Our Roots

Gallup’s book entitled Wellbeing: The five Essential Elements was the spark that eventually led to what is now the Academy of Culture Ambassadors. Shortly before the book was published, Dr. Gerald R. Wagner (Jerry) was a Gallup Senior Scientist in data visualization. He became so intrigued with the book and its subject matter that he went to Bellevue University to start the Institute for Employee Wellbeing. While working with companies there, he noticed that some had truly exceptional cultures — something he could identify as soon as he walked through the door.

Jerry thought there needed to be a way for everyone in the world to be introduced to these special organizations and tell the stories of what makes them special. That’s when he left Bellevue to start what is now the ROLE MODELS© publication. His goal was to search for and publicize organizations with exceptional cultures. Everyone knows about Google, Zappos, Whole Foods, and Southwest Airlines, but he knew there were many more doing equally amazing work but without the visibility. He was right. Finding these special companies and writing about them was the start of ROLE MODELS©.

Then it occurred to him that there were no local grassroots organizations that supported professionals interested in organizational culture in their home town areas. There are organizations with local chapters but none are focused on culture. There are many major conferences on culture but they are expensive and don’t result in local on-going friendships and networking. Recognizing that is what is now the Academy of Culture Ambassadors.

The pillars of the Academy are the local chapters. Each chapter has a lead person with a planning team that operate as self-managed team. Members have an entrepreneurial spirit and operate as local self-sustaining entities. There are no national fees for a local chapter.

If you are attending meetings of a local chapter (or intend to) and would like to have your bio and photo included, you are welcome to send those to Jerry (wagnergeraldr@gmail.com). Vice versa, if your bio and photo is included and you want it removed, let Jerry Know. If there is a request(s) for an e-intro to an Ambassador(s), that will be passed along to the person(s) but no contact information will be given.

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