GFW Inc. selected as finalist for national award

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. has been named a finalist for a 2021 national Chamber of the Year award, presented by the Alexandria, Va.-based Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

The awards are the most prestigious and competitive recognition presented annually by ACCE. ACCE is an association of more than 9,000 professionals from 1,600 chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations, including members representing 93 of the top 100 U.S. metro areas.

“It’s a big deal just to be invited to apply for this award, let alone to make it to the final round,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of GFW Inc. “I’m very proud of our hard-working staff, our board of directors, our members, and our entire community. We wouldn’t be in this position without an entire organization–and community–that puts in the work and holds itself to the highest standards.”

The Chamber of the Year awards recognize the leadership role chambers have in their communities. Those honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have demonstrated organizational strength and made an impact on key community priorities, such as education, transportation, economic prosperity, and quality of life.

“This year’s finalists are among the most impactful organizations within the industry,” said ACCE president and CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Following a tumultuous year, these chambers emerged as community champions, providing catalytic leadership to address their region’s greatest challenges and opportunities for prosperity.”

Qualifying for Chamber of the Year is a rigorous, multi-stage process. Chambers compete based on meeting key performance criteria on the ACCE Annual Operations Survey. Qualifying chambers enter the competition with a written application addressing all aspects of organizational operation and programmatic work. Applications are scored by peer chamber executives to determine finalists. Winners are selected from among finalists based on an interview before a panel of experienced chamber professionals.

To ensure the fairest competition, applicants are grouped into four categories based on annual revenue, membership, area population, and other factors. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is one of three finalists in Category Three. Winners for each of the four categories will be announced later this month.

About the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) is the professional society supporting the women and men who lead local, regional, statewide, and international chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations. Our membership includes more than 1,600 business/civic organizations worldwide. We provide our members with information resources, thought leadership, education programs, original research, benchmarking, retirement security, and access to a network of peers. Learn more at

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Ind., as its primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention and community engagement.