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  • Wendesday, November 8


    3:00 – 6:15 pm: MACE Board Meeting/Retreat

    7:00 pm: MACE Board Dinner


    Thursday, November 9


    7:30 am: Registration/Breakfast

    8:00 am: Opening & Welcome: Blake Fry, Chair Elect – MACE, President - Hudson Chamber of Commerce

    8:15 am: Building ROI Through Public Policy: Craig Whitney, President of FMWF Chamber

    9:45 am: BREAK

    10:00 am: Advocacy Equals Relevance: Barry Wilfahrt, President & CEO – The Chamber Grand Forks – East Grand Forks

    Being an advocate on local, state and national issues is always controversial for chambers but essential if your chamber is going to be relevant in the long run.  Barry will talk about lessons learned on some of the local ballot issue campaigns he has run.  Each challenged the Chamber to its core but the organization always emerged stronger and more relevant.

    11:00 am: The Ninth Influence: Limitations of Government: Mick Fleming, Former President – ACCE

    ACCE's Horizon Initiative explains eight influences that will shape champers of all sizes over the next decade. These initiatives help your chamber predict the influences that might shape chambers and their regions over the next decade.

    After publishing the original eight influences, ACCE added the ninth influence - the Limitations of Government. Fleming discusses the strong connection between policy work, bold positions and sustainable revenue.  He examines the impacts of political fragmentation, as well as the growing limitations of governments to solve problems.  Hone your voice as a community and business advocate.

    Mick will dissect the Ninth Influence. You will leave with a path for your organizations role in the future of government and solutions on how you can lead the way.

    12:00 Noon: Lunch

    1:00 pm: Unified Election Efforts: Laura Bordelon, Senior Vice President, Advocacy, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

    The Minnesota Chamber had unprecedented success in electing pro-business candidates to the Minnesota Legislature the last two election cycles.  The reasons for that success are many, including a strategic and unified effort among the state’s leading business and trade associations; a well-funded independent expenditure fund, Pro Jobs Majority; a vibrant political action committee and grassroots participation by local chamber leaders across the state.  Local chamber leaders have proven key partners in providing intelligence and guidance on the viability of candidates.  Polling and effective voter messaging were also essential to their success.  Regardless of your state’s election laws, this model will provide ideas for you to implement in your organization.

    2:30 pm: BREAK

    2:45 pm: Pick your Involvement – Based on how involved your chamber has been or wants to be in the political process, there is a topic for you. Pick the session you need to attend based on your chambers advocacy goals and experience to make sure you get the most out of the session.

    Advocacy 101 Roundtable: Scott Rogers, Eau Claire Chamber

    30 minutes of education from a seasoned government affairs veteran and 30 minutes of your questions will help you learn the first steps for getting involved in the advocacy arena.

    Advocacy Masters Degree Roundtable: Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber

    30 minutes of education from a seasoned government affairs veteran and 30 minutes of your questions will give you the latest information for influencing action.

    3:45 pm: Predicting Future Business Issues - Dave Baker, Minnesota House of Representatives

    Every session from the lawmakers brings new attacks to business owners across the country. A former chamber volunteer and business owner turned state representative, Dave will give you a behind the scenes view for predicting issues that may arise from new legislation coming from across the region.

    4:30 pm: Adjourn

    5:00 – 6:30: Reception

    7:00 – 9:00: Dinner:


    Friday, November 10


    7:00 am: Breakfast

    8:30 am:

    9:30 am: BREAK

    9:45 am: Using Survey Information for Campaigns: John Kirchner, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    Candidate surveys and questionnaires are a useful tool for chambers – even those who do not endorse candidates for public office. John Kirchner, Executive Director of the Midwest Region for the US Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the importance of candidate surveys and questionnaires and how chambers, regardless of size or political involvement, can leverage them for voter education.

    10:30 am: Facilitated Conversation: MACE Vice Chair Blake Fry and Sioux Falls Chamber President Jason Ball will lead a conversation about the direction the chamber industry is heading. How advocacy can help us build a better business environment and the next steps we all will need to take to be successful.

    Get ready with your questions for this leadership session.

    11:30 am: Closing Comments: Blake Fry, Chair Elect – MACE, President - Hudson Chamber of Commerce

    12:00 Noon: Adjourn


  • Registration: $275

  • Thank You 2017 Policy Conference Sponsors