August 13, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ed Rodriguez, Chamber President
Coastal Alabama Business Chamber Awarded
"Chamber of the Year"
and Two Other Top Awards
by Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
MONTREAL, CANADA - The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber was selected as 2015 Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). The award was presented last night at the ACCE Annual Convention in Montreal. Chamber Chairman Vince Lucido, President Ed Rodriguez, and Membership Director Vicki Stillings were in attendance representing the Chamber at the ACCE Awards Ceremony at Montreal's Palais des Congres.
Chamber of the Year is a prestigious international award and is the only award recognizing the dual role Chambers have in leading businesses and communities. Chambers honored with this designation have not only demonstrated organizational strength, but also have made an impact on key community priorities such as education, transportation, business development, and quality of life.
Earlier this summer, the Chamber was selected as a Top Three Finalist. That announcement was made at the Chamber's First Friday Forum breakfast in June, with Congressman Bradley Byrne in attendance.
"We are beyond thrilled," said Chamber President Ed Rodriguez. "To even apply for this award, a chamber must be invited from a small select group. We are blessed with organizational strength that comes from engaged board leadership, professional staff, and volunteers who truly believe in "serving every member... every day."
There were three finalists chosen from among 33 applicants, and participation in the process was by invitation only. To qualify for the award competition, applicants were required to complete a survey and meet or exceed thresholds in key performance areas including finances, membership retention, and other internal benchmarks. Required documentation also included financial statements and audits.
The Chamber of the Year award involves two additional stages: Following the initial benchmarking, chambers are then selected to compete with other chambers in their size categories. Once the top three are selected, the chambers must conduct personal interviews with ACCE's awards committee before a "Chamber of the Year" winner is selected. Chamber President Ed Rodriguez and and Membership Director Vicki Stillings participated in the closed interview session with a panel of 3 judges. The interview counts for 80% of the total score. The two other chambers selected as finalists were the Lake Houston Chamber in Texas and the Vail Valley Partnership in Colorado.
During the application process, chambers were asked to identify and elaborate on two specific project areas that exemplified their commitment to excellence both within their communities and within their membership. The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber's two identified projects were Reef Development and its recent Re-Branding Initiative.
In addition to the "Chamber of the Year" designation, the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber received awards last night for being in the "Top Ten Chambers for Membership Retention - Dues" and "Top Ten Chambers for Membership Retention - Accounts."
The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber is a business-based, volunteer-driven, member-supported association working full-time to preserve, enhance and expand the business environment in Coastal Alabama. We do this by serving as a vehicle for building coalitions, furthering business advocacy, championing education in our region, promoting community enrichment and leadership in events and programs, and by providing our members with a comprehensive package of benefits and services to maximize their success. In doing so, we help our members and our community maximize desired results beyond individually attainable levels!