2021 Business Plan


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.


A. Annual Meeting: February 11, 2021. Deliver a conference agenda offering the opportunity to enhance leadership development skills, focus on current policy issues, and allow for extensive networking.

Location: Omni Viking Lakes Hotel, Eagan + Virtual
Host: MCCE Board of Directors
Committee members: Angie Whitcomb, Ed Kearney, Mary Hodson


B. New Executive Orientation: Coordinate brief orientation sessions for new executives and their mentors to be held as part of the various conferences.


C. Summer Refresh: May 27, 2021. 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: TBD, St. Cloud
Host: Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber
Committee members: Barry Wilfahrt, Tara Bitzan, Angie Whitcomb


D. Fall Conference: September 22-24, 2020. Coordinate a highly valuable learning opportunity showcasing the expertise of fellow chamber professionals and industry experts.

Location: Grand Ely Lodge, Ely
Co-Hosts: Erik Holmstrom, Laurentian Chamber of Commerce and Shelly Hanson, Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce
Committee members: Robin Anthony, Barry Wilfahrt, Vicki Stute


E. 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.

Northwest – Carrie Johnston
Northeast – Bud Stone
West Central – TBD
Central – TBD
Metro – Chad Kulas
Southwest – Ned Koppen
Southeast – Brad Meier


F. Executive Leadership Program: Held every other year, 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.  2021 efforts will focus on marketing to the Class of 2022.


G. Industry Roundtables: Offer virtual industry roundtables monthly (with the exception of conference months) for education and professional development, discussions of current issues, and networking among peers. Reassess need mid-2021 and modify as necessary.

Committee: Barry Wilfahrt and Vicki Stute


2)   Peer Development

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


A. 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.


B. 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 and Kristy Barse


C. Scholarships: Continue to sponsor and promote scholarships to MCCE conferences, U.S. Chamber Institute, U.S. Chamber Government Affairs Conference and Leadership Minnesota.  Some scholarships may also include lodging and travel expenses.

Committee: Brad Gruhot, Barry Wilfahrt, Doug Loon, Brad Meier, Vicki Stute


D. 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.

Committee: Barry Wilfahrt and Allie Hancock


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.


A. 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: Barry Wilfahrt and Vicki Stute


B. Board of Directors: Identify opportunities to engage with board members to inform them of the benefits of MCCE and the importance of the chamber industry; provide resources and counsel during executive transitions.


C. Emerging Leaders Orientation: Held annually for staff members of local chambers who have been identified as future industry leaders. Resources will be shared to inform participants about internal career opportunities as well as development career pathways within the industry as a profession.


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.


A. Web site: Refresh content on the MCCE website to ensure it and provides easy to access resources and sells the benefits of membership.


B. 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.


C. Social Media: Continue to strengthen use of social media channels to inform MCCE members and others of the value of the association and industry.


D. 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.


E. Technology Committee: Research and develop affinity partnership to access a technology conferencing platform for use by MCCE, as well as potentially for local chambers.

Committee: Brad Meier, Vicki Stute, Allie Hancock