First Year Class of Chamber and Association Executives
I was privileged to spend last week in Tucson, Arizona attending the winter session of the Institute for Organizational Management. It is a higher education program for Chamber of Commerce and Association professionals offered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. This Institute has been educating leaders since 1921. Held at five colleges and universities across the nation, it is a four year program that requires participants to attend at least one week of instruction per year. The person may however fast track and attend more than one session a year to achieve the credits needed for graduation. Graduates of the Institute receive the IOM Certification signifying they have completed 96 hours of course instruction. It is also a stepping stone to earn points toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation.
The week was intense, in-depth, and extremely educational. The classes I took included governance, finance, legal issues, human resources, membership, economic development, board and committees, sponsorships, media training and more. My brain was on overload! But I can say it was one of the better experiences I’ve ever had in higher education. Plus, the networking opportunities with other professionals from all over the United States was, in itself, incredible!
There I am in class at the far back of the photo. And I bumped into a friend and colleague I haven’t seen in years. More than fifteen years ago she recruited me into the Lubbock Texas Chamber Ambassador Group and now we are both Executive Directors at Chambers in different states! I’m in New Mexico (TRUE!) and she is at a Chamber in Idaho. Another great thing about last week; I walked through an orange grove on my way to classes. Real orange trees with fruit on them!
Now the fun begins. I’ll be setting a schedule for myself to implement what I have learned to better run the Angel Fire Chamber. I appreciate the investment our Board has made by sending me to Institute. And I want to say thank-you to the New Mexico Chamber Executives Association for awarding me a scholarship to offset most of the expense.
Now how many of you, who haven’t yet signed up to serve on an Habla Tamale committee, are ready to commit? It’s time! Please call the office, 575-377-6353, we need you!