Meet Our Marketing and Training Specialist, Ashley Hill
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we invite you to learn more about the inspiring women leading Energy Center-Manhattan Pool. Throughout this month, discover their powerful stories and the impactful contributions that have led them here. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Hill, our Marketing and Training Specialist.
Q: What is your educational background and how it has influenced your career?
A: I graduated at Texas State University with a Bachelors in Science – Interdisciplinary Studies as well as an English as a Second Language Certification. Prior to that, I went to a technical college for Certified Nursing Assistant and have my CCAF Degree (Community College of the Air Force) while I was Active Duty. My extensive educational background has brought creativity and a multitude of different cultures to the table.
Q: How did you first get involved in the pool and spa industry?
A: I first got involved in the pool and spa industry by dating the owner’s son, Hayden. We have a beautiful daughter, Alayna. Over the years, he talked to me about his career, and I would get more and more involved each year.
Q: What has your career path been like and how did you get to where you are today?
A: My career path has been quite an adventure. While still attending high school, I signed up to join the Air Force. I was in the Aire Force as a weapons troop for the F-22 Raptor. After getting out I was a Certified Nursing Assistant, then decided to go into Teaching. I taught Elementary students for some years and decided to take a step back from the constant wave of stress. Now I am here at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool and loving it!
Q: What is your current role and what do you consider to be your biggest responsibilities and accomplishments?
A: I am an on-site Marketing and Training Specialist. My biggest responsibilities are consistently updating and staying on track of the Marketing Calendar, verifying and helping to update training for employees, and communication flow.
Q: What is your favorite part of working at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool?
A: I love that I get to utilize my creativity every day and that I get to talk to people. I also enjoy being able to help create the training procedures here, which ties into my background as a teacher.
Q: Can you discuss a marketing campaign you have worked on and what your role was in its success?
A: The Tent Sale in August 2022 was a great success! My role was to send out our marketing materials for printing and prepare them to be sent out. I also created signs for the tent sale and price tags.
Q: How do you stay current on industry trends and incorporate them into your work?
A: I look out for Social Media Trends, attend some Marketing classes related to the business, and read articles about other successes and challenges. I engage with the customers as much as I can, and I am continuously informed about the Google alerts and the trending topics in Marketing in our area, specifically.
Q: Can you give an example of a training program you have developed and implemented and what impact it had on the audience?
A: I established the first two weeks of Safety upon hire and have held continuous safety briefings while employed here. This has impacted Energy Center-Manhattan Pool by keeping everyone safe and preventing accidents, as much as possible. Currently, I am creating new hire training manuals for the Pool and Spa side of the business tied with Bioguard’s H2Know Academy for Novice, Owner/Manager, Service, and Veteran.
Q: What is one challenging project you have worked on and how did you tackle it?
A: My biggest challenge right now has been to tackle the hearth side of training. Growing up, I never lived in a climate where we needed a fireplace, so I had zero knowledge. I am working with our National Fireplace Institute Certified and Chimney Safety Institute of America Certified employees at the store to help guide me for the training development and lead to success.
Q: Can you talk about a time when you had to make a difficult decision in your professional life?
A: My biggest decision was leaving the teaching profession. I loved being there with the students and teaching them everything I could to prepare them for their futures. I felt like I was letting them down by leaving.
Q: How do you stay motivated and maintain a good work-life balance?
A: That can definitely be difficult, but I try to stay active in my kids’ lives and get invested in what they are doing and what they love. I have a 13 year old son who loves sports, especially basketball. I am that mom in spirit gear from head to toe, every game. My daughter loves to be outside and playing with makeup, so we enjoy those two things together. It is best to take nothing home with me every night and to not have my work email on my phone.
Q: Can you talk about a time when you had to take a risk in your career and what the outcome was?
A: My biggest risk is to take the initiative. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. I am not saying go blow money, but taking the initiative in what I do best. It can be daunting to always ask permission to do something, when you know something needs to be done. Whether that is creating a flyer that needs to be done within a very short time, or making phone calls, or cleaning up so the store looks fantastic.
Q: What is one project or initiative that you are particularly proud of and why?
A: I am most proud of some of the marketing advertisements that I have created over the past several months. I am also very proud of the communication pamphlet I have created, not yet finalized, for the different phases of pool building. Those were both a ton of fun to create and the learning was on a different level.