Tag Archives: Chamber of the Year

A Reason to Celebrate: Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Named 2012 Chamber of the Year

Early this month, seven Chamber staff and two of our Board of Directors let out the loudest cheer when we heard our name announced as “Chamber of the Year”! Days before, we lost our dear friend and colleague Morgan Hutton who had served as The Chamber’s Director of Public Policy & Advocacy. Needless to say, the award raised our spirits and our heavy hearts. We all felt Morgan’s presence with us that evening.

Again we thank our members, volunteers and board of directors for the support given as we build better business and better community. It is because of your support and commitment that we were able to bring home this national title…Thank you!

Below is the official press release announcing our Chamber of the Year award:

Bloomington, IN – August 6, 2012 – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce was named 2012 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) at the organization’s annual conference held in Louisville, K.Y., last week. The ACCE may recognize up to four chambers of commerce a year, one in each of the four annual revenue categories, for work in leading businesses and communities. The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce competed in the $501,000–$999,998 total revenue category and was named the top chamber of its size in the United States and Canada.

The Chamber of the Year award involves an intense, multi-stage process. Chambers must first qualify to compete by completing the ACCE’s annual Chamber Operations Survey which is judged by the ACCE based on seven criteria regarding net income, assets, and partner retention dollars and accounts. Only the top ranked chambers are then invited to complete the formal application that provides a comprehensive view of the chamber’s success based on financial and partnership performance, as well as their communication and community programs. The last step in the process was the in-person interview which took place at the start of the conference and ultimately determined the final awardees in each category.

“To be named Chamber of the Year validates the incredible work our board of directors, volunteers and staff accomplish on a daily basis and provides national recognition for the tremendous impact the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has on key community priorities such as education, transportation, healthcare and regional vitality,” said Christy Gillenwater, president & C.E.O. of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. “We are grateful to our dedicated volunteers and members. We are extremely humbled to receive this honor as we recommit to continue to serve our stakeholders with excellence.”

Gillenwater accepted the award at the August 2 ACCE Awards event along with board chair, Jim Whitlatch of Bunger & Robertson Attorneys at Law. According to Whitlatch, it was “a proud moment for everyone associated with the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce” as the prestigious award highlighted some of the organization’s key programs and services.

He explains, “The Chamber serves as a catalyst for consensus, helping to build agreement so that critical projects that will benefit business and the community are realized. To know that our work on I-69 and the S.R. 45/46 Bypass – along with the positive impact The Chamber’s Franklin Initiative has had on area graduation rates, were recognized at this level is so rewarding.” Also highlighted in The Chamber’s ACCE Chamber of the Year application were several key membership marketing and communication pieces.
In 2011, the Indiana Chamber Executives Association (ICEA) recognized the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce as the Indiana Chamber of the Year. Like the ACCE Chamber of the Year award, this also recognizes organizational excellence in chambers of commerce and provides a unique benchmarking opportunity to assess organizational strength.
For more information about The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce visit www.chamberbloomington.org or call 812.336.6381.


Celebrating Indiana Chamber of the Year!

Some Chamber Staff Accept Award

The Indiana Chamber Executives Association (ICEA) recognized The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce as the 2011 Indiana Chamber of the Year. Shelli Williams, President of the Indiana Chamber Executives Association, announced the award to the membership during the Annual Governor’s Luncheon held yesterday in Bloomington, Indiana.

“The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce stands strong as a leader with a commitment to moving the business community forward,” Williams said. “It is an honor to present this award to the members of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.”
The Outstanding Chamber of the Year Award recognizes organizational excellence in chambers of commerce and provides a unique benchmarking opportunity to assess organizational strengths. The award is based on the U.S. Chamber’s accreditation process for local chambers and highlights accomplishments in the areas of leadership/governance, finance, advocacy and membership development. Applicants are individually reviewed and scored by a panel of judges comprised of chamber professionals who reside outside of the State of Indiana.

Chamber President & C.E.O. Christy Gillenwater commented, “We are so proud to be named Indiana Chamber of the Year because this award is the highest compliment that ICEA can give. We were in competition with chambers from across the state, but Bloomington stood out because of our tremendous board leadership, dedicated volunteers and engaged members. “
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce celebrated a banner year in 2010. The organization revamped its approach to membership and the results exceeded expectations. The new tiered dues structure was introduced to nearly 134 new members joining in 2010. In addition, retention rate remained higher than the national average for chambers of similar size.
The Chamber also made it a priority to stay on the leading edge of social media and technology by not only embracing these innovations for marketing and public relations efforts, but also by educating the business community on how to utilize the new technology.
“Not only did we grow our presence on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, we exposed the Chamber’s upcoming events to more than 130,000 Facebook users through the pay-per-click advertising offered,” explained Gillenwater. “With Twitter, The Chamber has positioned itself as the ‘go-to resource’ for business news and advice with nearly 500 followers.”
In addition, The Chamber also initiated inBizCafe, a new portal offering a robust platform that can change the way businesses search and receive information to help with growth. inBizCafe connects local entrepreneurs and business owners with targeted resources they need to succeed. The site focuses on assisting the hottest business growth areas – entrepreneurial and small business companies.
Gillenwater continued by saying, “All of these emerging technologies that The Chamber embraced in 2010 serve different purposes, but also complement each other by providing outlets for dialogue with members, promoting Chamber members, and helping increase exposure for the Chamber on search engines and online in general.”
Advocacy is a primary function of The Greater Bloomington Chamber. Each year, advocacy goals and priorities are set through a strategic planning process with most of The Chamber’s advocacy positions enhancing commerce within the community and region. The Advocacy Division includes dozens of member volunteers that help The Chamber reach set goals. One sample of a very successful advocacy initiative that The Chamber implemented in 2010 was a community-wide initiative to encourage healthier lifestyles through public policy and environmental change. Through the Chamber’s two designation programs – Healthy Business Bloomington and Green Business Bloomington – the organization has elevated its leadership in these two areas.