Ernest Strickland Awarded ACCE Scholarship for Leadership Diversity

Release date: 7/17/2014

Alexandria, Va., July 15, 2014 – Under its new Leadership Diversity program, the American Chamber of Commerce, the national association for chamber of commerce professionals, recently awarded a scholarship to Ernest Strickland, Director, Economic Development of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

ACCE’s leadership diversity program seeks to encourage leadership diversity among member chambers. The scholarships have three-year terms and will aid in providing information, training and other resources to enhance the leadership skills of women, members of racial/ethnic minorities, those who identify as lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, or those with a disability.

“This spring, chamber professionals with at least three years of senior level experience in the chamber industry were invited to apply for the scholarships,” said Crystal Moore, ACCE’s vice president, professional development and convention. “We had a great response to our call for applicants and scoring was very difficult. We are excited about the next three years and look forward to working with the first cohort.”

As a scholarship recipient, Strickland, one of nine chamber professionals from across the U.S. representing the first cohort, will commit to a three-year term of: 

  • • Quarterly networking conference calls with other scholarship recipients
  • • Attendance at three of ACCE's annual conventions 
  • • Attendance at four webinars in each of the three years of the scholarship
  • • Active membership in ACCE's Volunteer Portal
  • • Participation in ACCE's Mentor Program
  • • Documentation of the three-year learning experience in a report at the end of the scholarship term 
  • • Application to ACCE's Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) Program at the end of the scholarship term

Ernest D. Strickland is Director of Economic Development for the Greater Memphis Chamber.  As Director of Economic Development, he is responsible for recruiting new companies to Memphis and Shelby County as well as assisting local companies with expansion plans.  

Currently, Ernest’s primary focus is on International Business Development.  In this role he coordinates visits from foreign delegations, manage efforts of the International Business Council, and organize events related Export opportunities. Prior to this position, he served the chamber as Director of Workforce Development and Public Policy, Existing Business Consultant, and Business Development Associate. 

As a native Memphian, Ernest is passionate about growing the city and he enjoys investing in his community through civic duties such as, serving as Board of Directors Chairman for the Downtown Memphis Commission, Memphis World Trade Club – Past Board Member and trade organization Business Retention Expansion International (BREI) – Past Board Member.
Ernest holds a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies from University of Memphis and a Master’s Degree from Bethel University’s Executive MBA program.


Established in 1914, ACCE is the only national association uniquely serving the professional development needs of individuals managing chambers of commerce throughout the United States and Canada. This year, as ACCE marks 100 years of service to chamber leaders, the association represents more than 7,000 chamber professionals. ACCE enhances the knowledge, leadership skills, and management effectiveness of chamber executives and their staffs through education, trend analysis, benchmarking, and best practices. ACCE promotes the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity within the chamber profession. For more information, visit