This month the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce received national recognition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its high community involvement and effective organization. The award places the Lincoln Square business group among an elite 3 percent of all chamber groups in the nation.
“It’s a great thing for our membership,” says Melissa Flynn, the Chamber’s Executive Director. “It lets them know that we’re a professionally run organization. We’ve put the members first. It just says to them that they’re getting return on their investment.”
The three-star accreditation comes at the end of a four-year training regimen provided by the U.S. Chamber. Only 227 of the 7,000 chambers of commerce in the nation have received accreditation, and most of them represent considerably larger areas than the non-profit Lincoln Square group.
The training program and accreditation process “bus-proofs” the organization, Flynn says. “If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, the organization moves forward.”
The Lincoln Square group now has a written five-year strategic plan written by its board members as well as newly documented procedures for membership development, business development and volunteer management.
“We have so many volunteers,” Flynn says. “But we really haven’t had a great system for using volunteers and to make it a meaningful opportunity for them as well. It formalizes the process, provides volunteer training, gives them different options on how to engage and help connect our business community with our volunteers.”