African American Chamber earns prestigious designation

AACCNJ is first in N.J. to be named ‘Accredited State Chamber with Distinction’ by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey has earned the Accredited State Chamber with Distinction designation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Chambers are honored for their sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community.

U.S. Chamber Vice President Raymond Towle said the designation is well deserved — and difficult to receive. It comes after an extensive review.

“Accredited chambers are recognized for their ability to serve as a resource to their region’s businesses while maintaining transparent governance practices, sound financial controls, safe work environments, effective communications and value in programming,” he said. “They are commended for their continued advocacy of free enterprise, and for their commitment to serving members and their local businesses.”

Towle said 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 the country.

In order to receive accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in its operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, communications and technology. This extensive self-review can take six to nine months to complete.

John Harmon, the founder and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is thrilled by the honor.

“We are extremely delighted to share with our members and supporters the recent designation awarded by the United States Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

“The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is the only accredited chamber of commerce or business organization in our state — what a significant achievement for the dedicated staff of professionals and board of directors.”

Harmon said he hopes the honor will make others take notice of the work the chamber is doing for its community.

“Fifteen years ago, we established the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey with a commitment to executing our mission, with excellence, on behalf of our members and supporters,” he said.

“Today ‘s recognition by the United States Chamber of Commerce substantiates that we have delivered on our commitment. We urge you to continue in your support of the mission of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey because, by doing so, you strengthen the competitiveness of our state.”

Towle said companies should be impressed.

“Chambers of commerce that achieve an accreditation designation are truly leaders in their industry,” he said. “This rigorous review includes all aspects of a chamber’s policies, operations and programming.

“When chambers of commerce earn the distinction of becoming accredited, it is a mark of excellence for the organization, its staff and its leadership.”