Catherine Glover, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, and Miles Espy, incoming Chamber chair, accepted recognition of certified chamber status by GACCE. The ceremony took place in Chatsworth Monday.
ALBANY -- The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and Lee County Chamber of Commerce received certified chamber status Monday from the Georgia Association Chamber of Commerce Executives (GACCE) in Chatsworth, according to Rachelle Bitterman, communications director for the Albany chamber.
The designation, new for 2011, is held by only 25 chambers out of 150 statewide, Bitterman said, and is an accomplishment the chamber is "proud to receive."
"In 2007, we received the U.S. Chamber 5-Star accreditation status," said Catherine Glover, Albany Area chamber president and CEO. "There are approximately 7,000 chambers in the United States and out of that, only 2,234 are Accredited Chambers, with only 75 receiving 5-Star."
"It's an exciting time to be in the chamber industry and to be a chamber in Georgia," said Tiffany Ott of GACCE. "Many chambers have risen to the challenge during these tough economic times to provide unparalleled leadership and direction, helping their members and communities thrive."
According to organization sources, the GACCE certification requirements are modeled on the stringent requirements of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and are awarded without application requirements to chambers which have achieved U.S Chamber certification.
Although The Lee County chamber applied for and won GACCE certification, it has always bypassed the U.S. Chamber certification process, according to Winston Oxford, executive director of the Lee County Chamber of Commerce.
"While the GACCE (certification) application is very similar to the what the national organization requires, the Georgia version is about two inches thick and the U.S. version is more than twice that," Oxford said. "It doesn't make as much sense for a small chamber to take the trouble of applying for national certification."
Oxford stressed that winning GACCE certification takes "year-round" hard work and would not have possible without the dedication of the entire Lee chamber staff, including Lisa Davis, chamber vice president.