5-Star again!

Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills and Rockport Mayor Pat Rios joined members of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (RFCC) board of directors Friday, June 5 to celebrate the RFCC’s 5-Star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (RFCC) learned last week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded it with the 5-Star Accredited designation, the highest such designation in the Chamber industry.

This is the third consecutive time (accreditation is for a five-year period) the RFCC has earned that distinction.

“Every day the RFCC works hard to put the American dream within reach of hardworking Rockport-Fulton business owners. The U.S. Chamber Accreditation designation tells RFCC members and the Rockport-Fulton business community we have effective programs, sound finances and are strong advocates for their interests,” said RFCC President/CEO Diane Probst, CCE.

The local chamber is one of only 21 chambers of commerce in Texas to hold the 5-Star distinction.

“The entire RFCC team, board, staff, and members contributed to this accomplishment,” said RFCC Chairman of the Board Blake McDavid. “At the first of the year, we developed two-person team chairs for the nine areas of the application. These teams then went and recruited committee members for their area. They met several times but stayed focused on completing their area in full.

“Then the chamber staff pulled it all together. We had more than 60 people bringing this project to fruition. It takes a strong team to make something like this happen for a small community. We are so grateful to everyone for their efforts and support.”

Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the only program of its kind that defines excellence in Chamber planning and recognizes Chambers for outstanding contributions toward positive change in their communities. The purpose of the U.S. Chamber’s Accreditation Program is to facilitate continuing excellence in the Chamber industry and to foster a pro-business environment across America.

Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes Chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a Chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. This extensive self-review can take up to nine months to complete.

“Only 204 chambers carry this distinction out of approximately 7,000 chambers in the United States. These strong chambers represent the top 3% of all chambers in the United States. And only 128 (less than 2% of these chambers) are accredited at the 5-Star level,” said Probst. “We achieved a perfect score in five of the nine sections - human resources, program development, technology, communications, and facilities. This is the RFCC’s third time to be recognized with 5-stars and we are very proud of this accomplishment.”

The RFCC represents almost 800 businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals. Since 1952, as a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger community, the RFCC has served as a unified voice of actively advocating for a strong economy. Through strong promotion of the community and businesses, leadership training on all levels, advocacy programming, networking opportunities galore, and constant efforts to build the economy, the RFCC stays steady and focused to achieve results.

Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. State chambers are recognized as either Accredited State Chamber or Accredited State Chamber with Distinction. The Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members, makes the final determination.

The RFCC was first accredited in 2000, and received 4-Star accreditation in 2005. Its first 5-Star Accreditation was in 2010, and it received that designation again in 2015.

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