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The Little Chamber That Could

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The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce last year became one of only 111 chambers in the country—there are nearly 7,000—to earn a coveted three-star rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“The national chamber considered our program and development initiatives to be ‘immensely strong’ for a chamber our size,” says Judy Diogo, CDCC’s president.

With only four full-time staff and one part-timer, the CDCC gets quite a bit accomplished for its 870 members.

“We’re most proud of our Leadership Central Delaware Program,” says Diogo. “It’s a 10-month program that provides 20 to 25 leaders, identified by their companies, with exposure to all that Kent County has to offer.”

The program enhances the potential of Kent’s future leaders by building strong, knowledgeable and well-connected people. In its eighth year, the program already has more than 150 alumni. Guest speakers talk about environmental issues, government and politics, and health and human services.

Participants are also taken on tours, which have included a ride on a C-5 Galaxy at Dover Air Force Base.

“The tours are an important part of the program, since they are usually exclusive and not open to the general public,” says Diogo.

National accreditation is a way of helping CDCC define its standards of excellence in planning and performing its mission. “It recognizes the work of our staff, and encourages members and staff to strive for excellence,” Diogo says.

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