Jeremy Harris, Senior Vice President of the Long Beach Area (CA) Chamber presents the 2013 Hammer Memorial Award to Bill Allen, President/CEO of the Greater Las Cruces (NM) Chamber.
The Russell J. “Rusty” Hammer Memorial Scholarship Award has been established by the Western Association of Chamber Executives to annually recognize a chamber chief executive who best exemplifies excellence and professionalism and is deemed to have the potential to be a future chamber industry leader.
The award is given in recognition of Russell J. “Rusty” Hammer, who was named W.A.C.E. Executive of the Year in 2002 and served as Chairman of the Board of the association in 2003. Rusty, who served as CEO of the Sacramento Metro and Los Angeles Area Chambers of Commerce, sadly had his life and career cut short in 2008 after a several-year battle with leukemia.
Because of his interest in the Academy program and furthering the professionalism of chamber of commerce executives, W.A.C.E. has decided to link the Russell J. “Rusty” Hammer Award with the program by awarding the recipient a full-tuition 3rd year Academy scholarship.
Remarks from Jeremy Harris:
This year’s award winner exemplifies what it means to be an Executive in the Chamber industry and has shown passion to assist others when needed.
This person is a “convener” – one who brings together parties of differences and organizations that are sometimes not completely understood in order to come up with a common goal.
This Executive wears many hats and has displayed the ability to be an expert in many key chamber areas that is necessary to the goals and mission of the organization.
This individual is focused by utilizing a dynamic skill set which allows for the individual to be adept to any situation and can call on them to be in enacted in order for the better good of the organization.
This Executive – not only believes – but has shown service above oneself for the greater good of the organization.
This individual understands the importance of Advocacy. Chambers need to be the front in center on business related issues no matter how small or large of an impact to the greater good of the business community.
Lastly, we believe this Executive summed it up best when answering this question:
What are your thoughts about this award, which is given to a person who exemplifies the qualities of Rusty Hammer and is deemed a future chamber industry leader?
His answer: My focus is on our business community and community in general.
I realize that at the end of the day if they succeed I did my job right.
By collaboration with our community leaders I have built great partnerships and have helped to drive economic success in our region, despite the [recent] recession…
I realize that it’s not about ME, it’s about US.
This approach can be duplicated in any city in the country and I am passionate and willing to assist any chamber executive that might need support in their mission.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your Rusty Hammer award winner from the Greater Las Cruces Chamber in New Mexico: Bill Allen
2014 Hammer Award Application Form