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Economic Development Kent County News

CDCC retains 5-star accreditation

Katie Tabeling
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DOVER — For the third time, the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce (CDCC) has secured its 5-star accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce, solidifying its elite status among business organizations.

The CDCC is the only accredited chamber in the First State. With 7,000 chambers across the nation, there are only 199 accredited. The CDCC is in the top 2% of all chambers in America, as 140 have a 5-star rating.

CDCC President Dina Vendetti said that the accreditation is validation of the chamber’s work in representing businesses as far north as Middletown and as far south as Milford with high quality programs and services.

“The accreditation [helps] ensure the highest possible return on a member’s investment,” Vendetti said in a statement. “We have been compared to the other best chambers in the country and have been found worthy.  When other chambers strive for a 5-Star accreditation, the Commission compares them to us.”

“For the CDCC, a 5-Star accreditation is important because it absolutely assures our members that they are receiving the highest quality programming and services available – it ensures the highest possible return on their investment,” commented Dr. Dina Carol Vendetti, “We have been compared to the other best chambers in the country and have been found worthy. When other chambers strive for a 5-Star accreditation, the commission compares them to us.” 

The U.S. Chamber accreditation recognizes local chamber’s contributions to the community as well as offering key programs that benefit the local economy. The accreditation renewal process is every five years, and to do so, chambers have to undergo a self-study and documentation process that lasts months, and focuses on governance, finance, human resources and staff, government affairs, program development, communications and more.

Founded in 1919 as the Dover Chamber of Commerce and eventually merged with sister organizations, the CDCC offers coaching programs, a leadership program that has since connected with Leadership Delaware Inc., a competitive marketing membership package, and a robust legislative committee that monitors the state house.

Vendetti said the accreditation process is extensive and provides the CDCC an indepth look at what it’s doing well and what needs to be improved. But she said it’s important to note that the work doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s in the assistance we are able to give our members in growing and expanding their businesses. It’s the programming and events, the resources, and the walking beside each of them as they encounter challenges as well as victories,” she said. “It’s putting together a cohesive team to carry out our mission and supplementing that team with a strong core of volunteers. It’s in the connections, collaborations, partnerships,  relationships that are built in the name of a strong and vibrant business community.”

As the CDCC leadership has officially transitioned in the past two years, it is also the first time Vendetti has overseen the process. Judy Diogo, who was the CDCC president for 17 years, led the chamber through accreditation in the two previous cycles.

For Vendetti, who took over the chief job in 2022, retaining the 5-star accreditation solidifies the chamber’s programs and mission. 

Of course, it made me feel good to know that we kept our 5 stars – really, really good!,” she told the Delaware Business Times. “But at the end of the day, it isn’t about me or any one of us. It’s really about all of us working together for the good of our business community.  That’s where the success lies.”

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