Craig Chamber of Commerce preparing for U.S. accreditation

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In other action ...

At it’s regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, the Chamber of Commerce:

• Revised the mission statement.

• Approved 2012 goals and intentions.

• Set goal committees.

• Created a nominating committee to fill vacant board seat left by Jeremy Mattingly.

• Discussed State of the County dinner scheduled for Feb. 17.

• Created a program evaluation matrix to measure benefits of participation.

— Board members Gene Bilodeau and Gail Severson were absent from Thursday’s meeting.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce voted Thursday in favor of going through a national certification process few other organizations in the state have successfully completed.

In March, August and December of each calendar year, the United States Chamber of Commerce accepts applications for national accreditation.

It is the only program in the country that defines a standard of excellence in chamber planning and recognizes chambers for outstanding contributions toward positive change in their communities.

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.

Accreditation applications are evaluated and awarded one to five stars.

Chambers with a rating of three stars or better are listed on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website.

According to that site, only the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greeley Chamber of Commerce have successfully navigated the accreditation process.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce is hoping it will become the third in Colorado.

But Chamber executive director Chris Oxley isn’t concerned about the outcome.

“I don’t care if we get rated three stars or five stars,” Oxley said. “The actual accreditation is less important than going through the process.

“This is a way to ensure we are doing what’s best for our members and the community.”

Oxley said the chamber is shooting to meet the August 31 deadline.

As part of the review process, the Craig chamber will be evaluated on its policies, finances, ethics, communication with its members, how active it advocates for businesses in the legislature and whether or not it’s technology is up to date.

Oxley is confident the chamber is strong on a number of those issues, but appointed members to special boards to address how it can improve in government affairs, policies, marketing and bylaws.

The chamber set a separate deadline of Aug. 1 to have all paperwork in order for the accreditation, which would give the board a month to review its documents before sending them off to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

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