Ambassador Enterprises’ corporate culture made it an easy choice to be named one of the state’s Best Places to Work. The philanthropic equity firm located on the northwest side of the Interstate 69/Dupont Road intersection, has fostered an atmosphere where every employee’s voice is heard and opinions are valued.
The company’s core values of honor God, work hard and respect others goes a long way toward transparency, collaboration and connectivity. As Ryan Woldman, brand development manager, explains it, “Emphasis is on professional, personal and spiritual growth. We gather every Monday morning for a ‘stand-up’ meeting to share what’s going on and then Fridays we hold learn-and -grow seminars on a variety of topics. All of our 50-plus employees (interns included) are present to mingle and learn along with our CEO and founder Daryle Doden.”
Perks that register high with employees are the outstanding working conditions that include a café and a patio where they can hold meetings, work and eat. Ambassador maintains a library full of business and leadership books that anyone can use. And if someone really likes a particular book, he or she is welcome to keep it. They also appreciate the fact that the company has started an MBA program through Huntington University. Thirteen are presently enrolled in the program.
Team members are encouraged to take one week a year (in addition to their vacation) to volunteer with a local not-for-profit organization. Over the years Ambassador teams have worked on Habitat for Humanity homes, volunteered at Community Harvest Food Bank and volunteered at the annual United Way Day of Caring. In addition, employees have hosted events in more than 50 local organizations, and in many, they serve on the board or as officers. Making an impact in the community is ingrained in the company’s culture.
Relationally focused activities are an important part of the Ambassador culture, as well. Employees look forward to the annual company picnic, a special holiday party, a Thanksgiving luncheon and a weekend in Indianapolis to relax, decompress and get refreshed for the coming week. Community activities such as Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle and its Fall Festival 5K and 10K runs find Ambassador employees participating.
In addition to winning its first Best Places to Work in Indiana Award, Ambassador won the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Indiana InternNET award for 2016 For-Profit Employer of the Year. Fifteen paid interns are scattered throughout the company departments this summer to work on a variety of group and individual projects. Competition for the intern positions is very intense and the company is already receiving applications for the summer of 2018. After many years of operating the intern program, siblings of past interns are beginning to apply.
The company recently pledged $500,000 toward the downtown Riverfront Development Project, giving it naming rights to the 850-seat amphitheater that will begin construction in July. According to Woldman, Ambassador took the opportunity to invest in the community with the goal of helping to make Fort Wayne an even better place to live, work and worship. “It’s an exciting project, it has gained a lot of momentum and AE chose to be involved to show its commitment to the community. This will be a space local citizens can enjoy for many years to come,” he added.
Ambassador, which is an outgrowth of Ambassador Steel in 2006, employs 1,700 worldwide with offices in Tampa, Fla., and holdings across the country and in Africa. As a private equity company, it partners with a variety of industries to help them continue to grow and make an impact in their communities.
According to the Ambassador philosophy, every investment has three returns. The first is financial, which involves attracting people to live, work, worship and play in northeast Indiana. Second is cultural, which focuses on creating a long-term, positive impact on people and their community. The third is eternal, which beings people closer to God and building his kingdom.