2016 ACCE Annual Education Attainment and Workforce Convention Track

ACCE's Education Attainment Division is proud to host the third annual Education Attainment and Workforce track at ACCE's 2016 Annual Convention. The track will feature seven educational workshops and one think tank. All sessions will be held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. To register or learn more about ACCE's 2016 Convention, visit

Wednesday, August 10th

  • Keynote Presentation by Jamie Merisotis, President & CEO, Lumina Foundation 
    • Time: 8:00 – 9:00 AM
    • Click here to read Jamie Merisotis' biography
  • Investing in the Higher Education Attainment of Incumbent Employees
    • Time: 10:00 - 11:15 AM
    • Moderator: Haley Glover, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation      
    • Presenters:  Alisha Benson, CCE, IOM, Vice President, Education and Workforce, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and Alison van Dam, IOM, Vice President, Business Development/Operations, Metro South Chamber of Commerce
    • Description:  More and more communities are experiencing a shortage in the workforce, fostering an employer-led movement to expand the pipeline of skilled workers, which begins with the incumbent workforce. Learn innovative approaches on how to engage your community and technical colleges, and create public/private partnerships that assist current employees with “upskilling’ opportunities for a more robust workforce.
  • Workforce Development: Closing the Skills Gap
    • Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Moderator: Cheryl Carrier, Executive Director, Ford Next Generation Learning
    • Presenters:  Alma Salazar, Ed.D., Vice President, Education and Workforce Development, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Amy Anderson, Director, Government Affairs, Association of Washington Business, and Betsy Dexter, Executive Director, Business and Education Network, Commerce Lexington
    • Description:  For more than two centuries, chambers of commerce have played a vital role in the growth and development of their communities, demonstrating the immense impact businesses can have on advancing key civic and economic issues. Hear how chambers in California, Washington, and Kentucky are serving in an intermediary role to bring key stakeholders together and advancing sector-based workforce development strategies that help close the skills gap.
  • K-12 Education: State Accountability + Innovation
    • Time: 2:30 - 3:45 PM
    • Moderator: Dan Colantone, CCE, President & CEO, Greater Akron Chamber 
    • Presenters: Monica R. Almond, Ph.D., Senior Policy & Advocacy Associate, Alliance for Excellent EducationAndrew Davis, Legislative Director, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
    • Description:  The reauthorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) kicks off a time of momentous change and opportunity. Learn how chambers are providing the business community’s perspective to state plans to effectively implement ESSA by aligning accountability with college and career readiness.

Thursday, August 11th

  • Higher Education Ecosystems
    • Time: 9:00 - 10:15 AM
    • Moderator: Bill Moses, Managing Director, Kresge Education Program
    • Presenters: Gilbert Zavala, Vice President, Education and Talent Development, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Lindsay Haymes, Vice President, Workforce Development, and Executive Director, GO CAPS, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laposa, Vice President, Education Strategies, St. Louis Regional Chamber
    • Description:  Chambers have the unique opportunity to serve in intermediary roles to inform the business community of critical issues, synthesize the collective needs of the business community, and provide strategic input to institutions of education. Learn how chambers in Austin, Springfield and St. Louis are aligning their community stakeholders and managing cross-sector partnerships (ecosystems) to move the needle on higher education attainment, workforce readiness and economic development in their regions.
  • Special Session: Employer ROI - Talent Investment Pays Off
    • Time: 9:00 - 10:15 AM
    • Presenter: Haley Glover, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
    • Description:  Investing in college tuition as an employee benefit helps companies attract and retain top talent, but new studies show there's another compelling reason for employers to embrace the benefit: it improves the bottom line. Learn more about Lumina Foundation’s ROI studies and how your chamber can encourage member companies to support employee postsecondary education by illuminating the bottom-line benefits.
  • Creating A Culture of Health Within Your Community
    • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
    • Moderator: Shuma Panse, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    • Presenters:  Meg Schneider, IOM, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Christy Huston, Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Mary Manner, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Description:  Understanding that an investment in health and wellness boosts economic competitiveness, chambers are championing efforts to build an agenda inclusive of health and wellness in their communities. Learn how chambers in Des Moines, Indiana, and Traverse City are bringing stakeholders together to collaborate on creating a strong, healthy community by ensuring students are ready to learn, employers consider workplace wellness practices and regional stakeholders support a healthy community culture.
  • Think Tank: Workforce Development Is Economic Development – Framing Your Strategy
    • Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
    • Facilitator:  Horton Hobbs, Vice President, Economic Development, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
    • Description: Economic developers know how much workforce drives corporate investments. Hear how a chamber is building a workforce pipeline that creates a competitive edge to attract, retain, and grow businesses.
  • Tackling Community Needs: Strategies from the Field
    • Time: 3:30 - 4:45 PM
    • Presenters:  Barbara Ward, Director, Workforce Development, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Melissa Worthington, Vice President, Fond Du Lac Area Association of Commerce, and Janeen Tucker, Senior Vice President, Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce
    • Description: Chambers across the country are spearheading initiatives to close the skills gap through collective impact strategies. Join chamber leaders from Dalton, Fond Du Lac, and Columbus to hear how they advanced their education attainment and workforce development goals during the course of ACCE's Education Attainment Division year-long Fellowship for Education Attainment.

Friday, August 12th

  • Thriving Together: Supporting Success for Underserved Populations
    • Time: 9:00 - 10:15 AM
    • Moderator: Dan Wallace, Director, State and Local Initiatives, Partnership for a New American Economy
    • Presenters: Alicia Berhow, Vice President, Workforce Development and Advocacy, Orange County Business Council, Jay Byers, CCE, IOM, CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership, and Mary Stagaman, Senior Inclusion Officer, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
    • Description:  Economically vibrant communities are ones that embrace the talent of all populations and remove barriers to success. Learn how chambers in Cincinnati, Orange County, and Des Moines have mobilized business engagement and partnerships to foster education and workforce development support for special populations, such as English language learners, people with disabilities, and immigrants.

 Additional Programming

  • Welcome Party on Tuesday, August 9th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM

          Join your chamber peers to kick off Convention week at the ACCE Welcome Party!

  • Awards Show on Wednesday, August 10th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM

          Join you chamber peers for the announcement of the Regional Innovation Award Winner!

  • ACCE Education Attainment Division (EAD) Reception on Thursday, August 11th from 5:00 – 6:30 PM

          Join your EAD peers to network and celebrate another year of education attainment and workforce development successes at your chambers!


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