Twenty-two years in the U.S. Navy, followed by 10 years with a local staffing company, followed by 18 months with a security company.
That’s the career path that led Bill Wimmer to become the new Downtown Ambassador program manager.
“Each one had something about it that I enjoyed,” he said.
Wimmer has been on the job for three weeks and has been spending his time becoming acquainted with Downtown businesses and the management systems of Service Group Inc., the company contracted by Downtown Vision Inc. to operate the Ambassador program.
Like many people who served in the Navy, he had many addresses on land and sea, but when it was time to retire, Wimmer had only one place on his list of possibilities.
Even though he was never stationed here, Wimmer was assigned to Combat Information Center Operations Specialist training at Mayport Naval Station several times during his career.
“I fell in love with Jacksonville. People get here and they don’t want to leave,” he said.
Wimmer has been a regular visitor to Downtown for events like Jacksonville Jaguars games and the fireworks on the Fourth of July.
He also has been a regular participant in Florida-Georgia weekend festivities. This year, Wimmer said it will be a lot different because he’ll be wearing the Ambassadors’ unmistakable uniform — a bright orange polo shirt and a pith helmet.
“I’ve only experienced it from the fan’s standpoint. I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of assistance to fans to make sure they have a great experience,” said Wimmer.
He said it will be “all hands on deck” Oct. 28-29 and all of the Ambassadors will be working 10-hour shifts to span from 7 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
“We’ll be Downtown later if the fans stick around. I’m looking forward to Florida-Georgia. It’s going to be a fun weekend,” said Wimmer.
For more information about the Downtown Ambassadors and the services they provide, visit www.downtownjacksonville.org.
As a way to do his part to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, chef and owner of olio Greg DeSanto is promoting one of the restaurant’s most popular lunch items and making a donation to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. He’s even temporarily renamed the selection.
On Mondays in October, DeSanto’s “Ta Ta Tacos” are discounted 50 cents and a like donation is made to the foundation for each entrée ordered.
“We want to do our part to support the cause,” he said.
DeSanto has added breakfast to the menu from 7-10 a.m. Monday-Friday. It’s the only place Downtown serving shrimp and andouille sausage over stone-ground cheese grits and biscuits and red-eye gravy for the first meal of the day.
DeSanto said he’s extending olio’s hours for Florida-Georgia weekend. The eatery on East Bay Street across from the County Courthouse will be serving from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 28. Game-day hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.
“This is our first Florida-Georgia weekend. We’re not sure what to expect, but we’re excited,” said DeSanto.
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