Advocacy for beer, wine and alcohol sales and the “Pennies for Progress” road improvement initiative helped the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce win top honors from the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
The association recently named the regional chamber as its 2013 outstanding chamber of the year, competing against chambers in South and North Carolina.
Chamber president Rob Youngblood received the award at the association’s recent annual dinner in Asheville, N.C.
Youngblood knew the chamber was a finalist, but kept silent, not wanting to set his expectations too high. Youngblood is a board member of the association.
Chambers were evaluated on four factors: leadership and goverance, finances, advocacy, and programming and membership development.
The regional chamber’s efforts in 2012 for seven-day beer and wine sales in York County, a 2006 effort for seven-day sales of alcoholic beverages in Rock Hill restaurants and a similar 2008 effort for York County, were cited by the association as examples of the regional chambers leadership and advocacy efforts.
The regional chamber also has been active in the 1-cent Pennies for Progress road funding project which was approved by voters in 1997, 2003 and 2011, creating more than $500 million of improvements to roads in York County.
A 2013 membership campaign that exceeded goals by 50 percent was cited by the association as an example of the regional chamber’s financial success. Retaining 88 percent of membership – 4 percent higher than the national average – also was cited.
Youngblood said the award is shared by the chamber staff and its membership. He also said that “we don’t want to let our guard down. This set the bar high and is an inspiration for us to do better.”
Youngblood said the chamber will continue to expand its programming, focusing more efforts on how technology can assists local businesses.