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U.S. Chamber awards Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce with 4-Star Accreditation

COVINGTON, Ga. - The United States Chamber of Commerce today awarded the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce with 4-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.

“Chambers of commerce play a critical role in their communities,” Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management, said.  “From connecting business owners with needed resources to advocating on behalf of their members with lawmakers, each day these outstanding chambers convene thought leaders and strengthen the collective voices of their members.”

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 six to nine months to complete. 

“I am very humbled by this honor from the United States Chamber, said Ralph Staffins, but I am not surprised. This team at the Chamber is the best there is and they are who allowed us to achieve this certification. It proves that we are doing things the correct way for the best interest of Covington, Newton County, and all of our members.”

Chairman of the chamber, Thomas Kephart said: “Early in 2018 the Chamber Board established US Chamber certification as a key strategic initiative.  Mr. Staffins worked very hard with the Chamber staff to complete the steps necessary to obtain this high designation.  The certification was received with a 4 Star designation in November of this year.  This is a tremendous accomplishment in that we are only the 13th Chamber in Georgia to receive this designation.  Only 208 (3 percent) of all Chambers in the country have qualified for this honor, and we are very proud of this progress.”

"I am very proud of this designation that the Covington/Newton County Chamber has received from the US Chamber, said Marcello Banes Chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners. It is a true testament for our community to have our Chamber ranked in the Top 3% of the Nation."

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. 

Moore Hallmark, Southeaster Executive Director for the US Chamber, said “Congratulations to the Covington/Newton County Chamber and its professional staff and volunteer leadership for successfully accomplishing the accreditation process, and for being recognized as a 4-Star Accredited chamber.  This distinction sets them apart as one of the very best chambers in America.”

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.