2017-12-06 / Ludlow

Local chamber leader attends educational conference

Marji Graf - Courtesy PhotoMarji Graf - Courtesy PhotoLUDLOW — For chambers of commerce in Vermont, there is no more important training to attend each year than the Vermont Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives’ (VACCE) educational conference, held recently at the Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center in East Burke. Marji Graf, CEO of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (OVRCC), was one of about 30 executives who attended the two-day training.

The VACCE Institute is held each year at chamber member resorts throughout Vermont and is designed to ensure that VACCE-affiliated directors are among the most trained executives in New England. The conference included sessions on member recruitment, Vermont tourism initiatives, communication strategies, building better boards and committees, technology for chambers and identifying business priorities in the upcoming legislative session. 

Graf, who has worked almost 10 years as the chamber’s executive, noted the conference is important, as there are always important takeaways from the training. She currently serves as the president of VACCE.

“The institute is important to learn new things, collaborate with peers and to learn of upcoming trends,” she said. “It’s our job to keep in touch with new technologies to bring back to our membership.”

Beyond the conference, VACCE leaders meet bimonthly to discuss business and legislative issues that affect their organizations.

Graf said that working for a chamber, her organization in particular, is one of the most important, satisfying positions one could hold, one she hopes to continue to do for some time.

“Chambers are extremely important to the economic vitality of our region and state,” she said. “It is why I have dedicated myself to the Okemo Chamber as well as serving in a leadership position for VACCE.” 

The conference included some of the most respected presenters in the nation speaking on chamber issues, and included Kyle Sexton, Andrew Robinson and Vermont Tourism Commissioner Wendy Knight, according to a press release. The VACCE Institute has been held for the past 20 years and is provided at no cost to VACCE-affiliated chambers.

Return to top