– Founder & Chief Ambassador- Mackenzie Cates-Allen
With a Bachelor of Arts from Salem College in not-for-profit management, Mackenzie has over 16 years of experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit worlds. Before founding the Winston-Salem Ambassadors, Mackenzie served as the Development Manager at the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership. She is married to an applications systems engineer and has three young girls, who are 7, 5 and 2.5.
Growing up in Greensboro/Pleasant Garden, Mackenzie came to Winston-Salem in 2004 to attend Salem College. Starting with the YWCA of Winston-Salem upon graduation in 2008, Mackenzie began to fully fall in love with the city. “I love meeting and connecting with new people.”
With a passion for people and for welcoming all, always, Mackenzie has always been involved in building community. She loves to learn and to disseminate that knowledge to others. “I’ve always wanted to know people and know what was going on.” This led to Mackenzie applying to and being chosen to attend the City of Winston-Salem University, where she found a new love of local government. Realizing the power and importance of the City Council, Mackenzie has chosen to run for the seat in her Ward, the South Ward.
Mackenzie has always had a passion for leadership and is and has been involved in other organizations, such as Northwest Child Development Centers, the Winston-Salem Jaycees, the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, and many committees, including the Business 40 Re-Opening Project, Bath Creek Falls Committee, and more. The Winston-Salem Ambassadors is a passion for Mackenzie and she continues to nurture the vision for this growing nonprofit.
You can usually find her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Board Member 2021- Dale Cole
G Dale Cole has over 35 years in the HVAC industry. He graduated top of his class from Forsyth Technical College. During his career he worked for several leading HVAC companies in the triad. Including a 10 year stint as HVAC Director at Hanes Mall . And 5 years Maintenance Supervisor at EG Forrest food distributors in Winston Salem. He is currently employed by the State of North Carolina as an HVAC tech on the UNCG campus. Dale has used his time in the industry to cultivate a network of local business owners and civic leaders.
Dale’s family has called the piedmont area home for generations. His grandfather was a tobacco farmer . His father and several other family members retired from RJ Reynolds tobacco company.
Dale is a third generation musician . His grandfather , father and uncles formed the Cole family band in the late 1930s and performed in Forsyth and surrounding counties into the 1940s. Dale taught his son to play guitar and is in the process of passing the legacy down to his grandchildren.
Dale along with his friend Jon Epstein created to FaceBook group Foothills Area Musicians . This group boasts a membership of almost 800 local musicians. The group holds fundraisers throughout the year for several local charitable organizations .
Cole also along with Rick Gustaitis formed the Camel City Revelators . Until the onset of Covid 19 , CCR held a weekly Sunday Brunch at Liberty Arts and Coffee shop in downtown WS. Utilizing his pool of musicians the Revelators would host weekly musical guests as they raised funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW North Carolina . From August of 2019 through March of 2020 the group raised enough to fund 20000 meals.
With Covid putting an end of social gatherings . Dale with the help of Gabriel Higgins , Tommy Priest , and Danielle Bull formed The Virtual Village. They quickly recruited others from the WS business community and set out to raise money for the areas service industry displaced by the Corona virus. They recommissioned Danielle Bull’s boat and turned it in to a mobile stage. They would pull musicians through the streets of WS . Bringing music and smiles to our community. The Virtual Village put together three music compilations of songs submitted by local artists. These were sold and the proceeds went to organizations affected by the pandemic. Most notably Providence Kitchen. At the end of 2020 the Virtual Village connected with HOPE of WS. And will work exclusively with HOPE to help feed the hungry children of our community .
Dale will bring his organizational skills , and vast network of local musicians and business owners to The WS Ambassadors.