Five years after its first application was rewarded with a five-year, 4-Star Accreditation, the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce sought to apply for reaccreditation and was again recognized with a 4-Star rating. This impressive honor puts the Delaware Chamber and its 440 members among the top 3 percent of chambers nationwide. It also puts the Chamber among only three other accredited chambers in the state of Ohio. The determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members and chamber executives from across the country.
“In mid-2012, I looked at the criteria for accreditation and knew that in the course of completing its five-year strategic plan, (2008-2012) the organization was already operating under the measures of a basic accreditation, as required by the accreditation board,” said Chamber President Holly Quaine in 2014 when announcing the accomplishment. “I also knew that we were positioned in terms of structure, culture, leadership as well as the quality of our members, to take our organization to the next level. I was not at all daunted by the size of the other accredited chambers across the country, because I know it’s not the size of the dog in the fight! In the way we think, act and operate, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any metro chamber out there. I believe the idiom ‘we are what we perceive ourselves to be,’ and we perceive ourselves to be the yardstick by which local chambers should be measured.
“The inspiration to complete the process and the determination to earn a 4-Star rating was our membership and the Delaware County community.” Quaine added. “The caliber of quality of life and business in Delaware County and, indeed, the region, sets a bar that the board of our Chamber feels an obligation to meet.”
Quaine stands behind those comments from 2014 and added, “When asked in the application of 2018 what being an accredited chamber means to us, I told the committee this:
“While we are thrilled to be recognized for the way in which our chamber operates and we view the process as a guidepost, we don’t operate the way we do because it will look favorably upon us. The reason we pursued our first accreditation was because we were already operating to the standards of the application. The application made us reach higher, but it also validated. We believe the integrity of being accredited is that we’d operate at this level even if there was no opportunity for recognition.
“There has never been a question of applying for reaccreditation; our 2013 accomplishment is not a solo endeavor. And we expect to be back here in 2023. Accreditation is as much a part of the fabric of our organization as any other process or policy or value … accreditation is a legacy. If this Chamber assumes it will always be seeking this recognition, it will never let its guard down or get complacent. No matter the external influences — goals change; a community is a living thing after all — the mission and vision and values will be required and evident in every aspect of the organization. That is the real benefit of the accreditation program — legacy.”
The only national program recognizing chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement, accreditation allows chambers to renew, improve, and promote sound business practices, policies and procedures. The Chamber’s accreditation rating is good for five years, after which the Chamber will seek reaccreditation.
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