Employee Spotlight: Ashley Kelley

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From our warranty department to our commercial division, Office Support Specialist Ashley has seen it all and done it all at Aspen. A true asset to our team, she’s played an integral role in helping Aspen’s grow over the years.

How’d you get started with Aspen?

I worked in accounting. We originally worked out of the Omaha office, and I transitioned to Kansas City. A few of my family members made the move here as well. My now-husband has always loved the Chiefs long before we were even thinking of moving here, so it was a no-brainer.

How have you transitioned during your time at Aspen?

When we all came down here, a lot of our tools and programs came with us, but it was a fun challenge to build upon those tools. We had fun and heartbreaking times getting all those processes together that accounting utilizes. We had to do a lot of the remote processes that they automate now.

[Later down the line] as other positions opened up, I was eager to transition and learn more about the service [warranty] department. I took on the role, suggesting service plans and a few other ideas. Then, as our commercial division grew, I pulled my hands into that, as I was well-versed in working with contractors throughout the country based on experience at a previous company.

What is it like working in a male-dominated industry?

I think it’s evolving as younger individuals step into the industry, but there’s still room for improvement. Ultimately, I’d tell other women not to let others’ close-mindedness get to them. Maintain your confidence despite what others say or do.

How has Aspen helped you grow professionally?

I did a lot of training and hands-on work to be able to service our clients. I went out into the field and learned more hands-on techniques. I took experiences from the field and researched things I didn’t understand. When I managed the service department, and I learned from photos and processed every single piece of information. I continue to learn every single day. They’re always innovating new buildings, products and designs.

What would be one of the greatest challenges you’ve overcome?

Our owner has a great way of instilling your own expectations of yourself. I think the greatest challenge is keeping the assurance that even if we did it wrong, he will teach us and help us overcome it, but you don’t ever want to fail. The greatest challenge would be making sure the job is done right even when you don’t know everything about it. Trying to overcome self-doubt can be hard. Not all construction is easy, and not every building is the same.

What do you do to ensure understanding and trust with other reps?

Sometimes you don’t know what knowledge others have, but it’s pretty easy to work with others and help them with projects that they don’t know about. It doesn’t always go as planned, because sometimes there’s information that you don’t know and that they aren’t aware of. Despite that, we always learn from the situation.

What inspires you to do your best?

It is really easy to go 5 steps backwards with not keeping up or giving 100%. I don’t ever want to go behind, so I make sure all my t’s are crossed and my i’s are dotted to the best that I can provide for that given circumstance. I want to keep moving forward.

Who is someone that you admire within Aspen and why?

Carol [VP of Accounting]. She saw something in me that I don’t even think I saw in myself. She knew I loved challenges and she saw me take on challenges when we worked together previously. She always tried to bring out the most in me. In moving to Kansas City, she gave me the most confidence that I could do it and go far.

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