BY SUZY FIELDERS
What is one of the first words people think of when they hear Winston-Salem? Mackenzie Cates-Allen, President of the newly formed non-profit Winston-Salem Ambassadors, hopes that word is welcoming.
She created the Winston-Salem Ambassadors in hopes of having an organization that spreads the word about what Winston-Salem means and all it has to offer to residents, visitors, and those thinking of moving here. This newly formed tax-exempt, non-profit organization’s mission is “to educate by creating awareness of and increasing awareness of the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”
Board member Amanda Hoey further explained the organization’s mission about being welcoming by stating, “Ambassadors are all about inclusion, the inclusion of ALL Winston-Salem businesses, the inclusion of all interests, the inclusion of anyone seeing the potential in their community and wanting to share their enthusiasm!”
With a Board of Advisors comprised of 12 individuals, the group is a mix of life-long Winston-Salem residents and those that have moved here and fallen in love with the city. Board member Christy Spencer noted that, “The Winston-Salem Ambassadors mission aligns with our city’s growth and vitality, and I definitely want to be a part of that.” Each board member clearly loves this city and the opportunity to be a part of an organization that spreads information about all it has to offer.
“I enjoy being on the board for the Winston-Salem Ambassadors because I get the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people who are all enthusiastic about educating and showing others what makes this city so great,” stated Board member Lindsey Howard.
“I love downtown Winston-Salem and all that it has to offer, but I’m especially excited to serve an organization that is committed to creating community and connectedness for the entire city of Winston-Salem,” said Vice-Chair Anne Donovan.
From spreading the word to providing opportunities to bringing citizens together, the Winston-Salem Ambassadors have already been busy. They offer tours of the city; give formal presentations, informal talks and workshops for local businesses; host quarterly workshops on Winston-Salem; and also now plan and manage the well-established Second Sundays on Fourth event.
For those who love Winston-Salem, their quarterly workshops are free and the place to be if you want to discuss and learn about anything and everything Winston-Salem. “Each workshop is a little different in the content that is covered,” said Cates-Allen, “and we discuss everything from what we love about the city and where there is room to grow. Our goal for each workshop is to bring together a diverse group of people in a laid back atmosphere to conduct a meaningful conversation on what Winston-Salem has to offer and where the city is heading in the future.” The next workshop will be hosted at West End Coffeehouse on Wednesday, September 13th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. An RSVP is required to attend and can be completed online on the Winston-Salem Ambassadors website.
Second Sundays on Fourth is a free, family friendly event that was conceived and put on for many years by the 4CM Group. This year they trusted the Winston-Salem Ambassadors to put on the event. The next one will be on Sunday, October 8th from 3 to 6 p.m. For those that want to be more involved by either volunteering at the event or being a sponsor, visit SSO4.com.
The last component of the Winston-Salem Ambassadors is their namesake Ambassadorship program. This is a membership based program that allows those who live or work in Winston-Salem to help spread the word on Winston-Salem themselves. “No special education or training is necessary to be an Ambassador,” shared Cates-Allen, “just a deep love for Winston-Salem and a desire to see it thrive.”
To learn more about the Winston-Salem Ambassadors, or maybe even become an Ambassador yourself, visit WSAmbassadors.org or follow them on Facebook!