Chamber Executive Spring 2019

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INSIDE 08 | Ask the Event Pros 12 | The Pulse of the Port 16 | The Power of Public Art

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Long Beach, California Cover and above photo provided by Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau



04 | ACCE News

08 | Ask the Event Pros

06 | ACCE on the Road

12 | The Pulse of the Port Katherine House

26 | Faces and Places

COLUMNS 02 | California State of Mind

Randy Gordon, CCE, IOM

28 | Innovation in the Chamber Industry Sheree Anne Kelly



16 | The Power of Public Art Bethany Orban

20 | Welcome to Long Beach Sarah Amoyaw 22 | Why I Love Long Beach 24 | Sourced for Sustainability Bethany Orban



Long Beach . . . A Move into the Future This year I celebrate my 25th anniversary as the president/CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, and it is a dream come true to host the ACCE annual convention this July. Our team is excited to share with you our dynamic city which is changing from an economy of the past to one that is focused on the future, led by three “T’s” and an “R”—Tourism, Trade, Technology and Retail. Few cities can boast that the following industries exist in any abundance within their borders: tourism and hospitality, international trade, aviation, healthcare, oil, gas and retail—along with a number of growing family-owned small businesses. The diversity of industry in Long Beach, combined with the city’s ideal geographical location, points to a multitude of business opportunities. Long Beach has emerged as a first-class visitor and convention destination complete with top quality accommodations, award winning restaurants, unique shopping venues and must see attractions like the world famous Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific. The city also hosts the largest road race in America, Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Our 90-year-old Long Beach Airport is a landmark in aviation history complete with its historic main terminal facility along with added modern conveniences and local amenities. The airport boasts 51 commercial flights from Honolulu to Boston and it consistently ranks in the top 10 best U.S. airports. It’s also one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world with nearly 300,000 annual operations. Our airport is directly responsible for 18,000 jobs locally and 43,000 in the region. The value of the output directly associated with the enterprises on the site is $6.2 billion. Our 3,200 acre Port of Long Beach is the second busiest port in the U.S. and a leading gateway between North America and Asia, generating billions of dollars in economic activity each year. On average, the port handles more than 7.5 million container units; cargo valued at $194 billion; 82 million metric tons of cargo; and 2,000 vessel calls. It supports 51,000 jobs in Long Beach, which adds up to be one out of every five jobs. Regionally the port supports 576,000 jobs equaling one out every 20 jobs in the five county Southern California region. On a national scale, 2.5 million jobs in the U.S. are related to trade that is generated from the Port of Long Beach. Three recent projects at more than $1 billion each are under way and are almost complete. Proving to be the economic generator of our community, region, state and country. Long Beach is also on the rise . . . literally. Our development boom is a regional envy. Our new $550 million public-private-partnership civic center will open in early July and since 2017, dozens of new projects have been proposed, approved or completed throughout the city. This includes more than 7,000 new housing units, 1,000 new hotel rooms and four million square feet in commercial, industrial and municipal use. These are good times in our city and I’m excited to greet you when you arrive. Please come to learn, connect and stay a while in our beautiful city. We have an exciting convention planned with closing festivities aboard the legendary Queen Mary. Come early and stay late . . . you will not be disappointed. —Randy Gordon, CCE, IOM | President/CEO, Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce


Chamber Executive

Spring 2019

ACCE’s award-winning journal for and about chambers of commerce

Chairman Nancy Keefer, CCE, IOM Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce (Fla.) Chairman Elect David Brown Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce (Neb.) Immediate Past Chair Jay Chesshir, CCE Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ark.) Treasurer Leonardo McClarty, CCE, IOM Howard County Chamber of Commerce (Md.) Vice Chairs Jay Byers, CCE Greater Des Moines Partnership (Iowa) Kelly Fanelli Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches (Fla.) Christy Gillenwater, CCE, IOM Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce (Tenn.) Carlos Phillips Greenville Chamber (S.C.) President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives V.P., Communications & Networks Will Burns Editor-in-Chief Bethany Orban Graphic Design Blue House DC Advertising Sales Beth Bronder

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ACCE NEWS #ACCE19: Connect and Empower

2019 Life Members Announced

Opportunity awaits at #ACCE19: the 2019 ACCE Annual Convention, hosted this year in sunny Long Beach, California, from July 14 to July 17. Visit to view learning experiences, plan your social calendar, meet sponsors and register your team for this can’t-miss event. From powerful plenaries and tailored workshops to social outings and casual networking, #ACCE19 provides an unmatched professional development experience for people in every position. Join the conversation and stay on top of the latest convention news by following #ACCE19 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Save the Date: Events Training Conference Join us in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., October 17 and 18, for ACCE’s annual Events Training Conference. This small-audience conference is rich with education and networking opportunities. To register and for more information, visit

New Reports and Benchmarking Stats Now Available

Jay Clemens

F. Ben Haskew

Bob McCoy

Jay Clemens, F. Ben Haskew and Bob McCoy—all Certified Chamber Executives—will be celebrated as Life Members on July 15 at the 2019 ACCE Annual Convention. Respected as the highest honor in the profession, the Life Member award recognizes management excellence, community leadership and selfless commitment to the betterment of chambers of commerce. Life Members have retired from exceptional careers in chamber leadership, and the title recognizes both career-long success and member-for-life status with ACCE.

Chamber Leaders Complete ACCE Talent Fellowship

ACCE’s FY2018 Chamber Operations Survey Report and the free Membership Statistics Report are now available for download at Use the data to analyze your chamber’s performance in comparison to near-to-peer organizations, to learn from others’ success and identify areas for improvement. Haven’t participated yet? Enter your data now for immediate access. For assistance, connect with ACCE’s information and research team by emailing

At a meeting hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber earlier this year, leaders from 20 chambers of commerce graduated ACCE’s Fellowship for Education and Talent Development. Throughout the 10-month program, Fellows studied best practices in education and workforce development. Through interaction with chamber peers, ACCE staff and national experts, participants build a support system to guide their education and talent development work. Fellows developed regional action plans that identify and address specific education attainment and workforce development issues that impact their communities. The Fellowship is an immersive executive development program that provides chamber of commerce professionals with learning and tools to improve the talent pipeline in the communities they serve. Congratulations to this year’s Fellows! To see a list of the graduates, visit 4

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5 March 5 ACCE President & CEO 1 Sheree Anne Kelly spoke about chamber value and relevance during the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ Annual Conference in Staunton, Va. March 20 ACCE President & CEO 2 Sheree Anne Kelly met with Metro Atlanta Chamber President & CEO Hala Moddelmog and her senior team to get a glimpse of the innovation taking place in the Atlanta region. March 21–22 ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly discussed innovative chamber workforce development initiatives during the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ 2019 Staff Development Conference in Groveton, Ga. 6

Chamber Executive

March 27–29 Chamber of commerce 3 sales professionals from across the country participated in ACCE’s annual Sales Training Conference to learn the latest trends and share best practices. Thanks to the Dallas Regional Chamber for hosting. March 28 ACCE held a roundtable 4 meeting for chamber professionals working on second chance hiring, expungement and other criminal justice reform issues. Participants were joined by expert speakers from Fifth Third Bank and the Society or Human Resource Management to discuss the economic imperative and share new resources of interest to the business community.

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April 2 ACCE and New Ameri5 can Economy held a meeting of chamber professionals to discuss the immigration policy landscape and share how their chambers are approaching immigration issues. The Los Angeles Area Chamber hosted the meeting, which included data breakdowns, policy updates roundtable discussions and a site visit to the Koreatown Youth and Community Center.

May 13 Chamber workforce 6 development leaders gathered in Spokane, Wash., for ACCE’s Education and Talent Development Division’s Annual Meeting to learn from their peers and share innovative best practices for chambers working on talent initiatives.

April 9–10 The fifth cohort of ACCE’s Fellowship for Education and Talent Development held its final meeting at the Detroit Regional Chamber. Congratulations to the latest group of chamber leaders to complete the 10-month program to help them develop a plan to improve education and workforce outcomes in their communities.

May 14 ACCE’s Metro Cit7 ies Council met in Greenville, S.C., to discuss regional economic trends and chamber best practices on a variety of issues, including downtown development, diversity and inclusion, expungement, fair chance hiring and other criminal justice reform issues. Thanks to the Greenville Chamber team for hosting.


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Paige Anderson

Shawna Burton

ASK THE EVENT PROS ACCE called upon the expertise and insight of Jaime Henning

professionals within our events division to learn more about the trends and

Alex Finney

activities they are using within their organizations. For more responses go to Ebony Austin Colleen Schipsi

Melissa Vance

David L. May

What digital trends has your chamber begun using to promote and/or engage attendees at events?

PAIGE ANDERSON Director of Events Nashville Chamber of Commerce

We have boosted our use of social media to promote our events. This move allows attendees to provide feedback and to interact with attendees during events.

MELISSA VANCE President & CEO Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce We started using a special hashtag for all our large events. For a couple of the events that engage a public crowd, including Millennials or Gen Z, we incorporate a Snapchat screen. Videos have begun to be a staple at our Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration as a more engaging and personal way to highlight winners without long, boring speeches from a podium.

JAIME HENNING Director of Events and Corporate Relations Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

Our chamber has taken advantage of sponsored posts on social media as an especially effective way to engage members for our events. We create our events on Facebook and encourage members and ambassadors to mark “Attending” to increase event reach and engagement. We use the Facebook targeting tools to promote these events to each specific audience we want to reach. In addition, we ask our keynote speakers to film a quick video promoting the event for us to use on social media and these have been very popular among our audiences.

What event trend(s) should chambers be monitoring to ensure they provide value in an innovative and modern way?

SHAWNA BURTON Vice President, Engagement & Organizational Advancement Greater Louisville Inc.

Help your members see the value of your event by providing contacts, content and purpose they can’t get somewhere else. Business owners can network just about anywhere and anytime these days. Chambers must engage on a deeper and more meaningful way. What better way to do that then to give event attendees an exclusive or a reason to be at your event? Chambers have to host events with purpose and that tie specifically to your mission.

EBONY AUSTIN Events & Special Programs Director Greenville Chamber

Keep your events mission-centric and cross promote different focus areas at your events, like advocacy, economic competitiveness, young professionals, etc. Highlight chamber achievements and reiterate the chamber's vision at EVERY event.

ALEX FINNEY Events Manager Boise Metro Chamber

Online surveys have become exceedingly popular in the chamber community and serve not just to solicit attendees feedback after events, but to ensure that we are continuously providing value for our members. Our chamber recently began issuing post-event surveys starting with one of our largest events of the year; our Leadership Conference. We sent this survey out the morning after the event with questions on logistics, topics and planning ideas for next year’s event. Thus far, the survey has a response rate of 50 percent.

COLLEEN SCHIPSI Program Manager Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce

Video has become a key marketing piece for our chamber. Since video tells a story that a podium speaker cannot, we now give sponsors of our monthly Wake Up West Coast breakfast the opportunity to have a customized one to two-minute video (created by the chamber’s marketing team) shown at the event instead of having them speak at the podium. The videos add value to sponsorship beyond the event and assist in event promotions as we share them in emails and social media. They help us control time and messaging so that it looks best for the sponsor and for the chamber.

PAIGE ANDERSON Director of Events Nashville Chamber of Commerce

By not being satisfied with the status quo, we’re constantly trying to evolve our events and solicit feedback from our attendees. This way, we’re able to naturally evolve our events to what our members want and expect. The chamber can no longer be simply known for providing networking opportunities; it must provide a unique value proposition and return on investment to retain members and investors.

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What is one event that your organization has either redesigned or gotten rid of completely to stay relevant to your members and why?



Vice President, Engagement & Organizational Advancement Greater Louisville Inc.

Participation and attendance declined at our small business awards luncheon, and, as a result, we almost scrapped the event entirely. Instead, we changed it to an evening cocktail event, created an awards celebration format (no lunch or keynote speaker) and made the finalists feel like stars. Three years later, we have added two award categories and have sold out every year. It’s a special night for a special group of people.


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Events Manager Boise Metro Chamber

Two years ago, the Boise Metro Chamber staff met to review all of our events, deciding which ones were still serving our mission and which needed to be reconsidered. One event we discontinued was our Business Owners Success Series (BOSS) luncheons. The BOSS luncheons were too similar to our CEO Speaker Series. Dropping the BOSS luncheons freed up more staff time to focus on growing the CEO Speaker Series both in attendance and caliber of speakers.

COLLEEN SCHIPSI Program Manager Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce

At the beginning of our 2017–2018 fiscal year, we made the bold move to completely rebrand our mainstay monthly breakfast networking event, formerly known as Early Bird Breakfast. In response to member feedback saying that the event was in need of a refresh, we delivered a completely new feel that included a new name—Wake Up West Coast. Event enhancements included a portable backdrop on stage to set the theme and ensure our brand appeared in photos and videos of the event, table top signage that further illustrates our core values, and upbeat music playing as guests arrive. A “Wake Up West Coast” video is shown to kick off each event with cameo appearances by our members and community leaders. Our members asked and we delivered.



Chamber Executive

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n typical chamber fashion, the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce offers potential members a list of categories to designate when submitting a membership application. What’s not so typical? Categories such as stevedoring contractors, marine surveyors, port pilots and customs house brokers. These business types reflect Long Beach’s significant role in the shipping world: it is home to the second largest container port in the United States. “We’re Ground Zero for containerized shipping,” explains Mario Cordero, executive director, Port of Long Beach, and a member of the Long Beach Chamber’s board of directors. If combined, the Port of Long Beach and the adjacent Port of Los Angeles, the country’s largest, would be the world’s ninth busiest port complex by container volume. “To say the port is an economic engine of our community would be a huge understatement,” says Randy Gordon, CCE, IOM, president and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Indeed, a recent economic impact study showed that the

port supports one in five jobs in Long Beach (more than 51,000). That translates into $3.2 billion in wages annually. From his office on the 16th floor of the aptly named One World Trade Center, Gordon can watch ships coming in and cranes unloading colorful cargo containers. “It’s an extraordinary sight,” he says. Each ship delivering goods to Long Beach carries thousands of TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units. Currently as many as 19,000 per ship, but typically 12,000 to 14,000. These vessels “can’t call on every port on the West Coast,” says Gordon, because of the size of their draft. As a result, some cranes used at the port are taller than high-rise buildings in small cities. Cordero says it’s “eye-opening to see the movement of commerce” at the port. “Whether it’s a car you own, furniture in your household or any type of consumer goods, it comes from somewhere.” People unfamiliar with port operations are surprised to learn that products unloaded in Long Beach are shipped all over the country by truck or rail. Cordero suggests, half seriously, that the port should buy

billboard space in the Midwest advertising its role in commerce. The economic impact study showed that after California, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin export the highest value of goods through the Port, while New Jersey, New York, Texas and Illinois receive the highest value of imports after California. Ninety percent of port business is conducted with East Asia; trade with China, South Korea and Hong Kong leads the way. Cordero notes that 70 percent of imports and 40 percent of exports are with China. Last year, the port had its best year ever, moving 8.1 million TEUs of commerce (worth $200 billion), despite the “unstable business environment” caused by factors such as tariffs, says Cordero. He remains confident that there will be a “final resolution” of trade talks that “will bring stability in the business community needed for continued growth.” Cordero says those attending the ACCE convention will be able to witness construction of a new $1.5 billion bridge

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acres of land




gantry cranes




miles of waterfront


shipping terminals



The Port of Long Beach prides itself on being a leader in environmental stewardship. Its Green Port Policy was adopted in

Source: Port of Long Beach


Chamber Executive

connecting the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. Scheduled to be completed in late 2019 and spanning 8,800 feet in length, its height will allow larger ships to access both ports. The bridge project is part of a 10-year, $4 billion capital program to upgrade the Port of Long Beach’s infrastructure, which includes the $1.5 billion Long Beach Container Terminal project. That upgrade will allow the new terminal to move twice the cargo with half the air pollution, according to the port’s 2018 annual report.

Spring 2019

2005; a 2017 update includes zero emission goals for cargo handling equipment by 2030 and for drayage trucks by 2035. “No other port [in the country] has this goal,” boasts Cordero, who believes other ports will “mirror” what Long Beach is doing at some point. The Port and the Chamber Gordon estimates that more than 100 chamber members are directly related to port activities, including tugboat operators. Typically, an executive of the port serves on the chamber’s board; Cordero’s term marks the first time in Gordon’s 25-year tenure that the port’s executive director has done so.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE PORT OF LONG BEACH IT SUPPORTS: 51,090 jobs in Long Beach (20% of total)

576,350 jobs in Southern California (5%)

705,430 jobs in California (3.1%)

2.6 MILLION jobs in U.S. (1.4%) Source: Port of Long Beach: Economic Impact Study

Fittingly, a chamber business council, the International Business Association of Southern California, hosts an annual State of Trade and Transportation Luncheon. “New Developments in Resolving International Disputes,” to be held in late June 2019, aims to educate importers, exporters and international trade professionals on when arbitration, litigation or mediation should be used. Gordon describes the port as a strong corporate citizen. “No one gives back [to the community] more than the port,” he says. Indeed, the port is one of 10 diamond-level members of the chamber’s 2018–19 Chairman’s Circle. “Our relationship with the chamber to the core is our relationship with businesses,” says Cordero. “A lot of business enterprises have relationships with the port.” He credits Gordon for his role in the community. “Randy’s done a great job of elevating the port’s profile over the years,” says Cordero.

Although port lands are operated in trust by the city on behalf of the state of California, the port is managed by the mayor-appointed Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners and generates its own revenue. One challenge in the past, Gordon says, has been to prevent local politicians from becoming too involved in port operations. When that happens, the chamber has “weighed in” and encouraged officials to let the port remain autonomous. Says Gordon, “I just can’t imagine how life in Long Beach would be without the port.” Katherine House is an award-winning business writer who lives in Iowa City, Iowa. She has contributed several articles to Chamber Executive, including those about disaster recovery, the Santa Train in Appalachia, tiered dues structures and a charter school in Louisiana.


The race for jobs, talent, and capital investment is on. Are you ready?


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Feasibility Studies Capital Campaign Management

Laura Lilly Vice President, Operations Chamber Executive

Spring 2019



POWER of PublicART provided ave been Photos h cil for rts Coun by the A them it ch. Vis Long Bea rt .a t www online a


Chamber Executive

By Bethany Orban

P Spring 2019

ublic art can be a powerful chamber ally in solving community challenges from education and workforce to health and crime prevention. Across the country many chambers are realizing the role public art can play within their communities.

ment professionals, public art is a tool to enhance a community’s well-being and empower community members. Public art can mean different things to different people, but no matter the meaning, it is a powerful form of expression that can influence a community.

Public art is defined as any work of art that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in a space that is accessible to all. To some, public art is the perfect background for their new profile picture, their favorite place in the park to eat lunch and even the place to pay their respects to a movement or event that happened in history. To community develop-

Using public art to shape, build and differentiate a community is not a novel concept; however, its place in the realm of community development is gaining more traction and credibility by community development professionals. With over 400 registered artists, Long Beach, Ca., has already capitalized on the community development tool that is public art.

One way Long Beach has been able to facilitate the growth of public art is by hosting what Forbes included in its list of “The Best Urban Mural Festivals Around the Country.� POW! WOW! Long Beach is a week-long, city-wide event that takes place in the summer. The event brings art and culture to public spaces while beautifying the city of Long Beach and cultivating community pride. Beginning in 2015, the POW! WOW! Festival has created over 70 murals that are located throughout the city. By activating art, they are not only creating a beautiful community, but also raising property values and creating venues out of previously underutilized spaces. In 2018, the City of Long Beach won the Award for Excellence in Economic Development Through the Arts category of the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence for its work prioritizing investments in the arts

and integrating art into its economic development strategy. The award recognized the city's efforts to leverage public art to make Long Beach a more livable, inventive and inclusive city. As you explore the streets of Long Beach during #ACCE19, stop and look around. When you do, you will notice the colors and shapes that now occupy walls, buses, crosswalks and even fire hydrants. Everywhere you go public art will be the focal point of your journey. Bethany Orban is the manager of marketing and communications at ACCE. Connect with Bethany at Use the Long Beach Public Art Map to find your perfect backdrop for #ACCE19. Visit www.artslb. org/public-art-map for a full list of murals and other art throughout the city.

Chamber Executive

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LIFE ON THE WATER ————————— There is no shortage of aquatic fun in Long Beach. Take an hour-long ferry ride to Catalina Island and try ziplining or explore marine life on one of their famous glass-bottom boats. Stay on the mainland and check out Monterrey Bay and Davey’s Locker for prime whale watching views and tours. Want to see marine life up close and personal? Stop by the fourth largest aquarium in the United States, the Aquarium of the Pacific. Here you can touch a shark or ray and see over 11,000 other animals in 50 exhibits. CLIMB ———————————————— ABOARD Take some time to learn about the royal travel liner turned World War II ship, turned hotel, the Queen Mary. Embark on a historical journey, take a trip to the spa, do some shopping, enjoy a royal champagne brunch or take a historical (maybe even haunted) tour. Either way, any visit here is bound to be an unforgettable experience.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ————— From the world-renowned Long Beach Baroque Orchestra to the fun, upbeat artistic experience that is the East Village Arts District, Long Beach offers a wide variety of options for every taste. Take in the Terrace Fountains Light Show from the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Laugh with celebrity comedians at the legendary Laugh Factory Comedy Club. Enjoy a night of performing arts at the Long Beach Symphony, Opera or Ballet.


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SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP ———— Whether you're looking for name brands or distinctive local gifts, Long Beach has you covered. Stroll down Shoreline Village and check out the unique hat, shoe and clothing stores. Visit the Pike Outlets to find all your favorite name brand outlet shops along with some you have never heard of.

CHAMBER WEATHER ———— THAT NEVER ENDS It’s always sunny in Long Beach! The city boasts and "endless summer." Plan time around the bustle of convention to get outside and have fun.

BIKE, WALK, —————————— DRIVE, FLY, BOAT Named one of the top 10 most walkable cities in America, it does not take much to get around this beautiful city. Not in the mood to walk? Try the Long Beach Bike Share for a convenient, pedal-powered trip to your destination. Feeling adventurous? Stop by the Porsche Experience Center where you can get the full luxury car experience. Land not your style? Try sailing with Marina Sailing or a Yacht Tour to see the city, or, if you’re a risk taker, try an Island Helicopter Tour to get the sky view. FOOD & DRINKS ——————— The United States Census Bureau recognizes Long Beach as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the nation. Not only is it reflected in the people, but also in the food. You will find authentic Spanish tapas at Café Sevilla, Cambodian cuisine in Cambodia Town and a vast restaurant scene offering other options like Greek, Ethiopian, Thai, Moroccan, Peruvian and more. You’ll find drinks on almost every street including Restaurant Row and Pine Avenue. And be sure to check out the Queen Mary Observation Bar for drinks with great views. NOT YOUR NORMAL ————— CONVENTION CENTER The Long Beach Convention Center is over 400,000 square feet of convening space, but it’s so much more than that. From the architecture and design to the food and location, ACCE is going to have you right in the heart of downtown Long Beach. With views of the Pacific and entertainment and dining options within walking distance, this is the perfect spot to work and play!

RICH IN HISTORY ——————————— Long Beach has a rich and extensive history as a ranching and port town. It was often at the center of industrial change and made California one of the United States’ largest oil producers in the 1930s. Take some time to learn and understand how it came to be the booming hub it is today. Los Ranchos Alamitos y Cerritos were built by Spanish settlers and maintain their lush picturesque gardens and architecture today. Learn more at the Historical Society of Long Beach and further explore the Latin cultural influence on Southern California at the Museum of Latin American Art.

GONDOLA GETAWAY ——————— Here's a secret gem to take advantage of while you’re in Long Beach. Take a break from the busy city and travel back in time with a visit to Naples Island. Enjoy a gondola ride from America’s largest fleet of gondolas through the canals of this tucked away getaway. Reminiscent of the Venice Canals in Italy, the Naples Island Canals feature authentic gondoliers to navigate you around the island as you relax and enjoy the weather and scenery. Photos Provided by Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

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WHY I Love LONG BEACH Our friends from the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, who are excited to host #ACCE19, share why they love the city they call home.

Long Beach is often overlooked by people visiting the Los Angeles area…

overlooked until they decide to go to the beach, attend an event at the Convention Center or visit the Queen Mary. In the past few years Long Beach has completely transformed itself into a beautiful place to live, play, shop and work. It has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, welcoming people from all walks of life. JUDY NELSON, Vice President of Business Councils

The uniqueness that is Long Beach is found in our community supported What stands out most to me about Long Beach is its beautiful diversity. Whether

it’s the people who reside in it, the array of culture we possess or the number of food options we have. Long Beach is a one of a kind community that I am blessed to be part of. MARILYNN SINGER, Membership Coordinator

small businesses while still embracing a large corporate presence. A big city

with a small town feel due to our diverse neighborhoods and business corridors— offering craft breweries, a robust local art scene, entertainment venues, and iconic views. I love Long Beach for all of these things and what’s yet to come! JEREMY HARRIS, Senior Vice President

I have loved being a part of Long Beach's development over the past few years. We have a forward-thinking

city that is ripe for new opportunities. The residents and business owners of the city are extremely diverse, unlike any other city I've ever seen. Also, you simply cannot beat this weather. TYLER HABECK, Membership Manager

From festivals to farmer's markets, breweries to boutiques, museums and much more, Long Beach has activities for everyone to enjoy. It's a beautiful

city with gorgeous views and a tight-knit community that's always looking to grow and develop. I'm proud to call Long Beach home!

made up of many distinct individuals, as a result, the city offers something

Our community grows every day, not only stronger, but more diverse and exciting. For those just visiting, there is never a dull moment. For those who choose to live here, our people are warm and welcoming, with new opportunities available every day. for everyone.

CHRISTINE BOS, Government Affairs Manager

When I arrived in 1994, I quickly grew to love this seaside city. A city full of

is never short on activities or ways to get involved within the community. From concerts in the park to attending a sporting event at California State University, everything you need is in Long Beach! #GoBeach!

passionate business leaders who are not afraid to give back to their community. A city consisting of its own airport, seaport, health, gas and water departments. A city that our famous Mayor Beverly O’Neill referred as the three T’s: Trade; Technology; and Tourism. We are a first class visitor destination with top quality accommodations, award winning restaurants, unique shopping venues and must see attractions such as the Aquarium of the Pacific, world famous Queen Mary, and the largest road race in America, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. What is not to love about this wonderful city?

AJMAA HEGGIE, Controller


AMANDA DONAHUE, Special Events Manager and Executive Assistant to the President/CEO

With great schools, outstanding parks and unmatched nature centers, Long Beach is the perfect place to raise a family. I love Long Beach because my family


Long Beach is truly an incredible place

Chamber Executive

Spring 2019

SOURCED FOR By Bethany Orban


hen you think of Long Beach, the first thing that should come to your mind is the 3,200 acre Port of Long Beach that supports over 51,000 workers within the region. What is the main accessory of the largest port in the United States? Shipping containers. Lots and lots of shipping containers.

Each year over 8.1 million TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, enter Long Beach through its port. What happens to these containers after they have been used? Some are used again, some are taken and made in to scrap, while some are used to create one of Long Beach’s most unique restaurant venues on the coast. Born out of a desire to see people come together over craft food and drinks, SteelCraft unites local eateries within a communal dining space. SteelCraft is an outdoor eatery addressing two community issues, how to recycle and reuse shipping containers and how to create affordable and sustainable real-

estate options for local eateries to operate and thrive.

A study done by the Small Business Association shows that 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years. One of the top reasons being the fact that the owner simply does not have enough capital. By creating a sustainable way for business owners to address the issue of overhead, SteelCraft is helping not only their own business model, but creating an incubator for a business owner’s dream to become reality. With two locations featuring over 15 different specialty food and drink vendors. SteelCraft goes beyond placing a few shipping containers on a plot of land. They are creating a community of entrepreneurs who are serving the community of Long Beach one craft beer, waffle or mac n’ cheese bun at a time. Bethany Orban is the manager of marketing and communications at ACCE. Connect with Bethany at

» While you're in town for #ACCE19, make sure to visit SteelCraft, located just a few miles from the Long Beach Convention Center.


Chamber Executive

Spring 2019






The Salina Area Chamber of Commerce (Kan.) named ERIC. L. BROWN president & CEO. Brown, who was the chamber’s vice president of economic development, succeeds DON WEISER, who retired after serving 43 years with the organization.




SHAUN HAYES was named executive director of the Clarkston

Area Chamber of Commerce (Mich.). Hayes previously worked at Automation Alley.

JULIO A. CONCEPCIÓN was named executive director of the

The Collierville Chamber of Commerce (Tenn.) named MARK HEUBERGER president & CEO. Heuberger had been the public information officer for the Town of Collierville.

KELSEY DOOM was named president & CEO of the Brookings

The Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce (Wis.) named DARREN HORNBY its new executive director. He previously worked for Cell Plus, where he helped handle marketing, business management and community relations. He also served the chamber as an ambassador and board member.

Hartford Chamber of Commerce (Conn.). Concepción has been with the MetroHartford Alliance for 11 years, serving as vice president of Hartford Partnerships. Area Chamber of Commerce (S.D.). Doom was previously executive director of Wagner Area Growth, Inc. and the Wagner Chamber of Commerce.


Chamber Executive

Spring 2019







The Gwinnett Chamber (Ga.) named NICK MASINO as president & CEO. He was previously chief economic development officer of Gwinnett Chamber and Partnership Gwinnett.

STACY ROMERO was promoted to president & CEO of the

MIKE ODOM is the new president & CEO of the Knoxville

The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce (Kan.) named JASON SMITH its new president & CEO. Smith was previously president & CEO of the Norman Economic Development Coalition.

TODD O’HAIR was named the new president & CEO of the

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce (Alberta) named CYNDI VOS, MEd, as its new executive officer. She brings more than 20 years business management experience, including 16 years as a small business owner. A member of the chamber for over 20 years, Cyndi was the inaugural Young Entrepreneur Award winner in 2006 and honored as the Spirit of Lethbridge Award winner in 2018.

Chamber (Tenn.) after having led the Round Rock Chamber in Texas. Odom succeeds MIKE EDWARDS who is retiring. Montana Chamber of Commerce in May, replacing interim president & CEO CARY HEGREBERG who led the organization during the 2019 legislative session after WEBB BROWN announced his retirement. O’Hair, who served on the state chamber’s board of directors, worked with Congressman Rick Hill, Gov. Judy Martz and as the senior manager of government affairs for Cloud Peak Energy.

Broussard Chamber of Commerce (La.) after serving as its community development manager.

Chamber Executive

Spring 2019



Innovation in the Chamber Industry


t’s often said that there are two types of innovation: exploitation and exploration. It’s common to witness and pursue the former where we borrow, tweak or full-on steal another group’s efforts. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s often a great way to add life to stale programs or overhaul your chamber’s efforts. Exploration can be a harder task. Instead of reacting to external disruptors, can you find a way to disrupt your own chamber? At ACCE, we’re thinking about innovation and disruption for the entire industry. If there are ways ACCE or I can be helpful, please let me know. 703-998-3540

The first pillar of ACCE’s new strategic plan ensures that we continue to serve as a center of excellence for chambers. Currently, we’re reviewing and updating our programs, resources, samples and even our Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) body of knowledge to ensure that what we share and teach is forward-leaning and best in class. But we’re also exploring how we can innovate from within. What Chamber Innovations are We Seeing? ACCE’s ground-breaking research, the Horizon Initiative, uncovered nine influences shaping the future of chambers. One critical to the future of our industry is resource alignment. Ensuring that your time, energy, and other resources are focused on your leading priorities. Smart chambers ensure that their missions focus on solving the greatest challenges in their communities. Here are a couple of trends we’re seeing in this area: • Building healthy communities: Chamber missions cover critical areas like economic development, talent, education, public policy, among other core functions. We’re seeing an increase in chamber missions focused on building holistic, healthy communities. In fact, the trend has increased to where we hosted our first Healthy Communities Fellowship this year, to build skills and share best practices with a group of 10 chamber


Chamber Executive

Spring 2019

executives already embarking on this work. Defining “healthy” can be built to suit your community’s greatest needs and opportunities, whether it’s parks and recreation, access to mental health resources or addressing an opioid epidemic. • Rethinking funding sources: We know the nature of membership organizations is changing and many are rethinking membership and funding models. Chambers with strong communityfocused missions are increasingly leveraging an aligned, intentional 501 (c)(3) chamber foundation for mission-driven work. This requires diligence and a longterm focus. Foundations aren’t a shortterm revenue fix. But if done wisely, they can add real community impact. We’re building programs and resources to help chambers in this area. We’ll Continue to Share Innovations with You At #ACCE19, we’ll be showcasing chambers innovating and disrupting their former business models. One of our keynote speakers, Henry Timms, will share the latest research on how shifting power dynamics are changing how businesses and chambers will need to approach their work. I look forward to seeing you in Long Beach, July 14–17, for these and more trends. As we uncover new ideas, we’ll share them with you here in Chamber Executive magazine, in our professional development programs and through our other communication channels. Be sure you’re following us on your favorite social media platforms to stay up-to-date. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn—@ACCEHQ. What innovations are you seeing or trying in your own chamber? I’d love to hear from you. Looking for innovation inspiration? Here’s a list of TedTalks that focus on the roots of innovative ideas:

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