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The Ambassadors 
Committee is generously sponsored by

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan website link



Thank You to our Ambassador Shirt Sponsors!



"While sharing Chamber benefits with fellow members, I’m often asked about Busy Bea’s Services and what I do. This is my opportunity to share about my business and how I take advantage of (or and how I make full use of) my Chamber membership. 10% of my revenue last year came from business acquired because of my service as an Ambassador (for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce)! Being an Ambassador is a WIN WIN relationship for us both!”

Cindy Locklin
President & CEO
Busy Bea’s Services



Meeting Date & Time

The Ambassadors Committee meets the third Wednesday of each month from 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Interested in the Ambassadors Committee? 
Click here to download the handbook and application or contact Mark Allen at 616.771.0348 for more information.

For Ambassadors...

Activity Tracking Sheet


Chamber Ambassadors pose for a photo with BW's Mascott during the Grand Opening of their new downtown Grand Rapids location. 

Ambassadors Committee

Ambassadors Committee members serve as liaisons between the Chamber and its members by personally visiting and calling their peers. Through their efforts, Ambassadors help fellow members engage in the programs, events, and money-saving opportunities that help them make full use of their membership. They also attend and aid Chamber staff at our various networking and Ribbon Cutting events.

The GRACC Ambassadors Committee is looking for a few individuals to join the ranks of this elite volunteer corps. Ambassadors' activities directly support the Chamber’s goal of connecting members to resources they can use to grow and succeed. Interested? Take the first step by checking out the Ambassadors Committee Handbook & Application.


Valarie Cook of Prince Conference Center has earned Ambassador of the Year for 2013!

Valarie has participated in the Ambassadors Committee since October, 2012.  Valarie has been instrumental in connecting with members providing information on how to best utilize their membership and make the most of their involvement.  During the past year her Ambassador activities have consisted of attending and volunteering at various Chamber events; welcoming some of our newest Chamber members; connecting with 61 out of 100 member retention calls assigned to her and participation several member ribbon cutting celebrations.  Valarie was also very proud to represent the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce at the annual statewide Ambassador Conference this past October in Frankenmuth, MI and the West Michigan Chamber Coalition Ambassador Event.

Valarie says “Meeting new people and learning about their business is why I joined the Ambassadors Committee.  My involvement in the Chamber has helped me create a strong network of professionals. Being awarded Ambassador of the Year is an honor and I am excited to part of this amazing group of people. It drives me to be connected with the community.”

Prince Conference Center is a full service conference facility offering 13 different size event and meeting spaces along with 69 comfortably appointed guest rooms. They are continuously ranked as #1 on TripAdvisor for the city of Grand Rapids.

Meet your Chamber Ambassadors! 

Each month, the Chamber will "spotlight" some of our volunteer Chamber Ambassadors.  This month, we are introducing you to Angie Hanks of Chemical Bank and Lindsey Balcazar of Axios / Office Staffing.

Angie Hanks, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Chemical Bank Walker office, has over 20 years of business management experience.  She began with Chemical Bank in 2002 when the Holland South Branch was first opened.  Prior to joining Chemical bank, she served as Branch Manager of a Standard Federal (Bank of America) branch in Grand Rapids.

A resident of Marne, Angie studied Business Administration at Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University.  She is an active member of her community, and has volunteered her services to many organizations including the  Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, GROW, Walker Chamber, West MI Hispanic Chamber, Kenowa Hills Education Foundation, Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Children’s Advocacy Center, United Way, Rotary International, Tulipanes and served as President of the St. Adalbert Ladies Auxiliary and the Holland/ZeelandExchange Club.     

Angie is proud to work for a strong community bank with a history of over 95 years in Michigan.  She enjoys teaching the FDIC’s MoneySmart (financial literacy) program to the community and takes pride in helping individuals and businesses grow and prosper.

Contact Angie Hanks at Chemical Bank by calling 616.785.2531, email and visit their website at


Lindsey Balcazar is the Director of Business Development for Office Staffing, a division of Axios, Inc.  By assisting West Michigan businesses with their staffing/employment needs Lindsey is not only doing her job but helping local businesses grow and succeed.  Office Staffing Inc. is a local Grand Rapids company with a solid foundation and proven track record of success. 

Lindsey was born and raised here in Grand Rapids, MI and after graduating from Grand Valley State University moved to Chicago for five years. In Chicago is where Lindsey’s passion for sales and marketing began. She worked as a Special Events Coordinator for a chain of restaurants and her main focus was to sell and plan events in their private dining rooms.

Lindsey joined the Ambassador Committee last March of 2012 and is very excited to be part of the group! She especially enjoys being present at as many ribbon cuttings as she can and loves to be a part of the excitement of the Chamber businesses as they celebrate a grand opening or an anniversary.  She also serves as the current Vice Chair of the Ambassadors Committee.

Lindsey thoroughly enjoys the staffing industry and loves the opportunity to meet new people and work within the Grand Rapids community.

For all of your staffing needs, Lindsey can be contact at 616.726.2483 or by email at


Interested in becoming an Ambassador?

A potential Ambassador must be a current employee of a member in good standing with the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The potential Ambassador must have a good mix of event participation for the past six months.

Click here to download the Ambassador Handbook & Application.

Members of the Ambassadors Committee had a blast checking out the inventory at Jake's Fireworks Grand Opening event!


Host the Ambassadors Monthly Meeting

The Ambassadors Committee meetings rotate on a monthly basis utilizing member locations.  In exchange for room rental, you are invited to share your business information with the group and attend the meeting to get to know the Ambassadors.  The Ambassadors Committee meets the third Wednesday of each month from 3:45pm - 5:00pm.  For more information, please contact Mark Allen at 616.771.0348.   

2014 Ambassadors Committee Members

Valarie Cook
Prince Conference Center

Vice Chair
Lindsey Balcazar
Axios/Office Staffing

Laura Hanis
J. Parker McCollum

Mike Behrens, Cetera Financial Networks
Lori Brooks, Founders Bank & Trust
Bernard Fogg, Legal Shield 
Don Goeree, New Planet Promotions  
Angie Hanks, Chemical Bank
Rebecca Hartel, Davenport University
Jack Hoedeman, Compass Insurance Agencies
Jessica Holland, The Campbell Group/Acrisure
Jennifer Jenks, Great Deals Magazine
Brian Justema, The Sharpe Collection
Mike Kerkorian, United Way - Heart of West Michigan
Sharon Landman, Metron Integrated Health Systems
Dawn Martinson, International Student Exchange
Mary McCaulley, Panera Bread
Josh Moody, Member In Transition
Jill Murray, 91.3 WCSG
Bonnie Nolan, Welcome Wagon
Jack Peaphon, CityFlats Hotel
Margo Snitzer, Hyatt Place Grand Rapids - South
Joe Sommerdyke, Edward Jones
Garth Stidolph, Comcast
Jeff Walsh, Robert W. Baird & Co.
Heather Watkowski, Porter Hills
Rod Weersing, Grand River Bank

Chamber Staff

Mark Allen, Senior Director, Membership Development

Janet Hentges, Membership Development Coordinator


Committee Sponsors

Without the generous support of our sponsors, it would not be possible for the Ambassadors to do all the great work they do!

Chemical Bank website link

Click here to become a sponsor!

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