Della Schmidt, President of the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce
by Sarah Squires
Della Schmidt, President of the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, recently attended the first ever Advocacy Alliance Regional Policy Conference, hosted by the Mid-America Chamber Executives (MACE). MACE is an organization comprised of chamber executives from the six state area of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Around 50 chamber executives, staff members, and volunteers attended the conference, which was held in Sioux Falls, S.D., November 18 and 19, and featured eight experts from industries important to the MACE region. Industries represented include highways/transit, ethanol, pipelines, electric power, rail, oil/gas, mining and silica sand.
“The MACE region has a significant number of industries and industry sectors that are extremely vital to the rest of the nation,” said Evan Nolte, chair, MACE Advocacy Alliance, and president of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. “With so many jobs involved, and the overall impact on the economy, it’s important for chambers of commerce to not only become more aware of these industries, but also to help advocate on their behalf.”
The mission of MACE is “To promote regional economic prosperity through the chamber of commerce community.” Through the Advocacy Alliance, the group plans to educate chambers about policy issues important to the region and to the business community.
“There is always strength in numbers,” stated Schmidt. “It is very exciting to see a new type of collaboration taking place within the chamber industry. Together we can represent the business community in the upper Midwest on shared business priorities such as transportation and energy.”