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Rome Chamber gets geeky

Hannah Nequist on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 12:00:00 pm 
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Rome Geek Week

Geek Week 2014, taking place October 6-11, is a community celebration of technology and innovation in Rome, Georgia. What started three years ago as a celebration of the IT Department at the Floyd Medical Center in Rome, GA has blossomed into a week-long, community-wide event reveling in all things geeky.

The Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce's Technology SquareTable hosts an exciting lineup of events including: a trivia game on kick-off night, egg drop competition, cookout and 'cardboard challenge'. In hopes that this event positively impacts the entire community, the Chamber promotes open participation in these events as well as encouraging individuals, schools, companies and non-profits to host their own events and activities around the themes of technology, innovation, and creativity. 

Geek Week is a vehicle to highlight and appreciate the impact of technology on our lives both at home and at work. The Chamber also hopes to encourage the next generation to explore STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields of study and careers by showcasing the technology and innovation that is happening in Rome.

To find out more about Geek Week Rome, click the links below:

Geek Week Rome on Facebook 

Rome News Tribune's Article, Geek Week 2014 celebrates creativity in Rome

Follow the action on Twitter

 

Tags: Technology, Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, STEM

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Considering Obesity in Site Selection

Jessie Azrilian & Hannah Nequist on Friday, September 26, 2014 at 2:30:00 pm 
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Obesity Prevalence

Site selectors have to consider a variety of important factors when searching for communities to house their companies. While workforce health is one of the least discussed factors in site selection, due to a combination of both legal issues and lack of awareness, rising obesity rates and the associated healthcare costs are now demanding the conversation.

Last week, Site Selection magazine released a story covering a newly published report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).The study explores the rates of obesity among adults and children in this country. Findings indicate that six states saw an increase in obesity prevalence over the last year, and no states demonstrated improvement. Obesity rates are now at the highest ever in two states - reaching over 35% in both Mississippi and West Virginia. Twenty more states are above 30%, and there are no longer any states below 21%.

Obesity increases risk for type two diabetes, heart disease and a host of other health concerns. If obesity rates continue to rise, employers will feel the increased financial burden of insuring their growing workforce.

Studies highlighted in Site Selection show that engaging industry leaders can make a significant impact in reducing obesity while increasing their business’ bottom line. For example, corporate wellness programs show a consistent ROI in terms of reducing healthcare costs and increasing employee productivity. 

With scales climbing right alongside healthcare costs, the business community can no longer afford to ignore how the health of the current and future workforce impacts their ability to compete in a global economy. Companies selecting new areas to expand or relocate their operations are seeking healthy communities driving healthy economies.

Consider the following resources for more information:

ACCE's Workforce Wellness Communication Briefs

Site Selection magazine's "Waistline Watch"

"The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America"

 

Tags: Economic Impact, Obesity, States

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ACCE's Salary Survey now available in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking

HERO Team / Sarah Myers on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 
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Access Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking anytime you need to - 24/7, 365 days per year. New this year! No waiting for ACCE to compile data into a presentable format—just enter your data for all chamber positions and your FREE results will be formatted automatically. The Salary Survey is open to CEOs or their delegates. (CEOs can email permission to HERO@acce.org)

CLICK HERE to participate in ACCE's new Salary and Benefits Survey! Login with your ACCE username and password. If you don't know it request it here or email HERO@acce.org.

FY 2012 and FY 2013 can be updated now. FY 2014 data will be opened up the first of November.  If you would like the most current salary data now, you would need to enter 2013 data and retrieve 2013 data through the Compare Chambers or Reports and Charts tools. Your comprehensive salary survey results are free; all we need is for you and your peers to enter the data.

A few tips for getting started...

1. If you participated in the previous Salary Survey the CEO Salary data was migrated. The Operations Survey data was also migrated. However, there are many new questions. If you previously participated, review each of the survey sections and update your data. If your chamber did not participate in the previous surveys, you can still catch up and enter your data now for either FY 2012 or FY 2013. FY 2014 will be open in November.

FY definition: For ACCE's surveys, we ask that you use your actual financial data ending in the fiscal year specified. As of now, because FY 2014 data collection is not open yet, for the most recent and immediate results, you will need to use FY 2013. You can also catch up and enter or review your data for FY 2012. Coming next year, the platform will provide a year-over-year comparison feature. 

2. Start with Section 1 - Chamber Profile and review or update any data. Then move on to Section 2 - Operations Survey or Section 3 - Salary Survey. Review, update, or catch up with entering your chamber's data. In the Salary Survey section, be sure to complete all the areas, including salaries for CEO, Senior Staff, Mid-Level Staff, Sales Staff, and Support Staff. The system walks you through each section and you can see how many questions you've answered for each area.

3. In Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking, visit "Support" in the upper right hand corner for definitions, clarifications and to download the Quick Start Guide or the Data Collection Worksheet - a spreadsheet of all the questions for each section in the platform.

4. Read more tips on Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking here.

5. When you have 50% or more of the questions answered, you can access the Compare Chambers and Reports and Charts tools for each of the survey sections and areas. Use the filters for the most accurate comparisons.

6. Compare Chambers shows your chamber’s raw data and answers, metric-by-metric, for each question within the survey sections.

a. Use this to view your chamber’s answer and percentile on-screen, plotted alongside the 25th, 50th/median, and 75th percentiles.

b. Use the filters for true insight and apples-to-apples comparisons. Create your own Peer Cluster filter, which chambers you choose, using aggregate data to keep actual data anonymous.

c. View or download these stats metric-by-metric with the On-Demand charting and save as PPT or PDF. Insert into slides or reports.

d. Use the “Save As” feature to download (PDF or Excel) your responses shown with the percentiles.

7. Reports and Charts shows the calculations and ratios you’ve seen in the past with our report publications for Operations Survey, Membership Statistics, and Salary Survey.

a. Select the filters to build your reports with and set your benchmarks. The Peer Cluster filter can also be applied here. Create as many different Peer Cluster groups as you’d like and re-rerun the reports to view the different benchmarks and your chamber’s activity

b. Download reports for your Chamber’s Profile, Operations Survey and Membership Statistics, and Salary reports (CEO report available now; non-CEO salary report coming soon this fall as soon as we have enough data to build reports. We need your help to get the data in here so we can get the data out for you!)

c. Download the reports in PowerPoint in a matter of seconds!

8. Need help? Email HERO@acce.org and we can assist. We can also schedule a webinar demo for your and your chamber or join us in our next Lunch and Learn Webinar Series, held the 3rd Wednesday monthly at 12:30-1 Eastern.

We welcome your testimonials, case studies, questions, and feedback. Would you like to be a part of our future Lunch and Learn Webinar Series on Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking to showcase how you’re using the platform? We want to hear from you. Email HERO@acce.org.


Questions?
Email HERO@acce.org

 

Tags: Salary Survey

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Florida Chamber Strives to Keep Pedestrians Safe

Hannah Nequist on Friday, September 19, 2014 at 10:00:00 am 
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Key to Safety card

In a study by Smart Growth American and the National Complete Streets Coalition, the Tampa - St. Petersburg area was ranked the 2nd most dangerous city for pedestrians. The Florida Department of Transportation reports that from 2009 to 2013, there were 123 combined pedestrian and bicycle crashes along Gulf Boulevard, resulting in five fatalities. For an area that relies heavily on tourism to sustain the economy, this is not good news. 

After attempts to improve safety along the stretch of beaches from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater Beach through engineering measures, such as installing flashing lights at crosswalks and even providing pedestrians flags to wave to alert drivers as they cross the street, additional effort was still needed. The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, Florida DOT and Center for Urban Transportation Research have partnered with area hotels to hand out cards containing safety tips to remind visitors how to safely move about.

Roughly 30,000 rack cards and 20,000 smaller cards about the size of a hotel room key were printed and distributed in 2013. Both of these materials contain 'WalkWise tips' including suggestions to avoid use of cell phones, follow Walk/Don't Walk signals and wear bright colors. Hotels and area authorities hope that these small reminders will keep pedestrians alert and vigilant to dangers around them and reduce the number of incidents. 

An additional 10,000 cards were printed for 2014 and early reports indicate that the situation is improving. The Department of Transportation hopes to decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities by 20 percent by 2018. 

 

To read accounts of this initiative, explore the links below:

The St. Petersburg Tribune, 'Gulf Boulevard hotels give tourist tips on crossing dangerous street"

10 News Tampa Bay Sarasota, 'Hotel cards promote safety on Gulf Boulevard'

Bay News 9, 'Pinellas beach hotels offering safety tips to visitors'

 

 

Tags: collaboration, pedestrians, safety, transportation

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Tips and Pointers on Getting Started Using Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking

HERO Team / Sarah Myers on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 
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ACCE launched Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking at Convention in August 2014. The system is live and all ACCE members can access Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking now. The platform has combined the Operations Survey and Salary Survey into one easy-to-use system, available 24/7, where comparisons and reports can be instantly obtained, once data is entered. 

Here are several tips and pointers on getting started with using Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking:

  1. Go to our Research page to access Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking along with additional information on surveys. Login with your ACCE username and password. If you don’t know it, email HERO@acce.org
  2. Click here for more tips on getting started with this new survey platform or download the Quick Start Guide (pdf). An FAQ will be available shortly from our Research page.
  3. Support and help are always available! In Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking, click on “Support” for guides, definitions, and a Data Collection Worksheet with all the survey questions listed. Email HERO@acce.org for more help.
  4. Start with Section 1 – Chamber Profile and review or update your information. Think of this section as required - Data entered in this section is used for calculations throughout the platform. Select either Fiscal Year (FY) 12 or FY 2013. FY 2014 will be opened up in early November.
    a. FY definition: For ACCE's surveys, we ask that you use your actual financial data ending in the fiscal year specified. As of now, because FY 2014 data collection is not open yet, for the most recent and immediate results, you will need to use FY 2013. You can also catch up and enter or review your data for FY 2012. Coming next year, the platform will provide a year-over-year comparison feature. 
  5. Then move to Section 2 – Operations Survey and Section 3 – Salary Survey (for CEOs or their delegates; email permission to HERO@acce.org). Select either Fiscal Year 2012 or FY 2013. FY 2014 will be opened up in early November. 
  6. When you have 50% or more of the questions answered, you can access the Compare Chambers and Reports and Charts tools for each of the survey sections and areas. Use the filters for the most accurate comparisons.
  7. Compare Chambers shows your chamber’s raw data and answers, metric-by-metric, for each question within the survey sections.
    a. Use this to view your chamber’s answer and percentile on-screen, plotted alongside the 25th, 50th/median, and 75th percentiles.
    b. Use the filters for true insight and apples-to-apples comparisons. Create your own Peer Cluster filter, which chambers you choose, using aggregate data to keep actual data anonymous.
    c. View or download these stats metric-by-metric with the On-Demand charting and save as PPT or PDF. Insert into slides or reports.
    d. Use the “Save As” feature to download (PDF or Excel) your responses shown with the percentiles.
  8. Reports and Charts shows the calculations and ratios you’ve seen in the past with our report publications for Operations Survey, Membership Statistics, and Salary Survey.
    a. Select the filters to build your reports with and set your benchmarks. The Peer Cluster filter can also be applied here. Create as many different Peer Cluster groups as you’d like and re-rerun the reports to view the different benchmarks and your chamber’s activity
    b. Download reports for your Chamber’s Profile, Operations Survey and Membership Statistics, and Salary reports (CEO report available now; non-CEO salary report coming soon this fall as soon as we have enough data to build reports. We need your help to get the data in here so we can get the data out for you!
    c. Download the reports in PowerPoint in a matter of seconds!
  9. Remember that you can access Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking anytime you need to. The platform is available 24/7, 365 days per year, FREE to ACCE members. You can review/update your data and access comparisons and reports whenever you need these stats, whether for your board meetings, annual reports and plans, strategic planning, for presentations, or for reviewing your chamber’s work and activity. Use Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking as your go-to management and analysis tool.
  10. We welcome your testimonials, case studies, questions, and feedback. Would you like to be a part of our future Lunch and Learn Webinar Series on Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking to showcase how you’re using the platform? We want to hear from you. Email HERO@acce.org.

Tags: Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking Tips and Pointers

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Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP): Aligning Community Expectations with Airport Roles

Hannah Nequist on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:10:00 am 
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Is an airport a vital player in your region’s economic strategy? Are there ever ‘issues’ with your airport and its services? 

If you answered yes to either, you should make time to join a conversation about the Airport Cooperative Research Program hosted by researchers from Mead & Hunt. 

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators.  Mead & Hunt, Inc. is a nationally recognized aviation consulting firm leading this research team. This project will address common “disconnects” between community expectations and the realities faced by airport management about the roles that general aviation and commercial service airports play in their communities.

Project Objective:

This study will:

  • Identify the “Top 10” issues – the most significant controversies that arise as a result of confusion over the various roles played by airports.
  • Develop a Handbook to describe best practices for communicating the diverse roles of the airport to the general public, elected officials and the business community.
  • Enhance the Handbook with a user-friendly database that incorporates information and resources supporting the various components of the Handbook

What does ACRP want from you?  

  • One hour of your time to participate in a conversation on the phone
    • Date:  Thursday, October 9
    • Time:  2 pm EST 

Space is limited. To sign up and participate, just complete this brief survey that will provide your contact information to the research team.

Why does ACRP need your help?

The resulting Handbook will be used to help industry professionals respond to questions and criticisms with specially-designed resources and tools.  ACRP needs your help to:

  • Identify the “Top 10” issues from your unique perspective
  • Understand what kind of tools and resources will be most helpful

Teleconference log in information will be provided approximately one week prior to the call. 

Please note this is NOT an ACCE sponsored event… we are passing along the information because we believe the issue is very important to so many communities.

Tags: transportation airport research

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Labor Day 2014 Greeting

Mick Fleming on Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 
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“Summer? What summer?” That is the refrain I hear too often this time of year. Others of you will feel summer’s heat for another month or more. It is therefore unwise to remind people of the unofficial end to the season. Instead, I will wish you a very enjoyable football, back-to-school, leaf peeping, sweater golf, MLB “second” season. REALLY – have a good Fall!

Labor Day also marks the beginning of a new ACCE year – new officers, new strategic plan, new name, new brand and new marching orders from the board.

Hope you’ve heard about Chris Mead’s book, The Magicians of Main Street. This history of the chamber movement is getting rave reviews, especially from the hundreds of people at the convention who had copies personally signed (some had time to read half of the 350 pages while waiting for Chris to greet their friends ahead of them in line!). Visit http://magiciansofmainstreet.com for previews. Then help Chris out (it’s his, not ACCE’s, publication) by ordering a few hundred. Or maybe just 5 (for you, your chair, news editor, local library and office copy).

 

 

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Obesity is a Business Issue

Michelle Vegliante, Jessie Azrilian on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 
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More than two-thirds of US adults are obese or overweight, with 14 states touting an obesity rate above 30 percent. Now, Consider how a population of unhealthy adults impacts businesses - increased health care premiums, decreased employee productivity, and increased absenteeism. If current trends continue, the obesity rate is predicted to rise above 50% in the next 15 years.  A majority overweight or obese future workforce is harmful to U.S. competitiveness and holds potentially debilitating long-term economic impacts.

Children often learn habits from their parents, and research indicates that unhealthy kids become unhealthy adults. Employer measures to promote a culture of health in the workplace and greater community through corporate wellness programs and childhood obesity prevention initiatives can help ensure both the current and future workforce is healthy and prepared to succeed in a competitive economy.

A new report by the American Heart Association indicates Americans overestimate their own health: while 74% of the 2,000 surveyed employees reported being in good or very good health, in reality 42% of these employees had been diagnosed with a chronic condition such as high blood pressure. While this is a troubling snapshot of employee health, the findings also reflect important opportunities for business leaders to improve health outcomes in the workplace. Notably, the study highlighted the influence senior leadership has in driving employees to engage in workplace health programs.

Workplace and Community Wellness:
A recent Quickpoll of ACCE’s membership asked chamber leadership to describe their community’s and member’s concern related to the impact of employee health and childhood obesity on both the current and future workforce. From the 90 chamber executives surveyed, 93% rated their members as being either very concerned or slightly concerned about the impact of employee health on their businesses and 85% of chambers said their communities are concerned about preventing childhood obesity.

The graph below reflects chamber members’ concern about employee/family wellness as it affects the current workforce:

 

Chambers of commerce support both workforce and community wellness in several capacities- from convening members and serving as a health and wellness resource for businesses- to scaling their impact through community-wide initiatives. The ACCE Quickpoll revealed that 65% of surveyed chambers promote corporate wellness programs now or plan to do so in the future. Examples of how chambers engage include: hosting events such as roundtables and conferences to promote corporate wellness plans to members; joining or forming community-wide partnerships to address wellness issues; leading regional initiatives through chamber wellness committees, councils or sub-committees; and including corporate wellness in chambers’ economic strategic plans.  Both the Meadowlands (NJ) and Charlotte (NC) Chambers are prime examples of how Chambers are promoting these initiatives:

  • The Meadowlands (NJ) Chamber of Commerce’s Health & Wellness Committee focuses on supports that directly impact their members, producing an Annual Health & Wellness Guide with vital information to help members navigate healthcare insurance, health programs, safety compliance and wellness.
  • The Charlotte (NC) Chamber of Commerce seeks to impact the broader community through their health initiatives. The Healthy Charlotte Council, which is comprised of the chamber’s members, has a goal to help Charlotte achieve a top 10 ranking in the American Fitness Index within the next five years. The Council has set very specific goals for Charlotte, including: identifying key indicators of the fitness index and tracking status, establishing connectivity with pertinent organizations to drive community collaboration, and increasing the national reputation of Charlotte as a healthcare hub.


Childhood Health and Obesity Prevention:
In addition to corporate wellness initiatives, 65% of surveyed chambers from the Quickpoll also currently promote childhood wellness programs or plan to do so in the future. Examples of specific activities chambers noted include: supporting childhood obesity prevention in a chamber’s legislative agenda; working with local governments to implement child care ordinances; and providing topical surveys, reports and communication briefs to members.

Chamber Involvement in Supporting Childhood Wellness:

One example of Chamber involvement in this arena is the The Traverse City (MI) Chamber of Commerce. The Traverse City Chamber  is leading the way in supporting childhood wellness and connecting economic success to early childhood health and education through the Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative. Great Start is Michigan’s early childhood initiative and prioritizes “health” as one of its five main focus areas. Their farm to preschool initiative encourages early healthy eating habits by connecting local farms to home-based and center-based child care facilities to incorporate locally-grown fruits and vegetables into preschool meals and create age-and-culturally appropriate curriculum for students and parents to learn both deliver fruits and vegetables as well as teach children where their food comes from.

 

Interested in learning more? Visit the new “Workforce Wellness” webpage to learn how chambers are helping create healthier communities through initiatives to support childhood obesity prevention, corporate wellness, and access to healthcare.

 

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Forbes Etiquette Guide: How To Work A Room

HERO Team / Sarah Myers on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 
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As summer marches on, events requiring great networking skills seem to culminate. With chamber's summertime programs and events, as well as professional networking through events like ACCE's Annual Convention, not a day goes by without some kind of networking opportunity.

Even if you're a star networker, or perhaps want to learn to be a better one, we can all pick up some great yet simple tips from this fun, quirky, retro-style video with key points on how to effectively network. (If anything, the amusing graphics and music will make you smile and tap your foot, at least!) Watch the Forbes Etiquette Guide: How To Work A Room (2.23 min) and start applying these points to your own networking style. This was originally posted on ACCE's LinkedIn general discussion group in the thread on How to Work a Room- Get the Most out of Real-Life Networking.

More networking ideas are listed on ACCE's Chamberpedia pages for Networking Events and Networking Icebreakers, available in our Events and Programs main section.

Questions, thoughts, comments? We enjoy hearing from you! Email us at HERO@acce.org.

Tags: Convention, Events, icebreakers, Networking

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Results Available From New QuickPoll on Obesity Prevention/Corporate Wellness

HERO Team / Sarah Myers on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 12:00:00 am 
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ACCE's Education Attainment Division and HERO have released the latest QuickPoll results on Obesity Prevention/Corporate Wellness. 90 participants answered more than 7 questions on how chambers are involved in health initiatives. Here is a brief recap of several of the questions and responses.

1. Does your chamber promote corporate wellness programs now or plan to promote it in the future? 65% said yes. See the results to find out how chambers are involved in these programs.

 

2. Does your chamber promote childhood wellness now or plan to promote it in the future? 65.5% said no. See the results to find out how chambers are involved in these wellness initiatives.

 

3. How would you rate your community's attitude towards preventing childhood obesity? 71.1% said "slightly concerned" and 14.4 percent said "very concerned". See the results to find out what chamber's members say about the potential impact of childhood obesity on the future workforce. 

 

To see all the results, view ACCE's QuickPoll page on Obesity Prevention/Corporate Wellness. Find out more about how chambers are getting involved in wellness initiatives and read feedback from chambers on ways they are working with both corporate and childhood wellness.

For questions or more information on this QuickPoll or on the Education Attainment Division, please contact Jessie Azrilian, Director of Education Partnerships.

For more on ACCE's Surveys and Data, including QuickPolls, view our Research Overview page.

Tags: Corporate Wellness, Obesity Prevention, QuickPoll

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