Chamber Executive Article Archive

Award Winners

Several Authors

Chamber of the Year Finalists

Recognizing excellence in operations, member services, and community leadership

ACCE’s Chamber of the Year is the nation’s only award recognizing the dual role chambers have in leading businesses and communities. The competition is a rigorous, multi-step process. Chambers must first qualify to compete by meeting key performance criteria on the ACCE Annual Operations Survey. Qualifying chambers enter the competition with a written application addressing all aspects of organizational operations and programmatic work. Applications are scored by peer chamber executives to determine finalists. To ensure the fairest competition, applicants are grouped into five categories based on factors such as annual revenue, membership, and area population. Winners are selected from among finalists based on an in-person interview before a panel of experienced chamber professionals and past Chamber of the Year winners. The finalists in each category are listed below with winners in bold type.

Category 1

Newnan-Coweta (Ga.) Chamber of Commerce

Lake Havasu (Ariz.) Area Chamber of Commerce

Shawnee (Kan.) Chamber of Commerce

Category 2

Coastal Alabama Business Chamber

Lake Houston (Texas) Chamber of Commerce

Vail Valley Partnership (Colo.)

Category 3

Billings (Mont.) Chamber of Commerce

Gainesville (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce

Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce

Category 4

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Lexington Inc.

Category 5

Greater Omaha Chamber

Association of Washington Business

Georgia Chamber of Commerce


Life Member Award

Honoring a lifetime of service

This pinnacle award is bestowed by ACCE on those who move to the next phase of their lives after stellar careers in chamber leadership. The designation “Life Member” recognizes both the lifetime of success in the chamber profession and the ACCE member-for-life status granted to each honoree.

Winthrop M. Hallett, III

Win Hallett served as president of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce for 22 years, retiring from his post in 2013. During his chamber career, Hallett served on the ACCE Board and the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the state level, Hallett was a member of the board of directors for the Business Council of Alabama and the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, and served as vice chairman of the Alabama District Export Council. He was also a board member of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science Foundation. Locally, he’s a past president of the Rotary Club of Mobile, past chairman of the Metropolitan YMCA board, and past president of Leadership Mobile. He served as a member of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program Executive Committee and as a member of the Aerospace Alliance (AL-FL-LA-MS). Hallett is currently vice president of the Coastal Land Trust and is principal of W.Hallett.3 Consultant, a firm assisting individuals, organizations and communities in assessing challenges and improving performance based on problem-solving using a moral compass.

Mark V’Soske, CAE, IOM

Mark V’Soske is the former president of the 2014 Chamber of the Year award-winning Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. After leading the chamber for 23 years, he retired in December. With a chamber career spanning 40 years, V’Soske’s past chamber positions include president of the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Regional Chamber of Commerce, president of the Erie County Chamber of Commerce in Sandusky, Ohio; and vice president of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce in Monroe, Michigan. In Toledo, V’Soske participated on numerous boards including the Business Advisory Council for the University of Toledo College of Business, and Local Initiative Support Corporation. He is past chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio, ACCE, and ACCE’s Community Growth Educational Foundation. V’Soske has been engaged in photography for over 50 years and is increasing his Fine Art work.


Awards for Communication Excellence (ACE)

Recognizing best practices in advertising, communications, marketing and public relations

For this year’s ACE competition, a panel of chamber professionals evaluated entries submitted in the four subject categories: advertising/marketing, campaigns, electronic, and publications. Each category was subdivided into two size classes: chambers with budgets exceeding $1 million and those with budgets below that amount.

Grand Winners

CLASS 1: Chambers with budgets above $1 million

Advertising and Marketing

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber

“I AM The Chamber” membership promotion


Baton Rouge Area Chamber

Annual Report


Detroit Regional Chamber

Policy Conference Video


Nashville Area Chamber

“WE” membership campaign

CLASS 2: Chambers with budgets below $1 million

Advertising and Marketing

Newmarket (Ontario, Canada) Chamber

“Learn, Connect, Thrive” membership promotion


Chapel Hill-Carrboro (N.C.) Chamber

2014 Annual Report and 2015 Calendar


Thomasville Area (N.C.) Chamber

“Thanking the Investors” video


St. Tammany West (La.) Chamber

“Testimonial” membership campaign


Membership Sales - Lifetime Sales Achievement Awards

Recognizing lifetime achievement in chamber membership sales

(over $1.5 million in sales)

Jane E. Abe

Aurora (Ill.) Regional Chamber of Commerce

Vance Adams

Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

Mike Hylton

Indy Chamber (Greater Indianapolis Chamber of

Roya Khavari

Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

(1,250 transactions or $750,000 in sales)

Steve Baucher

Greater Cleveland Partnership

Karena Boesel

Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

Derek Crang

Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer Daddario

Greater Susquehanna Valley (Pa.) Chamber of

Sarah Dietz

Lenexa (Kan.) Chamber of Commerce

Colleen Evans

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce

Gina Martens

Greater Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Chamber of Commerce

Kim P. Niskey

Greater Raleigh Chamber

Sandy Richardson

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

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