Great Leaders are the enemies of the status quo
Joni Krogman
Director Chamber Operations, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce

I recently read this article in the US Chamber IOM newsletter and thought it was so appropriate I wanted to share with you. Change is easy for some, I really don't mind it if it is for the better, and some people absolutely hate change. We know that we as Chambers must continue to change to remain relevant. This article was written by a new friend I made at Institute this summer. Enjoy!
Most effective leaders see themselves as having a positive attitude. They would never describe themselves as the enemy of very much at all. But as I have read and interacted with some excellent leaders, I have grown to understand that they all have a common foe. They are all enemies of the status quo.
The existing state of affairs seeks to preserve the  status quo
Voltaire said "Good is the enemy of great." Jim Collins expanded by saying in his book,  Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't,  "Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life." We should never find ourselves as association professionals in a place where we think everything is going well and there is no need for change.
If we have a desire to see our industry, our individual organizations, and our peers and employees grow, we must realize it hinges on our willingness to fight the status quo and change. Not change for the sake of change but introspective, thoughtful consideration of changing to gain excellence.
Wise leaders change because they want to grow and have ambition for greatness. Unwise leaders are unwilling to change until it is a must. Some leaders only change when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of the change, and fools never change.  I believe that I can only grow to the degree that I learn and then change. You can change without growing but you can never grow without changing, so I always assume that I need change to be a better leader. I love the saying "Nothing ever changes without change. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
I love the term lifelong learner. Our association careers give us incredible opportunities to be
lifelong learners. We make jokes about how we use "R&D" (rob and duplicate) or "benchmarking" to improve our events or programs, but the truth is we recognize great changes when we see them. The beauty of our industry is that we encourage each other to use our concepts to help each other. We also are given opportunities and get to pay those forward in our attendance to our annual state regional and national conferences and in sending our employees. I would be remiss not to mention the biggest opportunity for change I was given in my career, the ability to attend The U.S. Chamber Foundation's Institute for Organization Management. A week dedicated to learning, change, and growth. I want to encourage all of us to not just see ourselves as leaders of good organizations or good association executives, but enemies of the status quo and to surround ourselves with people unwilling to accept  anything but great.
Submitted by Mark Field, IOM, CCE

ICCE Fall Conference Registration Open!

Mark your calendar now and plan on attending another great ICCE conference with several speakers, panels on governmental issues, a panel on women in small business, and great networking  opportunities with lots of fun.  Clear Lake is one of the centers for entertainment in Iowa, and we'll spend some time on the lake and at the Surf Ballroom. You don't want to miss this one. 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: 

If your a new ICCE member or a new staff to your Chamber ICCE is offering an orientation for all new chambers, executives and staff on Wednesday, October 7th at 4 p.m.  The orientation will be held in the Opal Room at the Holiday Lodge.  This is a great way to meet other new members and learn more 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!

ChamberMaster and ICCE is offering you an opportunity to learn more on the use of ChamberMaster.  The training session will be held on Wednesday, October 7th at the Best Western Holiday Lodge, same location as our Fall Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour for lunch.  Be sure to bring your lap top.  Please refer to this link for registration.   Hotel rooms are available if you need to come in on Tuesday evening at the ICCE rate.  

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


Greater Des Moines Partnership Receives Industry Exemplar Award

The Greater Des Moines Partnership's CarpeDM Seize Des Moines campaign has been identified as an industry Exemplar by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), a national organization of professionals who manage chambers of commerce.

Collected from ACCE recognition programs throughout the year, seven chamber efforts were identified by peers as examples of industry leading practices.  All were highlighted by award judges as programs of excellence worthy of benchmarking.
Welcome New ICCE Member

Join us in welcoming the Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and their new Executive Director,  Stacie Lindsay
Quad Cities Chamber Seeks A Public Affairs Specialist

The Government Affairs Specialist works alongside the VP, Public Affairs on any issues, public policies and projects that support or impact the growth and vitality of the business community.  This position is responsible for implementing an active and effective public policy / government affairs work plan that supports business interests and business growth.
The Specialist takes the lead identifying, researching, writing, recommending and advocating a focused agenda of issues affecting the Illinois and Iowa Quad City business climate, economic development, and community vitality. This position also ensures that Chamber leaders, staff and members are well informed about public affairs and actively engages members in opportunities to communicate with elected officials at all levels on issues impacting the regional business climate.

Go to the ICCE website to view the job description.  

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

Please refer to the document on the ICCE website and learn all about the trip to Ireland.  Also, a Press Release you can use for your members and community that you can adjust to best fit your Chamber.  

You will hear and learn from Chamber Discoveries at the ICCE Fall Conference.  
Your Chamber can bring in $200 in additional revenue for every person signing up to travel to Ireland from your Chamber.  Then within each ICCE region, once 10 tickets are sold the 11th ticket will be free to a traveler at the regions choice.  If you have any questions regarding the travel to Ireland please contact Shar Pardubsky, ICCE Executive Director at 515-240-8785.

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: