Kalispell Chamber Wins Top National Awards

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July 26, 2017

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitor Bureau broke out onto the national stage during the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Annual Convention July 16 – 19 in Nashville, Tennessee, taking home multiple top honors in categories including communications, membership, and as a top-three finalist for Chamber of the Year. 

“It is an honor to have our work recognized by our peers across the country. We have a special team, board of directors and community that have made it all happen,” says Joe Unterreiner, 
President and CEO of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce.

“We intend to use this recognition as the motivation to continue driving forward to growing as a regional trade center, strengthening manufacturing and innovation, building on infrastructure momentum, and increasing non-resident tourism growth.” Most recognized for their efforts hosting events such as the Montana Spartan Race, Dragon Boat Festival and Pond Hockey Classic, the Kalispell Chamber and CVB was notified prior to the convention as an Award for Communications Excellence - Grand Award Winner for their advertising campaign targeted San Francisco travelers, promoting the newly established direct winter service between SFO and Glacier Park International Airport. The campaign played a significant role in the United Airlines’ expansion of daily direct flights from Kalispell to San Francisco for the period July-September 2017.

During the awards ceremony at the ACCE convention, the Kalispell Chamber was announced as the overall Best in Show Winner for the Award for Communications Excellence for mid-size chambers of commerce, rising above over 120 communications projects from across the nation and Canada.

“Two of our 2017 initiatives include building on infrastructure momentum and accelerating non-resident tourism growth,” Unterreiner said. “Thanks to the tremendous success of this campaign, we were able to accomplish growth in both of those areas, promoting Kalispell as a travel destination for California travelers and also giving Flathead Valley residents and businesses expanded air service opportunities. Winning top honors is telltale to the scope of work we do every day to help make the Flathead Valley a better place to live and do business.”

For chambers with annual operating budgets between $2-5 million, the Kalispell Chamber was also recognized in the top 10 of all chambers across North America for both Member Retention Accounts as well as Member Retention Dues.

“Our administrative and membership team have really created an innovative process and strong work dynamic. We have added 162 new member businesses in the last 15 months, expanding the scope and reach of the chamber’s network,” Unterreiner said.

Lastly, taking into account factors such as membership, annual operating budget, and area population, the Kalispell Chamber was recognized as a top three Chamber of the Year for its size. Chamber of the Year is the nation’s only award that recognizes the leadership role chambers have in their communities. There are approximately 7,000 chambers of commerce across North America, and this is the first year the Kalispell Chamber was recognized with the honor.

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