Network building… “Ambassador Style”

  • By: Shawna Speake, Fresno Chamber Ambassador Co-Chair, Business Development Officer with Valley Business Bank

They say if you want to benefit from membership then get involved. That is exactly what Chamber Ambassadors accomplish! Ambassadors are focused on building connections – connections with existing Chamber members, connections with new Chamber members and connections within the community.  At the same time, we also cultivate wonderful personal and professional connections within our Ambassador Committee.

One of the best opportunities for networking is to attend one of the monthly Chamber Mixers. Hosted by Chamber members, community guests and Ambassadors meet in a relaxed setting and develop friendships which often times leads to the bottom line: business. Occasionally, mixers utilize planned network building games that are a great way to break the ice, which, again, can lead to business.

As the official welcoming committee at ribbon cuttings, Ambassadors find they receive an insider’s perspective about member businesses. Frequently we meet visiting dignitaries, as well as experience private tours. To allow our hosts to shine, we never promote our own business at ribbon cuttings.  But, the benefits continue to be limitless since you can’t help but to build friendships as you celebrate together.

Another less obvious means of network building is to volunteer at Chamber functions, like, for example, the Chamber’s signature event, “A Night Under the Tuscan Stars,” which this year was held on Saturday, October 8 at the home of Lisa and John Bonadelle of Bonadelle Homes. This successful event attracts the business leaders of our community. Ambassadors that welcome event guests have a wonderful opportunity to see and be seen as everyone reconnects. Ultimately, this helps fosters relationships that are priceless for all.

Sometimes we mix things up a bit at our regular monthly meetings by assigning seat numbers to Ambassadors as they enter.  This mixed seating fosters a feeling of belonging as members get to know more members. We have also facilitated a couple of speed network building meetings that were so boisterous that you could hardly hear over the connections being made.

Chamber members volunteer for many reasons: to serve the community, to enhance their sphere of influence and to grow their business. Ask any of our Ambassadors that have joined, whether recently or ten plus years, why they continue to serve and you will most likely hear they value the friendships they have made. When you mix good business, community service and friendship, you find a winning combination, which is the Fresno Chamber Ambassador Committee.

 

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