2023 Business Plan
Breakthrough to Excellence


Mission: The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives advances the effectiveness of chamber professionals by providing career development, communications, and networking to ensure professional and organizational growth.


1)        Education and Networking

Provide strong and consistent professional development opportunities through MCCE events and conferences.   Continue to offer training for professionals at all levels of experience focused on the theme of building professional leadership and organizations for the future.

  1. Annual Meeting: February 1 – 3, 2023. Deliver a conference agenda offering the opportunity to enhance leadership development skills, focus on current policy issues, and allow for extensive networking.
    Location:  Treasure Island Resort and Casino, Welch
    Co-Hosts:  Kristy Barse, Hastings Area Chamber & Tourism Bureau and Michelle Larson, Red Wing Area Chamber
    Committee members:  Kristy Barse; Michelle Larson; Matt Baumgartner, Duluth Area Chamber; and Christine Fenner, Waconia Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau
    New Executive Orientation:
    Coordinate brief orientation sessions for new executives and their mentors to be held as part of the various conferences.
  2. Summer Refresh: May 25, 2023. This one-day conference, designed for chamber staff at all levels, will focus on the fundamentals of running successful chambers, and the issues and trends facing the business community.
    Location: Rush Creek Golf Course, Maple Grove
    Committee members:  TBD
  3. Fall Conference: September 20 – 23, 2023. Coordinate a highly valuable learning opportunity showcasing the expertise of fellow chamber professionals and industry experts.
    Location: Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center
    Host: Tara Bitzan, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber
    Committee members:  TBD
  4. Regional Groups: Continue to provide support and specialized training opportunities for the regional groups throughout the state. Offer resources and development as needed to the individual regions including the relaunch for the inactive groups.  Leverage regional groups to communicate about MCCE and Minnesota Chamber activities.  Gather regional group leaders once per year to compare and share ideas and best practices.
    Northwest/West Central – Carrie Johnston, Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber
    Northeast – Kim Parameter, Hermantown Area Chamber
    Central – Pam Dorion, Nisswa Chamber
    Metro – Chad Kulas, Midway Chamber
    Southwest – Brooke Sticha, New Prague Chamber and Shanna Guztke-Kupp, Lonsdale Area Chamber
    Southeast – Elaine Hansen, Austin Chamber
  5. Executive Leadership Program: Held every other year (to be held in 2023), this six-day program (one day per month hosted by a local chamber) is focused on executives looking to advance their career in the chamber industry and develop their professional leadership skills.  Applicants will be accepted who have demonstrated a commitment to the chamber of commerce industry and desire to succeed in this profession.
  6. Specialty Interest Groups (SIGs): A new program designed for launch in 2023 will bring together members who are interested in learning more about specific topics in three areas:  membership, communications, and programs and events.  SIGs will meet 3 to 4 times per year either virtually or as part of MCCE’s conferences.
    Programs and Events:  Nort Johnson, Faribault Area Chamber & Tourism
    Membership:  Robin Anthony, Greater Stillwater Chamber
    Communications:  TBD

2)   Peer Development

Offer members support and accessible, affordable training to strengthen their professional skills and organizational operations.

  1. New Executives: New executives receive a personal welcome call, letter, and visit by MCCE staff members to introduce the industry and offer resources available through MCCE. Conference certificates are also presented for use within one year of service for all new executives.
  2. Mentorship: Assign mentors to new executives to help engage them in MCCE activities. Explore opportunity to establish a mentor program with all executives in Minnesota.
    Committee: Tara Bitzan
  3. Scholarships: Continue to sponsor and/or promote scholarships to MCCE conferences, U.S. Chamber Institute, Mid-America Chamber Executives, U.S. Chamber Government Affairs Conference, and Leadership Minnesota.  Some scholarships may also include lodging and travel expenses.  Recognize specific named memorial scholarships during conferences.
    Committee:  Brad Gruhot, Marshall Area Chamber; Doug Loon, Minnesota Chamber; and Vicki Stute, Minnesota Chamber
  4. Resource Library: Continue to build out the MCCE resource library through industry best practices from local chambers as well as national partners such as ACCE and USCC. Also, research the opportunity to develop a listing or bureau of strategic planning or meeting facilitators as well as a speaker’s bureau.
    Committee: Brad Gruhot and Vicki Stute


3)   Industry Development

Develop opportunities to feature the Chamber industry as a relevant community stakeholder and profession through education, programs, and engagement of professional staff, volunteers, and general public.

  1. Internship Programs: In an effort to attract talent to the chamber industry, MCCE will focus on developing and promoting internship programs at local chambers. MCCE may offer matching funds to help local chambers fund interns.  Specific criteria and career follow up will also be implemented to ensure that the internships are valuable and attracting students to chamber careers.
    Committee: Brad Meier, Owatonna Area Chamber & Tourism and Vicki Stute
  2. Chambers’ Board of Directors: Identify opportunities to engage with board members and volunteer leaders to inform them of the benefits of MCCE and the importance of the chamber industry; provide resources and counsel during executive transitions.
  3. Awards: Implement an awards program that provides best-in-class recognition of local chambers, and their respective leaders.  Initial program to launch at the Annual Meeting in 2023.Committee:  Brad Gruhot; Ed Kearney, Apple Valley Chamber; Mary Hodson, Hutchinson Area Chamber and Tourism; Kristy Barse; and Vicki Stute


4)   Marketing and Communications

Build visibility and recognition for MCCE, and the benefits of involvement to further engage current members and attract new members through stronger brand development and technology.

  1. Website: Continually refresh and maintain content on the MCCE website to ensure it and provides easy-to-access resources and promotes the benefits of membership.
  2. Implement Video and Podcasts: Implement the use of video and podcasts to market MCCE to current and potential members; and consider short video clips as a way to market conferences and events.
  3. Social Media: Continue to strengthen use of social media channels to inform MCCE members and others of the value of the association and industry. Identify other cohorts that could utilize platforms for communication purposes.
  4. Newsletter: Produce and distribute a monthly MCCE newsletter to provide education and information, share resources and success stories of local chambers, and promote the industry.
    Marketing Committee:  Kristy Barse; Michelle Larson; Allie Hancock, Minnesota Chamber; and Vicki Stute