Yelp Community Ambassador Ophelia M knows her way around Boise. This gal about town throws parties to connect the Yelp Community with wonderful local businesses, pens the Local Yelp newsletter featuring some of the most Yelper-beloved businesses in Boise, and educates business owners about how they can use the free tools Yelp offers to help them grow their business. When she’s not the spreading Yelp love across town, Ophelia loves reading, writing, and cocktails—so sometimes she reads about cocktails, or mixes up a batch literary themed cocktails (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita), or writes impassioned cocktail napkin poetry inspired by a particularly lovely cocktail. Cheers, indeed!
How did you land this position? Due to my passion for Boise paired with my love of writing about this fabulous part of the world via Yelp reviews, I was chosen to participate in Yelp’s inaugural ACRONYM Summit (Advisory Council for Really Outstanding Yelp Members). Representing Boise at the summit at Yelp HQ in San Francisco with Yelpers from all over the country (who were all kinds of cool) inspired me to head back to Boise and arrange gatherings with my local Yelp Community (who, as it turns out, are also all kinds of cool!). I’ve also always loved arranging fun, themed gatherings and adventuring through great local cuisine. Between that, my love of writing, and the fact that the CA program offers an extremely flexible schedule for us busy people—it was a natural fit.
What’s your ideal Boise day? Such a difficult question, as there are so many different ways to spend an amazing day in Boise! But, any great day for me, begins with a trip with Miss Scout Finch (my 5 month old Irish Setter puppy) to Sunset Park for a little off leash sunrise fun. By 8am, it’s a full-blown dog party and there is no better way to begin any day than watching dogs happily run and play. From there, I’d head to Java in Hyde Park to enjoy a Bowl of Soul (a coffee drink that truly lives up to its ethereal name) with Scout on their dog friendly patio. There are nearly 200 miles of hiking trails meandering through Boise’s foothills and so a peaceful hike in the foothills would be next on the agenda. I’d end the day cooling down over a frosty beverage with friends at PreFunk Beer Bar and by enjoying some of B-town Bistro’s amazing bruschetta.
What’s something about Boise that outsiders might not know/get wrong? Boise is one of the most geographically isolated cities in the lower 48. Meaning, we don’t have any other major metro areas nearby. Boise’s reaction to this has been to collectively ensure that we have everything we need for fun, entertainment, art, and culture right here at home. So, while the rest of the country might think of Idaho potatoes, when they think of Boise—I think of Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, family fun at Zoo Boise, live concerts at the Idaho Botanical Gardens, independent films, poetry readings, minor league baseball games in the summer and hockey in the winter, amazing breweries, wineries, distilleries, and restaurants. Not to mention, the amazing activities outdoors in and around Boise (skiing, white water rafting, hiking, fishing, rock climbing).
Other than that, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there is no “z” in Boise. Jewel sang about it. Boiseans have shouted it at their television screens (usually during nationally televised BSU Bronco games). And, now I have said it. Boy-see, my friends. Not Boy-zee.
What’s your biggest learning from this year-long program? I have learned so much! Beyond gaining a greater understanding of marketing on all levels—I would say that a huge learning for me comes from the community aspect. Learning how to grow and encourage a cohesive, productive, and kind community has been enlightening and ultimately very fulfilling. I love the local Yelp Community that’s continuing to grow here in Boise.
How has the Yelp CA position changed year over year? I think when you begin this year-long program, you dive in and are learning so much—about your community, about what works and what doesn’t. You learn to refine your written communication to reach different groups of people most effectively. The Local Yelp newsletter is launched. You arrange your first Yelp event and business owner education class. It’s a year of firsts!
If you’re invited to a second year, you begin to hit your stride. All those skills you’ve learned in year one, you build and expand upon. You settle in and begin to think more complexly about your community and your role in it.
Just can’t get enough of Ophelia? Check out all of her reviews on Yelp! If you still want more, follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as she continues to explore Boise. Want to learn more about the Community Ambassador program and available positions? Check out yelp.com/careers.