Cape's chamber of commerce gets national recognition

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce learned last week that it received a four-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Accreditation was one of the goals of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce as outlined by its board of directors in the 2005 Annual Report and Business Plan.

"This accreditation is a great honor that this chamber of commerce shares with not only its board and staff but with its great membership whose contributions have been invaluable to our community," said John Mehner, president and CEO. "To receive a four-star accreditation the first time speaks very highly of our chamber."

This news comes just as the chamber received the 2005 Chamber of the Year Award from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

"Accreditation is one of the highest honors bestowed on local chambers fighting for pro-growth and jobs policies at the federal, state, and local level," said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We are proud to recognize these chambers and their members for helping to advance the principles of free enterprise -- the bedrock of this prestigious award."

To achieve accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. The final rating -- accredited, three stars, four stars or five stars -- depends on the chamber's ability to successfully meet additional criteria, including: accountability, financial transparency, employee involvement, political advocacy and community involvement. The accrediting board, a panel of U.S. Chamber board members, votes on the final accreditation.

The accreditation program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the only one of its kind to monitor the dynamic chamber of commerce industry. Rolled out in 1964, the program was developed by a team of chamber executives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for continuous improvement of local chambers of commerce.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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