Ambassador of the Year

The Ambassador of the Year Award is given annually to an Ambassador member who has gone beyond the call of duty to serve the Ambassador organization. This individual should really embody the mission of the Ambassadors of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. In order to receive the Award, a nominee must be a member of the Ambassador organization with current dues paid. The recipient can be a general member, board member, or a Past Board or Ambassador Member.

Congratulations Elizabeth Fleming, our 2019-2020 Ambassador of the Year!

Elizabeth Andrew said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”    This quote is a perfect reflection of Elizabeth Flemming, who works full time, is a mother of two, loving wife, business owner, and luckily for us an amazing volunteer.  Elizabeth has spent the last 3 years on the ambassador board spearheading the Wardrobe committee, which in my opinion is one of the toughest jobs to have.  The wardrobe committee works year around purchasing all the clothing and accessories for each year’s royal ladies and putting together their wardrobe calendar, which will frequently change.  Elizabeth has continuously gone above and beyond not only coming in under budget and finding trendy clothes but also with cultivating relationships with each year’s royal ladies to make sure they are not only looking good but feeling good.  The amount of time and care she has given to this position is nothing more than inspiring.  I once caught Elizabeth leaving the Saint Paul Hotel during the 10 days of carnival to purchase new business shoes for all 5 royal ladies as the pair they had were “just not working.”  This past year even with a growing family #carnivalbaby, she never skipped a beat.  Elizabeth was an integral part in bringing together the Ambassadors, Former Queens, and Past Princess Association so ensure that the support for each year’s royal women is the best it can be.  She has effectively navigated relationships with 3 royal families with grace, poise, and understanding.  This past year when there was a new princess crowned 4 months in Elizabeth never panicked, she along with some fantastic seamstresses figured out how to use most of the clothing that had already been purchased.   Over the years she has helped design and provide the Ambassador bling pins through Fire & Ice Bling, a company owned by her and her husband Matt.   Outside of the Ambassadors she lends her time and talents to other Winter Carnival groups including the Past Princess Association and Saint Paul Vulcans. She recently organized Masks for Minnesota to raise money to provide PPE masks to local hospitals. Elizabeth is constantly coming up with new ways to make everything she touches better than it was, and she does it all with a smile and positive attitude.  The word “No” does not seem to be in her vocabulary.   I cannot think of anyone more deserving of The Ambassador of the year award.  

Congratulations Lew & Kay Vogel, our 2018 Ambassador of the Year!


In the words of those who nominated Kay and Lew Vogel: I think this dynamic couple should win this award as a team for the following reasons. Kay and Lew are a constant at all winter carnival events both red and blue side. Lew always has his camera ready to take photos and willing shares them at no cost and in a quick turnaround to anyone who asks. Kay has served on our board for three years now designing and selling pins and our directories. Neither of them has hardly missed a social or event for our board during that time. Lew is always there to help his wife in any way when she is working to sell our merchandise. Kay, Lew and there family have been fantastic volunteers at our fashion show, red vrs. blue and candidate dinner. She has worked the front table for our annual meeting all three years.  Kay also provides our wardrobe committee with custom jewelry which although she gets paid for, she is very willing to go above and beyond. My example of this is for the 2019 ladies jewelry. One of the current princesses does not have her ears pierced. This could have been a difficult task due to the girls needing matching items but kay stepped right up and solved this problem without missing a beat. She fixes or replaces lost or damaged jewelry without it being a difficult thing. Kay and Lew both often join their daughter in volunteering with the Juniors program and can be found volunteering with the Vulcans and West Wind organization. They are a true definition of a team and just the type of people we need more of in this festival. For all of these reasons I think the Vogels would be a great choice for ambassador of the year! Congratulations, Vogels! 

Becky Lyskett, our 2017 Ambassador of the Year!

Becky Lyksett has been a member of the Ambassadors for many years, and has been an active member on the Board of Directors for more than 6 years.  She served as Chair of the Charitable Giving Committee, and did an excellent job.  For the past several years, Becky has been on the Executive Board in the position of Secretary. Becky has been a constant participant and Ambassador supporter.  She volunteers for many activities, and attends most every event.  She has a great deal of knowledge about the Ambassador Organization, and is often called upon for information and guidance. She has worked as an editor and proofreader for the Ambassador Directory, using her skills from her long career at Thomson-Reuters.   She spent many hours editing past Ambassador Directories , as well as billing the ad buyers.

Becky is an active member of her North Hudson community.  She has been involved in Pepperfest for many years.  Becky also works with the Visiting Queens, the organization that welcomes the Royalty from numerous towns during Winter Carnival.  This is a big job, serving more than one hundred young women, and requires a lot of dedication. Becky is also devoted to family and takes care of several elderly relatives.  She has worked as a personal care attendant, and provided care “above and beyond expectation” to her patients, often doing extra things for them.


Karen Aaker, our 2016 Ambassador of the Year!

“When Karen commits to something, she does it with a full heart employing every one of her talents and all her time to making the outcome successful.  Over the past two years as Chair of the Donations Committee, she has gone above and beyond what could ever be expected.  This past year she solicited over 50 items for both the Candidate Dinner Silent Auction and the Fashion Show Raffle. The proceeds from these items were substantial and exceeded our goals in raising money for the Ambassador’s Organization.  In the case of the Fashion Show Raffle, it is the most money ever brought in through the Raffle! Karen is a person who exemplifies what we all strive to be as an Ambassador. She takes her responsibilities personally and seriously, never wavering in her commitment for an excellent outcome.  She is welcoming to everyone and offers to assist others with their duties even though her Ambassador and work responsibilities keep her more than busy.  She truly loves this Organization and has made a positive impact on the members and the bottom line through her organizational skills, attention to detail, work ethic and her natural desire to be as inclusionary as possible.” Congratulations, Karen!


Anne Auger, our 2015 Ambassador of the Year!

Anne Auger has been a great contributor to the Ambassadors in recent years!  She was the South Wind Princess in 1972, and her daughter, Lindsay, was South Wind Princess in 2012.  After her daughter’s wonderful experience, Anne wanted to give back to the Ambassadors, and served on the Board of Directors as a Wardrobe Committee member.  Anne dedicated herself not only to the regular Wardrobe duties, but worked tirelessly to improve and set a new standard of excellence!  The Wardrobe Committee has a difficult year-round task, and Anne’s dedication and persistence truly has made her worthy of the title “2015 Ambassador of the Year!”






Cathy Schneeman, our 2014 Ambassador of the Year

Chaired the International Visitng Royalty for the 125th Anniversary.  Hosted 125 guests

Chaired the Sal LoBaido Award Dinner 2010-2014.  Boreas Mentoring committee- 2011-2014

Ambassadors Duties:

UGC rep 2012-13

Treasurer 2012-14

Chaired the Ambassador Directory 2013-15











Jacquelynne Whitner, our 2013 Ambassador of the Year

She may be petite in physical stature but surprise, surprise – she is filled with an enormous spirit.

Her integrity, good will, entrepreneurship and commitment have been demonstrated especially in her ownership of the successful sales of the Ambassadors Directories, the Ambassador pins. Her successful salesmanship has allowed the Ambassador sales now to be part of many SPFHF events. Her charisma and creativity have also been shared with us in the creation of a revised display system drawing attention to Ambassador items that were for sale as well you will always see her wearing a sample inventory on her vest.

Additionally she has volunteered with in the organization as a seamstress for the Royal Wardrobe Committee, and an advocate for our organization while serving as the 2013 Queen of the Northlands. Her energy in fulfilling the overall mission of the Ambassadors of SPFH of Winter Carnival is outstanding. 


Kerri Maas, our 2012 Ambassador of the Year

Kerri Maas has served on the  Ambassador Board for 3 years (now 4 years) as the Wardrobe co-chair.  There were many tasks that come along with being on the wardrobe committee. 

During the candidacy program she meet with the candidates many times to give them packing lists and make sure they had everything they would need for when they are crowned and are prepared for what will happen the night they are crowned. Including the sashes, booking the hotel and the shopping for clothes. 

Kerri also recruits our fabulous seamstresses that will stay up all night and fit the wonderful wardrobe to the five lucky ladies.  It is a long night but it is filled with sewing, steaming ,laughs and many memories.

Kerri also served as the 2002 West Wind Princess and serves as the President of the Past Princesses Association. She enjoys spending time where her two wonderful boys at home or at the hockey rink.