The Ocala/ Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) has been named national Chamber of the Year by ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
ACCE is an Alexandria, Va.-based membership association that represents over 9,000 professionals who work for and with more than 1,300 chambers of commerce around the world.
Chamber of the Year, sponsored by MemberClicks, is the most prestigious and competitive award presented by ACCE and is the only globally recognized industry award that honors top chambers of commerce. Those honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have demonstrated organizational strength and made an impact on key community priorities, such as education, transportation, business development and quality of life.
We accepted the award on September 30 during ACCE’s Future of Chambers Summit, a virtual conference which replaced our annual convention.
The vision of the CEP over the last 8 years has been to be a model of what 21st Century Chamber should be and do. We value this recognition today because it is proof of that vision in action.
Chambers of commerce interested in competing for the award first must qualify by participating in a vigorous multi-stage process. Organizations entering the Chamber of the Year competition must meet minimum thresholds in at least three of five key performance areas, including net revenue, net assets, membership account retention, and membership dollar retention.
Qualifying for Chamber of the Year is a rigorous process. Chambers compete based on meeting key performance criteria on the ACCE Annual Operations Survey. Qualifying chambers enter the competition with a written application addressing all aspects of organizational operation and programmatic work. Applications are scored by peer chamber executives to determine finalists. Winners are selected from among finalists based on an in-person interview before a panel of experienced chamber professionals.
Why does this matter to you? It means the CEP is operating at the highest level and leading efforts to meaningfully impact our community. The combination of metrics reviews, white papers, and in-depth interviews means that we are testing and reviewing our data and efforts and they are consistently coming out among the very best. In fact, this year we are the very best!
This year’s competition drew entries from chambers throughout the U.S and Canada. This was the third time in four years that the CEP was a finalist following previous finalist appearances in 2017 and 2019.