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Chamber selects Mustang Pet Ambassador

Brandie Gitzendanner, Joe Gitzendanner pose with their dog Reba at Mustang Town Center. Reba was selected as the Mustang Chamber Pet Ambassador following competitive voting from Chamber members. (Photos by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

Mustang welcomed its newest and furriest chamber ambassador to town through a fun
ceremony at Mustang Town Center on Aug. 8, and the Mustang Chamber stands to benefit
from the results.

That came as a result of the newly implemented Pet Ambassador award, with Chamber
members gathering for a small ceremony to wrap up the fundraising and officially recognize the
winning pet for the honor.

Renee Peerman, the CEO and President of the Mustang Chamber of Commerce, said she had
heard about a similar Pet Ambassador type event from another Chamber out of state, and
figured to give it a shot in Mustang.

“It’s a fun, new idea that we had,” Peerman said. “I got wind of another chamber in another
state that had done this fun little fundraiser, and I thought that would be something that we
could incorporate into our ambassador program and still raise some money for the Chamber at
the same time.”

Peerman said the ambassadors liked the idea when it was pitched to them, which sent the idea
to the Chamber Board of Directors. Once they signed off on the idea, the idea became a reality
with the ceremony at Mustang Town Center taking place Aug. 8.

Pet nominations for the contest were $25 each. Corporate sponsors of $100 were also accepted
by the Chamber in the process, making for a highly competitive voting race for the honor.
Voters spent $1-per-vote, and had a $10 minimum vote for the race. Voters could also vote as
much as they wanted.

“It took us a few months to get the parameters set, but we did it,” Peerman said. “We got it
done. We sat down and hammered out the rules and the pricing and the voting and all of that,
and (we) tried to get that all set up online. It took us a little while to figure out how we were
going to do that, but it worked.”

This year, the Chamber had four nominees, with more votes coming in near the deadline to
make the race as competitive as possible.

The reception from those in attendance showed a successful turnout, and Peerman said the
Chamber will likely continue the event on an annual basis. The term for the Pet Ambassador,
now with Reba serving in the role, is set at one year. Reba will head to different ribbon cuttings
and other Chamber events if available throughout the term.

“It helped us engage with people in the community that we normally don’t engage with,”
Peerman said. “So, it extended the Chamber’s reach a little bit, and we got to know Reba. She
enjoyed all the attention… And we got a new Chamber member out of it as well. So, the Paw
Spa joined the Chamber right before they did their nomination. So, that was a plus for us as

Peerman also gave a shout out to The Paw Spa Elite for sponsoring the ceremony, and the
Chamber Ambassador Committee chaired by Dana Kinder of Old Republic Title.

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