Chamber Executive Article Archive

A Note from Sheree Anne

By Sheree Anne Kelly



You likely saw that The Business Roundtable updated its statement on the purpose of a corporation. Looking beyond shareholder value, they’re focusing on broader stakeholders to put community wellbeing front and center. Businesses should now solve community challenges, align workforce preparation in a more intentional way, and make sure employers build up the communities they serve. This is what chambers of commerce have been doing for quite some time. I’m glad to see that big business is catching up and catching on to the power of strong, healthy communities. Not only does this philosophy serve the greater good, but it can help attract and retain young talent.

>>>Find the full Business Roundtable statement here

In a 2017 study from the Society for Human Resource Management, 94 percent of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause, while 57 percent wish there were more organization-wide service days. Showcasing the value and impact that your work has on your region, and engaging your team in those efforts, can be critical to employee satisfaction.

At ACCE we aim to elevate the profession and highlight impactful work accomplished by chambers around the world. After a 10-year absence, I’m thrilled that we brought back ACCE’s 40 Under 40 awards to recognize and showcase emerging leaders in our field.

I met many of this year’s honorees during the ACCE Convention in Long Beach, and I’m blown away by their talent, passion and commitment. They come from chambers of different sizes and geographies, and from all areas of chamber work—CEOs, operations, finance, membership, events, economic and community development, government relations, workforce development, diversity and inclusion and more. The future of our industry is bright with catalytic leaders like these.

Competing against the private sector for talent is a challenge. Many businesses get introduced to your best and brightest through their interactions with your chamber. Competition is fierce, but there are a few things we can do to increase our odds of keeping top talent in the chamber profession:

Missions that Motivate:

This is an area where chambers of commerce have an inherent advantage. Chambers provide catalytic leadership and uniquely engage community stakeholders to advance impactful public policy, build cross-sector partnerships and create broad-based economic prosperity.

Collaborative Cultures:

Appealing organizational cultures strive for excellence, value collaboration and recognize achievement. Don’t forget to make time to have fun together. 2019 Chamber of the Year Greater Louisville Inc. shared its strategies for enhancing culture and strengthening employee morale during a convention session. You can listen to the session audio at

Professional Growth:

Support your employees with professional development opportunities. Provide avenues to learn new skills, broaden their industry knowledge and develop a network of trusted peers. One easy way to support your team is to encourage them to participate in ACCE Divisions. Completing ACCE’s member engagement survey is a great place to start:

Competitive Compensation:

Chambers can’t always compete in instances when salary is the candidate’s top priority, but you should review your pay and benefits package to ensure you are as competitive as possible. Resources like ACCE’s Salary Survey can help Consider other benefits like paid time off for volunteer work, flexible work schedules, retirement savings offerings ( and other perks.

Gen Z:

ACCE’s convention keynote David and Jonah Stillman shared research and the motivators for the youngest generation entering our workforce. Gen Z is pragmatic, hard working, competitive and driven to win. The Stillmans recommend showcasing your organization’s winning track record to attract talent, and leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out) to keep them engaged and interested. More tips on engaging this generation can be found in their book Gen Z @ Work.

Share Your Best Practices

As we implement our new strategic plan, ACCE is working to identify emerging trends in chamber leadership and operations.
What are your chamber’s strategies for improving your organizational culture and attracting and retaining top talent?
We’d love to hear from you. Submit your examples at

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