By Ashley Neese
January 5, 2021

The Edmond Chamber’s guiding stars

After an arduous year, the Edmond Chamber is thrilled to commemorate their prestigious 5-Star Accreditation.

The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce has been recognized with 5-Star Accreditation by the United States Chamber of Commerce for the second time. The Edmond Chamber was first distinguished with a 5-Star rating in 2015.

Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the only program that defines excellence in chamber planning and recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. The program encourages continued excellence in the chamber industry and provides a system for chambers to measure their work and progress.

Of the nearly 7,000 chambers of commerce in the United States, only 205 are accredited by the U.S. Chamber. The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce is one of 132 5-Star accredited chambers in the country and one of three in the state.

For the Edmond Chamber, the accreditation process was an important way to validate the progress made in the past five years and showcase the path forward. 

Sherry Jordan, Edmond Chamber President and CEO (Photo provided)

“The accreditation process has been the best way to measure the work we’re doing and continually strive to improve,” said Edmond Chamber President and CEO Sherry Jordan. “It isn’t an easy journey, but it’s vital to our mission that we continue reflecting on our programs, policies, and practices to ensure we’re serving our community well.”

The basis of accreditation recognition

Accreditation recognition is based on self-analysis of a chamber’s growth and development with an objective look at the organization’s goals, programs, procedures, and achievements. While a self-review may sound like an easy benchmark, the application process takes an average of six to nine months, with years of record-keeping required beforehand. 

The accreditation application looks at nine key areas of chamber performance: governance, finance, human resources, government affairs, program development, technology, communications, facilities, and benchmarking. The Edmond Chamber achieved a perfect score in five out of nine of the categories.

Once the application met minimum requirements, the 5-Star designation was chosen based on the number of points scored in each section of the application. A chamber earning at least 70% of the total number of points will be awarded Accredited with 3-Stars; 80%, Accredited with 4-Stars; 90% or more, Accredited with 5-Stars.

“This is the second time we’ve received a 5-Star rating, and it’s something we strive to maintain,” said Jordan. “We shoot for excellence in the Edmond community and in the chamber of commerce industry as a whole.”

Programs make the Edmond Chamber unique

Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce office building (Photo provided)

Many of the programs outlined in the accreditation application are what make the Edmond Chamber unique, including the Total Resource Campaign, Edmond Day at the Capitol, Diversity & Inclusion Series, and Edmond Young Professionals.

In 2020 alone, the chamber created four new programs to assist local businesses throughout the pandemic:

  • The Edmond Small Business Emergency Microgrant Program
  • Elevate Edmond task force
  • Edmond Restaurant and Retail Rebate Program
  • Small Business Saturday Gift Card Rebate Program 

“While we serve as the voice for business in Edmond, we also want to continue improving the quality of life for all residents here,” said Jordan. “Our programs and policies are designed to bring the community together and provide opportunities to keep Edmond thriving.” 

Accreditation is valid for five years, so the chamber will reapply in 2025 and once again re-examine growth and development since the last application. While it is not a requirement for chambers of commerce, the Edmond Chamber has been accredited since 1981.

Guidance through standards

The standards for accreditation provide guidance to help chambers improve effectiveness and focus attention on areas of need within the organization. Not only do the self-evaluations bring light to growth opportunities, but they also allow chamber staff to recognize and celebrate outstanding programs and individuals. 

“The accreditation makes us dig deep and check every inch of our operation for areas of improvement,” said Jordan. “Edmond is a top-tier community, so it’s important that we’re performing like a top-tier chamber.” 

After an arduous year, the Edmond Chamber is thrilled to commemorate the prestigious 5-Star Accreditation and looks forward to continuing to learn, grow, and thrive with the Edmond community. 

Edmond Chamber Certificate of Accreditation (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

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About Ashley Neese

Ashley Neese currently serves as editor of Edmond Business and a freelancer specializing in overall communication strategy. She previously served as the communications and marketing manager at the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, where she promoted chamber events, helped members gain exposure, and spearheaded the Edmond Young Professionals organization, as well as the Chamber’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

An Edmond native, Ashley graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2017 with a degree in Strategic Communications. In her free time, she enjoys brewing coffee and finding the best local eats.