What makes a Chamber Ambassador of the Year? Enthusiasm, optimism and a lot of ribbon cuttingsThe life of a Duluth Chamber of Commerce Ambassador at times can seem like something out of a book. In the case of Jamie Loftis, the book is “Where’s Waldo?”
By: Teri Cadeau, Duluth Budgeteer News
The life of a Duluth Chamber of Commerce Ambassador at times can seem like something out of a book. In the case of Jamie Loftis, the book is “Where’s Waldo?”
At the recent Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce dinner, Jamie Loftis was honored as the Chamber Ambassador of the Year. Loftis works in sales at WDIO and joined the Chamber Ambassadors two years ago.
When the Chamber Express newsletter arrives at Loftis’ work, some of the staff play a version of “Where’s Waldo?” but their version is to find Loftis in photos at ribbon cuttings. And that keeps them busy, since Loftis has attended 50 of the 77 events for Chamber Ambassadors this year.
“The Chamber newsletter came across my desk,” Steve Goodspeed, WDIO news director said. “It had a lot of photographs and ribbon cuttings and I noticed Jamie’s face in one. Then it got to be three photos or four photos. I could see Jamie’s face in all these photos. I did end up taking a marker and circling her face in these photographs and wrote ‘Where’s Jamie?’”
But Goodspeed soon found out that the Chamber Ambassadors are everywhere.
The Chamber Ambassadors are members of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, who volunteer at various events and functions. One of the biggest functions of the Ambassadors is to attend and represent the Chamber at ribbon cutting ceremonies for local businesses. Ribbon cuttings typically happen for grand openings, significant anniversaries or milestones or to showcase a new attraction or program.
For two months, Loftis didn’t know who was playing “Where’s Waldo?” with her, because she would return to her desk to find her face circled with a marker from photos of the Chamber Express.
“I left it on her desk and at the time she wasn’t in her office, so she didn’t know who had done it for quite a while,” said Goodspeed.
“It was a cute little game he played with me before someone outed him,” Loftis said.
Loftis said she also enjoys being an Ambassador because it gives her an excellent opportunity to network with other businesses, which is good for her sales position. But, Loftis said, the first time she heard the words “Chamber Ambassador” she thought, “What the heck is an ambassador?”
The Chamber Ambassadors have been around as far back as 1940 when Robert Mars Sr. was the president of the Ambassadors.
“It’s been around for a very long time,” said Kirsten Bowman, director of events and retention at the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Bowman went on to say that Loftis is fully engaged with the chamber.
“Jamie has a lot of enthusiasm and optimism for the chamber and what we do in the community,” she said.
But Loftis is not all work and no play. The Twig, Minn., native is involved in volleyball, Zumba, scrapbooking and caring for her husband, children and dogs.
“I try to balance the kids and the hubby and work, but still do a few things for me,” said Loftis.
Disclaimer: The Budgeteer editor is also a member of the Chamber Ambassadors.