Clare Area Chamber of Commerce Named Winner of the Inaugural Light Year Awards, Presented by WebLink

Converting an “Ugly Alley” Into a Highly Sought-After Downtown Space

2016-lightyearawards_logoINDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 2, 2016)—WebLink is excited to announce that the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce has been named the winner of the inaugural Light Year Awards.  The goal of the Awards is to recognize inventive programs, campaigns and initiatives executed by member-based organizations.


Clare Area Chamber of Commerce will be receiving a $2,000 cash prize for their innovative program, Art Alley.  This project transformed an alley in the Clare downtown area into a vibrant, highly sought-after space full of collaborative and transforming art projects.  Art Alley has drawn over 750,000 visitors to the downtown area and has made a significant difference for the surrounding business owners.

“It’s fantastic to see so much creativity and worth coming back into our communities across the country through so many different types of organizations.  Congratulations to this year’s overall winner for the creativity they exhibited in revitalizing a dilapidated area of their downtown and uniting their community by giving locals and visitors alike an exciting and beautiful reason to stay and contribute to the local economy” said Awards judge Mark T. McSweeney, CAE (Raybourn Group International Vice President of Association Strategies).

art-alley-logo art-alley-2 art-alley-1

Each submission was judged based on the program’s creativity, value added and measurable results.  Awards judges included DJ Muller (WebLink President and CEO, Founder), KiKi L’Italien (Amplified Growth CEO and Founder), Don Richards-Boeff (Connectik Director of Product, Enterprise) and McSweeney.

Light Year Awards Honorable Mentions


  • Most Creative: Cabinet Makers Association for The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
  • Most Value Added: Assistance League of Indianapolis for Operation School Bell and Dreams for Kids DC for the DFKDC Holiday Celebration
  • Best Measurable Results: Assistance League of Indianapolis for Operation School Bell, Chattanooga Technology Council for the CxO Auction, and overall winner Clare Area Chamber of Commerce

“To everyone who submitted an application, and in particular to the deserving winners among such an impressive field, it was humbling, and such an honor, to be a part of these inaugural Light Year Awards!” said McSweeney.

The Light Year Awards received over 40 submissions.  Other top contenders include the Assistance League of Indianapolis, Chattanooga Technology Council, Dreams for Kids DC, Hotel Council of San Francisco, Friends of Casco Bay, and the Cabinet Makers Association.

“The Light Year Awards perfectly align with our mission at WebLink – to help associations grow faster.  Recognizing and sharing these accomplishments will do just that.  We are excited to continue the tradition of these awards every September and learn more about how organizations across the country are impacting their communities.  Chambers and associations, start thinking about your submissions now!” said Muller.

Thank you to the inaugural Light Year Awards sponsors WebLink, Connectik, Amplified GrowthBloomerang, and Raybourn Group International (RGI).

About WebLink:

In 2016, WebLink is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing cutting edge technology to membership based organizations. In the beginning, WebLink created the industry’s first interactive online membership directory. In addition to directories, initial offerings included real-time event calendars and website services to help member-based organizations create and build their brands with an impressive online presence. Today, WebLink offers much more – a complete, all-in-one AMS solution. We continue to lead the industry with innovative solutions that help associations acquire, engage and retain more members.

About The Light Year Awards

The Light Year Awards recognize member-based organizations that have demonstrated growth and success, making an impact in communities across North America.  Each year, we celebrate the most innovative programs and campaigns, recognizing and energizing creativity across all industries.  Together our organizations grow by sharing and showcasing great ideas, and encouraging one another to understand that we all have the power to improve the industries and communities we serve!

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