Within weeks of moving to the Wood River Valley, Cheri Dill-Schenker opened Dill & Spowze Gallery in Ketchum and became involved with the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau as an ambassador. This spring, after three years of service for the Chamber, Dill-Schenker has been named its 2006 Ambassador of the Year.
For Dill-Schenker, an outgoing former junior high school principal who was accustomed to multi-tasking, ambassadorship was a natural fit. "I'm sort of what you call 'not shy,'" she said.
As an ambassador, she acts as a liaison between local businesses—mostly galleries—and the Chamber.
As the director of Dill & Spowze, Dill-Schenker has been a tireless advocate of local artists. While many of the nearly two dozen galleries in Ketchum sell fine art from artists working in other areas of the country or even overseas, hers has made a concerted effort to court paintings and sculptures from local working artists.
"We focus on the many, many talented local artists," she said.
For the Chamber, Dill-Schenker works at monthly Business After Hours events, ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new businesses, and helps organize fund-raisers, such as the Spring Prom.
In light of all those teamwork-oriented events, she is modest about this year's award.
"It's a great privilege to be recognized, particularly among the other folks. Everyone has been working for the community and it's been very fun and exciting."
Like many in the Chamber, she has always been a community-oriented person, and when the chance arose to become more involved, she leapt. "The opportunity for me was not only to represent the Chamber, which I believe in, but it also offered me the opportunity to meet other people and other businesses in the community."
Despite her busy schedule, Dill-Schenker shows no signs of slowing down.
"It's important to be enthusiastic about what you do. I'm going to work with (the Chamber) as long as they want me."