The Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce boasts a small staff of only five employees. With a large business community to serve and a full calendar of special events, the chamber relies on a secret weapon to make it all happen – the ambassadors.
“It is a wide net cast with the ambassador program,” said Chamber Membership and Special Events Manager Niki Nickle. “We are a staff of five serving a large business community, so to have that arm really enables us to extend that reach.”
“We have 670 members that employ about 20,000 people, and technically we represent all of those people,” added Chamber President and CEO Lisa Krueger. “We could not do it without these volunteers.”
The 30-person volunteer corps that makes up the ambassador program – often seen at events wearing vests with a chamber logo and multitude of pins – performs a variety of work in the Lake Havasu City community.
According to Chamber Board of Directors members and Ambassador Committee Chair Audrey Hoyt, that work includes anything the chamber needs, such as performing ribbon-cutting ceremonies, participating in groundbreaking at new build sites, reaching out to and assisting new businesses, networking, marketing and serving as greeters at events.
“These are champion hand-shakers,” Krueger said.
Krueger added that the ambassadors do a lot more for the community beyond the usual chamber needs and duties.
“They do community outreach also,” she said. “They participate in the Adopt a Street program, doing cleanup on Capri. Around the holidays they also adopt a family or senior. And none of those things or costs of those things come from chamber dues; they make it happen.”
Krueger said the ambassador program got its start in the early 1990s. At least two of the current ambassadors have served for more than 20 years. Some of the volunteers are retired locals looking to stay involved and some are current working professionals of various ages and backgrounds.
Hoyt, who is also the general manager at the Quality Inn, began her journey as an ambassador in 2010.
“I saw what the chamber does in the community and the importance of being part of it,” Hoyt said.
Nickle said that another benefit of the program is having direct feedback from the ambassadors about trends and needs in Lake Havasu’s business community.
“With our staff in the trenches all the time, it’s wonderful to have our ambassadors with radars on, keeping feelers out for what’s going on,” Nickle said. “Those insights really help us to better advocate for our businesses.”
The ambassador program currently has 28 members, with 30 being the most who can serve at one time. Anyone interested in becoming an ambassador must complete an application process, followed by training and participation in the Lake Havasu Hospitality Association’s certified tourism ambassador program.
For more information about the Lake Havasu City Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors or for application materials, visit the chamber office at 314 London Bridge Road, call 928-855-4115 or go to http://www.havasuchamber.com.