By Tim Coffey, IOM, CEO  Cl ea r Lake Area Chamber

Happy New Year!! Like always, here's a chance to clean the slate and start fresh!  I think it's safe  t o say we all like fresh starts.

Which leads me to ask several questions.  We frequently get asked, "What do you do?" All of us may have both similar and different responses when it  comes to working at the Chamber. After all, what's that old saying, "When you see one Chamber, you see one Chamber?" 

But here's something to think about as you start the New Year.  Have you ever thought of why you work at the Chamber?  We all have different answers for that one too, but I think it's a question that's important. The answers could even give more wind to our wings as we venture out into the Chamber world, 2016 version.

So, why do you work at the Chamber?  I hope and trust its way beyond the "I need a paycheck" rut.  When I attended graduate school, we had to write a biography based on the type of work we did and why we did that work. In my case, I was in fundraising. I had never studied the philosophy behind philanthropy, how it really affects me and why it matters to me, let alone the factors that personally got me to do fundraising.  That particular self-examination was a real eye opener for me.

Fast, forward, I then joined the Chamber world for various reasons.  I thought I could take a career of not-for-profit experience and apply it to my new Chamber job, which I could and did. I also felt strongly that this was my way to really make a difference in my community. It could even be a start to creating something of an intangible legacy imprint.  Plus, like my fundraising experiences, I thought I could (and did) get a lot of psychic income from the position when making impacts and improvements. In addition, I like the entrepreneurial element in economic development, since I was once in business for myself. Finally, I like variety and creating things, and the Chamber world was a perfect fit.

A bonus to what I liked to do was in the legislative area. I always had an intense interest in current events and the ins and outs of politics. My Chamber job gave me a chance to have an inside view of the policy areas and work closely with elected officials. In doing so, I now have a completely different picture of our local and state elected officials who work tirelessly and diligently for the good of their constituents, not the Beltway version of politics.

You don't have to get too heady in your responses. Nevertheless, a quick self-reflection could lead you to some interesting insights into your work. It could also reinforce your professionalism.

So, I ask the question again:   Why do you work in the Chamber world?  Another question that could compliment that is, "What can the Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives do to help you achieve even more in your work in 2016?" Two questions, a New Year, your reasons, your choice.

Happy New Year again. I hope to see you at the one-day ICCE conference in Des Moines March 29 th at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport hosted by the East/South Des Moines Chamber.

(Please note date change to March 29th)

Mick Fleming, President, ACCE (Guest Speaker)

The One Day Conference/Annual Meeting is scheduled for March 29, 2016 and will be hosted by East/South Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.

The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport, 6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines

The One Day Conference will feature a guest speaker, Mick Fleming, President of ACCE.

During the Annual Meeting there will be a celebration of ICCE's 100 year anniversary, and presentation of scholarships.  

Rooms will be available at the Holiday Inn cost of $99 plus tax.  Reservations call 515-287-2400 or 1-800-248-4013.  Be sure to inform them you are with ICCE to get the reduced rate.

The One Day Conference/Annual Meeting is an opportunity to invite your board members and volunteers.  This gives them the opportunity to better understand what ICCE is all about, and meet other Chambers and volunteers.

Cost for the One Day Conference is $75.00 per ICCE member and $50.00 per volunteer. 

Mick Fleming, ACCE President -    Mick Fleming serves the needs of 1,400 chambers of  commerce and related organizations.  His staff provides information, professional development, certifications, employee benefits plans, conference, consulting and networking opp ortunities for community leaders throughout the United States and Canada.   Mick's diverse career has included teaching, coaching, publishing, communications, management, marketing and lobbying positions.  Mick is a sought out speaker for all organizations throughout the country, and ICCE is extremely lucky to have him speak to our members and volunteers at our March 29 th conference.  

Mark your calendars

Fall Conference - October 5-7, 2016, Hosted by Orange City Chamber of Commerce.
Would you be interested in hosting either the One Day Conference or Fall Conference in 2017?  If you are interested in being considered to host either of the 2017 conferences, please see the following applications linked below:
ICCE Celebrating 100 Years in 2016

ICCE will be celebrating 100 years of growth, development and existence.  ICCE plans to kick off a celebration at our annual meeting March 29, 2016.  Thank you to our committee, chaired by Vicki Mallory, Tom Kuhlman, Linda Washburn, Bill Phelan, Tim Coffey, Meg Schneider and Kay Breuer, who are working to make this a celebration throughout the year.  They need your help, if you have any history, pictures, and information on ICCE from the past please pass it on to Vicki at vmallory@algona.org, or you may also contact her at 515-295-7201.  If you are interested in serving on the committee we would encourage you to let Vicki know.  

As an ICCE member, it's time to think about planning for 2016 and the conferences you plan to attend.  

ICCE strives to be the preferred choice of Iowa Chamber Executives and staff for professional development and industry enhancement.  In that spirit, ICCE is offering scholarships for four conferences.  

As a member of  ICCE, your can apply for a scholarship for the U.S. Chamber Institute program, the MACE Annual Conference, the U.S. Chamber Government Affairs and the ICCE Fall Conference.

Applications are due February 15, 2016 and will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.

Please CLICK HERE to apply for a scholarship.

Missed an Issue?  Find it on our Website 

Did you miss an issue of the monthly ICCE Newsletter?   You can find them on the ICCE website, under the Programs and Services tab.  Click here to view other issues of the Newsletter
Showcase Iowa's Small Business Success!

Join the US Small Business Administration (SBA) in recognizing Iowa's best and brightest small business owners and champions during National Small Business Week in May. Nominate yourself, a client, friends or family or a colleague for SBA's prestigious Small Business Week awards. Visit the website for more information.
ICCE Heading to Ireland - October 19, 2016 - Discover and Explore Scenic Ireland

ICCE members this is an opportunity for your Chamber to make some additional revenue.  For each traveler your Chamber signs up you will receive $200.

Chamber Discoveries and ICCE Staff are willing to come to your Chamber or region to make a presentation to your members and community on any date and time that would work for you.  Chamber Discoveries will be in Iowa January 12
th and January 13 th to give presentations to the Ankeny and Urbandale Chambers and the Southwest Region. 

If you and your members would like to attend one of these meetings in Urbandale, Ankeny, or the Southwest Region you are more than welcome.  Chamber Discoveries will be in Urbandale January 12 th at 4:30 PM, Ankeny, January 13, 4:30 PM and in Council Bluffs for the Southwest Regional meeting at 10:00 AM.  Or if you have any specific date that would work for you and your Chamber, Chamber Discoveries would be more than happy to give a presentation. 

Please contact Shar Pardubsky, ICCE Executive Director, and she will work with you and Chamber Discoveries to confirm a date and time.  Don't wait too long as deadline for registration is coming soon. 

Remember ICCE would like to promote this as a state wide benefit to ICCE members, your membership and community.  This is a great benefit for all ICCE members, but the relationships made from throughout the state will be everlasting.  If you need help in promoting please feel free to contact any board member or Shar.

To see the video and other Ireland information 
Click Here  to visit the website!

Greater Des Moines to Host 2018 ACCE Convention
Des Moines chosen to host Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) annual event
Congratulations to Greater Des Moines.  ICCE is excited to learn that ACCE will be coming to Iowa which attracts around 1,000 chamber of commerce executives from around the world for interactive workshops, lectures, and the opportunity to meet and discuss issues of interest.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Greater Des Moines will host the 2018 ACCE Annual Convention, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).  The event will be held in the summer of 2018 in Downtown Des Moines at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention. 
Regional Meetings

Regional meetings are continuing to be held.  These meetings are very informative and gives you the opportunity to meet with Chambers within your region to discuss issues that pertain not only to your region but also gives you an opportunity to discuss chamber issues you may want to share with one another.  Remember to add your meeting dates to the ICCE events calendar.  
Click here to see the ICCE Events Calendar, which also includes all ICCE board meetings.

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you to our Gold sponsors: