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Have you heard the news? The Osceola Chamber is beyond excited to share with our members and community that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded us the designation of “Accredited with 5 Stars” for our “sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.” (Their words!) This honor makes us the 9th 5-Star Accredited chamber in the state of Florida and part of only 2% of chambers nationwide.
The purpose of the U.S. Chamber’s Accreditation Program is to facilitate continuing excellence in the chamber industry and to foster a pro-business environment across America. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, communications, and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6-9 months to complete.
At The Osceola Chamber, we first began looking into seeking accreditation several years ago and have worked steadily to implement best practices in all areas of operation with improvements – some gradual, some overnight – over the last few years. Our accreditation journey has included everything from CPR training and building improvements to a complete re-brand and establishment of a political committee.
“Chambers of commerce that achieve an Accreditation designation are truly leaders in their industry.” said Raymond P. Towle, U.S. Chamber Vice President, Federation Relations and IOM. “This rigorous review includes all aspects of a chamber’s policies, operations, and programming. When chambers of commerce earn the distinction of becoming Accredited, it is a mark of excellence for the organization, its staff, and its leadership. Accredited chambers are recognized for their ability to serve as a resource to their region’s businesses while maintaining transparent governance practices, sound financial controls, safe work environments, effective communications, and value in programming. They are commended for their continued advocacy of free enterprise, and for their commitment to serving members and their local businesses. Congratulations on this tremendous accomplishment.”
Our 2022 Chairman Kevin Crain had this to say about our accreditation news, “Only 11 other Chambers in the state of Florida are accredited – and now we are the ninth with five stars. I thank The Osceola Chamber Board of Directors for supporting this effort and our outstanding Chamber staff for their relentless pursuit of this accolade, a well-deserved recognition of President Newstreet’s leadership and our staff’s dedication to excellence. I cannot wait to celebrate with my fellow directors and Chamber members.”
Chamber President/CEO John Newstreet added, “The Chamber’s tagline states ‘Business Works Better Together,’ and it is to the credit of our members, board, Chairman, and staff that we were able to demonstrate that message to our accreditors and walk away with a distinction that puts us among the top 3% of Chambers in the United States. This result, from an extremely arduous process, validates the important and fulfilling work we collectively do every day as The Osceola Chamber. Thank you to my team, my leadership, and all of our partners, especially Chair Kevin Crain, whose vision now translates to an impressive legacy! It makes me proud to know that we do it as well as or better than every other Chamber in the country, but our work continues, and we invite each and every reputable business to join our ranks and help each other achieve greater success.”
Chairman Crain and President Newstreet will celebrate with The Osceola Chamber Board of Directors at their next board meeting on December 15, 2022 at The Osceola Chamber offices.
More on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Accreditation
Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. State chambers are recognized as either Accredited State Chamber or Accredited State Chamber with Distinction. The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members.
The Chamber of Commerce of the United States is the world’s largest business organization. Members range from the small businesses and chambers of commerce across the country that support their communities, to the leading industry associations and global corporations that innovate and solve for the world’s challenges, to the emerging and fast-growing industries that are shaping the future. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a trusted advocate, partner, and network, helping them improve society and people’s lives.