Thursday, October 07, 2010

Ambassadors program expands its ranks, exceeds expectations
(as published in the Daily Gleaner, October 07/10)

The City of Fredericton welcomed 42 new members to its business ambassador program during a training session Wednesday. That brings the number of participants to 402.

"I am thrilled that we have such civic-minded people who go above and beyond to promote Fredericton during their meetings and travels," said Mayor Brad Woodside, as he deputized the new members. "When we introduced this program, we set a target of 300 members by 2010 and we have exceeded those expectations. Thank you very much for helping us tell the world that we have a wonderful city here and we're open for business."

Economic development officer Laurie Guthrie was credited by the mayor with creating the program in 2003 with an inaugural group of 30. "We now have a very successful ambassador program that continues to grow every year. Our ambassadors believe in our city, and we have provided them with a formalized education program, complete with online training materials, so when they are on the road, they can promote Fredericton as a smart, sustainable city offering a cost-competitive business environment, and balanced lifestyle," he said.

The goal of the Fredericton business ambassador program is to see Fredericton grow and prosper by attracting new businesses, residents, conferences, events and opportunities to the city. Ambassadors are equipped with a business-card-sized CD that they can distribute during their meetings and travels.

Anyone can become an ambassador. Business travellers, university faculty, professional recruiters and others who brush shoulders with potential business investors, ordinary citizens and leisure travellers can invite friends and family to locate here. Immigrant settlers to the city can also sing the city's praises to others overseas.

On Nov. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at city hall, the city will host the 2010 awards ceremony and recognize a Business Ambassador of the Year. Nominations for the awards close Nov. 1.

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