January 2, 2018

Diplomat of the Quarter: Kaylee Swanson, Columbia Fireflies

What are Diplomats?

Columbia Chamber Diplomats act as an extension of the Chamber staff throughout the community, adding support and lines of communication to our Partnership. A Diplomat’s first and most important objective is to provide outreach and assistance to Partner businesses throughout the year.

A message from Kaylee, Director of Group Sales, Columbia Fireflies:

I joined the Diplomat program about six months ago and have really enjoyed the opportunity it provides to learn and develop relationships with the Chamber Partners.

I’m thankful the leadership at my workplace allows me to be a part of the Diplomat Program and several other volunteerism initiatives. The Columbia Fireflies pride themselves on being a part of our community via outreach, networking and volunteerism and our staff has embraced it! When we’re not in the office (or even sometimes during office hours) you’ll find us tutoring students, working as part of a board, participating in a networking event, or even fostering animals! We even created a culture club to help create team volunteerism and team building activities. When you work together as much as we do (sometimes more than 80 hours a week in the summer) it’s great to know you have a family in Columbia. There are quite a few of us that are from other parts of the country, our Director of Stadium Operations is actually from Nevada!

Myself, I’m originally from Ohio and I’ve had a wonderful time in Columbia since moving here in October of 2015. Fun fact: Before accepting my position with the Fireflies I had never even stepped foot in Columbia! I did a lot of research and was blown away by the amount of growth both Lexington and Richland Counties are anticipating. And let it be known, I’ve always wanted to start a ballpark from the ground up and I am happy to call Spirit Communications Park and Columbia, SC my home.

So, the elephant in the room, “what do they do in the off-season?” After two successful seasons I can honestly say I cannot wait until Thursday, April 5th when the gates open on year three but there is a lot to be done before hand. The off-season gives our staff time to catch up with our season ticket members, group leaders, and corporate partners without an agenda. Finding out their holiday plans, enjoying each other’s company, gathering feedback to learn what we need to improve upon. These truly genuine relationships are unlike any other place I’ve worked in my career. While that takes precedence you’ll also find us preparing our wacky promotion nights, riding around with Mason in parades on our Fireflies Firetruck, hosting high school football games (that allow us to give teams without a stadium a home game), encouraging our neighbors in the first base building (Ogletree Deakins, Capgemini, SOCO, DHEC) and all others to enjoy the park as it’s open to the public, hosting holiday parties & wedding receptions and just winding down 2017 ringing the Salvation Army bell in front of Walmart. There never really is an off-season!

If you’re still with me (I get a little long winded when I’m excited) thank you for reading, I hope we’ll met one day either through the Chamber or at Spirit Communications Park. I look forward to it!

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