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Chamber again receives five-star accreditation

by Gazette Staff | November 14, 2020 at 4:00 a.m.

The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce has once again received a 5-Star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the highest such designation in the chamber organization, the Chamber of Commerce said Friday in a news release.

The accreditation is based on the chamber's "sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community," the release said.

Local chambers are rated as Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members. In Arkansas, only three other Chambers of Commerce have earned this designation, and the Greater Hot Springs Chamber is the only 5-Star accredited chamber outside of Northwest Arkansas, the release said.

The local chamber is also one of only 132 chambers out of approximately 7,000 in the country to earn the 5-Star designation, it said.

The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce first achieved the designation in 2015. Chamber President/CEO Gary Troutman credited his entire staff and especially chamber VP Betsy Atkins and Chairman Neal Harrington for coordinating this submission.

"Our whole team, led by Betsy, put a tremendous amount of effort into this accreditation project over the course of seven months earlier this year, and we have been waiting since the end of August to see how we did. We are tremendously proud to be recognized by the U.S. Chamber for the support and advocacy we strive to give on a daily basis to the local businesses we are honored to represent," Troutman said.

"Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6-9 months to complete," the release said.

"Each day, chambers of commerce across this nation play a critical role in their communities," said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. "From connecting business owners with needed resources, to advocating on behalf of their region with lawmakers, these chambers convene thought leaders to strengthen the collective voices of their members."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


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