An Ambassador’s job is to be a representative and a surrogate, and that certainly defines the role of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber Ambassadors.
“We are 39 members who represent the Chamber at about 100 activities each year,” explained 2019 Ambassador Chairman, Sally Sutton. “We like to think of ourselves as cheerleaders for our fellow Chamber members.”
The Ambassadors are a recognizable group, always sporting their green blazers as a sign of prosperity for the business community. They attend almost every Chamber event eager to welcome new businesses and celebrate the old.
Through these events, the Ambassadors have the privilege of meeting and “recognizing the business owners making a difference in the community,” explains Michael Smith, a new Ambassador.
The goodwill group of volunteers is said to not only support other businesses, but “genuinely cheer each other on,” as described by Brittany Ray, another new addition to the group.
They celebrate each other in their respective businesses and when they hit certain benchmarks within the Ambassadors Program.
The Ambassadors gathered on Tuesday, January 21 for an awards ceremony reflecting the fourth quarter of 2019.
The individuals earn points by attending events. When a certain number has been reached, they are awarded an official Chamber Ambassador name badge to wear on their green blazers.
Paula Avery (Colson Printing Co.), Desiree Hagan (Winnersville Elite Cheer & Dance), Cherise McKinnon (Sip With Cherise), Brittany Ray (Coastal Home Care, LLC) and Michael Smith (Greater Valdosta United Way, Inc.) reached this status in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Chamber Chairman of the Board, Lee McArthur, awarded those present with their badges.
Ambassadors join the program for a variety of reasons, one of which is to make business connections.
“In order to help my company grow, I knew I had to become a part of something bigger than myself. As a Chamber Ambassador I have made invaluable connections in the community & met so many new friends,” Ray said.
In terms of community involvement, becoming an Ambassador seemed like the logical next step for Avery.
“Being an Ambassador allows you to participate and be a part of the Chamber in a more up close and personal way,” explained Avery. “You personally meet the businesses and community members, which is amazing.”
Hagan also enjoys the involvement and “celebrating the many great achievements of others in the community.”
In addition to learning about the business community at each event, the Ambassadors spend a great deal of time together and are happy to learn from each other through internal networking.
“I see this circle as my mentors as I begin my entrepreneurial journey after a career in the Air Force,” McKinnon said.
As a young professional, Hagan also enjoys the mentorship.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to connect with others in the business community, but being an Ambassador has helped me make connections both inside and outside of the group,” she added.
Keep an eye out for these green blazers in the community. This bunch is more than willing to make a new connection.
For more information on the Chamber Ambassador Program, contact Lauren Pope at 229-247-8100 ext 231.
Photo Caption: Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors, Lee McArthur, awards Brittany Ray, Cherise McKinnon, Michael Smith and Desiree Hagan official Ambassador name badges.