The Horizon Initiative:  Chamber 2025

The Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025

I was at the recent Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) conference, a gathering of over 1,300 Chamber people from across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. 

The organization offers continuing training to Chamber executives and serves as the governing body for Chamber of Commerce Best Practices.

The Horizon Initiative was the big topic of discussion. In 2014 ACCE launched the Horizon Initiative Task Force to tap into the collective Chamber wisdom and other sources to predict what our lives might be like in 2025. The goal was not to tell Chambers what they would do or be in 2025, but to identify influences and how they might shape chambers, their regions and their business community. 

Following are eight key influences that will affect our world.

1. The Nature of Belonging and Gathering: There will be a revolution in who and how. Recognizing the difference between "joining" and "Associating". Millennials and Next Gens will continue to shape the "meeting" world with virtual meetings, cloud gatherings, and electronic mass gatherings. Events will be judged by what value it brings and attendance does not equal network. Members become clients and value must keep those clients.
2. Communications & Technology: Mass customization and complete connectivity will be the rule not the exception. Technology will not differentiate success but human support of technology and the efficiencies generated will. The value of mass information will decline while the value of filtering and analysis will rise with the advent of feedback loops to judge immediate impact.
3. Scarcity & Abundance: On the edge of abundant wonders, discoveries and technology, we encounter challenges of shortages in water, energy, talent, land, connectivity and leadership. Swings in availability, demand and value will open doors and squash opportunity.
4. Global Impacts: The world will come to your door every day. Non-U.S. markets will rock with opportunity and strong communities matter to global companies. Members will depend on Chamber's awareness and relationships creating investment opportunities.
5. Population Shift: Millennials not boomers will become workplace majority. Non-whites will become the majority population and community perception, brand and reality will be affected by population mix.
6. Political and Social Fragmentation: Intensifying separation in political and social environments globally will complicate ability to reach consensus. Community leaders through Chambers must act as the catalyst for resolving conflict and utilizing collective impact modeling to arrive at solutions. Stronger decisions will be made locally minimizing higher levels of government in local decisions allowing them to make worldly decisions.
7. Resource Alignment: Tying the money to the mission will anchor the hunt for revenue. Community investors will fund Chambers as fundable catalysts in a sometimes gridlocked environment as long as mission is targeted. Donors will want progress, not engagement.
8. Catalytic Leadership: Leadership matters more in a diverse and distracted world. Expectations of leadership will rise and consequences of poor or misdirected leadership will be swift and severe. Catalytic leaders crave and create change, rather than help people cope with it.
The influences described here are real and they will affect you as business leaders and us as a community. Government, business leaders and citizens have to address these factors and the Chamber's goal must be to assist businesses and civic entities to thrive in a world shaped by these oncoming pressures and opportunities.

The Chamber is positioned to lead in this effort. We hope businesses will be in a position to join us in this move to 2025.

ICCE Fall Conference Registration Open!

ICCE Fall Conference October 7-9, 2015, Clear Lake, Iowa

The Clear Lake Chamber and the Fall Conference Committee has planned a great conference for ICCE members.  You still have time to register.  You can go to the ICCE website to see the agenda for the conference. And, watch this video from the Clear Lake Chamber!  

The ICCE Conferences offers each of its members a  huge benefit to meet your chamber colleagues and hear from some great speakers.  Your committee has also planned a couple evenings to enjoy networking with one another in Clear Lake one of Iowa's great tourist attractions. 

Dress for the conference is business casual, evening activities casual, bring a jacket.
Fall Conference Sponsors
Please take note of our conference sponsors.  We want to thank them in advance for their continued support.  We couldn't do these conferences without them.  
The cost is $199. A hotel room costs $84 per night plus tax and can be secured only by calling 1-800-606-3552 (the Best Western toll free number).  

Orientation for New Executives/Staff: 

ORIENTATION for New Members - Executives/Staff
Plan on attending the new member orientation on Wednesday, October 7th at 4:00 PM held in the Opal Room at the Holiday Lodge.  This is a great way to meet other new members and learn what ICCE has to offer you and your Chamber.
Jay Handler
Sustainable Growth Models for Membership
The world is changing, and we need to catch up! Jay will talk about ways to Recruit, Engage and Retain members and challenge some of  the "old methods" we've been using for the last 50 years as an industry. Be ready to bash a few  sacred cows over the head!  

Andy Sokolovich: Unleash Strengths: This October, at the ICCE Fall Conference in Clear Lake, Iowa, I will reveal how Strengths-based development can be applied to common problem areas within the Chamber of Commerce. I will provide you with the tools necessary to facilitate critical conversations between your staff, board, volunteers, current members, as well as prospective members.

Here is a breakdown of the information I'll be presenting at the ICCE Fall Conference:

Define Strengths and Learn How to Identify Talents:  What is strength?  Four Domains of Team Strength/ How to identify talents in staff, board & members

Managing Weaknesses:  Are you the right fit for the job?  The team conversation/ Moving Forward with Strengths in-mind

Boost Member Engagement:  Acknowledgement techniques/ The Bucket concept/ Must ask questions

 C reate Sustainable Organizational Growth:  More Volunteers/S upportive Board Members/ Create emotional attachment to chamber membership/ Build a foundation of engaged Ambassadors.

I'm excited for the opportunity to share what I've learned during my years as a Chamber volunteer, member and Ambassador.  I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you in October.  Until then....Viva la STRENGTHS!

      Andy Sokolovich of
              - Define Strengths & Learn How to Identify Talents
              - Managing Weaknesses
              - Boost Member Engagement
              - Create Sustainable Organizational Growth
Take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment on your own ahead of the conference.  Obtain the code at - Top 5 Assessment for $15 which includes an electronic copy of the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.   (Any questions accessing the assessment contact:
Be sure to download Andy's free eBook "5 Steps to Kick-Starting your TOP 5 at

ChamberMaster Regional Training - October 7, 2015, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Space is limited, make your reservations now!   Last chance to register!!

Cost:  $99 per person.  Space is limited to 40 attendees.  

  During this session you will learn about: 
  • Best practices for member management
  • Member application form setup
  • Communication tools and tips
  • New events guest list features and tips
  • Meaningful reports for strategic decision making
  • Billing tips & tricks (does not cover legacy billing using CQI)
  • New features
Includes Q&A time and peer discussion.

Wednesday, October 7- Friday, October 9, 2015
Clear Lake, Iowa


ICCE  welcomes new Chamber Executives Cassie Johnson, Lake Mills Chamber and Mallory Mitchell, Garner Chamber.
2016 One Day Conference Scheduled
Mark your Calendar for April 7, 2016 One Day Conference.  More information to follow.

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.
Regional Meetings

This is a great way to meet with other Chambers within your region.  They are very informative and give you an opportunity to discuss issues that affect you and or your region.  Remember to add your meeting dates to the ICCE events calendar.  If you have not scheduled a regional meeting please do so. 
Click here to see the ICCE Events Calendar, which also includes all ICCE board meetings.
Hosting ICCE Conferences

Would your chamber be interested in hosting either the One Day Conference or Fall Conference in 2016/2017. Find out more about what conference hosting entails by reviewing the following two documents:

ICCE is Going to Ireland
Want to learn more about ICCE's trip to Ireland, come to the Fall Conference and hear a presentation from Chamber Discoveries on how you can bring in $200 in additional revenue for every person signing up to travel to Ireland from your Chamber and/or community.  Once 10 tickets are sold in your ICCE region the 11th ticket will be free to a traveler at the regions choice. 
Go to the ICCE website and learn all about the trip along with a press release you can use for your members and community. Press release can be adjusted to best fit your Chamber.

Save the Date

MACE Regional Policy Conference & Political Bootcamp - Wednesday, November 4th - Thursday November 5th at the Double Tree by Hilton - 1500 Park Place Blvd., Minneapolis, MN.  To register, go to this link.
Thank you to our sponsor: 

Thank you to our Gold sponsors: