Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce named a “Best in Class” Economic Development Group

NASHVILLE (SEPTEMBER 18, 2023) – The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has been named one of the top 5 regional economic development organizations in the nation, according to a new survey released today at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Dallas.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996. The 10th edition of “Winning Strategies in Economic Development” reveals that economic development organizations (EDOs) should prioritize their “digital front doors.” Corporate executives’ perceived value of an EDO’s Internet and website presence is at an all-time high (76%) since the study’s inception in 1996, when just 18% rated it as a valuable tactic.

When asked to list “best in class” regional economic development organizations, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce ranked No. 4 “best in class” regional economic development agency, according to the site selection consultants who participated in the survey.

“One of the most powerful findings from this year’s Winning Strategies study is that we are seeing a significant increase since 2020 of business decision makers who plan to outsource a portion of the site selection process to a consultant or real estate broker in the year ahead”, said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “An economic development organization that has nurtured relationships and served as an effective “go to EDO” for the needs of site selection consultants should be well positioned for expansions and relocations.”

"Being recognized as a 'Best in Class' economic development organization by the International Economic Development Council is a tremendous honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of community leadership across the Middle Tennessee region. Partnerships with TVA, the State of Tennessee and our regional practitioners over the last 30 years have yielded these results”, said Ralph Schulz, President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “As the digital landscape continues to evolve, we've made it a priority to be at the forefront, ensuring that our 'digital front door' is not just welcoming but also resourceful and efficient for businesses looking to make Nashville their home."

"This accolade underscores the effectiveness of our strategies in making Nashville a prime destination for business. The survey results affirm that our focus on digital presence is aligned with the needs of today's decision-makers, said Jeff Hite, Chief Economic Development Officer of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to the partnership and commitment of our regional partners and investors, Partnership 2030 is helping to ensure Nashville’s best days are still to come. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is not just keeping pace with the digital transformation; we are setting the standard for it."

"The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's ranking as a 'Best in Class' regional economic development agency is a proud moment for all of us, and a testament to the future our members have invested in. It reflects our commitment to innovation, partnership, and most importantly, to the businesses and communities we serve”, said Bob Higgins, Chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Board. “As we continue to adapt to the changing business landscape, this recognition fuels our drive to be even better. We thank the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for this recognition, and our investors, the region’s business community, and the chamber’s staff for their commitment to making Middle Tennessee a world class place to live, invest, and thrive.”

For a free copy of the full “Winning Strategies” survey report, visit


About Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Partnership 2030

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee's largest business federation, representing more than 1,800 member companies. Belong, engage, lead, prosper embodies the Chamber's focus on creating economic prosperity by facilitating community leadership. Established in 1990 as an economic development and community enhancement initiative of the Chamber, Partnership 2030 is a regional cooperative dedicated to making Middle Tennessee among the nation's best places to live, work and do business. Partnership 2030 is supported by a diverse group of public and private companies as well as governmental agencies from the organization's 10-county service area. The work of the Chamber is supported by its members, Partnership 2030 investors and sponsors; the Chamber's Pivotal Partners (a partnership at the highest level for all Chamber programs and events) are BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, Gresham Smith and Regions. For more information, visit

About DCI

Development Counsellors International (DCI) is the leader in travel, economic development and talent attraction marketing. Since 1960, DCI has worked with more than 500 cities, regions, states and countries, helping them attract business investors, visitors and workers. DCI has offices in New York and Denver. For more information, visit

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