Volunteer of the Year
“Nominees in this category will have distinguished themselves and the organization they represent by dedication to an event or the organization in general by selfless contribution of time and effort.”
Broadcasting’s loss: our gain
Our next category is for Volunteer of the Year. No one is more deserving than Ashley Rutledge. The chamber would like to recognize her for her work in 2014 with Ladies Night Out, Main Street Treats, Doe on the Go and Lunch with Santa. She also serves as one of the Chamber’s most active Ambassadors.
We are recognizing Ashley for her volunteer work this past year but even at her young age, she has been an active volunteer for many years already. In 2004 she joined the Osceola’s Queen’s Committee as Royalty Coordinator, Parade Co-Coordinator and serves on the Osceola Fair Board. Ashley also helps with the Osceola Food Shelf (The Open Cupboard). Ashley feels it’s important to help one another as “you never know when you yourself will need the help.”
Ashley was born and raised in Osceola. She was named 1st Osceola Princess in 2002. She graduated in 2004 from OHS and attended Brown College and graduated with a degree in radio broadcasting. She worked at K102 in the Twin Cities but decided she liked small town markets better so worked at the Amery radio station for several years.
Ashley started at Studio A in 2012 as Salon Coordinator. She is owner Trish Thompson’s right hand gal doing bookkeeping, appointments, inventory and assisting Trish with whatever needs doing. Ashley and Trish share the same goals for Studio A which makes them a very strong team. Their goal is to be the Number 5 Top-Selling Aveda Concept Salon in Wisconsin. Sales are up and the salon continues to grow. She looks forward to staying active in her hometown and to continue to be a strong member of Main Street.
When Ashley was 15 years old she met Dick & Jean Kedrowski (owners of Twin City Paper). Dick and Jean would change the course of Ashley’s life. They were big supporters of Osceola and were involved with the Osceola Fair Royalty. They saw Ashley’s potential and sponsored her as a queen candidate in the 2009 St. Paul Winter Carnival Pageant. Ashley won the title of North Wind Princess that year and spent the next year volunteering with her Royal Family. Ashley said she saw and learned so much that year through the many activities that they did. They traveled from Canada to Florida and in-between volunteering at community festivals, hospice centers, hospitals, parades and various local events. It was a jam-packed year and imprinted the love of volunteerism on Ashley. Ashley remarked “It’s amazing how a 15-year-old girl could make connections that will impact her life 10 years later.”
Ashley is a member of the Winter Carnival Past Princesses Association. She also organizes the Titan Boat Trip for the North Wind Titan Organization. She organizes this boat trip for over 50 Osceola residents including queen candidates, royalty, parents and grandparents. It is always impressive to see that many local people together at an out-of-town event that really showcases our sense of community.
Ashley wants to enjoy life before she turns 30. She loves painting and decorating her home. In her hobbies and work life Ashley feels that “small changes make big differences.”
As Ashley does multiple tasks around the salon during her work day with many people needing her attention, she was heard exclaiming, “There’s only one me!”
That is so very true, Ashley. You are one of a kind and the chamber extends deep appreciation for your work for us and for our community. Congratulations on Volunteer of the Year!
Team of authors contribute. Germaine Ross, Chamber Director, Nancy Beck, Board Member.