Ambassadors 2017The Chamber’s Ambassador Program is comprised of business professionals who support the Chamber’s mission. Ambassadors act as voluntary liaisons between the Chamber and its membership (i.e. ribbon cuttings, etc).

Those interested in joining the Ambassador program should fill out the membership application on the right side of this page. Applications are forwarded to Aimee Thurner. If you have any questions regarding your application, contact Aimee Thurner at [email protected] or 608-365-8835.

Content Index:

2017 Officers

ChairNikkie Chadwick
Past ChairJim Spude
Vice ChairMichelle Matthys
SecretaryNancy Heidt
TreasurerGreg Behl
At LargeCathy Winford
At LargeBrooke Virgin

2014 Ambassador of the Year

Marcy Berner Reedy 2014Marcy Berner Reedy

 As a lifelong Beloiter, seems I have always been a “cheerleader” for this community, and as such, being involved with Ambassadors was a chance to fulfill that role for the Chamber. I began as a member of the Diplomats (female sector of the Chamber), Chaired that organization, and along with Al Bach, (Ambassador Supreme at that time) we successfully worked for the merging of both groups.

Serving as the Executive Director of the Beloit Meals On Wheels program for 25 years, I also had the opportunity to serve as President of the state organization, and currently serve on the Meals On Wheels Association national board.

Locally, it has been my pleasure to serve on the Crimestoppers Board (chair), Red Cross Board, Friends of the Riverfront Board (president), and the Zonta Club of Beloit as well as volunteering for Girls Who Rock.

Currently, I am supporting the United Way Blackhawk Region as a member of the Campaign Cabinet.

I am married to husband, Don, and we have 2 adult children and their spouses, and two adorable grandchildren!

A Brief History

The Ambassadors Action Club was started in 1967 and was the brain child of Chamber executive Art Swindell. Art felt that a way was needed to show business people that their presence was appreciated. Larry Raymer was handed the task of organizing the club and recruiting like-minded friends to wear the red blazer and be cheerleaders for the good happenings in the business community. The Ambassadors Action Club was an all male, informal affiliate of the Chamber. The club held monthly meetings at the former Rocco’s Supper Club on Gardner Street in South Beloit. Meetings were held at this location for 31 years. Faithful and long-time Ambassador Roy Barraco named the meeting place the Ambassador Room which included assorted club memorabilia.

In 1972 three energetic women decided that the men should not have all of the fun and glory of being a red coat. Marge Van Galder, Marie Babler and Christie Thomsen formed the Diplomats which was the all-female counterpart to the Ambassadors Action Club. The Diplomats worked on beautification projects, organized Rural Urban Days, cooperated with Rock County Homemakers and conducted orientation festivities for new teachers in the community in cooperation with Beloit College.

The Chamber affiliation of both groups was informal. It was felt the groups should be an “arm” of the Chamber and to effectively accomplish this a merger of the two groups was necessary. After “gentle persuasion” failed, the Chamber leadership decided that the merger was not optional. A joint committee rewrote bylaws and set a time table for the merger.

The new club was formed in 1999 and took the name the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club as it is known today. The purpose of the new Ambassador Club is to communicate and promote the mission, goals and programs of the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce to area businesses and professional people and to help in the planning and hosting of Chamber events.

(Historical information in this booklet was made possible from BDN archives and several Ambassador members. Thanks to all.)

Ambassador Club Purpose & Structure

The purpose of the Ambassador Club is to communicate and promote the mission, goals and programs of the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce to area business and professional people. The organization is part of the structure of the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, securing its authority for operation from the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

Membership Requirements

To become an Ambassador a candidate must be affiliated with a Chamber member organization. Prospective members must submit a Membership Application Form to the Club’s Secretary. The prospective member will be voted on at the Club’s monthly meeting.

There are two levels of membership, active and sustaining. All new members begin in the active category and must remain in the active category for three consecutive years.

Active – An “Active” member shall regularly attend monthly meetings and serve on committees as requested and attend 50% of designatedAmbassador Club and Chamber sponsored events such as Business After Hours and Legislative Breakfasts. As a requirement for continued Active status, members must participate in ribbon cutting and ground breaking events as their schedule permits.

Membership in the “Active” category may be terminated when an Ambassador misses three (3) consecutive meetings, or an aggregate of five(5) monthly meetings in a year; fails to serve on at least one (1) committee, or fails to attend 50% of designated Ambassador Club and Chamber sponsored events such as Business After Hours and Legislative Breakfasts. Reasons for a member missing meetings shall be evaluated by the officers,who are to notify any member whose “Active” status is terminated. Such member may make a direct appeal for reinstatement to the Ambassador Executive committee, with reinstatement requiring a majority vote of the membership.

Sustaining – A “Sustaining” member shall have served three (3) years as an “Active” Ambassador Club member, but no longer chooses to be in the “Active” category and commits to less than 50% activity and/or participation.

Dues – Membership dues are set annually and payable by January 31st. The membership dues are $25.

Attire – Ambassadors are required to wear the Club’s jacket, polo shirt or other red attire as deemed appropriate by the club when attending Ambassador or Chamber events or when representing either organization. These events are referred to as “red coat” events.

Monthly Meetings – Monthly lunch meetings are held at various locations in the area. Active members are expected to attend all monthly meetings. Sustaining members are encouraged to attend but have no attendance requirement.

Your charge as an Ambassador is to:

A. Help retain existing Chamber members and recruiting new members for the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce.

B. Assist the Chamber staff in planning and hosting Chamber functions.

C. Participate in 50% of designated Ambassador Club and Chamber sponsored events.

D.  Serve on at least one Ambassador Club Committee.

Ambassador Committee Descriptions

  • Ambassador Recruitment Committee: The Ambassador Recruitment Committee is expected to assist the Ambassador Club in the recruitment of new members. The Chamber staff will also assist in Ambassador Club recruitment.
  • Ambassador of the Year Committee: This committee shall determine the recipient of the Ambassador of the Year award. Membership in this committee is open to all past recipients of the award.
  • Annual Dinner Committee: The Ambassador Annual Dinner Committee is a sub-committee of the Chamber Special Events Committee. Ambassadors are expected to attend committee meetings as requested and assist the day of the event.
  • Executive Committee: This committee consists of all officers and two “Active” members-at-large. Members-at-large are appointed by the Chair of the Ambassador Club.
  • Chamber Membership Committee: This committee works directly with the Chamber staff to help retain existing Chamber members and recruit new members for the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce.
  • Golf Classic Committee: The Golf Classic Committee is a sub-committee of the Chamber special events committee. The Chamber Golf Classic is held annually in September and Ambassadors on the committee are expected to attend committee meetings as requested and assist the day of the outing. Duties on the day of the outing include: hole spotting, registration, assisting at “betting” holes and any other duties as determined by Chamber staff. This event can be a half day or full day commitment.
  • Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee is a selection committee for the next year’s slate of officers.
  • Scholarship Committee: The Ambassador Scholarship Committee determines the recipients of the Chamber Scholarship Award given to area High School Seniors. Requirements include participation in any committee meetings scheduled by the Chamber and selection of the recipient.

Past / Present Ambassadors of the Year

DateAmbassador of the Year
2013Shannon Ahrens
2012Nicole Morgan
2011Lois Howe
2010Cheri Adair
2009Aileen Maeltzer
2008Steve Kinkade
2007Paulette Christensen
2006Terry Meyers
2005Marilyn Showmen
2004Dave Peltier
2003Joe Kobylka
2002Jere Crouse
2001Sue Drevdahl
2000Glenda Baker
1999Rick Nelson & Dee Nyre
1997Jerry Elliot
1996Dick Gerhard
1995Dr. Daniel Green
1994Jere Crouse
1987Walter Knight

Past & Present Officers – Merged Ambassadors

DateChairVice ChairSecretaryTreasurer
2015Jeff VohsErin PatchTrisha RoseMichelle Matthys

Jeff VohsErin PatchLinda LockSara Burns
2013Shannon AhrensJeff VohsLinda LockSara Burns
2012Aileen MaeltzerCheri AdairNicole MorganWill Parker
2011Dave PeltierAileen MaeltzerNicole MorganWill Parker
2010Terry MeyersDave PeltierAileen MaeltzerPaulette Christensen
2009Nancy HeidtTerry MeyersAileen MaeltzerPaulette Christensen
2008Michelle MatthysNancy HeidtP. ChristensenTerry Meyers
2007Steve MitchellMichelle MatthysMarilyn ShowenTerry Meyers
2006P. ChristensenSteve MitchellBeth GrabowskiDave Peltier
2005Linda LockP. ChristensenNancy HeidtDave Peltier
2004Mike DuffyLinda LockJoe KobylkaMarilyn Showen
2003Steve KinkadeMike DuffyJoe KobylkaMarilyn Showen
2002Jan RusterSteve KinkadeJoe KobylkaJere Crouse
2001Sue DrevdahlJan RusterJoe KobylkaJere Crouse
2000Glenda BakerSue DrevdahlJoe KobylkaJere Crouse
1999Rick Nelson & Dee NyreGlenda BakerJoe KobylkaJere Crouse