For the fourth time in 15 years, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has honored the Tulsa Regional Chamber as its National Chamber of the Year. The award recognizes chambers that demonstrate excellence in operations, member services and community leadership.
“This award is a testament to not only the quality of the Chamber’s programs and services, but its enduring impact on our region as well,” said Roger Ramseyer, vice president and Tulsa market leader for Cox Communications and the Chamber’s 2020 board chair. “Having served on the Chamber’s board of directors for several years, I’ve seen that impact firsthand. From recruiting new jobs to increasing the number of hotel nights booked in Tulsa to championing transformational public investments, the Chamber’s efforts benefit everyone who lives, visits or does business in our community.”
ACCE previously named the Tulsa Regional Chamber the nation’s best chamber in 2005, 2008 and 2010. For the 2020 award, the Chamber presented a number of innovative programs for consideration, including partnerships built with tribal nations in Chamber-led Tulsa’s Future regional economic development projects, as well as the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work exemplified by the Chamber-led Mosaic coalition.
The award’s multi-stage selection process includes an initial operations benchmark, a written application and a panel interview. ACCE evaluates comparable chambers based on total revenue, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber competed at the highest tier. Winners were announced September 30 as part of ACCE’s annual convention, which was held virtually this year.
“The Tulsa Regional Chamber is a strong advocate for our business community in Tulsa and works hand-in-hand with the city on our economic development efforts,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “I am glad others have recognized what we already knew: that we have the best chamber of commerce in America.
Established in 1903, the Tulsa Regional Chamber is northeast Oklahoma’s principal business-driven leadership organization improving the quality of community life through the development of regional economic prosperity. The Chamber represents more than 2,150 member organizations and more than 178,000 area employees.
“We at the Tulsa Regional Chamber are thrilled by this honor,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Chamber. “Being named Chamber of the Year for the fourth time would not be possible without the dedication of our hard-working staff, our engaged board of directors and the diverse businesses that make up our membership.”
The Tulsa Regional Chamber develops and delivers a wide variety of programs and services designed to bolster and benefit Tulsa-area businesses of all shapes and sizes, from large corporations to small startups. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has served as an integral part of what makes the Tulsa region a great place to live, work and play. As epitomized by the Chamber tagline – “Your Partner in Prosperity” – every strategy, program and service of the Chamber is created specifically to increase prosperity.
In addition to providing services and programs for its member companies, the Tulsa Regional Chamber leads northeast Oklahoma’s regional economic development partnership, Tulsa’s Future. The Chamber also houses Tulsa Regional Tourism, the region’s destination marketing organization, and leads a coalition of more than 75 entities endorsing the OneVoice Regional Legislative Agenda, a shared list of pro-business state and federal policy priorities.
“This award also reflects the Tulsa-area business community’s sincere commitment to improving the quality of community life in our region,” said Neal. “It’s a collaborative effort not possible by any single entity, and we’re thankful for our many partnerships with businesses, civic groups, governments, tribal nations, education institutions and more.”
The Chamber holds several prestigious accreditations: five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; accredited economic development organization through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC); and accredited destination marketing organization (VisitTulsa) through Destinations International (DI). In addition, the Chamber houses the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (Tulsa FMAC), Oklahoma’s only accredited city film commission through the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI).
Beyond accreditations, the Chamber is on a journey toward a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. As steps on that journey, the Oklahoma Quality Foundation honored the Chamber in 2013, 2015 and again in 2019.
“At the Tulsa Regional Chamber, we strongly believe in continuous improvement,” said Chamber Executive Vice President and COO Justin McLaughlin. “The process of re-accreditation or applying for an award is an opportunity for introspection and evaluation. We’re humbled to have our efforts celebrated by fellow chambers of commerce, but the real value comes when that self-assessment propels us even further forward.”