Working Hard, Playing Harder!!

  • By: Patti Thornton, Fresno Chamber Ambassador Committee Member, Internet Sales Manager Clawson Honda

I think I speak for all Chamber Ambassadors when I say we have more than our fair share of fun on this committee! Take for example one of our latest mixers at the Warnor’s Theatre in downtown Fresno. This magnificent old theatre and historic organ set the perfect backdrop for our October event. We were given behind-the-scenes tours into the depths of the theatre, had a raffle with some fantastic prizes, and even enjoyed some pre-Halloween treats in the form of wine and the appetizers – all of which combined to make the night one to remember!

The latest mixer, which Costco hosted for November included yummy delights for the hungry and thirsty of us. Ambassadors made the most out of this evening – greeting old friends and making new ones, taking full advantage of an early opportunity to shop, and then there were the oh-so-lucky winners of terrific raffle prizes. Thank you Costco!

The Fresno Chamber Ambassadors haven’t run out of opportunities to party it up quite yet. On December 2, 2011, we’ll have the last hurrah of 2011 with some of our favorite special guests at the home of Vickie Goudreau and her husband, Wayne. One of our favorite foodie chicks, Sharon Essick of Chik-fil-A, who consistently does her best with encouragement and coupons to help us all “eat more chikin,” will be helping put on this great event in conjunction with Grocery Outlet’s specially arranged wine and cheese tasting. With our great coordinators, how could this evening turn out to be anything but awesome?

And while we enjoy ourselves at this last big Ambassador event of the year, it’s important that we reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year. Although a byproduct of our ambassadorial duties has been great times, our main focus throughout the year has been welcoming new businesses launching in our community, embracing those new to our area, and in some cases, welcoming existing businesses into the Chamber family. When we join everyone at our ribbon cuttings and monthly mixers, I feel it’s important to ask ourselves, “Did we accomplish our mission of helping everyone who wants to be a part of our awesome Chamber Community?” If I were the judge, I’d have to say yes!

Many of our Ambassadors go beyond this mission to do even more good throughout the year by collectively supporting community events and fundraisers. One such event was the MS Walk championed by our own Fotini Alfieris. Vickie Goudreau organized Ambassador participation in “Light the Night” to support Madyn, daughter of a Chamber. Vickie defines above and beyond. Kudos to Brian McGrath for his unrelenting work for ARF and for bringing their presentation to us at Belfor’s Mixer. Last, but not least, Ambassodor co-chair, Marina Haro’s tremendous broad spectrum efforts bringing thousands of runners and cyclists to Fresno for Eye-Q’s California Classic Weekend.

You can probably sense how happy and proud I am to be part of a group that readily gives their time to make wonderful things happen here in our community while still managing to work their day jobs and have personal lives. This is a unique and awesome committee that is constantly striving for great things and committed to make Fresno a great place to play, work and live.

I’d encourage anyone who wants to make a difference in this city to consider joining this awesome group of ambassadors. But, I have to warn you – this is a group who works had and plays harder, so be ready for one wild ride!

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