Staunton Downtown Development Association unveils ambassador program

staunton downtown development associationThe Staunton Downtown Development Association has been working with a group of local volunteers from the community to create an Ambassador Program designed to connect Downtown Businesses and entrepreneurs with the SDDA through regular business visits.

A task force lead by Bob Mortensen, SDDA Board President, and Nancy McDaniel assisted in getting the ball rolling by recruiting a group of people willing to help.  Nancy has hosted meetings at her home and will volunteer as the administrator for the program.  The SDDA Ambassador Task Force has designed a Bridge program where Ambassadors will commit to visit at least 10 businesses every 6 months, attend quarterly meetings and trainings and submit a brief monthly report about their visits to the program administrator. Follow up is likely to include volunteer appreciation awards and public reporting about quantitative outcomes. That aspect is the most exciting about the effort.

“Regular feedback from businesses and having the work force to reach out from the SDDA to the business community on a more regular basis is the most exciting outcome for the program,” says Julie Markowitz, Executive Director of the SDDA. “We are always challenged to get more face time with businesses and to not only get their feedback and concerns, but to share the good news about all of the great things the SDDA is doing. Both elements are critical to strategic planning for Downtown.”

While the SDDA has weekly eblasts, social media and does deliver hard copy information from store-to-store, it is always a challenge to balance the administrative demands with the in-store communication.

Test visits to several Downtown businesses are planned for the month of January as a training exercise to test drive the provided pro forma and to get the SDDA stakeholder point of view before we mass produce and brand the program.

A volunteer and ambassador section for application will be added to the SDDA website and to expand the program once the initial testing is complete. If you are interested in becoming an SDDA Ambassador, please contact Julie Markowitz at 540-332-3867 or