This month, we’re featuring Ashley Johnston, our Marketing Manager, for Meet Frontdesk. Ashley first started with Frontdesk as a Freelance Graphic Designer in 2017, when Frontdesk was only in Milwaukee. She was officially brought on in October 2019 as a Marketing Specialist and promoted to Marketing Manager in December 2020. Ashley continuously demonstrates Frontdesk’s core values of owning it and growth mindset by her willingness to jump in to help the team problem-solve with her creativity. In her free time, Ashley enjoys powerlifting, trying new brunch spots, hiking, crystals/rocks, and mudding. As a Colorado resident, she enjoys anything outdoors.
Tell me about your role and what you do here at Frontdesk?
I’m the Marketing Manager here at Frontdesk. My role consists of a vast variety of tasks including but not limited to: managing our creative team, graphic design, content creation, email layouts, editing, website development, marketing support for our boots on the ground, and reputation management. Chances are if you see an ad, graphic, or presentation from Frontdesk, it was likely designed by me.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
As Marketing Manager, I’m in a unique position where I’m able to connect with quite literally all of our teams and a majority of the people who work here. I enjoy being the “middle-person” between teams – it helps me understand how different teams operate and how Frontdesk operates as a whole. There’s definitely a bond at Frontdesk that I’ve never seen anywhere else and that’s special to me.
What were you doing before Frontdesk and what brought you here?
This is a fun one. I worked with Jesse, one of Frontdesk’s Co-Founders, for a few years at an energy management company as the Marketing Coordinator, Graphic Designer & UI Lead – we ended up at a trade show together and that’s when he told me about the idea of Frontdesk and asked if he could reach out when they had marketing needs.
Low and behold, he quit to start Frontdesk with Kyle and Ruthie, and contacted me a few months later. At the time when he contacted me, I had quit my job in the corporate world and was focusing on my Freelance Graphic Design business and was in the process of my 2nd interview as the Denver Broncos Graphic Designer. Frontdesk became one of my main clients and ended up providing me with so much work that I joined the team and turned down working for the Broncos. The rest is history from there.
What has been your biggest learning experience since starting at Frontdesk?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to ask for help when you need it and to not be ashamed to ask for said help – everyone here seems to be so willing to go out of their way to help when and where they can.
Simply put, the people who matter, whether that’s teammates or people in your personal life, they will be there for you when you need it most.
What advice would you give to others in your role?
- There is no such thing as a stupid question, ask ALL the questions.
- Mistakes and failures are learning lessons, so don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
- Lastly, always put your mental health and well-being first. That’s one of the things I love most about Frontdesk: these things are a top priority. Don’t feel bad for taking time off to readjust/needing a break. In fact, take as much time as you need so you can come back feeling 110% better.
What surprised you about working at Frontdesk?
How fast we grew! I’m one of the few individuals who has gotten to see Frontdesk start from ground zero and wow, it shocks me almost every day. And not just the growth in the number of cities or units we’ve expanded to, but the growth in employees and overall growth in individuals, including myself.
What is your favorite Frontdesk city?
Milwaukee, because it’s my hometown. My ancestors are part of the reason Milwaukee exists today.
I highly suggest strolling the riverwalk and trying some of the restaurants directly off of it. If you have the time, take a boat cruise on the river/Lake Michigan – it’s an awesome experience and the skyline views from the lake alone are worth it. If you have the opportunity to visit during Open Doors Milwaukee, go everywhere possible! You get to check out the history and see the insides of places you wouldn’t likely go to, for free!
Bucket list place to visit?
Hands-down: Scotland. A good majority of my ancestors came from Scotland and I’d love to learn more about my heritage and see where they came from.