:15 p.m.

Breakout 1:  Membership Data for the Win / Presentation slides

Tabitha Sarris, Vice President, Investor Relations; and Mary Perez, Database Administrator; St. Louis Regional Chamber

Hey membership professionals, get excited by data! Smart data analysis will enhance your understanding of current and prospective members, allowing you to boost program revenue, increase investment, and deepen member engagement. And it’s not as hard (or boring) as you think! This interactive session will include live polling and group discussion to teach you how to develop a data strategy right for your chamber - regardless of its size, current member management software, or history of data collection efforts (even if you have never collected data). Get ready to develop a winning membership strategy through the intelligent collection and use of data.

Breakout 2:  Retention Plan Workshop / Year one member engagement template / Presentation slides

Facilitated by Justin Lee, Associate Vice President of Membership, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

We all know that it’s much less expensive to retain a current member than to recruit a new one. A member retention plan describes specific, trackable steps to engage and connect chamber members to the resources, contacts, programs, and information most valuable them and their business. In this hands-on workshop, our facilitator will share and lead a discussion on retention plan guidelines and best practices before facilitating peer review and revision of attendee plans. Please bring a draft retention plan to this workshop and be ready to improve on it while sharing your own ideas and suggestions with your peers. 


2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Breakout 1:  Process, Pipeline, Progress:  Mastering the Sales Cycle

Beth McNeill, Senior Director, Sales & Engagement, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Discover the key to organizing and managing the chamber sales cycle in this interactive session led by experienced sales leader Beth McNeill. Learn how to qualify prospects, create sales plans identifying member needs, efficiently shorten the sales cycle, and establish the foundation for robust engagement and retention. You will leave the session with practical tools and a plan for success, no matter what your level of experience or the size of your sales team.

Breakout 2:  Chamber Foundations and the Future of Chamber Revenue / Presentation slides

David Adkisson, CCE; former CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Foundations have enormous potential to create new revenue streams supporting impactful mission-based work, from addressing workforce needs and community health problems to promoting economic inclusion and community vibrancy. Join former Kentucky Chamber CEO David Adkisson, CCE, in a discussion around the strategies for launching or revitalizing a chamber foundation. Dave will cover the opportunities as well as the practical challenges of transitioning to a revenue model in which foundation income plays an increased role, including the practical implications for chamber sales teams.

4 – 5 p.m.            The Great Debate / Presentation slides

Resolved: Debates can be fun, civil, and informative, even in 2020. To end our conference day, your peers will be debating some classic chamber membership issues:

  • Should non-members be encouraged to attend chamber events?
  • Ribbon cuttings: yea or nay?
  • Should membership teams sell more than just memberships?

Moderator, David Pruente, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Greater Kansas City Chamber


  • Terry Graham, Membership Director, Fresno Chamber of Commerce
  • Zach Snyder, Member Engagement Manager, Grand Rapids Chamber
  • Jasmine Bozeman, Business Engagement Manager, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
  • Kelly Bates, Member Engagement Manager, Commerce Lexington Inc.

Join us for a lively exchange of views and be ready to join in as well. And to all contenders, good luck!

5:30 – 6:45 p.m.  Reception 

Lexington Visitors Center, 215 West Main Street, Suite 75, Lexington

Mingle with your sales peers with complementary drinks and appetizers, sponsored by our conference hosts, Commerce Lexington Inc.

7:00 p.m.             Networking dinners (reservations are for 7 p.m.). Please meet at selected restaurants and ask for “ACCE Group.” Sign up at conference registration desk by noon.

Friday, March 6

8 – 8:45 a.m.             Full breakfast

8:45 p.m.                  Opening remarks by Robert L. Quick, CCE, President & CEO, Commerce Lexington Inc.

9 – 10 a.m.  General session presentation

Trees and Trust / Presentation slides 

Jason Cummins, Executive Associate Athletics Director for the Student-Athlete Experience, University of Kentucky

Leadership is one of the most compelling topics of our time, and might well be one of the most important attributes for effectiveness in all levels of human endeavor. As a leader, however, you must not only develop yourself, but also understand the core leadership behaviors and actions essential to the effective development of others. Our lasting legacy will be the leaders we leave behind. In addition, you must be able to work on teams, build teams, and lead teams in many uncertain situations. In this session, we will explore the principles and practices of leader development and high-performing teams, and the glue that holds teams together referred to as trust.

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. General session presentation

Selling Membership Through a Political Crisis / Presentation slides

Omar Cuevas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Laura Traxler, Director of Membership; Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

In this session, hear the story of how the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce survived and thrived after a political endorsement precipitated concern and backlash by the community and some chamber members. The chamber used the crisis to engage more meaningfully with members and former members on the importance of investing in the chamber, and to sharpen its focus on its core mission of creating and supporting an environment where all businesses to thrive. A year later, dropped members are re-joining, and the chamber is seeing increased member engagement in its policy and advocacy work. Learn how a trial by fire can be transformational for a chamber sales team and serve as a catalyst for chamber growth in programming, influence and membership.

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. General session presentation

Your Professional Brand:  Defining and Leveraging it for Sales Success / Presentation slides / Handout

David Pruente, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Greater Kansas City Chamber

What is your professional brand? Do your members and prospects associate you, your attitude, and your communications style with your chamber? You bet they do! You form their first and often most lasting impression of your organization. Your professional brand should highlight your strengths, build trust, and communicate your unique attributes not just to prospects and members but also to your co-workers and peers, chamber leadership, and other members of the community. Join us for a fascinating closing session in which we will explore how to identify your professional brand by focusing on your true, authentic self – and then refine and leverage that brand to achieve sales and professional success.

12:45 p.m. Conference adjourns

New! Optional tour

Staying in town Friday afternoon? Experience some local (brewery) flavor! Commerce Lexington Inc. has arranged an afternoon tour through Lexington On Tap Tours; see itinerary below. Cost is $65/person. Sign up in advance by emailing Staus Sienicki and copying Commerce Lexington team member Kelly Bates. A minimum of 8 will be required for the tour, which can accommodate up to 14 participants.


1:30:      Pick-up at Hyatt Regency

1:45:      Mirror Twin Brewing Tour & Tasting (purchase lunch on your own)

3:00:      Taylor Made Farm Tour 

4:45:      Origin Hotel Bourbon or Wine Tasting – located at a new mixed development called The Summit at Fritz Farm

6:00:      Wise Bird Cidery Tour & Tasting – located in the new The Lexington Distillery District



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