Nuts & Bolts – Staff Edition!

posted in: Nuts & Bolts | 0

The AHBA is currently made up of over 650 members and we are proudly the 4th largest HBA in the state of North Carolina. Behind those 650+ members are the AHBA staff made up of four dedicated, knowledgeable, hard-working women who always have the AHBA members’ best interest in mind. Most of our members know our names, email addresses and where our offices are located when they are at the office, but there is more to us than that!

Meet Erica Canada

My name is Erica Canada. I grew up in Chapin South Carolina where I graduated High School in 2003. It’s hot there, too hot, so I went to college at Lees McRae  in Banner Elk, NC where I fell in love with the mountains, skiing, photography, and the simple life. I graduated college in 2007 and decided to take my photography on the road. I have lived in Charleston SC, Killington VT, Healy AK, Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte CO working as a whitewater rafting guide and skiing photographer. Now I am back on the East Coast to be close to my family. My Grandmother is 90, my nephew is 2 and I have a niece on the way!

What’s your title? What do you do and how long have you been with the AHBA?  I just finished my 6th month working for the AHBA. I am the new girl around here still, but they have taken me in with open arms since day one. I am the Event Coordinator and put together all member events, monthly events and consumer events. I just got through with my first Build and Remodel Expo, which went very well. Now, on to my first full year of Parade of Homes, where I will be working with the builders on their parade entry packets, deadlines, meetings, open houses, and the Fall Gala.

How do you spend your time when not at the office?
I love hanging out with my family when they are around. My nephew is a mess and so much fun!  I hike and camp with my friends, get on the river with my dad, travel a lot but I really wish I could say ski since it is my favorite thing to do, but I have not been once this year.  I do leave in 17 days for Crested Butte, CO and will have 3 full days of skiing!

Why do you enjoy working for the AHBA?
This is a lot different from what I have done for the past 10 years. I sit in an office a lot, but I am learning new skills that will benefit me in the future. I am making many great connections throughout the community and I work with 3 amazing women, who not only inspire me to help make this organization great, but inspire me on a personal level as well. Plus, we laugh at each other and at ourselves, more than you would think around the office.

Members would be surprised to know….
I have summitted seven 14ers in Colorado and I like to do handstands!

What do co-workers come in your office for that’s not work related?
We like to discuss where we want to eat lunch. We can talk food, desserts and coffee! But we also like to tell stories about our weekends, or things we did after work. We like to watch video’s of Christi’s kids or I will show them ones of my nephew, Nash.

What is your favorite AHBA Event and why?
Having not experienced all the events yet, I can not answer this question!

In your role or opinion, what do you wish members took more advantage of? Our Events! We have a strong membership base, but it would be nice to see more members at our networking events and new members. You don’t have to come to every event, but they are great for meeting new people and getting your company name out there. Plus they are fun! Or if that is not an option, getting involved with the Build and Remodel Expo in some capacity -whether its an ad, a booth, or being a sponsor. Build and Remodel Expo has so much room to grow and we can’t do that without the help of our membership. I know everyone is busy right now, but when you do slow down, already being involved in an event like Expo will help you keep up momentum. I highly recommend calling and asking about all the opportunities we have to help your business succeed!

Meet Danielle Pierce

Hi! My email signature and business cards will read Danielle, but I go by Dani more so than not so feel free to call me Dani! I grew up and graduated school in West Virginia. I’ve traveled a lot and know that I just can’t stay away from the mountains, and I’ve lived in Asheville for about 3 years now.

Title, how long you’ve been at the AHBA, and in your own words what you do at the AHBA
I’m the Membership Services Coordinator and have been with the AHBA for almost 3 years. I like to think of myself as the membership “guru.” I help establish and maintain the relationship between our members and the AHBA. That relationship involves understanding their business and who they are as individuals, and then using that understanding to help members get the absolute most out of their membership.

How do you spend your time when not at the office?
I also work at Buxton Hall BBQ on the weekend for fun. When I’m not there or at the office, I’m on the move!  I’m running trails with my dog, Murphy or in a yoga class at Asheville Community Yoga or biking around Montford with my girlfriends – we like to pretend we are “biker babes.” I also recently joined a book club, so have been spending a lot of time reading books and critiques on those books.

Why do you enjoy working for the AHBA?
I enjoying working at the AHBA because it’s fulfilling.  I get to work with some pretty wonderful people (members and my co-workers!); I’m able provide the resources for members to be more successful, knowledgeable and grow within our industry;  my fellow AHBA Staff, Christi, Emily and Erica are open to new ideas and projects and we all share excitement about them. It’s a great place to work.

Members would be surprised to know….
I’m currently building a house. Not a house for me to live in, but a doll house. I love miniature things and wanted a dollhouse to build from scratch a long time ago. About 4 years ago, my parents got me one for Christmas (that’s actually a funny story) and I finally have the space to do it in. I’ll probably give it to a cousin or friend’s kiddo when it’s complete. Building it is fun, but I’ll be more excited to decorate and furnish it with cute tiny things.

What do co-workers come in your office for that’s not work related?
Hot gossip, obviously. Just kidding!  I’d say it’s probably chewing gum or maybe comedic relief? You might have to ask them! We are all friends though and like to share funny stories  and things about our weekends and lives outside of AHBA world.

What is your favorite AHBA Event and why?
My favorite AHBA event is the Golf Tournament. Not necessarily because I love golf – I know nothing about golf other than I “slice” when I hit a ball – but because it’s a fun day out of the office spent with our a lot our members. It gives me the opportunity to share some jokes and laughs and get to know our members when work isn’t exactly first priority. Everyone is there to have fun!

In your role or opinion, what do you wish members took more advantage of?
I would have to say seeing the value of attending events and meeting fellow members AND the Member Rebate Program! Our events are put on with our members in mind and we really put in an effort to give our members what they want. The Member Rebate Program is an easy way to get money back into our members’ pockets. Once members are registered, it’s really a breeze to submit your claims and get well-deserved money back to you!

 

Meet Emily Cowie

What’s your title? What do you do and how long have you been with the AHBA?
I started at the AHBA as an intern! Over the past six years (has it really been that long?!) my position here as the Marketing Manager has taken on many different avenues. While my main focus is marketing for the Asheville HBA, I also handle designing our 3 websites, any printed publications we produce as well as sponsorship and advertising for all of our events.

My main goal is always to try and figure out the best way for our members to reach their target market. Are you looking to meet consumers or is your business more focused on reaching other industry professionals? With so many companies doing different things, it is always an exciting challenge to help each member company meet their marketing goals.
How do you spend your time when not at the office?
Outdoors! My husband and I love exploring WNC on our Mountain Bikes, and we are off racing nearly every weekend June through January. I also love cooking, building furniture, and swimming on a hot summer day in Dupont State Forest

Why do you enjoy working for the AHBA?
I love working at the AHBA for the variety. In any given week, I am writing blog posts, preparing for events, designing logos or brochures, and developing ways that the AHBA can better serve our members and the community. A lot of people don’t realize that our events take as long as a year to plan and implement, so we are already working on projects that don’t get released for several more months.

Members would be surprised to know….
My husband and I have a hobby farm in Mills River. We live in a refurbished barn that I purchased in 2012, and it fits our lifestyle perfectly. With chickens that run around the yard, bee hives, and a garden, we love our little homestead!

What do co-workers come in your office for that’s not work related?
All kinds of stuff. It is great to have friends at the office and not just co-workers, so we are constantly bouncing ideas off one another for fun places to visit and what we have going on outside of work . Also we recently started doing yoga together as a way to get up from our desks during our lunch break which has been really great to help with creativity!

What is your favorite AHBA Event and why?
Oh I love them all! But if I had to pick just one it would probably be the Parade of Homes. Layout and design of publications is one of my favorite things to do, so producing the Parade Magazine is something that I am very proud of. I also love getting to see the different styles in which all of our members build & create, and find that a completed home is the best showroom that you can display to the public!

In your role or opinion, what do you wish members took more advantage of?
I wish members realized that marketing themselves through sponsorship doesn’t have to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. The AHBA has options starting as low as $75, and I try very hard to help each member company to find the best fit for what they are trying to accomplish.

Meet Christi Stokes

My husband, Jordan, and I moved from Dillon, Colorado to Asheville in 2009. We have 2 awesome kids, Ella (5) and Wyatt (1) and a tennis ball obsessed black lab, Bago (9).

How do you spend your time when not at the office?
That’s easy – I spend time with my family and kids!  We love to be outside as much as possible.

Members would be surprised to know….
This is the longest I have ever lived anywhere. (and I did not even know what grits were until I moved here!)  I was born in Wyoming, my Dad worked for the Railroad and we moved pretty frequently covering 9 states and 13 moves.

What is your favorite AHBA Event and why?
Do I have to just pick one?  Not to sound cliche, but honestly I love the variety of events we have from being at our member’s showrooms for After Hours to education classes at the office, the annual Parade and more.  At any event, I appreciate getting to know our members. The diversity offers something for everyone and keeps me on my toes all year.

Leave a Reply