The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce has been awarded 4-star Accreditation from the accrediting board of the United States Chamber of Commerce for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. The announcement was made to an audience of over 300 business and community leaders at the Chamber’s Annual Business Meeting this past Thursday.

Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to achieve this recognition, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. This comprehensive self-review took over six  months to complete and required preparation of an extensive application, compilation and review of volumes of materials required by the Accrediting Board and demonstration of competency in nine core areas ranging from finance to facilities.

Of the approximately 7,000 chambers in the United States, only 204 have earned the recognition as an accredited chamber of commerce. These elite institutions represent the top 3% of all chambers in the United States.  In Massachusetts, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber is one of only four chambers to have received accreditation, and is the only chamber in Central Massachusetts.

“Accredited chambers are an essential part of the business community’s efforts to promote economic growth and job creation across the country,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management.  “This designation recognizes the positive impact these organizations have had within their communities, and it honors their commitment to continuing to serve local businesses.”

“We are incredibly honored to receive this national designation that places us among the best chambers of commerce in the country,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “We challenged ourselves to improve our Chamber for the betterment of our members and our region. Receiving this accreditation only motivates us to continue to remain engaged, active and innovative on behalf of our members and communities in North Central Massachusetts.”

The accreditation report noted that the North Central Massachusetts Chamber has demonstrated an excellent track record of operating a successful chamber and achieving desirable results for its members. Several of the Chamber’s programs, events and initiatives were highlighted for special recognition, including the loan programs of its economic development arm and its special forums. The Chamber also received special recognition for its successful efforts in expanding its government affairs and advocacy capabilities for the benefit of its members and region, as well as for its brand standards and guidelines.

The Chamber’s Annual Meeting was held on June 14, 2018 and also included recognition awards and the commencement for the 2018 class of the Chamber’s Community Leadership Institute.