Queen of the Lakes Elise Toussaint

from the community of North Branch

Elise Toussaint is a student at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. She is in the University Honors Program, and a member of the Black Student Union. Elise plans to apply to medical school, with hopes of becoming an anesthesiologist, or an obstetrics-gynecologist. Elise volunteers with Nike in a program that encourages children to be active, and she will be volunteering regularly at a clinic. Elise's personal goal is "to do something to further someone's success everyday."

Aquatennial Commodore Stephen Zins

Owner, LS Investments, LLC

Dr. Stephen Zins is a retired Chiropractic Kinesiologist with over 23 years of experience in the healthcare field. During his clinical career, he operated two private practices in the Minneapolis area and St. Michael. Currently, Stephen is the CEO of a real estate investing company, LS Investments, LLC, which specializes in rental and distressed properties. Investing in real estate and understanding the power of passive income, has allowed him to pursue his dreams of public speaking, seminar development and presentation, and book writing. He is currently writing 2 books on health and human interaction and hopes they will be best sellers. His goals and objectives have always revolved around assisting others to achieve their optimal best and to bring about individual change for the greater good.


In addition to real estate, Stephen is a consultant for business owners in the development of successful businesses through building solid foundations in the areas of finance, procedures, standard operations and future investment.

In his free time, Stephen enjoys reading, researching, golfing, traveling, meeting up with friends, exploring new places and historical sites, and many other activities. He is the favorite uncle of six amazing nieces and nephews and enjoys watching them grow up. Stephen coached women’s slow pitch softball for seven seasons and is a Minnesota State High School football official of 22 years with state tournament experience. He is honored and excited to be serving as an Aquatennial Captain.

Aquatennial Princess Erin Westlund

from the community of Hutchinson

Erin Westlund is a student at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Erin is studying elementary education. She has a long-term goal of earning her masters degree in STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) education, and to especially emphasize outdoor education. Erin has participated in three mission trips, delivered food with Meals on Wheels, and serves as a board member for Ducks Unlimited. Erin is also an instructor for youth figure skating.

Aquatennial Princess Amber Watkins

from the community of Anoka

Aquatennial Princess Amber Watkins is from the community of Anoka. She graduated from Anoka High School in 2018 as she was finishing up her year as an Anoka Ambassador. She attends The College of Saint Benedict where she is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education with the hopes of one day becoming a 3rd grade teacher. She was a dancer for 16 years and can’t wait to continue dancing on the St. Bens Fall Performance Team. One of the main things that she took away from her year as an Anoka Ambassador was having the privilege of meeting new people,  seeing new places, and learning more than she could have ever imagined. She is looking forward to being able to continue building new relationships and giving back to the communities that she will get to visit over the next year. She is beyond excited to be a part of a team that builds community, fosters leadership, and empowers young women. continue dancing on the St. Bens Fall Performance Team. One of the main things that she took away from her year as an Anoka Ambassador was having the privilege of meeting new people, seeing new places, and learning more than she could have ever imagined. She is looking forward to being able to continue building new relationships and giving back to the communities that she will get to visit over the next year. She is beyond excited to be a part of a team that builds community, fosters leadership, and empowers young women.

Aquatennial Captain Terri Kane

Terri is a long time Aquatennial volunteer who has assisted in various events in all of the original divisions including Parades, Power Boats and the Aqua Fireworks Party. She was also instrumental in the revamping of the Aqua Dragon float for the Aquatennial's 50th anniversary.

Along with being involved in the Aquatennial, Terri has volunteered her time with other events and festivals in various roles such as the St. Louis Park Parktacular Parade Coordinator and board member; Woodbury, Eagan, Rice Street, and West St. Paul parade volunteer; Dreadwood Haunted Forest volunteer; Holidazzle pacer; and BIR SCCA and IMSA racing series safety worker.

Terri has always enjoyed the friendships and mission of the Aquatennial and Aquatennial Ambassador Organization. She started with the Aquatennial as a “day of” volunteer and stayed because of the people. As she likes to put it, she’s spent more of her birthdays with her Aquatennial family than her own family.

Terri is a graduate of the College of St. Teresa with a degree in Social Work and Psychology. She has worked in the customer relations field since she graduated.

She is a lifelong Minneapolis resident.

Aquatennial Captain Kassi Kruse

Kassi Kruse, grew up and currently resides in the city of Eagan with her husband Chris. She has been a licensed Esthetician, makeup artist, and lash specialist for Max Salon & Spa in Bloomington for the past three years. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, as well as volunteering with the St. Paul Winter Carnival along with Chris (King's Guard 2013 and Captain of the Guard 2017.) Kassi is a former Eagan Ambassador (2008), and has served as host of the Eagan Funfest's Royal Brainfreeze competition for the last eleven years. She is also a former Miss Inver Grove Heights (2013), volunteer/ assistant etiquette trainer for the West St. Paul Royalty program, and this past year Kassi served as the 2019 Sergeant of the Guard for the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

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The Aquatennial Ambassadors represent the Minneapolis Aquatennial at nearly 300 community festivals and events throughout North America each year.


The Ambassador Crew consists of the Queen of the Lakes, Commodore, two Aquatennial Princesses and two Captains who volunteer their time and efforts for the AAO.


The Senior Ambassadors, supported by the Minneapolis Aquatennial Senior Alumni Association (MASAA) complete the Aquatennial Ambassador Crew with the Senior Queen, Senior Commodore, Senior Princess and Senior Vice-Commodore.


At the end of their year of service as an Aquatennial Ambassador, the Queen of the Lakes and Princesses each receive educational scholarships provided by the generous donors and members of the AAO.

Aquatennial Ambassador Crew

The Queen of the Lakes began with the Aquatennial's inception in 1940.

When the Ambassador Crew visits a community that sends an Ambassador Candidate to Aquatennial Week, a Queen's Charm is given to the Candidate as her official invitation.

The Commodore
is the primary spokesperson for the AAO and escort of the Queen of the Lakes.

At each festival the Ambassador Crew visits, an Honorary Commodore Award is presented to an outstanding volunteer nominated by the local community.

In recognition of his/her year of service, the Commodore is promoted to Admiral and is given a blue coat.

The Aquatennial Princesses were added to the Ambassador Crew in 1952. 

Similar to the Queen of the Lakes, each Princess wears a Crown featuring a stylized "M" for Minneapolis inside of a heart and waves representing the City's nickname, "The City of Lakes."

The Aquatennial Captains 

are the primary escorts of the Princesses and responsible for keeping the Aquatennial Crew organized and on-time.

Captains & Commodores are chosen by a nomination committee.  In recognition of their year of service, the Captains are promoted to Commanders and given a gray coat.

Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization

100 South 1st Street
O Box 580737
Minneapolis, MN 55458

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