Discover Denton launches Denton Ambassador Program

Kim Phillips

What makes Denton a great place to visit, live, work and study?

One of the most successful things we have done in Denton is opening the Discover Denton Welcome Center (DDWC). Here we ensure that visitors, students, new residents and even long-time residents find the answers to these questions in a significant, customized way.

The DDWC team gets feedback on this topic every day, often unbidden. The number one comment? Visitors say it is the vibe, the feeling, the sense of place that makes Denton great. The number one challenge visitors face? Figuring out how to dive in and become part of it whether for a few days or a lifetime.

Denton is a cool city with original, independent character. We have great local eateries, live music, rich history, numerous festivals and events and a diverse population fed largely by the influence of our universities and a thriving cultural and arts scene. All of these elements combine into what people label as “the vibe.”

In reality, though, the vibe boils down to the people of Denton. Cumulatively we are the vibe.

Nearly 100,000 people have visited the DDWC since we opened on June 21, 2016. It has become what it was intended to become—the place people go to discover Denton. With high demand for friendly, knowledgeable Dentoning Experts, we have reached the point in the DDWC’s life where it is time to welcome volunteer ambassadors to our team.

This will be good news for many. It’s a request Dentonites from all walks of life have made since before we opened. “I love Denton and want to volunteer at the Welcome Center.”

Now that we have a year under our belts and have worked most of the new-business kinks out of the DDWC’s day-to-day operations, we are finally at a place where the need is definitely there, and we are prepared to make a volunteer’s experience at DDWC rewarding for both the volunteer and our visitors.

People who love Denton are eager to share why, and the perspectives on the why are as unique as each individual. We believe this is powerful. We’ve met hundreds of you over these past 16 months, and we can’t think of a better next step than to formally invite you to join our Denton Ambassadors team.

Denton Ambassadors are the DDWC’s official greeters. We are seeking friendly, outgoing personalities who are passionate about Denton and who relish the idea of talking to people and helping them discover the very vibe they’ve heard about and that brought them here. Denton Ambassadors will guide visitors, help shape itineraries that fit personal interests and unveil the mystery of #dentoning. It’s an important position, perhaps the most important in our entire organization, because Ambassadors will be the first impression of our city for a majority of the visitors and guests who walk through the doors.

Denton Ambassadors is an elite volunteer group, a special force among the Discover Denton family. Training will equip them with confidence, knowledge and resources for answering questions and counseling guests about where to go and what to do. And they will be uniquely celebrated for their spirit of volunteerism.

“Denton is my home. It’s given me a lot,” said Carrell Ann Simmons, Denton Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year. “I love this town, living and working here. And I believe if you’ve got a place you love to live, you have to give back to it. I try to do my part to make everyone’s life as good as I feel like mine is.”

I believe many across our city share this sentiment Carrell Ann expressed when receiving her distinguished award last March. Like I said, we are the Denton vibe. How better to deliver that vibe than to invite your personal input and perspectives to interact first-hand with visitors?

Randi Sue Surratt, Retail and Staff Manager of the DDWC, is heading up the Denton Ambassador program. Since the DDWC is open seven days a week, days and nights, there are multiple volunteer shift opportunities to fit individual lifestyles and schedules. Ideally volunteers will commit to a regular time slot so they and we can plan accordingly for the foreseeable future.

If you are one of Denton’s original, independent volunteer spirits eager to be part of the DDWC team sharing the Denton vibe, the time is ripe. We’re ready for you and so are our visitors.

Contact Randi Sue at [email protected] or call her at the DDWC at 940-218-1815 to learn more about joining the Denton Ambassadors.

Kim Phillips is vice president of the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Denton Chamber of Commerce. She loves promoting Denton’s original, independent spirit through the city’s sense of place and cast of many characters. She can be reached at [email protected]