Glenwood Springs Chamber named tops in nation
The fourth time was a charm for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, which was named the 2013 Chamber of the Year in its category Wednesday at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives conference in Oklahoma City.
“As our board chairman [Michael McCallum] said, this is a real testament to our entire community to receive this honor,” said Marianne Virgili, longtime president and CEO of the Glenwood Chamber, in a telephone interview Thursday. “It’s really exciting to be recognized for our work by our peers in the chamber industry.”
Accepting the award along with Virgili were McCallum and the entire chamber management team, who were also in attendance at the three-day conference.
“This award is well-deserved and recognizes decades of collaboration and excellence,” McCallum said in a prepared statement. “It is a testament not only to the business community but the entire city of Glenwood Springs as well.”
The Chamber of the Year award was given in four categories this year, with similar chambers grouped together, Virgili said.
The other two finalists in Glenwood Springs’ category were the Moore County Chamber of Commerce from Southern Pines, N.C., and the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce from Palatka, Fla.
This was the fourth time the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was chosen as a finalist but the first time it has won the award.
The American Chamber of Commerce Executives annually recognizes up to five chambers of commerce for their work in “Leading Businesses, Leading Communities.” The award recognizes excellence in operations, member services, communications and community leadership, according to a press release.
The selection process includes a survey and extensive application from the participating chambers. The survey analyzes population and businesses in the service area, the total number of member accounts, and annual revenue.
Chambers meeting the minimum requirements in the survey are invited to apply for the Chamber of the Year award. This year, a record 200 chambers qualified.
The chambers are then evaluated on their financial and membership performance, as well as their communications and community programs.
Virgili said the Glenwood Chamber highlighted several of its accomplishments for 2012.
One was the innovative partnership with Colorado Mountain College, which resulted in the new downtown visitor center at the corner of Eighth and Grand.
The chamber also highlighted its electronic marketing strategy, which Virgili said has resulted in improved communication through email and social media, as well as print and radio advertising and a new tiered dues program for members that brings more value to being a chamber member.
The final step in the application process was a face-to-face interview with local chamber representatives the day before the award announcement.
Virgili said the panel was impressed that McCallum took time out of his busy schedule to be present at the conference.
“That was a significant part of the process, and I want to thank Mike for being the engaging, charismatic leader he is,” she said.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association has 620 members, which includes 78 percent of the businesses in Glenwood Springs plus 200 out-of-town business members, Virgili said.
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