April 2020 Ambassador of the Month: Charley Penny
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 April, the award went to Charley Penny, 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?
CP: I’ve been an Ambassador for 13 years.
DRA: Why did you decide to pursue this line of work?
CP: I became an Ambassador because I love being working outdoors, and this job seemed to be all about working outdoors.
DRA: What do you like most about what you do?
CP: I enjoy helping others with whatever questions or problems they have, watching Downtown Raleigh grow over the years, and doing my part to help keep it safe.
DRA: Have there been any specific moments that stick out as memorable for you?
CP: My most memorable moment was when I earned Ambassador of the Year a few years ago. Also, COVID-19, how it affected daily life, and how downtown came together to support each other.
DRA: What are your favorite spots to grab coffee and a bite to eat in downtown?
CP: I don't really drink coffee but my favorite place to eat is Manhattan Cafe, especially their sausage, egg and cheese burrito! Almost heaven. Almost.
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?
CP: No, not one place in particular. I enjoy all of downtown - the different places to go, the things to do. I like how downtown encourages and supports independent businesses to help them thrive here. There's so much interesting variety because of that.
DRA: Do you have a favorite part of downtown you like visiting or working in?
CP: Really all of downtown, generally speaking, but I especially find the NC Museum of History and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences very enjoyable and interesting.
DRA: What have you enjoyed seeing happen in downtown most recently?
CP: Growth. It has grown so much. Like the Oak tree that represents Raleigh. I feel like I was here when this version of Raleigh was a sapling, and it's been growing into a beautiful and strong tree over the years - and growing even stronger!
DRA: What do you wish people knew about the Ambassadors?
CP: That we are here for them. I was speaking with a customer just the other day asking who we are and what we do. When I explained, his response was "That's just awesome," and talked about how every downtown should have an organization like our's.
DRA: Anything else you'd like to add?
CP: I have been working downtown awhile now, and I cannot think of anywhere else I'd like to be. I am truly dedicated to Downtown Raleigh.
Thank you so much, Mr. Penny!
Learn more about the Downtown Raleigh Ambassadors.