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20 April 2023 Board Minutes

Aquatennial Ambassador Organization Meeting

April 20th, 2023


The mission of the AAO is to inspire young women to achieve extraordinary futures by providing professional development opportunities through networking and mentoring.

Attendance: Ron Christopher, Brent LaSalle, Laura Swartz, Monette Natus, Amy Mauzy, Dave Recker, Rob Mauzy, Erika Tillman, Bob Orthey, Rich Westlund

Absent: Scott Swenson, Terry Hoppenrath, Haley Rogers, Ken Hafften, Sarah Rosser

1. Called meeting to order (Ron)

2. Chairman's comments:

All AAO communications being disseminated to the public will go through the chair and the board prior to release. In addition to ensuring data is correct, it assists the board in keeping abreast of all activities going on throughout the organization.

3. President’s comments:

a. Currently 41 candidates are signed-up.

b. Upcoming candidate events:

- Interview workshop on May 13 and a resume writing workshop TBD on date.

- Candidate orientation will be June 3 at Hilton Garden Inn and Suites

c. Ambassador updates:

- Scott and QOL went to Macon, Georgia.

- The entire team will be going to San Antonio in April.

- Family photos are scheduled in June.

d. Invitations to V-digs for the AAO festival were sent out and fees will be $425.

e. Alumni event at 318 Cafe for a show on May 16. Interested people can sign up online at

f. Looking at doing an alumni social event during AAO week at the market Malcolm Yard or a boat cruise on lake Minnetonka.

g. Secured 7 spots in the TorchLight Parade.

h. Paying $100 to De LaSalle to host the firework event.

4. Committee updates:

5. Discussion about age of candidates:

a. Some programs allow for younger or older ages than the Aquatennial age range of 18 - 22 years old. Discussed the pros and cons of such actions but realize we need to consider our overall community concerns regarding this issue.

b. Tabled for further discussion.

6. Approval of Captain A:

a. Rob motioned to approve Captain A. Monette seconded.

b. All board members approved during the meeting as well.

7. Brent to schedule a meeting with Captain B and Commodore A in the near future.

8. Diversity committee update:

a. Deadline is May 30 to have a DEI speaker for this year to add to the schedule.

b. 90min slot for a speaker.

c. Brent to reach out to Leo Lewis.

d. Looking at opportunities to have the team go to festivals that the Aquatennial has not been a participant in prior years. This will broaden our reach into the many factions that comprise a diverse Minnesota and open up opportunities to a greater number of young ladies.

e. A DEI questionnaire was created and will be distributed to all AAO communities attending festival week.

9. Protocol committee update:

a. Team has met and Erika is updating the protocol manual.

b. Offered to give the current team an updated protocol meeting, but they were unable

to accept due to busy schedules.

c. New protocol manual will be available for the new 2024 team.

10. Vision 2025 committee:

Bob Orthey agreed to lead Vision 2025. He will assess what has been done and what we need to do to move forward.

11. Fundraising committee update:

a. Monette is working on getting sponsors for events.

b. Goal is to get a $10,000 title coronation sponsor.

c. Looking for people to sponsor products like bags and water bottles.

d. Discussion about ambassador’s sponsorship continued.

- Captains tend to be the role that usually needs a financial support program. As we seek younger captains to fill those positions, a travel account could help get more volunteers.

- 2024 Commodores and Captains will be able to look for their own sponsors. Will provide them a list of deliverables.

- Board could find sponsors for the crowns as the program evolves.

- Our community is changing, and overall costs have risen dramatically. This is a way to offset those costs and enable us to continue to grow as an organization.

- We will absolutely be sensitive to the AAO brand in all dealings.

e. We will have volunteers working a booth at Twin Games. If interested, contact Paulette Christopher for dates and times. 10 people are required for each session. Come out and help the AAO grow!!!

f. Would like to host a fundraiser dinner at someone’s house. If interested, contact Monette Natus for particulars.

12. Community partners update:

a. Amy is reaching out and connecting with communities to gauge how their festivals are going.

b. A meeting will be scheduled with the downtown council the first week in May to discuss supporting each other.

13. Social media:

a. When we published the DEI statement regarding tattoos and piercings, the majority of feedback was extremely positive. However, it also highlighted the need for all to be cognizant of the fact that in this day where all postings are viewed by a myriad of people, you must be aware of what you post on your personal accounts. Inadvertent posts and or pictures that negatively impact the AAO will have consequences. We are all one family, and we must do all we can to protect the AAO brand.

b. All AAO positions and volunteers must be professional on social media as they represent the organization.

14. Other business:

a. Board members and committees should develop turnover files for their roles.

b. Next board meeting will be Tuesday, May 23 at 6pm.

15. Monette motioned to end the meeting and Dave seconded the motion.

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