This week, more than 700 community leaders will gather in Oklahoma City for the annual American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) conference. From Decatur, Alabama to Rochester, Minnesota, chamber professionals from throughout the country will invest four days of their time attending workshops, master classes, and a myriad of other learning opportunities. And yes, there will be opportunities to see old friends, network, and enjoy all that OKC has to offer. I’m particularly interested in getting tips on how one comfortably wears jeans and cowboy boots when it’s in the upper 90s, since we’re encouraged to don our best Annie Oakley/Roy Rogers attire for the closing party at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Market Street will be there too – as ACCE’s national economic development sponsor, presenters, moderators, exhibitors, and conference participants. This year Market Street workshop topics will range from metrics to membership to leadership transition planning. We fully expect that Mac Holladay will have a full house for the metrics workshop, given the interest in a recent webinar on the same topic. This week Mac will be joined by Duane O’Neill (President of the Greater Jackson Partnership) and Jay Byers (CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership) and the workshop explores what it means to measure community success and progress – and how the most successful organizations go well beyond counting jobs to gauge return on investment. I should note that we’re feeling a bit like late night talk show hosts the day after the Oscars on this one, having booked Jay Byers – whose organization will receive the Alliance for Regional Stewardship Organizational Champion Award on the eve of this workshop!
And speaking of award-winners, last year’s reigning Chamber of the Year, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce – will join us for two workshops. First, Market Street’s Senior Fellow, Jim Vaughan, will explore how membership and economic development teams work together with the help of Ryan Mooney and Brent McCoy (Senior VP, Economic Development and VP, Membership, respectively). Ryan will then partner with Anna Buckalew, Chief of Staff for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce for “Talent 2.0: Transition Planning.” Christa Tinsley Spaht and I will be presenting and moderating this discussion, which promises to be lively, given the previous two sessions that inspired the session (“Baby Boomer Economy” in 2011 and “Talent Wars” in 2012).
Whether you will be in attendance or entrusted to keep your Chamber going back at home – or you occupy the world of community and economic development that exists in partnership with chambers of commerce – there will be an abundance of resources available via acce.org both during the conference and in the weeks to come.
Check back for highlights!