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Alliance Achieves Highest Accreditation, Fourth Consecutive Time

LYNCHBURG, VA- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance with its designation of “Accredited with 5 Stars,” the highest level of accreditation possible in the chamber industry.
This is the fourth consecutive time the Alliance achieved the highest level of accreditation, validating the organization’s longstanding commitment to excellence on behalf of regional businesses and economic development and implementation of sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.

Based on this designation, the Alliance is in the top 1% of all chambers in America and is in the top ½ of 1 percent that have earned the designation three or more times. With nearly 7,000 chambers in the United States, accreditation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a prestigious honor that distinguishes the high quality, expertise, and strong leadership displayed by accredited state and local chambers of commerce. Out of this number, only 200 chambers across the nation are currently accredited, and the Alliance is one of only five chambers to be accredited in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance receiving this accreditation is truly an acknowledgement of their excellent work,” said Raymond P. Towle, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. “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. They are commended for their continued advocacy of free enterprise and for this tremendous accomplishment.”

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 America. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, communications, and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6-9 months to complete.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for the fourth time as an organization that operates at the highest level of business excellence,” said Megan Lucas, Alliance CEO and chief economic development officer. “As our regional partners choose where to invest and which organizations to support, it is vitally important that they fully realize that their Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance stands at the very top of the heap with the highest possible rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Our member investors can rest assured that they are supporting an organization that is committed to their needs and operates with the best possible business principle and practices. I personally thank the Alliance’s Board of Directors who have committed their time, treasure, and energy to the region’s premier business and economic development organization, as well as our over 750 member organizations and their employees who support our mission every day. I’d also like to thank our staff who work hard every day to make our organization the best that it can be. The sky is the limit when we all work together,” Lucas adds.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I congratulate the Alliance staff on this recognition. This team works tirelessly for our region and collaborates with the local municipalities to support businesses and to promote the region as a great place to work and to live,” said Denise Woernle, chair of the board of directors. “The Alliance is critical to creating and maintaining a vibrant business community.”

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.

Previous Accreditations
A chamber must apply to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce every five years to maintain accredited status. The Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, now known as the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, was first accredited in 1973. The Lynchburg Regional Chamber earned 5-star honors for the first time in 2006, and again earned 5-star accreditation in 2011.

In January of 2016, the business and economic development resources of the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Region 2000 Business and Economic Alliance combined into the new Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance known today. Even through this reorganization process, the Alliance received 5-star accreditation for the third straight time. Now in 2021, this fourth consecutive 5-star designation, with the Accrediting Board’s independent and unbiased feedback, certifies that the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance is exemplary in business integrity, ethics, and organizational excellence.