The ACCE-WCF programme brought together chamber representatives from countries around the world to network and exchange ideas with their American colleagues.
Recipients of the awards highlighted the valuable experience they gained: “Thanks to the generous support of ACCE, I came and learned about a number of new membership recruitment programmes from my counterparts in the Americas, which I can’t wait to try out in Bolivia,” said Cecilia Andrea Peredo de Villarroel from the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (CAINCO) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Francis Hubert O’Donaghue from the Clonmel Chamber of Commerce in Ireland said: “Ireland has a lot of small chambers, and their small size poses a number of unique challenges. But I am returning home from the Pittsburgh Congress with a raft of potential new services and programmes, which small US chambers have successfully introduced.”
Teresita Leabres, from the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry said she learned more about how small US chambers develop non-dues, revenue-generating activities and access government grants.
The convention featured more than 1,000 attendees and 150 speakers. A few of the noteworthy participants included: Sam Palmisano, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of IBM; Frank Luntz, a renowned American communications professional; Rohit Talwar, an award-winning futurist speaker; and Soledad O’Brien, a CNN anchor.
The event also featured 70 breakout sessions on immigration, economic development, leadership, and networking. Special emphasis was placed on how the work being done today will shape the future. Delegates watched a presentation on international trade and foreign investment given by Anthony Parkes, Director of ICC WCF; Abby Shapiro, Director of Marketing at USCIB; Daniele Longo, Vice President, Business Development and International Trade, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; and Virginia Quintero Rosell, Principle of Chamber Partnerships International LLC.
The presentation included examples of activities employed by chambers around the world. Mick Fleming, ACCE President expressed his gratitude for WCF’s support. “We are so happy to have so many international chamber leaders here in the United States,” Mr Fleming said. “For this critical global integration, the World Chambers Federation family provided initial and ongoing motivation.”
Mr Parkes and a delegate from the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, host of the 6th World Chambers Congress, were present to promote the WCF Congress.
Chris Mead, Vice President of Member Relations, ACCE, said: “We will be encouraging many chambers from the US to participate in next year’s World Chambers Congress in Kuala Lumpur, which will open more international opportunities to them.”
The Pittsburgh event brought together chamber representatives from over 20 different countries, including Bermuda, China, France, Malaysia, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Sponsorships were also awarded to the following chambers:
- International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh
- Chamber of Commerce and Production of Santiago, Dominican Republic
- Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Cluj Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Romania
- CapeCoast Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South Africa
- British Chambers of Commerce, United Kingdom
The sponsorship package, which has an estimated value of US $2,500, included entry to all convention tours and events, several meals and receptions, and four nights’ accommodation.
ACCE is a national association serving individuals in the management of chambers of all sizes.