Penn Social Hosts DowntownDC Ambassadors

Monday, March 20, 2017

By Ebony P. Walton

It was a double dose of fun and games for the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) ambassadors during their monthly employee meeting at Penn Social (801 E Street) in September and November.

Penn Social offered the BID's red-uniformed Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance ambassadors (SAMs), who work 362 days a year keeping DowntownDC clean, safe and friendly, the rare opportunity to relax and play while at work. In a head-to-head game of corn hole, hospitality supervisor Jorge Rochac prevailed against maintenance employee Marcus Young. Penn Social Special Events Director, Paul Schorsch, joined in on the fun and gave attendees an ad hoc lesson in stand-up comedy.

Penn Social has a unique game collection, which includes board games, shuffleboard, foosball, and a giant Jenga and Connect 4 set. The 13,000 square foot entertainment venue is spread across two floors with three bars, more than 30 beers on tap, two stages and a wide variety of games. This DowntownDC establishment offers happy hour seven days a week from 4pm-7pm and is available for rental for events.

The BID currently employs 95 ambassadors, who remove trash and recycling, beautify DowntownDC with greening projects and other efforts, remove vandalism, provide on-street safety assistance, greet guests and answer questions, powerwash sidewalks, log infrastructure defects and other duties.

Each month, two SAMs are chosen as employees-of-the-month for their oustanding service to the BID. The winners for August were: Safety/Hospitality ambassador Linda Jeter and Maintenance ambassador Hector Segura. The winners for October were: Safety/Hospitality ambassador Donna Riley and Maintenance ambassador Calvin Ballard.

Read more about each of these outstanding BID employees below:

Linda Jeter has been a Safety/Hospitality ambassador since 2006 and is a multiple SAM of the Month winner. This native Washingtonian and die-hard Cowboys fan said when she saw the newspaper ad years ago for a SAM position, she knew it was for her. “I like meeting people and talking with people and helping. I like seeing them leave with a smile,” she said. Jeter enjoys bowling and fishing. 

Hector Segura is a 14 year veteran of the Maintenance team. Segura is originally from Santo Domingo and said he likes everything about Downtown. Segura said his favorite part of the job is driving the tennant vacuum machines. Segura has four children and enjoys relaxing and watching his favorite team, the Washington Nationals, when he’s not working.

Donna Riley, soft spoken by nature, has been a Hospitality ambassador for the past 17 years. She said she enjoys meeting people from different countries around the world. Riley was born in West Virginia and came to D.C. when she was in the second grade. When she's not working, Riley likes to read inspirational books. She has one daughter and two grandsons.

Calvin Ballard, joined the BID just under a year ago. Ballard was born in the District and describes DowntownDC as "beautiful." Ballard said he is currently in school studying information technology and would like to pursue a career in cyber security. He enjoys bowling, paint ball and a "good game of pool." His favorite sports are boxing and football and he  ecstatic that his favorite team, the New England Patriots, is in the Superbowl this year.