If there is a “voice” of ED Publications, it’s Caroline Ashe. Hers is the voice that people often hear when calling the ED offices. She is the one many of our EXPO attendees speak to when registering for our annual convention. And if we’ve ever placed you on hold? Yep, that’s her voice, too.
But of course, Caroline is more than a “voice.” She is the wearer of many hats (and many hair styles!) here at ED Publications. She helps manage the sales department. She handles Expo registrations. She manages our business and club databases. She gives our sales guy Kristofer Kay a knock around the head when he needs one. She’s an ED Publications die-hard, and we certainly appreciate her!
We wanted our readers to “get to know” a bit more about Caroline, and in conjunction with Bob Chiappardi of StripJointsMusic, she has her own customized Spotify playlist (Please note: Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” most certainly will NOT be on this list, nor should you sing the aforementioned song when calling the ED office—fair warning).
ED Publications: How long have you worked at ED Publications? How would you describe your job, in terms of your responsibilities on a daily basis?
CAROLINE ASHE: I’m an ED repeat offender. I originally started here at the beginning of 2012 and worked through Expo 2013. After Expo I took a couple of years off from the office (never missed an Expo though!) to work as the head veterinary technician at a full service and surgical clinic for horses while I applied for veterinary school. I was unable to get into vet school and as much as I loved saving the lives of horses, the hours were brutal. My original position of database manager opened up at ED right as I was ready to leave the clinic. It was fate! It was a sign! I’ve been back since October 2015 with no plans of leaving.
ED: What is your favorite part of working at ED? How would you describe the “office environment” at ED? What’s something about the ED office that might surprise people who have never been here or worked here?
CA: My favorite part of working at ED is being able to work with friends who have become family. We are a highly dysfunctional family, but we really DO put the “fun” in “dysfunction.” Our quirkiness lends to an office environment that is full of laughter. I’m sure laughter won’t surprise anyone, but I bet our efforts for Expo would. When we reach our Expo countdown, this office comes together to work like a high-performance machine.
ED: When was your first Expo? How would you describe that first Expo experience, compared to the most recent Expo (you’re an Expo veteran now!)?
CA: I was deer-in-the-headlights terrified at my first Expo! I needed to feel it out once, which I did while trying to blend in with my surroundings. Now that I know what to expect, Expo is an event that I look forward to all year. This most recent Expo was smooth sailing except for a randomly abraded cornea. I honestly felt like I could have run registration in my sleep this year. Not that anyone ever sleeps at Expo…
ED: You are obviously an animal enthusiast. Talk about the animals that you have (horses, dogs, cats, etc) and how important they are to you. At what age did you realize that animals/pets would be such a big part of your life?
CA: I honestly cannot remember a time when animals were not a huge part of my life. I’ve had cats sleeping with me since my mother brought me home from the hospital with dogs, horses and cows (yes, cows) coming as pets shortly after I could walk. In the past I have had the joy of working with working dogs—herding, IPO (the bite-y ones), and now disaster search-and-rescue. I’ve also shown and trained horses as a professional dressage rider. I’ve worked in both small and large animal clinics, which has solidified my love for anesthesiology. If it’s fuzzy, feathered, scaled, whatever, I love them all. My current merry band of rabble-rousers are: Nee, the horse; Hecate and Amarra, the tarantulas; Octavia, Ragnar, El Bad and Dick Supreme, the cats; Indi, Jezebel, Juno, Willow, Thalia and Faust, the dogs.
Outside of work (and sometimes at work) my life revolves around animals. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am often up at 5 am to visit Nee for a ride before work. When I get home and on weekends Faust and I train to find people who are alive but trapped after natural or man-made disasters. I intend to keep this routine going for years to come.
ED: You’re also a big music fan. What are your all-time favorite bands, and what bands had the biggest influence on you growing up?
CA: Growing up I listened to mainly classical music unless my oldest brother put on something like Bob Dylan, Iron Maiden or Tracy Chapman (yes, my whole family is as eclectic as I am). I did have a serious thing for Michael Jackson growing up. I cannot count how many times I watched the “making of Thriller” video. I’d say the most influential band in my life is Queen. I didn’t find punk, industrial and metal until I moved to Florida at age 16. Once I discovered those three genres, I found my tastes in music. Choosing favorites is tough, but I’d say for punk it’s Oxymoron, industrial it’s And One, and metal it’s Watain.
ED: If you could see a concert by any musician or band, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
CA: Queen with Freddie Mercury. I just need to experience that.
More about Caroline!
Where do you hail from: Florence, Alabama
Current Position: Database manager and sales coordinator
Years employed at ED Publications: 5 years in the office, Expo for 7 years
Favorite recording artist: Queen
Industry hero/favorite industry personality: Joe Redner
Favorite feature entertainers: All of them!
Favorite part of your work day: When Kris and I fist bump to a job well done
Pet working peeve: “We’re having an Expo, a tropical Expo…” (the song ED Publisher Don Waitt sings incessantly for the months leading up to the next Expo)