The Ambassadors are proud to recognize Kristen Thomas as the January Ambassador of the month.
January 19, 2022 - Kristen Thomas is a staple at our Chamber events. Always welcoming and up for a no-nonsense discussion about what's going on in her community, Kristen is a fierce advocate and we're proud to have her on our team.
Tell us about your background and career path.
My background and degree is in Psychology (I received my Bachelors from Mizzou in 2003). I spent many years as a Weight Loss coach, helping people achieve their goals and that's where I found my love of coaching. My journey led me to a different line of coaching and now I am a Certified Sex Coach and Clinical Sexologist. I received my certification from Sex Coach U where I studied under Dr. Patti Britton.
I opened my coaching business, Open the Doors Coaching, in Summer 2017. I now help my clients when they're experiencing a lack of connection in the bedroom with their partner, with their sexual selves. Helping people nurture their passion my true calling. My favorite way to connect with clients outside of their session, and to help inform folx about topics like sexual health, lovemaking, activism or self-care is through my podcast, Keep Them Coming. In addition, I write a monthly column of the same name for The Pitch.
Why did you join the Chamber? My SCORE mentor Ann Whitey was the first person to tell me about the LGBT Chamber. She was incredibly supportive of my budding business, and she said that most likely, I'd be highly accepted in this group. Was she ever right! My first event as a guest was the October 2017 B2B. While I lost the costume contest to Suzanne Wheeler AND Marsha Riley, I had so much fun and met so many people, that I knew I needed to join ASAP.
What / why did you join the Ambassador program? I had been an ambassador for another chamber who did away with the program at the same time the LGBT Chamber had open applications for theirs. I saw the value in being better connected to a Chamber, but to also be a part of something bigger than myself was something I enjoyed. I love helping people feel welcome and getting them connected with people that will help their business grow, which is why I often sign up for being one of the Ambassadors that scans the room that might look a bit intimidated to start a conversation with strangers.
What advice do you have to someone that is curious about getting involved with the Ambassadors or the Chamber? If you have the hospitality bone in your body, this group is for you! Many of us have felt unwelcome in some social group at points in our lives, and we know what it's like to find your chosen family. If connecting with others, helping businesses thrive and smiling and hugs are some of your favorite things in life, this is the group for you!
What benefits have you received from being an Ambassador? Where do I start? I've gotten to meet people and expand my network, I've helped connect people to other businesses and customers and my business has gotten its fair share of new clients. My social media is filled with likes and comments from friends I've gained through this group as well. I thrive on deep connections and I count some of my fellow Ambassadors now as some of my dearest friends.
Why do you think businesses should join the LGBT Chamber of Commerce? As a small business, I feel seen and valued. I was told early on that this Chamber is relationships first, business second. I agree with a slight caveat - it's very easy to build relationships in this Chamber, so you won't spend months getting to know people with little business results. People in KC in general are often willing to say yes and to offer help, advice or connections, this is true. But this group in particular has a camaraderie and a desire to to life one another up that is unparalleled. Within two months of joining, I had new business because of the Chamber. This is a group that exemplifies the "all ships rise" attitude.
To learn more about Kristen and her business, you can visit her website or find Open the Doors Coaching or on your favorite social media platform. Her TikTok account, @coachkristen, has nearly 300 thousand followers and she shares tips, tricks, educational tidbits and more on TikTok.
About the Ambassadors: The Ambassador Program consists of over 30 chamber members who work with current and prospective members to ensure they feel welcomed, engaged, and connected across all Chamber events, programs, and committee work. The Ambassador Program is an integral part of the chamber with volunteers at every chamber event. This group works hard to better understand the needs of our members in order to offer new ways to best leverage chamber benefits and strategically network them with other members. To learn more, click HERE.