Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber, speaks during a news conference to announce an initiative to increase diversity in Chattanooga's businesses at City Hall on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Prominent Chattanooga business leaders, members of the Chamber of Commerce, faith leaders, and members of the city government attended the conference in support.

ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, named the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce one of three Communications Excellence Best in Show winners. ACCE's Awards for Communications Excellence program showcases top marketing work of chambers of commerce and similar organizations.

"We're honored. Many people helped complete this original project swiftly – Eric Lisica, Interactive Content Designer; Jeremy Henderson, Creative Director; and Amanda Ellis, Marketing Communications Manager; each contributed creative concepts, video production, website production and written storytelling," says Sybil Topel, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Chattanooga Chamber. "We're grateful for the teamwork that helped make this happen as we work to attract people to consider Chattanooga as a place to invest, work and grow."

The Chattanooga Chamber was named a Best in Show winner for a digital media entry highlighting, a website the Chamber marketing team created in only two weeks as a recruiting tool for web development and tech companies. The site's video game theme includes a Super Mario- inspired interactive map featuring short videos of Chattanoogans and why they love it here.

Other contributing team members included Lindsay Hiatt, Charles Wood, Lizzie Hickman and Candy Giron.

A panel of marketing professionals from 16 U.S.-based chambers of commerce evaluated 173 entries for this year's competition.

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Graphic contributed by Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce / The Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership's 16-county region.

GCEP Receives Mac Conway Award

The field of economic development may have never seen a more challenging year, stepping forward and steering communities through the pandemic as businesses have struggled.

Despite the turbulence, Chattanooga's economic development has thrived, and we were ranked No. 10 for job growth by USA Today, with several partners and companies further investing in our economy.

These accomplishments are largely due to the work and leadership of the Chattanooga Chamber's Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP). GCEP is a public-private, regional economic development partnership representing a 16-county region in Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. GCEP focuses on building awareness of our region for business expansion and relocation. The Chattanooga Chamber Foundation manages GCEP in partnership with local economic development organizations throughout the region, providing site selection, workforce and incentive support. With our community's support, partnership and encouragement, GCEP was recognized as a 2021 Mac Conway Award Winner.

Site Selection's Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development recognize top economic development agencies in the U.S. Honorees were determined by an index that examines 2020 corporate facility investment as tracked by Site Selection's proprietary Conway Projects database. Scores were awarded based on total projects, total investment associated with those projects and jobs associated with those projects, and given to the nation's top 20 economic development organizations.

Locations throughout the U.S. and the world compete for direct investment, and this award highlights our community's ability to land economic development projects, including expansions and locations.

GCEP's significant projects in 2020 included McKee Foods (consumer products), Sese Industrial (automotive), Gestamp Chattanooga (automotive), Echelon Fitness Multimedia (consumer products), Confluent Medical Technologies (life sciences) and Zeus Industrial (plastics and life sciences).