Resident Engagement Officer, Kelly Jander, honored for her work developing the KC Parks Ambassadors Program
Six Heart of Kansas City awards were presented November 3rd at the Greater Kansas City Attractions Association (GKCAA) Heart of Kansas City Awards reception including Ambassador of the Year which was awarded to KC Parks Resident Engagement Officer Kelly Jander.
The Ambassador of the Year award honors an outstanding front of house staff member OR volunteer who demonstrates exemplary effort in customer service while helping to further the goals, objectives and spirit of the tourism and hospitality industry in metro Kansas City.
Kelly Jander was hired by KC Parks to develop a volunteer program for the department just months before the pandemic started. Undaunted, Kelly changed her recruitment tactics to “make a difference, while you distance” and focused on getting volunteers out in the parks to pick up trash in a safe and socially distanced manner. And, it worked!!!
Since the start of the pandemic, volunteers have contributed 4,400 hours to beautify Kansas City, Missouri’s 221 parks and boulevards–services valued at more than $120,000. Currently there are 130 KC Parks Ambassadors who volunteer on a regular basis with KC Parks. The KC Parks Ambassadors program engages volunteers who serve a minimum of three hours per month assisting with projects throughout the vast 221-park system.
Ambassadors help address some of the Parks Department’s greatest needs, often helping with projects that would otherwise take maintenance employees away from their regularly scheduled essential duties. They also assist with special events and quite often are the friendly faces that greet visitors who attend events in our parks/facilities.
KC Parks Ambassadors, under Kelly’s direction, are always willing to help and do much more than beautify Kansas City’s parks and boulevards—they also help build important connections between residents, tourists and the parks department and keep our iconic greenspaces in top condition for visitors to Kansas City, Missouri.
Also at the event, the Kansas City Zoo received the Attraction of the Year award and KCZoo Executive Director and CEO Randy Wisthoff was honored with the Individual Achievement award.
The Greater Kansas City Attractions Association is dedicated to enhancing the success of member attractions through the strategic initiatives of collective marketing, membership services, membership events and advocacy as a collective voice.
About the Heart of Kansas City Awards>>
GKCAA’s recognition program features five categories that are awarded annually: Ambassador of the Year, Individual Achievement, Special Achievement, Allied Member of the Year and Attraction of the Year. A sixth award, Legacy, is presented at the Board’s discretion.
About Volunteering with KC Parks>>
The KC Parks volunteer program provides fun and rewarding opportunities for individuals and groups to engage in our parks. Service activities range from one-time projects and events to longer-term positions