Travis Toliver  
Executive Director at Waverly Chamber of Commerce
Greetings fellow Chamber Executives! I am honored to serve as your newest board member and to assist with the leadership and growth of this organization. As this is my first article for the ICCE newsletter, I want to share some thoughts about how to keep your cool when the going gets tough. I hope you will find some takeaways from the commentary below that have proven successful for me throughout my career.

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes... until you are involved with a project in your community which causes change, progress or temporary setbacks. Then you find yourself asking the question, "Where have all the flowers gone?"

As leaders in our industry, we all have come to accept the realization that our actions or decisions are not going to please everyone all of the time. I'm sure, like me, you have tried to find the narrow path between two sides of an issue, ensuring you are not stepping on too many toes. However, there comes a day when a difficult choice must be made either by you or your board and once that happens, you have to stand by it. So how do you handle the negative fallout from that decision? Let's take a look at some scenarios which I am sure we have all experienced at one time or another:
  1. How do you explain yourself when you or members of your team have made a mistake?
    First, you need to recognize that an error has been made and take ownership as the leader of your organization. The buck stops with you and no matter the situation, everyone from your team of employees to Chamber members will be looking towards you for a response. Take advantage of the situation by showing them what kind of leader you are and face the music head on. Doing this, will show others that you are taking charge of the situation and able and willing to take the heat for it. Also, be proactive instead of reactive; don't wait for questions to form but rather try to answer them before they are asked. Getting out in front of a situation will help to put it to rest more quickly than if you wait.
  2. Should you respond to attacks about you or the Chamber on social media?

    The answer is NO. Do not respond to attacks, whether on Facebook, Twitter or another form of online commentary. Feel free to follow the chatter but no matter what is said, jumping into a string of inaccuracies with defensive emotion will rarely end in a professional resolution. Take the high road and respond to accusations or ridicule either in person, through local TV or radio stations, or by releasing a statement to your local newspaper and posting it to your organization's website. By not engaging in the circus that is social media, you create a situation by which you have more control and will be viewed as an informed and refined stance. By staying above the situation, your members and board of directors will appreciate your professionalism.
  3. How do you handle a member or business owner walking into your office or calling you on the phone that continuously accuse and/or complain about something?

I encourage you to take the high road and learn to LAFF.

LISTEN: I have put out many fires by just hearing someone out. Openly listening to one's concerns, without defense, and giving him or her time to completely tell me their side of the story always helps to build trust and gives the person value by hearing them. Ultimately, they feel validated and understood (one of the Five Human Truths).
APOLOGIZE with Empathy: Put yourself in the other's shoes and try to understand their viewpoint. Even if it's not the Chamber's fault, apologizing for the situation brings both parties back to a common ground to rebuild from.
FIND a Solution: 90% of the time there is a solution. Find it and explain this to the concerned party. Walking them through each action step of what you are going to do or what they can do to rectify the situation provides a direction to move forward with and often leads to resolution.
FOLLOW Through & Up: Once you have found the solution, no matter the situation, make sure you carry it out. Don't wait or stall because of a busy schedule. If it gets pushed to the side and remains incomplete, this will create a factor of distrust. See your action list through and then take a moment to follow up with the person to ensure all is well. This creates a relationship of trust and a bond which, if properly maintained, can endure for years to come.

I hope that some of these best practices will be helpful when sticky situations arise. The key is to not let yourself get caught up in the moment but have the ability to step back from the situation and think three steps ahead of your actions to find the best results for you and your Chamber.

Fall Conference 
October 5-7, 2016, 
Hosted by Orange City Chamber of Commerce. 
Mark your Calendar Now
You won't want to miss the Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives Fall Conference scheduled for October 5-7, 2016. Your committee is working on a great agenda for the 2 ½ day conference at the Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City, Iowa. Hotel arrangements can be made at the Hampton Inn and newly remodeled Super 8. Watch for the flyer with all of the details.

Interested in being considered to host either of the 2017 conferences?
Please complete an application linked below:

Hosting Fall Conference 2017

4:00 PM - October 5, 2016
Prairie Winds Event Center
Orange City, Iowa
For all the new Chamber Executives and Chamber staff ICCE will hold a new member orientation at the Winds Event Center from 4:00 - 5:00 on Wednesday, October 5th. This will be a great opportunity for each of you to better understand what ICCE has to offer you and your chamber, and meet other new members. If you know of any new Chamber Executive or Staff please let Shar Pardubsky, ICCE Executive Director know so ICCE can officially welcome them.
MACE Conference 
ICCE was very well represented at the MACE Conference last week in Sioux Falls. Thank you to all ICCE members who were in attendance.
Mark your calendar for the 2017 MACE Conference May 3-5, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown, Sioux Falls.

Congratulations Robin Anderson, Mason City Area Chamber of Commerce, President, the newly elected 2016/2017 MACE Chair. ICCE looks forward to your leadership.

Congratulations to our ICCE winners at MACE, we couldn't be prouder. 

MACE Scholarship Winners - Blain Andera, Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce and Allison Cooke, Sheldon Chamber of Commerce.

Event of the Year
winner - Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce - Leadership Education and Advancement Pipeline (LEAP), and Publication of the Year - Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce - Get Into Grinnell "Weekly Community E-Newsletter".

Nominated as Executive of the Year was Dave Schwartz, West Des Moines Chamber

ICCE also wants to congratulate the MACE winners in the other award categories.
Executive of the Year - Todd Klingel - Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and Public Policy of the Year - TwinWest Chamber of Commerce - Plastic Bag Ban

Thank you to Mary Bontrager, Executive Vice President, Greater Des Moines Partnership , for serving on the panel discussing chamber workforce studies and best practices. We all have workforce issues and the information shared by the panel was very informative.

All presentations and discussions from the MACE Conference can be viewed by going to MACE website. Click Here.
ICCE Quarterly Webinar Series

Another Great Benefit of Being an ICCE Member
We hope you enjoyed the first of a 4 part webinar series that ICCE is offering. If you were unable to participate, you can still sign up for the remaining three. This is a new webinar series from industry expert Frank J. Kenny to show you how to do content marketing for chambers at a reduced price. Each series relates and builds from the previous session, but they are also designed to be very useful as stand-alone sessions as well if you cannot make it to them all. Each session is an hour long and will include many recent examples and lessons from the chamber and other related industries.

The 2 nd webinar series is scheduled for
Thursday, July 14 th at 10:00 AM on
Engagement through Social Media - Growing Know,
Like and Trust (While Increasing Retention)

Click here for more information on the series and to register now!
ICCE 100 Year Celebration
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Fall Conference Dinner
Because ICCE knows how busy each of you are with summer events, your "100 Year Celebration Committee" decided to celebrate its 100 Years at this year's Fall Conference, Thursday, October 6 th.

We will invite all past ICCE chairs and staff to our Thursday evening dinner. We will have a program of events from the past and introduce all in attendance. We will also have some testimonials from past presidents and staff on how ICCE impacted their careers. Please, let's have a great turn out for the conference. Show those who helped build and develop ICCE into what it is today, how much we appreciate all their foresight in making ICCE great.

If you have any past history pictures, please email them to Shar. ( iowachamberexecs@gmail.com )
ICCE Heading to Ireland
Discover and Explore Scenic Ireland

Because of the renovation of the Adare Manor, we have moved our location for overnight stays to Savoy Hotel in Limerick. This will not change any other plans for the trip.  The Savoy is as beautiful as the Adare and has great shopping, restaurants and is in the beautiful town of Limerick.  If you have any questions regarding the change in location please contact Shar Pardubsky at (515) 240-8785. Don't wait too long, reservations are going fast.  We have two chambers with 20 signed up to travel.
Reminder - 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.  Also, once your chamber has 10 travelers the 11th is at no cost.    
Click Here for the reservation form
Click Here for more details at the ICCE website
Have you been to a regional meeting lately? Check the ICCE events calendar for upcoming regional meetings. These meetings are a great opportunity to meet with other Chambers to discuss issues of concern, interest and to network with your colleagues from throughout your region.

Click here to see the ICCE Events Calendar, which also includes other ICCE meetings.

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.
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