by Max Marbut
They walk around Downtown day and night, offering directions, information and even umbrella-covered escorts on rainy days. They are the Downtown Ambassadors, and while they may seem to appear out of nowhere, a lot of planning and preparation goes on before each shift hits the streets.
Liz Knight has been an Ambassador since 2003, and she was promoted to program coordinator in 2005.
Before she first put on her pith helmet, Knight was a bookkeeper and merchandise manager. She said she was attracted to the Ambassadors job because she was tired of working in a cubicle. As program coordinator she gets to spend a lot more time outside than inside – and that’s just fine with Knight.
“I’m a country girl at heart, but this job has given me a real appreciation for the whole urban experience,” she said. “I get to watch Downtown change block-by-block and I get to see it all.
“There are a lot of things we have to deal with on every shift, from lights that are burned out to tripping hazards on the sidewalks. We can help people get anything from a map to an ambulance. It’s exciting and different every day.”
Photos by Max Marbut
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