BRISTOL, Tenn. (Wednesday, March 22) - The United States Chamber of Commerce has once again awarded the Bristol Chamber of Commerce its highest honor – a 5-Star Accreditation, for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.
This is the third consecutive time the Bristol Chamber has been awarded a 5-Star Accreditation, dating back to 2005. Chambers must apply for reaccreditation every five years. The Bristol Chamber is the oldest accredited chamber in Tennessee and the second oldest accredited chamber in Virginia.
“Accreditation validates a chamber as having programs that benefit their local economy and for positively influencing action in their community,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, Vice President, Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. “We applaud these organizations for advancing the principles of free enterprise.”
The Bristol Chamber, first accredited in 1965, is one of the more than 7,000 chambers in the United States. Of those only 105 have received a 5-Star Accreditation, putting the Bristol Chamber among the top 1.5 percent of chambers in the country. There are only four chambers in Tennessee and three in Virginia with 5-star rankings.
Beth Rhinehart, CEO and President of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, was elated to learn that the Chamber had received 5-Star Accreditation once again.
“It’s a tremendous honor for the Bristol Chamber,” she said. “To be considered among the elite chambers in the country is a testament to our staff members’ hard work. The accreditation process takes a true team effort as it is extremely difficultandtime consuming – something you literally work on for months – so the credit goes to the staff.
“We’re enormously proud of this prestigious achievement and share it with our board members, members and ambassadors, all of whom are extremely supportive of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce.”
Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of benchmarking, communications, facilities, finance, governance, government affairs, human resources,program development and technology. This extensive self-review can take six to nine months to complete.
The Bristol Chamber scored perfect marks in communications, facilities, human resources and program development.
Once a chamber’s application has been reviewed by the third-party Accreditation consultant, a designation of either Accredited, Accredited with 3 Stars, Accredited with 4 Stars, or Accredited with 5 Stars will be recommended based on the number of points scored in each section of the review. All minimum requirements must be in order to be eligible for Accreditation. A chamber earning at least 70% of the total number of points (116 or 117 points, depending on whether or not the chamber has affiliates) is awarded Accredited with 3 Stars; 80%, Accredited with 4 Stars; 90% or more, Accredited with 5 Stars.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.