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Valpo Chamber receives national recognition

The Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce was named the No. 2 chamber in the country for a community of 100,000 people or less at the recent Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives convention in Des Moines, Iowa. Pictured, left to right, with the award are: David C. Adkisson, board chair, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives; Kurt Gillins, vice president, programs and communications, Valparaiso chamber; Christine Pazdur, CFO, Valparaiso chamber; Rex Richards, president, Valparaiso chamber; Danielle Oeding, vice president, sales and marketing, Valparaiso chamber; Sue Stymiest, resource director, Valparaiso chamber; Julie Gaskell, executive vice president, Valparaiso chamber and Sheree Anne Kelly, president & CEO of Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce is used to getting recognition.

It's been named chamber of the year three times in Indiana.

Last week, however, the chamber upped its game and was recognized as the No. 2 chamber of commerce organization in the nation for communities with populations of 100,000 and under by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives during its convention in Des Moines, Iowa.

The downtown Des Moines chamber group received the top nod.

"It is a real honor to be selected as the No. 2 chamber in the nation," said Rex Richards, president of the Valparaiso chamber, adding there are some 7,000 chambers of commerce across the country.

"We do have a very strong chamber here and this is very gratifying. It is because of the commitment of the board of directors, volunteers and businesses in the community," Richards said.

The chamber had to go through a three-step process, including filling out surveys, submitting extensive documents and written material and then being interviewed by a panel of judges during the national convention.

In addition to coming in second for the top award, Richards said the chamber also received a second place in the communications excellence award for its digital newsletter produced by Vice President of Programs and Communication Kurt Gillins. The video newsletter highlights what's going on within the chamber and the city.

"It is a real tribute to our chamber and staff and longtime business community," Richards said.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.