By Conrad Dudderar
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce has been selected as one of only three chambers across Oklahoma for a prestigious distinction.
Yukon Chamber board members, staff and volunteers attended an Oct. 24th awards banquet to receive the “Oklahoma Certified Chamber” certification.
The presentation was among highlights of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives (OCCE) 2023 Conference at Hilton Garden Inn Edmond.
“There are now seven certified chambers in the state,” Yukon Chamber CEO Pam Shelton. “There were four previously and we are one of three recognized this year.
“There are about 90 chambers of commerce in Oklahoma, so we’re in the top 10%. We are very excited to have achieved this.”
The OCCE’s Certified Chamber Program is designed to establish standard organizational competencies and an objective set of criteria for assessment. An examining committee is established annually to award accreditation credentials.
The program is voluntary and open to any OCCE member organization.
This accreditation increases the Yukon Chamber’s credibility in the community and the industry, according to Shelton.
“Any kind of certification shows that you are being transparent as to what’s happening at the chamber,” she explained.
Other benefits include demonstrating organizational excellence standards, establishing industry best practices and providing goals and metrics for an organization to meet.
Yukon Chamber officials submitted an extensive report to be eligible for the Oklahoma Certified Chamber distinction.
The 200-page submission covers everything from the Yukon Chamber’s letters of incorporation, history and bylaws to a detailed year in review, mission focus, and financials.
Among the application documents is one describing these “top reasons to join” the Yukon Chamber: New member recognition, credibility, visibility, referrals, connections, networking, investment, events and programs, education, and to stay informed.
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce, which has nearly 590 active members, has nine committees. Some 5,000 Chamber referrals were reported in 2022.
There were 87 networking events totaling 6,150 attendees for the year.
In ’22, the organization represented 462 businesses, individuals and schools; 72 charitable and service organizations and 30 elected officials. Membership retention rate was 85%.
ENERGIZING, ENGAGING AND EDUCATING
The Yukon Chamber’s 2023 program of work is titled “Energizing Our Members, Engaging Our Community, Educating Everyone We Can.”
Enrichments under these key areas are membership growth, business development, economic vitality, networking, supporting local workforce development, legislative, seminars, and tourism.
Featured events are weekly community coffees, ribbon cuttings, annual awards gala and auction, new teacher luncheon, golf classic, business after hours, legislative breakfasts, membership luncheons, Stores Without Doors, Czech Festival, Yukon Yuletide Express, and the State of the School, State of the City and State of the Hospital presentations.
Other Yukon Chamber programs include the Ambassadors, Leaders of Tomorrow, Yukonopoly, Shop Local campaign, student scholarships, and relocation packets.
CEO Shelton serves on an executive board led by President Jarrid Wright, Vice President Missy King, President-elect Mike Gray, Past President Jay Emory, and Treasurer Lynn North.
Other staff members are Julie Simeroth (financial services), Kim Rex (membership services) and Courtney Dillard (office manager).
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce was established in 1958. The first president was Bud Belisle.