Chambers Execs Visiting Albany

KK Snyder

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

National Chamber of Commerce leaders, as well as chamber executives from across three states, will converge in Albany this week as the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce hosts an event for networking and addressing current chamber issues.

Attending the Wednesday event at the Albany Welcome Center will be chamber executives from Georgia, Eastern Alabama and North Florida, as well as representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and the U.S. Chamber of commerce.

“This is an opportunity for us to all learn how we can better serve the folks we do,” said Catherine Glover. “Because of the population attending, we will talk about national trends in membership, advocacy, marketing and resources available to chambers of commerce.”

Speakers will include Moore Hallmark, executive director for the Southeastern Region for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Hallmark will discuss health care initiatives, cap and trade issues and updates on national initiatives that directly impact the business community.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. More than 96 percent of U.S. Chamber members are small businesses with 100 employees or fewer.

“This is a first for us and it’s a big deal pulling these groups together in Albany,” said Glover, noting that, along with the Albany chamber’s high ranking and many awards comes some obligation to take the lead, such as hosting these types of networking events for peers.

The Albany chamber is one of few in the U.S. that received five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Glover. “As such, it sets the stage for us to live up to expectations in the eyes of our colleagues in the chamber community.”

As the voice of business, the U.S. Chamber's core purpose is to fight for free enterprise before Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion and governments around the world.

From its headquarters near the White House, the U.S. Chamber maintains a professional staff of hundreds of the nation's top policy experts, lobbyists, lawyers and communicators. Special initiatives covering energy, infrastructure, education and training and workforce rules help drive the pro-business agenda.

Also addressing the group in Albany will be Mick Fleming, president of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), based near Washington D.C. Because he hasn’t been to the southeast, Glover thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce him to fellow chamber execs in this region.

Established in 1914, the ACCE is a national association uniquely serving individuals involved in the management of chambers of all sizes. The ACCE supports and develops chamber professionals to lead businesses and their communities.

With over 1,200 members, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce (AACC) is the largest chamber in this area and one of the largest in the state, said Glover. Among recent honors received is second runner up (out of 7,000 chambers in the country) for Chamber of the Year in 2009. In addition, the AACC received the 2009 Circle of Excellence Award for Georgia.

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