February 2007 Vol. 6 No.


MCCE Executive
Don't Miss Out! MCCE Annual Meeting, February 7-9


February 7 is approaching fast! Don't miss your opportunity to attend the MCCE Annual Meeting! We have an excellent agenda planned, including two presentations from guest speaker Cathi Hight, Hight Performance Group, three formal networking opportunities, two high level break-out sessions, and presentations on chamber & community branding; workforce development initiatives led by local chambers; employee benefits for local chambers and more! Download the registration form and meeting agenda from the Web at, www.mnchamber.com/mcce/index.cfm. For more information, contact Lisa Engdahl, (651) 292-4699, (800) 821-2230 or e-mail lengdahl@mnchamber.com. We look forward to seeing you at Grand View!

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Mark your Calendar Nat’l Guard Troop Reintegration Legal Update Managing by the Numbers

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber Starts New Program
The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce is starting a new program, called "Positive People - Progressive Community". This program is designed to help advance communication between the community and local businesses. The program kicked off its first event Thursday, January 18, with speakers from the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency. The focus of this program is to inform the Freeborn County community about area businesses and try and communicate all the positive things going on in the county and city. Susie Petersen, Chamber executive director, hopes companies will share their stories of where they come from, what they do, and why they are in the area.


2007 MCCE Fall Conference is Set! The location has been decided for the 2007 MCCE Fall Conference! This annual event will be held September 19-21, 2007 at The Lodge on Lake Detroit in Detroit Lakes. This event, held each September in a greater Minnesota community, is designed to connect Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives (MCCE). The Fall Conference provides MCCE members the opportunity to share ideas and network in a relaxed atmosphere. The majority of the programs at this two and a half day conference are developed and led by our fellow members and this year, our host, the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce is helping to plan a terrific conference! Co-Chairs for the conference are: David Hochhalter, Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce; Kallie Briggs, International Falls Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Gale, River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Great Lakes/Midwest Regional Government Affairs Conference-September 12-14 Is your chamber's advocacy program meet- tices and trends -- from government ing the demands of your members, elected affairs 101 to advanced activities for the officials, and community stakeholders? political veteran. Network with colleagues and share The U.S. Chamber's regional government affairs conference will provide the informa- best practices. tion, tools, and resources you need to harness your political potential and take your The conference will be held at The government affairs program to the next InterContinental Chicago starting with lunch on Wednesday, September 12 and level of effectiveness. ending Friday, September 14. Program highlights include: Dr. Kelton Rhoads (invited) is a profes- MCCE and the U.S. Chamber offer a joint sor and psychologist who approaches scholarship for this event. Watch your influence and persuasion from a unique email for an application this spring. perspective. Dr. Rhoads has delivered highly effective and thought-provoking To make room reservations at the U.S. presentations to private and public sector Chamber of Commerce conference rate of groups throughout the world. $220 per night, please call (312) 944-4100 Learn from the experts about cutting and mention the U.S. Chamber of edge issues confronting businesses Commerce or event code DG4. nationwide and how chambers are addressing them. Visit the U.S. Chamber Web site this Discover the latest government prac- spring for more information on this event.
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Army National Guard Troop Community Reintegration
The Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead has a number of military units and organizations as members and has been actively supportive of military personnel for many years. The local chapter of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a member of the Chamber and the Chamber is an ESGR Five-Star Award winner for its support of military units, organizations and personnel. More than 3,000 Minnesota Guard and Reserve personnel are currently deployed around the United States and across the globe while their families and employers remain in our community. When a soldier goes to war, their family is significantly impacted as well, and so are their employers and communities. As one local example, the Clay County Attorney is currently deployed and his deployment has just been extended by four months. He has a wife and two young children, too. The Moorhead National Guard's 2-136 HHC Family Readiness Group meets monthly to help assist 250 families affected by the current deployment. Chamber member firms have provided financial support for the group and its support efforts, including a Military Kids program that connects dependent children and schools with supportive resources in the community. The Minnesota Extension Service and local colleges have been an ally in this and community reintegration efforts. As local chambers and communities and as a nation, we should be proud of and grateful to our citizen soldiers and their families as they serve our nation both here and overseas. Local chambers, their members and community organizations can all play a role in helping them both now and when they return home, soon, please. If you would like to learn more, contact David Martin at David@fmchamber.com or (218) 233-1100.

Diane Klaers - Information Coordinator, Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB Miranda Anderson - Communication & Events Director, Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce Amanda Zurn - Administrative Assistant/Receptionist, Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce


Legal Update
What are the responsibilities of a chamber which sonpors an event where injuries are suffered by participants or guests; or when when property damage occurs? A: If your Chamber sponsors an event, the Chamber may be held liable for personal injury or property damage occurring in connection with the event. You should insure to protect the Chamber from the risk of such liability. Check the coverage of your Chamber's liability insurance policies to determine whether such events are covered under the policies, and whether the amount of coverage is sufficient. If the Chamber's current policies do no cover such an event, sometimes additional coverage can be obtained through a policy rider. Is Directors’ and Officers’ insurance necessary? Do the “immunity” provisions of the Minnesota nonprofit corporation act apply? A: The Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act requires that a Chamber must indemnify officers, directors and agents of the Chamber unless the Articles or Bylaws provide otherwise. Thus, a Chamber has the right to refuse to indemnify individuals who are sued on behalf of the Chamber. The "immunity" provision of the Act provides that a person who serves without compensation as a director, officer, trustee, member, or agent of a Chamber is not civilly liable for an act or omission by that person if the act or omission was in good faith, was within the scope of the person's responsibility as a director, officer, trustee, member of agent of the Chamber, and did not constitute, willful or reckless misconduct. This exemption does not apply, however, to: (1) an action or proceeding brought by the Minnesota Attorney General for breach of fiduciary duty as a director; (2) a cause of action to the extent it is based on federal law; (3) a cause of action based on the person's express contractual obligations; or (4) an action or proceeding based on a breach of public pension plan fiduciary responsibility. Nor do the provisions of this statute limit an individual's liability for physical injury to another person or for wrongful death which is personally and indirectly caused by that individual. In sum, a Chamber may decide whether or not it chooses to indemnify officers, directors and members against liability, or simply rely upon the immunity provisions of the Act. Remember that the immunity provision applies only to uncompensated persons, thus, it would not protect any compensated directors, officers, or employees. Under the Act, the Chamber may choose to indemnify only certain classes of persons, for example, only officers if it chooses to indemnify, it should seek insurance to cover the indemnification promise, since it would be misleading to officers and/or directors to support such a promise. If the Chamber does not wish to indemnify any person, this must be explicitly stated in the Articles or Bylaws.


Managing by the Numbers
Best Practices

1 One Page reports are adequate for our busy volunteers. If a document requires a staple it's too long for the board of directors. Brief is best. 3/24 Answer phones within 3 rings to promote member service excellence.
Satisfy and respond to all member requests within 24 hours.

1/4/7/9 A simple member retention plan: In the 1st month of joining, members get a welcome kit. In the 4th month a member of staff calls to introduce his or himself as a source of contact. In the 7th month, a member of the board calls to inquire about member satisfaction. In the 9th month a membership committee member calls to encourage renewal (as bills will soon be mailed in the 10th or 11th month).
By Bob Harris, CAE. For free tips and templates on strategic planning, board governance and nonprofit management visit wwww.nonprofitcenter.com. (bob@rchcae.com)