Our Future: A Vision Forward from Our Board

Creating a more sustainable Des Moines takes a lot of energy and enthusiasm from our Ambassadors and board members! Over the last couple months, we’ve talked about where we’ve come from, where we’re at now, and this post is about where we’re going.

In 2015, the board of Urban Ambassadors created goals for the next five years. We had short term goals like when and how will we use social media and long term goals like hiring a full time Executive Director. We hope you’ve noticed our more robust social media offerings on our Facebook page, Facebook group and Instagram. We’re excited to check that goal off the list!

 2015 Board Members: Back left to right. Greg Van Den Berghe, Melanie Allen, Courtney Long, Ciji Mitrisin, Drew Maifield. Front left to right. Emily Steele, Bethany Wilcoxon, Amy Luebbert 

2015 Board Members: Back left to right. Greg Van Den Berghe, Melanie Allen, Courtney Long, Ciji Mitrisin, Drew Maifield. Front left to right. Emily Steele, Bethany Wilcoxon, Amy Luebbert 

Urban Ambassadors is unique because we attempt to cover the full spectrum of sustainability in Des Moines through our five focus areas and foundations. We don’t believe any other organization takes this broad approach to sustainability in Des Moines and that’s why we think it’s important for us to have a full time Executive Director to help us fulfill our mission.  

Imagine if we had a full time Executive Director to play a part or role in decisions in Des Moines that relate to or affect sustainability issues, Zack Valigosky current Board Member wondered. Zack’s excited to see what kind of change can happen at the city level if there is an organization standing up for sustainability when important decisions are made.  

We could be that organization! With your help (see below), we could go from an all volunteer organization to having a staff member advocating for sustainability in Des Moines. But not only would we would advocate, we’d build relationships with community members, empower people with tools and resources to achieve sustainability goals and become more of a "household name" in the metro. Sam Collison and Ciji Mitrisin, current Board Members, are excited for us to collaborate, build these relationships and help leaders grow in our community.

 Left: Jeremy Moore and Chelsea Krist, Board Members, exhibit at the Climate March in Des Moines, April 2017. Top: June 2017 Meet-Up riding BCycles. Bottom: October 2016 Meet-Up Dogpatch Urban Garden tour.

Left: Jeremy Moore and Chelsea Krist, Board Members, exhibit at the Climate March in Des Moines, April 2017. Top: June 2017 Meet-Up riding BCycles. Bottom: October 2016 Meet-Up Dogpatch Urban Garden tour.

We want to be able to continue our monthly Meet-Ups. These educational events showcase the accessibility and abundance of organizations (and individuals!) doing great things in the city. Chelsea Krist, current Board Member, is excited to see our Meet-Up offerings grow with the addition of an Executive Director.  In addition to Meet-Ups, we want to offer the city a Sustainable Neighborhood Toolkit to provide resources and connections to help neighborhoods become more sustainable with the aim to make Des Moines the Sustainable Hub of the Midwest.  

We’re excited to be working towards these goals and hope you are too!

Here’s how you can help! 

  1. Attend our first ever fundraiser: Sustainable Sunday Funday on September 17th for an awesome bike ride, brunch and networking. Get your tickets here and invite your friends. Can't make it to the event, but still want to donate? Check out our online donation form!

  2. Share with us any grants you know about that could help us fund an Executive Director position or if you're interested in the position, contact us at info@urbanambassadors.org

  3. Join our board for 2018-2020 to experience this exciting growth! We’re looking for board members with legal expertise, accounting and strong connections to the sustainability community.

We can't wait for Des Moines to be named the Sustainable Hub of the Midwest! 

 photo credit: Joe Craven

photo credit: Joe Craven