Ascension named Chamber of Year

Staff reports
Ascension Chamber of Commerce was recognized LACCE Mid–Size Chamber of the Year at the annual conference in Ruston. Chamber President Sherrie Despino is pictured with the award for Mid-Size Chamber of the Year Award along with other winners, Cynthia Hoffpauir, Small Chamber of the Year, Kay Thibodeaux, Large Chamber of the Year, and Dawn Sharpe-Brackett, National Chamber of the Year.

Each year, Chamber leaders across the state meet at the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ Annual Conference to participate in learning seminars and compete for the Chamber of the Year Award.

This year, in addition to knowledge and great ideas, Ascension Chamber President/CEO Sherrie Despino was proud to return to the parish with the Ascension Chamber’s first Chamber of the Year Award.

In order to compete for the LACCE award, dozens of Chambers of Commerce from across the state create extensive project booklets outlining what their particular Chamber has done in the past year.

Chambers are judged on how active they are in regards to offering members benefits and the opportunity to get involved in the business community through different Chamber functions. In addition, Chamber executives are rated based on involvement with the causes and issues that can affect their local member businesses.

At this year’s conference, held in Ruston, the Ascension Chamber of Commerce was recognized as the Conference’s Mid–Size Chamber of the Year.

Despino accepted the award on behalf of her staff, Board of Directors and Chamber Members.

“I was so excited to receive this honor,” she said. “This award solidifies the standard of excellence that has been set by our Chamber and its staff.  We have worked diligently to make our Chamber of Commerce stand out above the rest.”

Under the direction of Despino, the Chamber Staff, Kassie St. Pierre, marketing and special events coordinator, and Liz Laurent, administrative assistant, organizes and facilitates several monthly events and Chamber meetings each aimed at educating Chamber Members, increasing networking opportunities and strengthening the business community.

“I am extremely excited about the award,” Despino said. “Our staff and our board have worked really hard to make our chamber great."

LACCE is a membership driven, non-profit organization formed in order to bring together the Executives of the Chambers of Commerce throughout the state. The organization serves as a catalyst to network and educate the executives and the staffs within the statewide Chamber areas.