February 2020 Ambassador of the Month: Richard Laipple
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 February, the award went to Richard Laipple, 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?
RL: It will be four years in August.
DRA: Why did you decide to pursue this line of work?
RL: I like being out in the public. I don't like being behind a desk. I like being able to walk around and be the connection between DRA and the public to let them know what all we do.
DRA: What do you like most about the work?
RL: I like being visible and being able to engage with all kinds of people and help them in anyway I can. I'm a safety ambassador, and so I patrol the parking decks, do safe walks, and jump cars, as well as other things.
DRA: Have there been any specific moments that stick out as memorable for you?
RL: I don't ever give up right away on a question or problem. If a car doesn't jump start, I always continue to give it my best effort. I worked with one woman and her car would not jump, but I gave it three or four tries before we called AAA. She said I was persistent and that I wouldn't give up.
DRA: What are your favorite spots to grab coffee and a bite to eat in downtown?
RL: 42 & Lawrence and Raleigh Times for coffee. I love it. Woody's for a meal because it's so close to the office and a good deal. Definitely MoJoe's for burgers though, they're the best.
DRA: Do you have a favorite part of downtown you like visiting or working in?
RL: My favorite is usually Glenwood South. I really like going to Glenwood and standing on different corners throughout the evening to help people. Usually I talk to people walking by and smile and say, "Hey, how's it going?" And that's when they start opening up, and they'll ask for help finding a restaurant. I can then point them in the right direction or walk them there personally.
Visitors always ask me about what all we do and how they can get Ambassadors in their cities, which feels good. I tell them to tell their city leaders.
DRA: What have you enjoyed seeing happen in downtown most recently?
RL: I like seeing all the improvements they're trying to do in downtown and watching the growth of it. Seeing all the new people and businesses that are moving in down here is great.
DRA: What do you wish people knew about the Ambassadors?
RL: Just how many things we do, from jump-starts to safe walks. We're available for so many things, and there's always one of us around.
I really enjoy the people I work with, I personally think things have gotten better since we've been working on it.
Learn more about the Downtown Raleigh Ambassadors.