Monday, July 20, 2020

July Ambassador of the Month — Jerry Kajpust



This month nglccny has named Jerry Kajpust as our Ambassador of the Month. Jerry is a treasured member of our Chamber family and we are grateful for his service. His first encounters with the Chamber began with his early days at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art. Now going on twelve years, he currently serves as the Director of External Affairs for the Museum. He says nglccNY was and continues to be an invaluable resource, and is his first “go-to” when looking for professional support for the Museum and for himself.

“When the ambassador program began, I thought it was an excellent way to get more involved and give back to this amazing organization.  As an ambassador, I see my role as that of a connector.  One of my greatest satisfactions is when I make introductions, and in turn, those connections create new business opportunities and colleagues. What has been truly inspiring is seeing how much the Chamber has grown with members, corporate sponsors, non-profits and other professionals.  And now being the organization that can certify LGBTQ owned businesses to be elevated to equal players in the world of supplier diversity, the nglccNY is empowering our community.

What I enjoy about meeting members is the passion they bring to their work and to our community. What I’ve learned, and share with new members, is ‘you get from the Chamber what you put into the Chamber. Opportunity doesn’t happen because of joining, it happens because you engage and become an active participant--you show up!’  I know it isn’t always easy for some of us to meet new people in a room of unknown faces, especially me who tends to be more of an introvert. That’s why it was brilliant for the Chamber to create the ambassador program. We help facilitate these introductions.

I know that we are now in a virtual world and we’ve gone online, but I must say that the virtual M3s have been engaging, helpful, and powerful in meeting new members and creating opportunity. I encourage you to join us for these M3s and to take advantage of the many offerings through the Chamber. I love when people reach out to me, and please do, I’m here as a resource. I look forward to the time when we can again celebrate in person, but until then I hope to see you online!”

Phyllis Mehalakes, Chair of The Ambassadors Committee praised Jerry's service to the chamber saying:

“Jerry is one of our most senior Ambassadors whose kindness and leadership qualities makes him a great member of our team.  He’s always ready to assist others;  his easy-going and approachable nature immediately puts his fellow Ambassadors, nglccNY members and corporate partners at ease.  Jerry has provided us with incredible insight and valued suggestions, many of which have been put into practice at nglccNY.  We’re also lucky to be able to draw upon his deep experience in the non-profit world as a Director of the Leslie Lohman Museum. nglccNY is fortunate to have Jerry as a member of our Ambassador committee.”

Jerry grew up in New Buffalo, a small Michigan town on Lake Michigan. He has an MA in Psychology. In addition to his museum work, Jerry’s vast career has included sales training, coaching, leadership development, hotel management, accounting, interior design and construction, retail, theater management, health care and restaurant work. He lived in Jerusalem for a period of time and also completed studies in theology.

Read more about Jerry here. 

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