New Board for 2018

Happy New Year!

As we celebrate the end of our first year in existence, we bid a fond adieu to our first inaugural Board of Advisors with a huge thank you for their service. We are excited to welcome a new Board for 2018, with new leadership.

Chairing our Board of Advisors for 2018 is Anne Donovan. Vice-Chair is Amanda Hoey, Treasurer Kristina Welch and Secretary is Christy Spencer. Our Past Chair is Jordan Googe.


We are thrilled to welcome five new Board Members.

Al Kessler

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Originally from New York City, Al Kessler grew up in Connecticut. He comes to Winston-Salem from Macon, Georgia, where he lived for 2 years. Al is the Vice President of Media Relations, Communications, and Broadcasting for the Carolina Thunderbirds Professional Hockey Team.


Erin Lanthrop


Erin Lathrop is proud to call Winston-Salem her home of 11 years.  After living on the west coast for a number of years, Erin felt called to Winston-Salem.  Erin is devoted to promoting Winston-Salem as a thriving, unique town that promotes diversity and welcomes all generations into its fold.  Certainly, Erin is thrilled to promote awareness of all that Winston-Salem offers.


Nathan Geipel

nathan geipel

Nathan Geipel has lived in Winston-Salem for the last 10 years and been visiting family in Winston-Salem for 20. Nathan works with a local Internet Service Provider in Winston-Salem called X1 Communications.


Nikita Wallace


Nikita Wallace is the CEO and Founder of Winston Salem Fashion Week (WSFW.) She is a wife and mother of 2 who loves all things fashion, running and Prince. She is an artist, stylist and designer with ties to New York. Nikita has a desire to see the city of Winston-Salem thrive even more.


Terry Miller

terry miller correct

Terry Miller has lived in Winston-Salem just over 5 years now and it truly feels like Home. Owning Twin City Hive has given him the opportunity to meet and become “neighbors” with so many individuals. Terry loves to share all the great aspects of Winston-Salem and what it has to offer and cannot wait to work with the group and help make Winston-Salem shine like a Moravian star!



Beers & Bicycles!

From BeersNGears Co-Creator Amy Easter / Written by Mackenzie Cates-Allen

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BeersNGears is a local social enterprise focused on building bicycle culture in Winston-Salem. Their unique bike events, collaboration with local businesses and support of grassroots cycling advocacy are helping develop a rich and diverse cycling culture in the Camel City. Between the Brag Wagon’s trips worth bragging about, Open Bike Night education series, annual HalloWheels bike festival, and maintenance of the Zagster bike share bikes and other endeavors, they stay busy in the cycling community. And, as you can tell by their name, they also enjoy a cold one after a ride.  Check out the website for more info:
Recent & Upcoming events:
Winston-Salem Cycling Advocacy Network, or WS CAN, is an advocacy organization uniting people from all backgrounds to improve cycling infrastructure, policy and education in W-S. Their work with elected officials, City staff, local riders and businesses is helping make Winston-Salem a more bike friendly city.  They hold recurring networking events to help share information about local bike projects and events and connect locals to the people and resources needed to promote safe and convenient cycling in our city. Learn more and join the network here:
Recent & Upcoming events:
  • WS CAN Social(ize) at Foothills Tasting Room – Monday, August 21 (
  • Group ride to see completed Salem Creek Connector, new Quarry Park and Zagster Bike Share Station for demo (more info to come)
Forsyth Off Road Bike Association (FORBA) is a group of people dedicated to supporting our local mountain bike trails. Their mission is to collaborate with local riders, organizations and municipalities to create and maintain a variety of sustainable mountain biking trails in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, NC. They hold volunteer trail work days so riders can get their hands dirty helping maintain and enhance local trails and they’re involved in helping shape the future of mountain biking in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas. Learn more about FORBA here:
Recent & Upcoming events:
Amy Easter
Helping People Discover the Fun, Function and Freedom of Cycling

A Letter to YOU!

Dear Friend,

Greetings  from the  Twin City.  I  hope you  are doing  well as August is wrapping up.

By now I hope that you have either experienced or heard of the Winston-Salem  Ambassadors!  Created last December  and  active ever since, the Ambassadors  have   made  quite  a  few appearances  and  had  many  a conversation.  Eight  board  meetings,  two  Workshops,  one  SSO4, two Venture  Café  sessions,  one  Results  Junkies (major investors) visit and over one hundred and twenty meetings/lunches/coffee conversations have been  had  with folks  all across the City of Arts and Innovation. If there is one  thing  that we have learned since our inception, it is that a welcoming culture   and   an   open-minded   community   is   greatly   desired.

One thing everyone in Winston-Salem agrees is on is that our community is a wonderful place. The thing that  excites me the most about our city is its  vast  potential for   growth.  In  business, in   residents, in  events , the opportunities  are  not  just  possible,   but probable. To  the Ambassadors, innovation   means keeping  an open  mind  and our most valuable asset is you.  You,  the people  of  Winston-Salem, our friends and colleagues, are what makes  this city  such an amazing place to live in, to work in, to play in and  to talk  about.  Thank you  for  being  a  part of  our  first 8 months.

You can play an even bigger role in the next few months. As a federally tax-exempt, brand-new non-profit, whose mission is to increase awareness of Winston-Salem, we are excited to announce our first fundraising campaign. We   have    entitled   this campaign,       “Shaping Community Through Relationships,”  and  we would   greatly  appreciate  your  financial  support. Enclosed is the information on the campaign and we look forward to working with you for a better today and a brighter tomorrow.

Please remember,  when you  give to the  Ambassadors,  you  give to the whole city!

Most Gratefully Yours,

Mackenzie Cates-Allen

President, Winston-Salem Ambassadors


WHY GIVE? What can it GO to?? Check it out HERE!

Executive Board Leadership Elected

The 2017 Board of Advisors has elected Jordan Googe as Chair of the Board. 

“A Camel City native, Jordan has been a staple of North Carolina in entertainment, economic development, real estate & civic engagement for more than two decades. An alumnus of UNC School of the Arts & High Point University, Jordan has appeared in over 100 commercials, stage productions, TV shows, Indie & Studio films. During his tenure with Davidson County Economic Development Commission, they were awarded #1 Micropolitan Economic Development Organization in America (2007 & 2010), & Ranked in Top 10 Economic Development Organizations Overall in North America (2010).  Awarded Junior Chamber International’s highest honor in 2011, he is JCI Senator #70375. He also serves as 2017 North Carolina Junior Chamber Triad Regional Director, & was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Authoring Action, an Arts based non profit that plugs at-risk youth into filmmaking, spoken word art, creative writing & leadership training. A strident advocate for filmmakers & artists who chose to live in North Carolina, he was named 2016 Volunteer of the Year by RiverRun International Film Festival, & is going into his 5th year working with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation in North Carolina & Virginia.  Jordan is honored to serve as the Chair of Winston-Salem Ambassadors in their first year, & welcomes you to the City of Arts & Innovation.”



The 2017 Board of Advisors has elected Anne Alexander Donovan as Vice-Chair of the Board. 

“Anne Alexander Donovan moved to the Piedmont Triad in 2004 for an undergraduate education at Salem College and fell in love with the city of Winston-Salem. Since then, she has earned a Master’s Degree from Wake Forest University, worked for Forsyth Country Club, engaged in local social justice issues, sings around town with a few local bands, and loves her work as the Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator for adult education at Salem College. ”


Ambassadors President Chosen

The 2017 Board of Advisors has hired Mackenzie Cates-Allen to serve as President of Winston-Salem Ambassadors.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Salem College in not-for-profit management, Mackenzie has over 12 years of experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit worlds, including real estate, education, administration, as well as asset and staff management. Most recently, Mackenzie served as the Development Manager at the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership. She is married to a computer programmer and has two young girls, 1 and 3.


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, but it wasn’t until coming to the DWSP that she realized it. “I love meeting and connecting with new people.”

Her favorite thing about Winston-Salem is its pioneering spirit. “First, the Moravians came from really far away and created a successful town out of nothing, not to mention that they started the first educational institution(s) for young girls and young women. Then, Winston became THE tobacco town and stayed that way for a long time. When that went away, everyone kind of freaked out. Winston-Salem had to figure out how it was going to survive and by gosh, it did. The people of this city are so determined. I love it.”

She is excited to serve in a leadership role and work with the existing organizations of Winston-Salem. “I so admire the people who are here working so hard to make their organizations better and to make the city better. It has inspired me to jump in and contribute however I can. The Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce, WSBI and the Hispanic League and so many others, and just… our amazing educational institutions and all of our small businesses are world class. Winston-Salem is the best.”

You can usually find her at one of the great coffee shops that dot Downtown or at any time at