Board of Directors

– Founder & President- Mackenzie Cates-Allen

With a Bachelor of Arts from Salem College in not-for-profit management, Mackenzie has over 18 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 Mark and has three young girls, who are 9, 7 and 4.5.

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 chose 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



-Board Member – Saul Navarro

“I am Saul Navarro, and as founder of Red Thread I believe that everyone deserves a way to show their own individual personalities. I created Red Thread as a way for every person I meet to be able to display their own uniqueness and eclectic personalities with our custom heirloom rugs.

Our slogan: “Where Personality Shines” Greatly embodies our mission to display local creatives and creators and showcase their personalities within the community; starting with Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and extending to the Piedmont Triad area.

With our Handmade textiles we hope to be a true beacon for all.”


– Board Member – Sterling Grizzard


– Board Member – Cennet Kelly


– Board Member – Joey Watkins



Former Board Chair- 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 served honorably for more than 2 years, in some of the most difficult times. We thank you DALE!

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