We’ve arranged the agenda for the 2018 CEO-only Winter Meeting thematically in an effort to foster learning and communication. We kick off Thursday afternoon with two presentations which will undoubtedly provoke discussion regarding challenges and opportunities we face both from a policy and organizational perspective. Friday’s sessions are focused on “chamber business,” beginning the day with sessions about funding and resources, then moving to discussions of volunteer and elected leaders, talking with our US Chamber colleagues over lunch, and finally concluding with our Best & Worst roundtable. We close out Saturday morning with sessions on emerging and critical policy issues, and a final presentation on crisis communications. We look forward to seeing you in January!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pre-conference Session

6:30 - 8:30 pm

Board of Directors & Past Chairs Dinner

Location: Marco Beach Ocean Resort - South Terrace

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pre-conference Sessions

10:00 - 11:30 am

Board of Directors Meeting

Location: The Salon (4th Floor)

Noon - 1:30 pm

Board of Directors & First Time Attendees Lunch

Location: South Terrace (adjacent to Gulf Ballroom)

Conference Sessions

All conference sessions will be held in the Gulf Ballroom

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Registration Open - Ballroom Foyer

1:30 - 1:40 pm

Welcome & Introductions

  • Fred Morgan, President & CEO, Oklahoma Chamber & COSC Chair
  • Joe Crosby, Executive Director, Council of State Chambers

1:40 - 2:00 pm

COSC Partners Roundtable

COSC partner organizations discuss their activities in the states and potential opportunities for collaboration in 2018.

2:00 - 3:15 pm

Engaging the Opposition 

Join us for an open discussion of the trial bar strategy and tactics to influence the political process at the state level. Review efforts to counter this strategy and discuss what can be done by the business community at large to defeat the strategy moving forward.

  • Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
  • Harold Kim, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
  • Jim Martin, Senior Director of Political Affairs, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

3:15 - 3:30 pm


3:30 - 4:30 pm

What Defines Successful Association Leaders?

Demands on association CEOs have never been greater. The CEO now is the lead salesperson, chief media spokesperson, industry promoter, and top organizational fundraiser, among other operational responsibilities. Just as the expectations of association CEOs have been rising, so too have the responsibilities and demands on association and nonprofit board members. These individuals serve not for monetary gain but because they want to make a difference in their industry, community, and society. But how has board participation evolved as society continues to change around us?

6:00 - 8:00 pm

Welcome Reception & Dinner - Garden Terrace (pool area)

Watch the sunset, reconnect with your long time COSC colleagues, and meet our newest state chamber CEOs, all while enjoying the warm South Florida ocean breeze.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Conference Sessions

7:45 - 8:30 am

Breakfast Buffet - The Terrace (outside Gulf Ballroom)

8:30 - 8:45 am

“Chamber Gras 2018”

Following on a successful pilot in 2016, COSC and ASCP are again partnering with the U.S. Chamber to host our next annual meeting, which will be rebranded as a the Chamber Federation Advocacy & Growth Conference. This year’s meeting will be held September 12-14 in New Orleans Louisiana. Representatives from the three organizations will discuss timeline for program development and solicit your input.

  • Joe Crosby, Executive Director, COSC
  • Geoff O'Hara, Vice President of Regional Affairs and Advocacy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Aaron Miller, Chair, ASCP and Vice President of Investor Relations, Kansas Chamber of Commerce

8:45 - 9:30 am

Key Strategies to Developing & Growing a Successful PAC

What practical and innovative tactics can increase PAC membership, retain existing donors and grow PAC receipts? How can your state chamber engage millennials, cynics, and other traditionally challenging constituencies. Sheree Anne Kelly will share insights gained from 15+ years in senior leadership at the Public Affairs Council, where she trained and advised public and government affairs professionals from leading companies and associations.

  • Sheree Anne Kelly, President & CEO, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)

9:30 - 10:15 am

Funding Your Foundation . . . and Funding From Foundations

What are the best practices in raising funds for state chamber foundations? What role can and should private foundations play in state chamber fundraising efforts? Our speaker formerly led strategic partnerships for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and will discuss how your chamber can you effectively harness support from philanthropic, nonprofit, and corporate circles.

  • Erika Borg, Chief Development Officer, Monroe Harding, and Consultant & Speaker, ACCE

10:15 - 10:30 am


10:30 - 11:15 am

Discussion: CEO relationship with Executive Committees, from Best Practices, and Good Governance to OMG!

Gene and Rich will lead a discussion on State Chamber Boards of Directors and Executive Committee governance questions and challenges.

  • Discussion Leader: Gene Barr, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
  • Discussion Leader: Rich Studley, President & CEO, Michigan Chamber of Commerce

11:15 am - Noon

Discussion: Recruiting candidates for elected office

How many state chambers engage in candidate recruitment and what successes stories (or tales of caution) have emerged? What best practices should state chambers adopt in this area?

  • Moderator: Heather C. Briccetti, President & CEO, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
  • Chris Clark, President & CEO, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • Kevin Brinegar, President and CEO,Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Noon - 1:30 pm

Lunch: U.S. Chamber Update - South Terrace

It’s been an . . . interesting year in our nation’s capital. Hear from Rob and Geoff on the latest from D.C. and what actions the U.S. Chamber is taking in these turbulent times. 

  • Rob Engstrom, SVP Political Affairs & Federation Relations
  • Geoff O’Hara, Vice President, Regional Affairs & Advocacy

1:30 - 2:00 pm

Discussion: Mergers/Uniting the state business community & Managing relationships with other business-oriented organizations in your state

Does your state have competing business organizations covering the same issue space while sharing same membership? Hear how chamber leaders paved the way in their state on combining forces with other business-focused organizations towards fighting the common policy objective.

  • Moderator: Webb Brown, President & CEO, Montana Chamber of Commerce
  • Gene Barr, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
  • Mark Johnson, President & CEO, Oregon Business and Industry

2:00 - 4:00 pm

Best & Worst (State Chamber CEOs Only)

Our consistently top rated session has been refined to deliver even more value. We’ll be surveying you prior to the conference to identify the issues of greatest interest to you.

  • Moderator: Mark Wilson, Vice Chair, COSC; and President & CEO, Florida Chamber

6:00 pm

Reception - Gulf Ballroom / South Terrace
Open Evening for Dinner on the Island

Enjoy a relaxing evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with your peers before heading out for dinner to your favorite island restaurant.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Conference Sessions

8:00 - 8:45 am

Breakfast Buffet - The Terrace (outside Gulf Ballroom)

8:45 - 8:55 am

State Chamber of the Year Preview

To highlight best practices among state chambers and to provide recognition to COSC member chambers and their leaders who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional services and results for their members, each year COSC honors a state chamber with the State Chamber of the Year (SCOTY) Award.

  • Bill Kramer, Policy Director, COSC
  • Dave Adkisson, President and CEO, Kentucky Chamber

9:00 - 9:25 am

Future of Sports Betting: Coming to a State Near You

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Christie v. NCAA, which challenges the federal law regulating - and for most states, banning - sports betting. The case is likely to be decided in the spring of 2018, but in the meantime the Congress - and many states - will be considering proposals to study and regulate sports betting.

  • Sara Slane, SVP of Public Affairs, American Gaming Association (AGA)

9:30 - 9:55 am

The Opioid Crisis’ Effects on Business

As reported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, each year, prescription opioid overdose, misuse, and dependence account for $28.9 billion in health care costs, $7.6 billion in criminal justice costs, and $41.8 billion in lost productivity.  Sadly, the toll is not solely financial.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2015. During this session we’ll learn about policy options to help save lives and reduce costs to society.

  • Alexandra Duncan, Senior Officer, Pew Charitable Trusts’ Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Initiative

10:00 - 11:30 am

Strategic Communications

Part I:  What CEOs Should Know About Speaking Up on Political Issues

  • Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Part II:  Using Your Voter File and Social/Digital Media to Win Issues and Elect Candidates

  • Joe Clements and Matt Farrar, Florida Chamber of Commerce

11:30 am

Conference Adjourns