Alternative Solutions, Inc.

Employee Spotlight: Ashley

This is usually the part of the article where we gush about our featured employees.  However, those are generally written by me, and as self-aggrandizing as marketers can be (poppycock of course), I just can’t bring myself to do it!  So here are some random facts about me that you just may not have known…


1. What did you want to be when you were a kid?  An elephant!  I SO wanted to be an elephant.  Then a friend told me that I couldn’t be an elephant, only an elephant trainer, and I was devastated.

2. Where’d you grow up?  School?  I was born in Montana and grew up in North Dakota.  I still consider Montana my ‘home state’. even though I lived there for less than four years.  We still go back regularly to see family, and with a state that beautiful, how can you not claim it?

3.  Hobbies/pets/fun fact that not many people know?  Combining a few words in this question, I live on a small hobby farm!  At the moment we’ve got three sheep (hoping to add to that count with some lambs this spring!), four cows, and an assortment of chickens, cats, and dogs.  The husband’s hoping to add a pig next; I’m hoping for a horse 🙂

4.  What is one thing you cannot resist?  Peanut butter!

5.  What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?  During my senior year of college I studied abroad in Italy and had the unique opportunity to intern at the local city hall.  Now I’ve never worked in a public service role in the US, but I HAVE to imagine that the comparison would be interesting.  Let’s just say that from my little experience, the movies aren’t far off…

6.  What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?  I’d own a rural hardware store!

7.  If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?  I would love to be able to communicate with anyone.  Not only speak their language but truly understand them.

8.  If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?  I know it’s boring, but I would pay off the mortgage and student loans.  Being debt-free just feels so far away.  Then… maybe take a look at more land and a bigger farm!  On a lake??

9.  When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?  I like to read or clean up/putz around the house.  I also usually have any number of audiobooks or podcasts playing while I go about my putzing.

10.  What chore do you absolutely hate doing?  Weeding!  I wouldn’t mind it if it were an annual activity, but the fact that those weeds keep popping up-they just laugh at me!

11.  How do you balance your career and family? This one isn’t hard – ASI is so accommodating and flexible regarding family.  In fact, most of my family members have four legs currently, and they’re still super understanding!

12.  What is your favorite family tradition? I. LOVE. Thanksgiving.  It’s kind of ‘our’ holiday-we get together from all around the country, usually do a Turkey Trot (or walk), eat way too much (from several excellent cooks in our family), go hiking, play games, and just catch up.  Over the years I’ve really come to appreciate how close our family is and how rare that is becoming.  I treasure it!

13.  What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?  Don’t worry so much!  I’ve always been an awkward person, but now I embrace it.  If only I had done that earlier!

14.  What was your most enjoyable summer job?  I worked at Walt Disney World during college!  I was ‘good friends’ as they call it, with several characters in the parks.  It was so cool being able to light up kids’ faces; totally worth it!

15.  If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?  I wish Oktoberfest would be available year-round!! Although maybe the exclusivity increases my desire.  I usually go for a local Amber.

16.  If you were an animal, what would you be?   A chameleon.  I’m pretty adaptable.

17.  What do you like to do in your spare time?  I’ve recently gotten into amateur woodworking-I’m a great Pinterest/2×4 builder, but am starting to make more technical and finer pieces.  It’s helping me improve my patience!

18.  When did you become an adult?  My first job out of college was a park ranger in Arches National Park, Moab, Utah.  It. Was. Awesome.  When I finished my shift in November, I took a several-week road trip across the western half of the US and meandered slowly back home.  I was out on the road solo in my little VW Beetle before the days of podcasts to keep you entertained.  But it was great!  I stopped by with several friends and family members and just got to… be.  Plus. because it was November, this was the year of 6 Thanksgivings, as many of those I visited assumed I hadn’t or wouldn’t be celebrating.  It was sooo good.  Although all that food and sedentary car time wasn’t great for the terrific athletic shape I had gotten in hiking the past few months… ah well!

19.  What do you like to do on your days off?  No matter how small, running a farm is no joke – our lists of ‘to-do’s’ is never-ending!  But it’s all – well mostly – fun work, and we get to spend our time outdoors!

20.  What does true leadership mean to you?  This great leadership quote goes something like ‘when moving a piano, don’t reach for the stool.’  Meaning a true leader does the work, puts in the effort, and leads from behind.

21.  What is on your bucket list?  I love to travel, so my bucket list mainly consists of most of the world to start checking off 🙂

21.  What one food do you wish had zero calories?  Tiramisu

These past two years at ASI have FLOWN by!  I love working with all of these fantastic people and getting to try new and fun things all the time.  Thanks for a great two years, and here’s to many more!!