Published: Oct 1, 2020
The Ocala/ Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) has been named 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.
The Ocala CEP accepted the award September 30 during ACCE’s Future of Chambers Summit.
“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,” said Kevin T. Sheilley, CEP President & CEO. “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.
This year's competition drew entries from chambers throughout the U.S and Canada. To ensure the fairest competition, applicants are grouped into four categories based on: annual revenue, membership, area population, and several other factors.
Established in 1914, ACCE is an association of 9,000 leaders from 1,300 chambers of commerce, including 93 of the top 100 U.S. metro areas. The combined membership of ACCE chambers is close to one million businesses. Chamber leaders look to ACCE for best practices, networks and new ideas that will help them advance the interests of their communities. ACCE recommends successful programs and strategies, and identifies trends, partners and business models that show promise. For more information, visit www.ACCE.org.