The race is on. Your Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce has been selected as a finalist for the National Chamber of the Year award. The chamber is one of only three finalists in the nation for the chamber industry’s most coveted honor.
There are over 6,000 chambers across the country and as cliché as it sounds, just to be among the final nominees is an incredible honor. The award is given by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives association, the chamber industry’s leading governing body. Chambers must meet stringent financial management criteria to even be invited to apply for the accolade. The chamber must also submit an exhaustive written application that delves into major aspects of chamber operations from programming and strategic planning to communications and sound financial management. In their evaluation, the judges noted your chamber’s strong 91% member retention rate, “progressive leadership” and focus on meeting the needs of our members. The top three finalists will undergo personal interviews by a separate panel that selects the National Chamber of the Year. The winner will be announced in August.
As many of you know, your chamber is one of very few chambers in the country to have been chosen twice before as the National Chamber of the Year in 2000 and 2006. The chamber was also a top three finalist in 2010. To be chosen for a third time as the nation’s best would be an extremely rare honor in the chamber industry.
Your chamber has also received 4 star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another rarity among chambers, as well as accreditation by Destination Marketing Association International, DMAI. This evaluation and recognition is so much more than a plaque on the wall, it’s a testament to a consistent commitment to excellence that’s recognized at the highest levels of the chamber industry.
This is as much your award as it is the chamber’s. The chamber is a membership-driven organization and we are a “team” that is 1,600 members strong. It’s an award that reflects not just the chamber’s overall excellence, but the true partnership and commitment of the entire business community. I’m proud to be among the best of the best and to be part of an organization that sets the standard for chambers across the country.