Chamber Ambassador Committee
The Santa Maria Valley Chamber Ambassador Committee serves as the public relations arm of the Chamber. Chamber Ambassadors assist at Chamber functions and help promote the Chamber to prospective members and the community as a whole. Additionally, Chamber Ambassadors assist the Chamber in connecting with new and existing members so that they maximize their use of Chamber programs and other benefits and remain engaged with the Chamber.
In short, Chamber Ambassadors actively promote the Santa Maria Valley Chamber to the business community, connect members with others in the community who can help them build and grow their business. To also serve and support the Chamber while also spreading the news of our mission: To be a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger Santa Maria Valley.
Questions about the Ambassador Committee? Contact Chief Ambassador Paula Fuller at (805) 922-2322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to join the Ambassador Committee? Fill out the application in the link below and email to Paula Fuller at email@example.com.
Serving on the Ambassador Committee is a great way to support the Chamber and local business community. Additionally, you’ll see a number of benefits by being an Ambassador, including:
- Opportunity for high-visibility networking
- Your name, photo, bio and business name posted on the Chamber Website
- Recognition of Ambassador of the Quarter, Ambassador of the Year, and Ambassador profiles published on Chamber print & digital platforms.
- Ambassador Name Badge
- Early or reduced price admission to Chamber events, as appropriate
- Opportunity to learn more about the programs, events and advocacy work that affect the Chamber and your community
- Form close ties with other committee members and Board members
- Create valuable business relationships while serving the business community
- Have fun while creating a welcoming and all-inclusive environment for others to enjoy and benefit from
As a Chamber Committee, Ambassadors must be members of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce (in good standing), and are expected to meet the following criteria to remain part of the Chamber Ambassador Committee. Commitment to these requirements will be renewed on an annual basis. Ambassadors who are unable to meet the committee requirements (without a reasonable expectation or communication with committee leadership) will be dismissed from the Ambassador committee.
Ambassador Training Program:
New Ambassadors are required to complete the Ambassador Committee training, which includes:
- Attending Chamber Events
- Work with Chief Ambassador to understand how to register for events, (for the purpose of volunteer’s logged hours) using SignupGenius.com and other requirements including the benefits of Chamber membership
Ambassador Participation Requirements:
To remain part of the Ambassador committee, Ambassadors are required to participate in the monthly Ambassador meeting, plus a minimum of 3 additional hours of Chamber functions each month. (4 hours total per month). Participation is logged through SignupGenius.com. Participation hours can include:
- Attend the monthly Ambassador meeting (required): Monthly Ambassador meetings are typically held during lunch at a local restaurant or via Zoom. If an Ambassador is unable to attend, they are expected to give 24 hours’ notice. This monthly meeting is mandatory, and only extenuating circumstances will be considered as a valid reason to miss the meeting.
- Only three excused absences are allowed per year, and Ambassadors who miss the monthly meeting are expected to make up the one hour of participation through one of the Chamber functions listed below.
- Attend & network at weekly BYB (Build Your Business) breakfast meetings: held every Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Denny’s Restaurant in Santa Maria or via Zoom from 8:30 a.m. -9:30 a.m. Chamber Ambassadors are expected to introduce themselves to new members and attendees when meeting in person and answer questions about the Chamber. 1 hour of participation/ session
- Attend Ribbon Cuttings: Ribbon cuttings are held for new Chamber members or to celebrate significant anniversaries/new office locations of existing members. Ambassadors are expected to assist as needed. Ambassadors should not use ribbon cuttings as a time to promote their business or try and make a sale, but instead contact the member at a later date. 1 hour of participation/ session
- Volunteer at Chamber Mixers: Ambassadors can sign up to volunteer at Chamber Mixers, typically held the third Thursday of the month at various local businesses from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. Ambassador volunteers sign up for one-hour shifts and are expected to assist with set up/tear down, run the check in table, serve as greeters and answer any questions about the Chamber. Volunteers are expected to arrive early or stay after so they can network and participate in the mixer as well. 1 hour of participation/ session
- Attend Chamber Mixers: If volunteer positions for a mixer are full, Ambassadors can attend the Mixer as a representation of the Ambassador Committee, and are expected to stay at least one hour. 1 hour of participation/ session
- Participate in the Ambassador Welcoming Committee: Those who have made a commitment to be on the Welcoming Committee are expected to reach out via phone or email to new Chamber Members assigned to them and invite them to attend an event, help them feel welcome and introduce them to other Ambassadors and Chamber Members. 1 hour per month (per new member)
- Assist at other Chamber events as needed: Throughout the year, Ambassadors will be asked to assist at some of the major Chamber events (Annual Awards Gala, ExpoFest, Annual Strawberry Dinner, etc.). Participation hours will vary by event. Participation hours vary
- Serve in an Ambassador Leadership role: As organized by the Chief Ambassador, individuals who support the Ambassador program in a leadership role (Assistant Chief Ambassador, Secretary, Luncheon Facilitator, etc.) may receive participation hours for their efforts. 1 hour per month.
As representatives of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Ambassadors are expected to hold themselves to a professional standard. The Code of Conduct for Chamber Ambassadors includes:
- Consistently and positively promote the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Maintain a courteous and professional demeanor while representing the Chamber at all programs and events. The Ambassadors have a profound effect on the Chamber, the City of Santa Maria and the community at large. Maintaining a positive and helpful attitude is the key to growing and maintaining a cohesive Chamber.
- Respect your commitment to the Chamber. This includes prompt attendance at Ambassador meetings and any events for which you have volunteered to work and being responsible to find a replacement for work assignments when you are unable to meet a commitment.
- Display an appropriate image of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber by wearing your Ambassador name badge and professional business attire at mixers and ribbon cuttings or wearing appropriate event-specific attire for other Chamber events and activities.
- Display the highest standards in communication and responsiveness by promptly returning calls and e-mails to members, fellow Ambassadors, and Chamber staff.
- Speak only for yourself when asked your opinion while serving as an Ambassador (and make it clear that it is your personal opinion and not that of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce).
- Maintain neutrality regarding political candidates when working as an Ambassador. Refrain from wearing campaign buttons or displaying campaign literature while serving in an official Ambassador capacity.
- Support and adhere to decisions made by the Ambassador Committee, Chamber Board of Directors, or the Chamber’s President/CEO, regardless of individual feelings or opinions.
- Maintain an appropriate and professional image online if you choose to promote the Chamber Ambassador program (and/or yourself as a Chamber Ambassador) on your personal social media platforms. Promotion on social media refers to items including tagging yourself or your businesses in Chamber photos or tagging the Chamber or “checking in” at Chamber events on your personal or business page.
- Ambassadors are not to engage in sales at any time with a member while in attendance at their ribbon cutting.
Members of the Ambassador Committee are recognized throughout the year for their commitment and involvement in the program.
- Ambassador of the Quarter: Chosen by the Chief Ambassador based on attendance, as well as, dedication to the Ambassador Committee and promotion of the Chamber. The Ambassador of the Quarter will receive a recognition plaque and $25 gift card. Ambassador of the Quarter is also recognized on Chamber’s online Chamber News publication along with a short article profiling the Ambassador.
- Ambassador of the Year: Selected by the Ambassador Committee. At the June meeting, the Chief Ambassador will present the three Ambassadors with top attendance for the year. Ambassadors present will vote for the candidate they deem most worthy by way of private voting. The Ambassador of the Year will be announced at the June meeting. The Ambassador of the Year will receive a recognition plaque and $50 gift card and will be honored at the Chamber’s Annual Awards.
- Ambassador Profiles: Ambassadors will be periodically profiled and featured in Chamber print and digital publications. The Ambassador Committee will be notified when this opportunity is available, and those highlighted will be on a first come, first serve basis.
Ambassador Committee Members
Diane was born in Barking (London) England at the start of WW2. She immigrated to the States in 1954 and graduated from Rancho High School in Las Vegas in 1958. She later became one of first students at UNLV Southern Campus.
In 1961, Diane moved to Santa Maria for the first time before moving overseas in 1972 to Amman, Jordan. She served for three years as President of the American Women of Amman 1974. She then moved to Rota, Spain, where she volunteered at the Base Library and ran the Base Thrift Shop. Diane later returned to Santa Maria in 1979 and worked at Hall.Hurley.Deutsch Architects, until her retirement in 1999.
Diane has worked closely with Altrusa of Santa Maria since 1984, where she served in all officer positions and as President twice. She also became an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce in 1984, and has since served as an Ambassador for 38 years, including 5 years as Chief Ambassador.
In 1990, she was awarded the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce/Oldsmobile ATHENA/Award and was named the SBAR County 4th District Woman of the Year. From 2002 to 2016, she volunteered with the Santa Maria Police Department and continues to serve as a special projects volunteer today.
She was in the inaugural class of Leadership Santa Maria Valley (1995) and has served on the Board for over 25 years as Secretary. Additionally, Diane is Treasurer of the Altrusa International Santa Maria Foundation and Treasurer of Santa Maria Public Library Foundation.
In 2019, Diane was named Elks Citizen of the Year, Retired Senior and Volunteer Program Senior of the Year (volunteering over 500 hours in 2016 to the community), and Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce Volunteer (nominated by the Santa Maria Public Library).
My name is Naomi Altergott. I am an independent agent/associate with World Financial Group. I am licensed in both CA & AZ, providing insurance and financial products that help protect and provide for a family’s financial goals. I am part of a campaign to educate 30 million families on financial literacy by the year 2030, by offering free financial literacy workshops. I am passionate about teaching people about how money works and how they can achieve financial independence by making small changes with how they spend or save their money. I believe that everyone should be able to have the opportunity to live a happy, healthy & wealthy lifestyle.
I am also a SCORE Certified Mentor and volunteer. SCORE helps people who wish to start a new business or grow an existing business by providing free mentoring, tools, and workshops. SCORE exists to help our business community grow and be successful.
I love being a member of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and serving a as a member of the ambassador committee for the Chamber.
I have been married to my husband Randy for 24 years. We enjoy living on the central coast. We have two puppies, Yodie & Mykonos. In my off time I enjoy playing golf, gardening & photography.
Hi! I’m Emma Cavazos and I’m a Loan Officer with Guaranteed Rate. I have been in the real estate industry since 2007. I started as a Realtor from 2007-2017 while holding a full time position with the County of Santa Barbara Superior Court. I retired from the County after 23 years to pursue my real estate career as a Mortgage Loan Officer full time. I am committed to my clients’ needs and educating them about the home loan process. I strive to demonstrate the highest level of integrity, commitment and professionalism.
I was born and raised in Santa Maria and attended St. Mary’s and St. Joseph High School. I have served on several local school boards and love being involved in my community. I have been with my husband Eddie for over 31 years. We have two children and one grandchild.
I am now a proud Ambassador and enjoy meeting new people and supporting them in their new businesses.
Julie is a proud 27 - Year Ambassador of the Santa Maria Chamber, and a member of the Chamber since 1980. She moved to Santa Maria in 1978, following life adventures in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, Virginia, Ohio and Southern California. She has been a passionate Member of the Shaklee Family since 1970. Having built a group of Members and Distributors, became a Sales Leader, earned Bonus cars, global travel and cruises, along with the Bonus income. In 1978 she accompanied her husband, Jim, to the Central Coast – and brought along their highly portable Shaklee business, adding a brand-new family of Shaklee Members in this area.
Born in New York City, she moved to New Jersey in her teens, met Jim, worked at the Rutgers University library awaiting his completion of Air Force Training, moved to Texas to marry, then Arizona, and on to Virginia where they started an Air Force family with two sons. Leaving the Air Force, Jim attended The Ohio State University and they then moved to Southern California, where they (she) built the Shaklee business while raising two boys, adding a daughter, going back to college and ultimately, moving to Santa Maria (supporting Jim in his career at Vandenberg AFB).
Their sons and daughter have grown, have families of their own – and using Shaklee products in their lives – leaving Julie with Jim and Pooh Bear the famous dog.
My name is Leona Doidge and I enjoy meeting and working with all of the people that make this community great. My involvement with the Ambassador Committee has allowed me to meet and learn about new businesses in our area, support their efforts to thrive and give back to our community.
We have close to 20 Ambassadors with the SMVCC. The Ambassador Committee is a fun, energetic and a smart group of people dedicated to the ideas that networking and building relationships within the Chamber of Commerce is the best way to do business and to give back to the community.
I relocated to Santa Maria in 2005. A native to the area of Vandenberg AFB, I attended the local schools since the 2nd grade when my father was stationed at Vandenberg. I have worked in the Self Storage industry since 2004. I have enjoyed working with the community and helping people in need of self storage or RV/Boat parking. I have enjoyed being involved as an Ambassador since January of 2017 and I am currently serving as Assistant Chief Ambassador. I love seeing businesses thrive and meeting so many different people. I have enjoyed being a part of this great group of Ambassadors.
Erika is a lifelong resident of the Central Coast, a second generation Californian born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Santa Maria from the age of 8. After college, Erika returned to Santa Maria and began her career in sales and marketing with the Santa Maria Times.
In 1999, Erika left a position with a nationwide paging company to accept a position at VTC Enterprises. Erika found her passion of helping people with her new position at VTC. Erika was tasked with finding meaningful employment for adults with developmental disabilities. The position allowed her to connect with the community, providing quality products and services to local businesses, while giving people with disabilities a chance for a productive and worthwhile life. Her position with VTC expanded to encompass contact management and sales, donor retention, event planning, fundraising and marketing. Erika helped raise over 1.5 million dollars for VTC during the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Queen campaigns from 2014-2020.
Erika served as Chief Ambassador for the SMV Chamber of Commerce from 2003-2018 and is still an active Ambassador. She is President of the Santa Maria Women's Network, is a graduate of the 2020 South County Leadership Class and is an active Ambassador for the South County Chamber, as well.