If you’ve ever been to our Main, Christiansburg, or Fairlawn branch, chances are you’ve seen Ashley Vaught. She has served our members in various branches throughout southwest Virginia and volunteers in our community with nonprofits like the Community Youth Program. This busy woman was kind enough to take a moment to give us a little insight into her daily activities and even tell us about being on the wrong end of a fishing pole!
We’ll start with an easy one. Where are you from?
Born and raised?
AV: Born and raised, all my life. New River Valley is where I’m from and I’ve never lived anywhere else.
What brought you to Roanoke?
AV: My job. When I originally came to Member One, I started in Christiansburg. From there, I transferred to our Vinton Branch. I was there for about nine months. I went from the Vinton branch back to the New River Valley and managed our Christiansburg and Fairlawn branches. At that point, Fairlawn became its own separate branch with its own manager, so I ran just the Christiansburg office. From there, I went to our Southwest branch for a couple years, and then I came here to the Main branch.
So did you come here specifically to be the market manager? Or were you already working at Main when you got this position?
AV: I came to Main to be the market manager.
Got it! So how long have you been with Member One?
AV: Nine years this month.
Nine years! Congratulations! Can you walk me through a typical day here at work.
AV: There really isn’t a typical day. I wear many hats, so it really just depends on what the day consists of. I can get here as early as 7:15am and stay as late as 6:30pm. It really depends on whatever has happened throughout the day and may consist of me being on the teller line, being vault custodian, or helping members. There is not a typical day EVER. That’s actually why I like my job so much because there is always so much going on—it’s never the same; it’s never routine.
What is vault custodian? That sounds kind of awesome. Do you get to go in and shine the money?
AV: No. In a nutshell, we’re in charge of the money and get it for the tellers. It actually makes your hands really dirty because money is really disgusting!
Never mind, I don’t want that job then.
AV: No, you don’t.
Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket?
AV: <Laughs> Yes, I have. I have what you might call a lead foot. So I tend to speed a little bit. It’s been three years, but yes, I did get a ticket.
What was your first job?
AV: Western Sizzlin’! I don’t even know if those are around anymore. I started as a cashier when I was 15. When I turned 16, I waited tables. I did that for forever and a day, and I absolutely loved it. I love working with the public. It’s awesome—you get to make that personal connection, get to know people, relate to them, hear their stories. If they’ve had a bad day, you can help make it better. I worked there for four years.
If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few seconds to give them your best nugget, what would it be?
AV: I would say don’t take time for granted; life is way too short. Live your life to its fullest. As children, we want time to go by. When we’re 12, we want to be 16, when we’re 16, we want to be 18, and so on. The older you get, the faster time goes by, and you need to cherish every moment and not look back because time is very valuable.
Who do you most admire?
AV: My mom. I look up to her. She is probably the most inspirational person to me because no matter what has happened in my life, she’s always been there and backed me. I’m probably going to cry… but in all seriousness, in everything I’ve ever done, she’s supported me, backed me, and been there for me. She’s my inspiration.
Do you have a funny story about yourself that you want to share?
AV: I was probably 11 or 12, and my family went to Claytor Lake to go fishing. My uncle took the rod out and was getting ready to cast it. As he did, he didn’t know it at the time, but I was standing behind him, and it hooked me right in the mouth. So, instead of hooking a fish, he literally hooked me. I’m sitting there screaming my head off, so he turns around to see what’s going on and is turning the rod with him. It was painful, but it is actually a pretty funny story looking back on it.
That’s terrifying. I’d have a complex.
AV: I did. I didn’t go fishing for a really long time after that!
What inspires you?
AV: Seeing the development of people. My job is to lead others. It inspires me to see those people that I have led go on to do bigger and better things. It lets me know that I’m here for a reason and what I’m doing is valuable and is making a difference.
If you could do ANYTHING and be successful at it other than what you do now, what would it be?
AV: Professional singer. I can’t sing a note in this world, but singers make a difference and music makes people happy. If someone is depressed and they listen to upbeat music, it can put them in a better mood, make them happy, and for me, that’s what I’d want to do.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
AV: To fly. I drive I-81 everyday, so that would be way easier than dealing with traffic. Plus, if I wanted to go anywhere, I could fly there, see it, see the scenery, come back. It would be easier than getting in a car and driving. It would be about speed more than the journey. It would give me more time.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
AV: Procrastination. It bothers me. I want it done, and I want it done now. Anyone who procrastinates drives me crazy. Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today?
I’m a procrastinator…
AV: I know lots of people who are procrastinators. My boyfriend is the biggest one!
What are you going to do when you go home tonight?
AV: Most people would probably say that they’re going to go home and cook dinner; I don’t cook, so I’m going to go home and find whatever is in a box to make for dinner for my family. I mean, I have children, so my typical night is winding down, cooking dinner, eating with family, watching some TV maybe, and seeing how their day was. Actually, my daughter has a softball game tonight, so I guess it will consist of watching her play softball, too!
What would 7-year-old Ashley think of you now?
AV: That’s a really hard question. At 7 years old, Ashley wanted to be a teacher, so she’d probably be like, “Wow. This is never where I expected you to be.” At 7 years old, I’d have my stuffed animals lined up, have the chalkboard out. All I ever wanted to be was a teacher. Now looking back on it, I could never be a teacher. I couldn’t do what a teacher does. I think they’re awesome and wonderful, but I couldn’t do it. Maybe 7-year-old me thought I could, but not now. Looking back, it’s one of those things where this isn’t where I expected to be, but I think it’s great and I love what I do. I wouldn’t change it for the world.