March 2020 Ambassador of the Month: Kyle Williams
The Downtown Raleigh Ambassadors serve to ensure a memorable and welcoming experience for those in our capital city. Each month, one of our Ambassadors is awarded Ambassador of the Month for exemplary service in community engagement and/or safety assistance. For March, the award went to Kyle Williams, and we sat down to talk to him about his experience as an Ambassador and what he loves about Downtown Raleigh.
DRA: How long have you been an Ambassador?
KW: I’ve been an ambassador almost 2 years. Our first day of training was August 23, 2018, which was my 33th birthday!
DRA: Why did you decide to pursue this line of work?
KW: At the time, I had been working downtown or nearly six years, but didn’t know much outside of the areas near the hotels I worked in, so this job seemed as if it would give me the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about Downtown Raleigh and its inner workings.
DRA: What do you like most about what you do?
KW: I enjoy helping people and seeing the growth of Downtown Raleigh from a more informed perspective.
DRA: Have there been any specific moments that stick out as memorable for you?
KW: The most memorable moments have mainly involved me helping people find their cars. I have literally had people thank me and hug me with tears in their eyes out of sheer gratitude for helping them end their hours-long search for their vehicles, on more than one occasion. Those are the some of the times when the value of what we do is most discernable.
DRA: What are your favorite spots to grab coffee and a bite to eat in downtown?
KW: I mostly snack at work, as opposed to getting full meals, because that can make me a bit sluggish, but I really enjoy The Cupcake Shoppe, Captain Cookie and the Milkman, Crema, and Jimmy John’s. However, when I do have meal I like to go to Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, Benny Capitale’s, and Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, among others. One thing Downtown Raleigh isn’t short of is excellent restaurants!
DRA: You walk all over downtown and so you know it really well. Are there any unknown or little used places that you particularly enjoy?
KW: Well this particular area is a little outside of our patrol district, but Seaboard Station is a really neat place. It has a bit of everything all tightly compacted in one area, including a gym, dry cleaner, hardware store, garden shop, and a host of great restaurants.
DRA: Do you have a favorite part of downtown you like visiting or working in?
KW: One of the areas I’ve become really fond of, that I wasn’t really aware of before taking this job, is the Warehouse District. It has a really clean and laid back vibe, and the views are spectacular, especially from the observation deck of Union Station, or the patio area of Wye Hill Kitchen and Brewing. The juxtaposition of the easygoing vibe out there, which extends to places like Weaver Street Market and Oak Steakhouse, and the hectic pace of the Morgan Street Food Hall, give that area a unique feel that distinguishes it from Glenwood South and Fayetteville Street and its surrounding areas.
DRA: What have you enjoyed seeing happen in downtown most recently?
KW: I’ve been very impressed with the amount of unique, independently owned businesses that are downtown, and that number seems to be growing exponentially. I’m excited to see what new shops and restaurants are on the way!
DRA: What do you wish people knew about the Ambassadors?
KW: Just that we are committed to assisting the citizens of Downtown Raleigh, from employers to employees, tourists to longtime residents, and everyone in between, in whatever way we can.
DRA: Anything else you'd like to add?
I’d just like to thank Downtown Raleigh Alliance for affording me this opportunity to become so much more engaged in all the many facets of this community, and wishing everyone patience, prosperity, and good health, in mind, body and soul, as we deal with the current pandemic and the circumstances that have and will continue to stem from it, and a reminder to be kind to one another, because we’re all in this together.
Thank you so much, Kyle!
Learn more about the Downtown Raleigh Ambassadors.
Top photo by Carolyn Scott. Second photo by Patrick Jerome.