Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Awarded 5-Star Accreditation

Mar 16, 2021 | Chamber News

The United States Chamber of Commerce, at its March 11, 2021 board meeting, awarded the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.

This is the third time the Fort Collins Chamber has achieved 5-Star Accreditation; and is now recognized as one of 190 Accredited chambers across the country, and one of only two Accredited chambers in Colorado.

“Now more than ever, chambers of commerce have stepped up to serve as a resource to the business community and advocates of free enterprise” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management.  “Through the pandemic these chambers continue to lead while maintaining transparent governance practices, sound financial controls, safe work environments, value in programming and effective communications.  They are commended for their sound policies and practices, and for this great accomplishment.”

Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6-9 months to complete.

“In a way, accreditation is validation. It is external validation that compared to our peers and a set of exacting national standards, the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is performing at a very high level for our members and the community,” said Fort Collins Area Chamber President and CEO Ann Hutchison. “It has been the expectation of our board of directors that we participate in this program, which is voluntary and involves a significant amount of work.

“But it’s worth it because it forces us to methodically examine what we’re doing and focus on making improvements. To remain at the highest level of accreditation for the third time is very gratifying,” said Hutchison.

The accreditation application, which took several months to complete, required the Chamber to submit materials regarding all of its departments and procedures in the areas of governance, finance, human resources, government affairs, program development, communication, technology and facilities. The Chamber received perfect scores in the human resources, communications, facilities and benchmarking sections of the application.

The Accreditation examining committee noted several areas of excellence for the Fort Collins Area Chamber, noting the Chamber’s work with Northern Colorado Prospers, Reignite Our Economy, talent portal and Business Retention and Expansion efforts.  The Chamber was also recognized for its leadership roles in regional initiatives including The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance and the Fix North I-25 Business Alliance.

Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. State chambers are recognized as either Accredited State Chamber or Accredited State Chamber with Distinction. The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

About the Fort Collins Area Chamber

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is the leading membership-based business association in Northern Colorado, dedicated to helping business succeed. Investing in the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce puts members in contact with more than 1,100 business owners and managers in the market. For more than 100 years, the Fort Collins Area Chamber has helped shape the Fort Collins region into one of the most livable places in America. For more information about the Chamber, call (970) 482-3746 or visit