Chambana Welcome Crew

A community ambassador program to recruit and welcome new residents to the Champaign-Urbana area.

Welcome to Champaign-Urbana

We get it. Moving to a new community can be intimidating. Let us make it easier for you to navigate your new home through the Chambana Welcome Crew.

This diverse group of community ambassadors represents all walks of life, with different interests and a variety of experiences within the Champaign-Urbana area. They’re ready to connect with you based on your passions and interests so you can start to enjoy all this community has to offer.

Check out our growing list of Chambana Welcome Crew ambassadors and get ready to meet your first friend.

How Does It Work

To get connected to a member of the Chambana Welcome Crew, simply fill out this form to give us some insight into the type of information you’d like to learn more about in the Champaign-Urbana area.

We’ll get you connected to the person that best suits your needs, or you can request specific ambassadors that you’d like to meet.

Whether you want to learn about volunteer opportunities, where to get your live music fix, best places to enjoy the outdoors, family-friendly stops, the tastiest restaurants (and there are many!), if there are local D&D or gaming clubs, or LGBTQ+ resources, we’ll have someone that can assist you.

Your ambassador will work with you on what works best for your individual needs. Some ways they’ve engaged with our new residents include:

– Attending local events
– Getting recommendations on things to do, restaurants, shops, outdoor recreation, and so much more
– Networking events with other new residents, young professionals, Rotary clubs, and other social groups
– Regular check-ins for your first year in the Champaign-Urbana area

Ambassadors have a strong network and knowledge of the Champaign-Urbana area and stand ready to answer questions, share experiences, and ensure a smooth transition into our community.


Join the Chambana Welcome Crew

Are you passionate about the Champaign-Urbana area and ready to share your knowledge and make connections?

We’re looking to grow our diverse set of ambassadors to continue to reflect all demographics in our community, including race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. Ambassadors will receive training and support for their role in recruiting and welcoming new residents. We’ll only connect you when it works best for you, working with your schedule.


Contact our team today at

Leadership Team

Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director – Champaign County Economic Development Corporation

Why Carly Loves Living Here: “Who doesn’t love a short commute time? My drive to work is 7 minutes. When I need to travel long distances, I can get from my front door to the security gate at University of Illinois Willard Airport (CMI) in less than 30 minutes – and that’s with time to park. ”

Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement – Experience Champaign-Urbana

Why Terri Loves Living Here: “It’s all about access. All of our museums are free. We have live music available at low or no cost every day. We have flavors from all over the world and local ingredients at almost daily farmers markets. And I get my fill of outdoor recreation at our forest preserves and community parks. ”

Dana Cohen, Director of Faculty Recruitment – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Jordan Landeck, Marketing & Events Director – Champaign County Economic Development Corporation

Why Jordan Loves Living Here: “My favorite thing about living in #chambana is accessibility to everything the community has to offer — recreation (like the local YMCA and a plethora of parks), small businesses, restaurants, sporting events, downtown Champaign + Urbana, and so much more!”

Mark Brown, Director of Event Services & Film – Experience Champaign-Urbana

Chambana Welcome Crew is a joint collaboration between Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, Experience Champaign-Urbana, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.