When Fort Wayne Children’s Choir Executive Director Jonathan Busarow was thinking about the future impact of the organization, he met with leaders at Ambassador Enterprises.
“I've never had meetings quite like that. We were very openly talking about the health and goals of the organization. When it came to growth, I was thinking of it as being more gradual. They said, ‘What would it look like if the Children's Choir grew tenfold?’ They encouraged me to think bigger,” says Busarow.
Helping nonprofit organizations like the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir is just one calling of Ambassador Enterprises (AE), a Fort Wayne-based private equity firm with a strong foundation in faith and dedication to serving others. Ambassador’s goal is to develop mutually beneficial relationships that generate financial, cultural and eternal returns through investments in three areas: for influence, for impact and for income.
“For influence includes our philanthropic partnerships with nonprofit organizations and our civic engagement efforts, working alongside emerging public leaders and with elected officials,” explains Brad Miller, Ambassador executive vice president. “For income involves working in the private equity space, where our team engages with owners looking to successfully transition their businesses. Through for impact, we identify organizations whose mission and purpose align with Ambassador to help leaders become more effective while building better community.”
LifeWise Academy is a “for impact” investment. Since the inception of LifeWise, founder and director Joel Penton says Ambassador has been a strategic advisor, connecting him with stakeholders in the region and making key investments to help the academy grow.
“The AE team shows compassion and genuine concern for success with their attention to detail and intentionality,” says Penton. “They have been a trusted resource for wisdom, help and friendship. We see them as partners in an eternal cause.”
Bonnie Doolittle, executive director of New Mercies Ministries, echoes those sentiments. Not only has Ambassador invested financially in New Mercies, but has also come alongside the nonprofit in other ways. “They're like-minded. Our ministry is driven by collaborative relationships and they're a part of that because they care about those who are vulnerable in our community. They care about equipping leaders,” Doolittle says. “I have leadership skills, but AE helped me sharpen them. Every time I work with anyone at AE, I walk away strengthened by the interaction.”
Among private equity investments, Ambassador currently has in total more than 40 affiliate companies. This includes SOLV Holdings and its various entities. SOLV is an engineering solutions company bringing technical solutions to every day problems. It has grown 400% over the past four years, and in 2022 had more than $600 million in revenue with over 1,000 employees.
"The greatest contributor to that growth is a healthy culture that allows our team to do their best work," says SOLV CEO Jeff Albert. "It's the healthiest work environment I've experienced in my career."
Ambassador was founded in 2006 by Daryle Doden, who serves as the firm’s CEO. He and his wife Brenda are committed to serving others, living out their faith in God and leaving a lasting legacy. Those who work with Ambassador say the focus on relationships is what makes a huge difference.
“As an investor, Ambassador is interested in being successful, yet they're very interested in people being successful. It’s been hugely rewarding to spend time with some of their leaders and see that Ambassador is not doing this for a profit for themselves. They're doing this altruistically for the benefit of our community,” says Busarow. “Daryle built his business and could have taken all that money, gone and bought an island and just lived there by himself, but he's chosen to reinvest Ambassador's purpose and passion into our community."
Address: 11020 Diebold Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46845
Phone: (260) 487-4000