ACCE - American Chamber of commerce executives

Body of Knowledge

ACCE developed the Body of Knowledge for the chamber profession. It establishes benchmarks for the chamber profession and serves as the foundation for ACCE's educational programs. The document outlines general job competencies and is updated, as necessary, to reflect current chamber profession practices. It is understood that chamber professionals need not have expertise or direct responsibility in all of these areas yet should have a comprehensive understanding of how each component impacts the chamber. By reviewing the Body of Knowledge and working towards comprehending and implementing these practices, chamber professionals will be empowered with the essential skills necessary to be successful in the profession.

Management

 General Management

  • Apply management theories for effective management of the chamber of commerce
  • Promote an organizational culture that is sensitive and responsive to the needs, interests, and values of the entire membership
  • Create a climate of inclusiveness that promotes understanding, respect, and appreciation for diversity
  • Develop and implement strategies to encourage best practices and introduce and manage change and innovation
  • Apply logical steps to project management process, including needs analysis, planning, prioritizing, program development, implementation, management, and evaluation

 Governance

  • Establish, integrate, and maintain an effective governance structure (e.g., board, executive committee, nominating committee) to guide the mission of the chamber
  • Establish and maintain effective committees, task forces to support the development and implementation of chamber priorities
  • Conduct on-going review of governance documents (e.g., articles of incorporation, bylaws) to ensure that they reflect current practices
  • Ensure that volunteer leadership and committees represent the diversity of the membership (e.g., type of businesses, age, gender, ethnicity, geography)
  • Establish and maintain an appropriate volunteer recruitment, training, recognition, and accountability system
  • Educate and orient board members, volunteers, and staff regarding their respective roles and responsibilities

  Decision Making

  • Practice intuitive and analytical decision making
  • Assess and calculate risk in making decisions in the best interest of the chamber and balance those decisions with the best interest of the community
  • Practice and demonstrate collaborative leadership
  • Develop future community leaders and involve them in decision making process
  • Determine member goals and develop an organizational strategy to achieve them
  • Lead by example through maintaining the highest degree of personal integrity and professional ethics and identify/resolve ethical dilemmas
  • Practice and ensure the use of effective and ethical negotiation skills for self and others to resolve conflict and/or achieve consensus

  Consensus Building

  • Demonstrate inclusiveness vs. exclusiveness, ensuring that the board of directors and volunteer participation is an accurate representation of the community
  • Identify and bring together groups with a common interest to develop a plan reach mutual goals
  • Communicate mutually advantageous goals and objectives to appeal to new allies
  • Encourage and support partnerships to address regional issues that are vital to business growth and community prosperity

Planning and Development

  Strategic Planning

  • Ensure a focused mission and vision that is communicated to members, staff, and the public
  • Execute a needs assessment to best understand the needs of the membership/community
  • Establish and implement a strategic planning process that advances the chamberís mission and vision
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the strategic plan on a continual basis and revise as necessary
  • Develop a business plan with tactics that advances the strategic goals of the chamber
    Evaluate feedback/data from a variety of sources (e.g., trend monitoring, focus groups, evaluations)
    Conduct research to strengthen operations and to advance chamber/community goals (e.g., needs assessment, market analyses, benchmarking, best practices studies)

  Public Policy Development and Advocacy

  • Monitor local, state and federal legislation and regulations
  • Recommend and advocate public policy positions
  • Develop specific action steps that will position the chamber to garner increased legislative influence
  • Serve as principal and powerful advocate of business interests
  • Implement grassroots membership involvement
  • Form coalitions where appropriate to address single issues of common interest

  Economic Betterment

  • Identify and address key factors that encourage the start-up, attraction, retention, and expansion of business
  • Enhance and leverage the talents and resources of members to create a climate for growth and prosperity
  • Marshal resources to achieve goals

  Development of Programs, Products, and Services

  • Identify and prioritize the need for programs/products/services based on the chamberís goals and the needs and interests of members/community
  • Conduct needs assessment/market research to evaluate the feasibility of introducing programs/products/services
  • Conduct periodic review and evaluation of programs/products/services and make recommendations regarding maintenance, improvement, or discontinuation
  • Identify, develop, and monitor revenue sources (e.g., events, affinity programs, publications, grants)

Membership and Communication

 Membership Recruitment and Retention

  • Conduct needs analysis to determine current membersí needs in the context of the chamberís mission and objectives
  • Plan and implement membership recruitment and retention program based on the strategic plan and results of the needs analysis
  • Identify and implement strategies to continually gather member feedback and to increase member return on investment
  • Invest in systems, databases and supporting technology to improve efficiency in managing membership

 Communication and Marketing

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive marketing communications plan to promote key initiatives, programs, products, and services and to enhance member recruitment and retention
  • Build awareness and visibility of the chamber through public relations and media efforts
  • Utilize an effective information-gathering and management system that establishes the chamber as an information resource center
  • Develop strong interpersonal, written, public speaking and presentation skills
  • Utilize technology in marketing communications

Operations

  Financial Management

  • Ensure appropriate financial resources to support chamber initiatives
  • Demonstrate sound fiscal management
  • Develop, recommend and implement budgets that support the strategic plan and systems for monitoring and managing financial performance
  • Demonstrate knowledge of IRS code and structure of tax-exempt organizations
  • Establish a financial reporting system that provides clear, accurate and complete reports for the board
  • Ensure that finances are independently reviewed and audited on a yearly basis
  • Develop long-range financial plans
  • Establish, implement, and manage a reserve and investment policy
  • Establish value pricing of products, services and membership
  • Demonstrate knowledge of contractual relationships with regards to affiliates, foundations, endowments and for-profits

  Human Resources

  • Ensure a work environment that fosters staff teamwork, communications, efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Demonstrate inclusiveness vs. exclusiveness, ensuring that the staff is an accurate representation of the community
  • Promote quality work performance and encourage professional excellence
  • Participate in and promote professional development and training to enhance knowledge and skills
  • Develop and manage a salary administration program
  • Recruit, hire, and train qualified staff
  • Establish criteria for, and conduct effective performance evaluations
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate personnel policies manual and procedures manual
  • Create a healthy work environment including the chamberís physical plant and equipment
  • Maintain legal documents; follow federal, state and local laws; document all instituted policies, bylaws, etc
  • Protect the fiduciary interests of the chamber, members and staff through insurance
  • Develop and maintain proper security and emergency procedures in the workplace

  Technology

  • Determine the appropriate information technology system needed to support and advance chamber goals and initiatives
  • Conduct ongoing analysis to confirm that information technology system is performing in line with staff and member needs and expectations
  • Identify areas in which new technology tools can improve design, development, and delivery of communication, products and services
  • Ensure that a technology plan is in place which addresses technology management, policies, budgeting and staff training

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Official Corporate Sponsors

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