Aquatennial Ambassador Crew

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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.

 
 

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."

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Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes Kaia Schomburg

From the Community of Northfield

Kaia is a student at the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota, where she is working to earn degrees in both Psychology and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice. She is a member of the University Honors Program, and enjoys volunteering with several student organizations on campus. She is particularly passionate about her involvement with the UMN Chapter of Camp Kesem. This organization works to support kids whose parents' lives have been impacted by cancer. After losing one of her own parents to cancer in 2021, Kaia has become especially inspired to work with kids directly as a Kesem counselor and fundraiser.

 

After finishing her undergraduate work, Kaia plans to earn her Doctorate in Psychology, and begin work as a mental health professional with a focus on criminology and social justice.

 

Kaia was introduced to the festival world when her brother was crowned a junior ambassador for the city of Northfield in 2007 - she assumed her position as official candy catcher that same year. Twelve years later, she was crowned a Defeat of Jesse James Days Ambassador and continued a two-year reign through 2021. Kaia will always treasure the time she spent in the supportive, passionate, and artistic community of Northfield. Recently she has fallen head-over-heels in love with her new hometown of Minneapolis, where she is a full time student and works in the office of Student Services offering insight and leadership to incoming students.

 

In her free time Kaia likes to read, play guitar, dance, and go on road trips with her family. Kaia is excited to join the Aquatennial team of 2023, and is honored to represent Minneapolis this year.

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Aquatennial Commodore Scott Swenson

Scott prides himself on being a family first man, he has been married for thirty-six years to his wonderful wife, Carol. They have three fantastic daughters, Anna (Andrew), Sarah, and Laura. A few fun facts about his family are that all five have passed the CPA exam, are organ donor advocates (Scott’s wife received a donated kidney last year), and are big Disney geeks.
 

In a professional capacity, Scott serves as Senior Vice President/Chief Banking Officer/Shareholder at Drake Bank. At Drake, he oversees the commercial, consumer, and mortgage lending production teams. In his thirty-seven-year banking career, Scott has become passionate about community banking due to the industry's commitment to the neighbors and communities. Scott has an MBA in Business Administration Management from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

 

Community involvement has been a big part of Scott’s life. A few of the civic organizations/events he has been involved in include, Eagan Rotary Club, Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Eagan Sesquicentennial, Eagan Fourth of July Funfest, Open Door, American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Ambassador program, and Eagan Citizens for Crime Prevention. In addition, his family is active in All Saints Lutheran Church in Eagan.

 

Community celebrations are special to Scott. Growing up, Scott was one of nine children who grew up in Northfield, and each year they celebrated the Aquatennial and Defeat of Jesse James Days. In those formative years, he dreamed of building a milk carton boat for the Aquatennial Boat Races. Scott has also served as the chair of the Eagan Sesquicentennial and the Eagan July 4th Funfest.
 

Scott’s theme for 2023 is "Make a Difference", which he is excited to live and instill this entire year.

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Aquatennial Princess Kezia Lee

From the Community of Cokato
 

This fall, Kezia returned to Winona State University for her sophomore year in pursuit of an Elementary Education with Early Childhood emphasis major and Child Advocacy Studies minor. Kezia hopes to one-day become a first or second grade teacher in a small town in Minnesota. She has a passion for supporting young children and giving them an opportunity to love learning starting at a young age. What makes Kezia interested in first and second grade is that she wants to assist children in laying the foundations for their education.
 

Starting at a young age, Kezia has always had a passion for being a role model for young girls and knew that she wanted to be a part of her local royalty program. She first became involved in the Miss Cokato Scholarship Program at the age of 12 as an assistant dance choreographer for their “fun number” at coronation. Later she became the main choreographer for both the Cokato and Dassel royalty programs. Years later, Kezia was crowned Miss Cokato 2021-2022, when she was then sent to attend the Minneapolis Aquatennial.
 

Kezia is proud to represent the Minneapolis Aquatennial as a Aquatennial Princess around the state of Minnesota and beyond. This program has taught her much about pose, confidence, public speaking, and professionalism. She has enjoyed meeting new people, learning about different communities, and growing her passion for volunteerism. 

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Aquatennial Captain Lisa Franxman

Lisa Franxman has extensive knowledge earned over 20 plus years in the banking and finance industry. She is currently the Market President for MidCountry Bank in Hastings where she is a natural leader and intentional about building long-term relationships.
 

In addition to her work, Lisa takes an active role in service to the community by doing her part to keep it vibrant and healthy. She supports the business community as current Treasurer and past President of Rosemount Rotary Club, as well as Treasurer for the Dakota Regional Chamber of Commerce including its charitable foundation. Lisa also sits on the Citizen Advisory Council for the Dakota County Sheriff’s department. Her passion is in mentoring young ladies, as evidenced by serving three years with the Hope For Tomorrow program: a mentorship program for 8th grade girls. These service experiences have allowed her to understand the depth of resources in the community and to value interconnection opportunities.

 

In her free time, Lisa’s energy and passion translates to a life full of family, friends, and a love for the great outdoors. She enjoys hiking, fishing, and archery. All of her characteristics provide balance and perspective along with rich experiences that make her grounded and grateful. Lisa has three adult children and one granddaughter and currently resides in Rosemount with her daughter, Danielle.

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Aquatennial Princess Brooklyn Werner

From the Community of Gibbon

This spring Brooklyn graduated from GFW Jr./Sr. School. She is now attending Winona State University to major in Elementary Education. Brooklyn is planning to graduate and get into teaching right away. She would love to teach first, second, or third grade. Growing up with teachers in her family she has always wanted to go into the Education department. She loves that not only does she get to teach the next generation but she gets to do it with fun, energetic, and vibrant kids.

While getting to be in the teaching shoes might not happen for a couple years, Brooklyn has been able to be a softball and t-ball coach the past few summers. Getting to coach allowed
her to work with many different ages of kids.

Brooklyn has lived in Gibbon her whole life and has been active within the community as well. One thing that has made Brooklyn who she is today is by helping out in the community. On Sundays, the town baseball team, the Gibbon Reds, would play. With having her dad on the team, she was able to help prep the field with her dad before each game, help run the
scoreboard every now and then, and get to enjoy a game in the stands with her mom, brother, and the rest of her community.

Brooklyn has always wanted to be a part of the Gibbon Royalty and in March of 2021, that dream came true when she was crowned. Brooklyn was the 2021 Miss Gibbon. Her partner
in crime, Lexi Rettig, and her traveled around southern Minnesota and got to meet many new people. So when Brooklyn was crowned as one of the Minneapolis Aquatennial Princesses, she was thrilled. Brooklyn is very excited and honored to get the chance to represent Minneapolis
this upcoming year. She has already gained so much knowledge, made so many connections,
and can’t wait for what’s next!

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Aquatennial Captain Tammy McCanna

Tammy McCanna is no stranger to the festival world. She was involved with the St Louis Park Parktacular Ambassador program for 20 years and served as Co-Director for 5 years. Her father Jerry Sisk was a Aquatennial Vice Commodore of Hospitality during 1981-1983 and remembers that he brought her to her first parade in Le Sueur while escorting the Queen of the Lakes that day. She wears her father’s Vice Commodore patch in his memory on her right sleeve. She has amassed quite a collection of Aquatennial memorabilia that she loves to share.

 

Tammy is a Corporate Paralegal for Shutterfly Lifetouch, LLC. in Eden Prairie. She graduated from University of Minnesota and is involved as the Academic Advisor of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta at the U of MN. Tammy serves as a board member for the St. Louis Park Dollars for Scholars program which raises funds for scholarships for St. Louis Park High School graduating seniors. She is also a member of the St Louis Park Parktacular Festival committee helping with special events.

 

Tammy has two daughters, Taylor (28) and Ryan (26) who mean everything to her and she loves seeing them become incredibly loving and strong women. In her spare time, Tammy plays guitar and sings with a contemporary choir in her church. She is so grateful to be with the Minneapolis Aquatennial as Captain and help spread Aquatennial magic this year.

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.