The Chamber’s mission is to “Advocate, Network, Learn, Engage, and Promote,” and the key to fulfilling that mission is not just to bring marketing, networking, and educational opportunities to our members, but to make sure we’re always up to date on the latest tools available to local Chamber of Commerce organizations.
The U.S. Chamber has a program called the “Institute for Organization Management,” an educational opportunity hosted in different parts of the country every summer and winter. Executive Director Gail Lofing graduated from the four-year program in 2010. Events & Programming manager Tracy Mathews just completed her second year in the certification, held each July at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
“IOM was an important opportunity for me because it meant training in our specific field of Chamber management,” said Lofing. “It also provides us with a network of other Chamber organizations across the country.”
From graphic design to events like the Mega Mixer, engaging with other Chambers to see what works and what doesn’t have been key to progressing the Campbell County Chamber. Running a non-profit can be overwhelming, and your daily responsibilities and challenges can change frequently. Part of attending IOM is about being prepared for those changes, and gaining the support of other organizations.
“I have met so many wonderful people in IOM. And I’ve learned so much,” says Mathews. “I’ve learned what we don’t do that other Chambers do, and I’ve learned what we do well.”
Participating with IOM puts a Chamber professional 96 credit hours closer to completing a Certified Association Executive certification, as well. In her second year at IOM, Tracy took courses in corporate legal issues, managing conflicts, customer service, marketing, examining event strategies, and government affairs.
“I want to be a valuable asset in my community and to my co-workers,” Tracy says. “IOM is enlightening, informative, and entertaining.”