Special to the Journal
The American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has designated Chris Hardy, President & CEO, of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau, Certified Chamber Executive (CCE). The CCE is the only national certification for Chamber Professionals. The announcement was made July 24 at ACCE’s annual convention in Oklahoma City.
“The applicants who designated CCE’s rightfully earn this outstanding recognition through hard work, countless hours of dedication to their field, and leadership of their Chambers. We applaud this year’s recipients and are proud to have them join a long tradition of professional excellence,” says Raymond Burns, CCE, President & CEO of Rogers – Lowell (Ark.) Chamber of Commerce and CCE Commission Chairman.
Hardy was one of 21 Chamber Executives in the nation who earned the CCE designation this year. The CCE program is designed to assess and test the applicant’s knowledge of the core Chamber management areas: management, planning and development, membership and communication, and operations. Candidates are required to submit an application outlining their professional achievements and activities, write two essays, make a formal presentation, complete an intensive interview by a panel of CCE’s and pass a comprehensive four-hour examination.
Since the program was initiated more than 40 years ago, approximately 530 individuals have earned this highest designation in the profession. Today there are about 270 active CCE’s out of over 7,100 Chambers nationwide. Hardy is one of only two active CCE’s in the state of Georgia.
“It is an honor and privilege to receive this certification. It was a long and grueling process but extremely fulfilling at the same time. I want to thank my staff and Board of Directors for their encouragement and support during the entire process. This is a special time in my career and one that I will use to not only better our Chamber of Commerce but also our community. The knowledge and the relationships I have developed during this 7 month process will go a long way in making our Chamber the best it can be,” says Hardy.
Hardy was hired as President & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce in April of 2012.