Josué Vega, Marketing & Communications Intern
Sometimes there are people who just get us. They know what the Chattanooga Chamber is about, and they love to tell people all about it. Take it from one of our Chamber Ambassadors, Simeon Baskerville.
A resident of Ooltewah, TN, Simeon Baskerville is the owner of Bushings Unlimited, LLC, a full-service machine shop. Baskerville’s company manufactures not only tools and dye, but also parts for industrial, commercial, and automotive applications. It partners with clients to provide inventory management solutions to ensure that their businesses have parts when they need them.
Prior to owning his own company, Baskerville spent over 33 years in the manufacturing sector. He has held a variety of positions in companies such as Revlon Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Clairol Inc., Procter & Gamble, and Duracell. Those positions ranged from line supervision, supply chain leader, human resource leader, education and training leader, department manager, and operation leader. Baskerville graduated from Montclair State University (aka Montclair State College) with a Bachelor of Science in Office Systems Administrations. He has a wife, Tracy, three daughters–Brittany, Shannon and Morgan–and one grandson, Marcus ‘MJ’ Berry Jr.
Baskerville joined the Chamber Ambassadors in December of 2019, and over the course of his time here he has managed to rack up a total of 7,415 points—no small feat for such a short amount of time. As an ambassador, he gets the opportunity to network in the community and help those he encounters prosper and find connections. As a result of his outstanding work as an ambassador, Baskerville has been awarded Ambassador of the Year.
So what does an ambassador do and why should other people become ambassadors? Baskerville answered these questions for us and more.
How did you get involved with our ambassador program?
I got involved with the ambassador program because of my active involvement in many Chamber events—ribbon cuttings, AM coffees, council lunches, After Hour events, and the like. I was encouraged by various people on the Chamber Membership Team as well as by current ambassadors to consider joining. After I attended my first monthly ambassador meeting, I was hooked.
What does your work as an ambassador look like?
On a monthly basis, I enjoy the opportunity of introducing myself to a wide variety of different businesses and figuring out how I can help them get the most out of their membership. Also, by attending ribbon cutting events at various businesses, I've gotten great opportunities to meet business owners and learn from their entrepreneurial spirit—especially how they got started. I've had several opportunities to attend other Chamber events as well.
What is your favorite thing about being an ambassador?
My favorite thing about being an Ambassador is the many doors it has opened for me and the opportunity it affords me to meet new people and build relationships. I like the fact that by wearing the Ambassador Badge, it shows the person you are speaking with that you are not soliciting. As a result, they let their guards down and give you the opportunity to discuss Chamber-related matters and answer any questions they may have. On several occasions at Chamber events, the badge becomes a conversation starter, which allows me the opportunity to encourage others to become Chamber Ambassadors if they're interested in doing so.
Why would you recommend our ambassador program to others?
I would recommend the Ambassador program to others because I believe in what it stands for. Being an Ambassador creates opportunities to network with decision-makers in many other businesses. Whatever shyness or nervousness you may have speaking to others, being an Ambassador will help you grow out of it. I truly believe that what you put into the program will determine what you will get out of it.
How do you plan on using what you have learned in the ambassador program in the future?
In addition to being an Ambassador, I’ve recently been blessed to be selected as an Ambassador Chamber Board Member, which will allow me to use more of what I’ve learned through the program. Another way I plan to use what I've learned is to continue encouraging others who want to really network and grow their business to join the Ambassador Program.