Making the most of your Chamber Membership as an Ambassador

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

How do you leverage your membership with the Chamber to receive the biggest impact? They say the way to maximize your time in any group is to get involved.  As a key committee of the chamber, the Ambassadors are a perfect way to blend your personal interests with your professional aspirations.  This committee provides a link between the chamber, its members and the business community.  If a local business joins, moves or grows, this team is there to celebrate and provide recognition.

Ambassadors join for multitude of reasons. Most want to get active with the Chamber as a way of supporting the local business community; giving back is frequently heard and an attitude of service is paramount.   This tight-knit group intentionally does business amongst members, so there is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their respective businesses.  We also find the most amazing professional as well as personal friendships while serving.   Last but not least, we have the distinct opportunity to be present for the best that Fresno has to offer: a special ribbon cutting as a new business opens or expands.

As a member of the Fresno Chamber, you or a representative can serve as an Ambassador. This is an added value to your membership where all industries are welcome to our diverse group.  To inquire about joining the Ambassadors, contact Terri Graham at the chamber.  Sometimes there is a waiting list, but don’t let that stop you!  Visit our monthly meeting as a guest and you will experience the energy of enthusiastic Ambassadors.  When accepted, there is a process to join including a quarterly orientation where the scope of involvement and professional conduct is shared.  After attending two meetings and an orientation, a red and gold chamber badge is then ordered with your name and company.  We proudly wear our badges to all Chamber events.

It is not enough to simply join a group, you must get involved.  Successful Ambassadors are regular ribbon cutting attendees, they sign up to greet at events including monthly mixers, and they actively reach out to fellow Ambassadors.  Instead of sitting with known friends, moving around the room allows new friendships to develop.  Sign up for “Meet Your Ambassador”, an opportunity to showcase not only your business but to share a bit of your personal story; this is always a meeting highlight!  We do business with people that we know, like and trust, so meet more people and increase your bottom line.  So write and article for this publication, blog about a recent ribbon cutting and bring your clients to network at a monthly mixer and you will be a resource to our community.

As you implement your strategic business plan for 2012, I invite you to consider your company’s visibility in our community.  You have taken a positive step as a Fresno Chamber member.  Now leverage that fully by personally joining our successful Ambassador Committee.  If time does not allow, consider sending a key employee to represent your business.  Share your company’s time and talent and get involved.  Buy local, support local endeavors and have your voice heard as we enter a new year of growing community strength.  We will all prosper in friendship and professional growth as well as the benefit of vibrant, local business community.

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