Here at Smart Motors, we know we’ve got some of the nicest, smartest, and most interesting people around the Madison area, but you may not be aware. So, in an effort to introduce some of our spectacular team, we’ll be presenting quick interview-style profiles. Today I sat down with Smart Motors HR Generalist, Ashley. Like all of our employees, Ashley plays an essential role in our everyday operations, and is an integral part of the smooth running Smart Motors machine. Take a few minutes to learn more about Ashley, and stay tuned for more chances to “Meet The Smart Team.”
(Matt) Is this your first interview?
(Ashley) Yes it is
Mine too, so this should go well!
I know you’re from Madison, can you tell me more about your background?
I was born and raised in Madison, graduated form Madison East High School, and then went to college, starting out as a nursing major. I went home for a summer and worked for Kraft, where I got placed in their HR department and really liked it. I eventually graduated with my degree in human resources management from the university of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and I also obtained my PHR, a certificate for professionals of human resources.
I didn’t know that you started at college for nursing. What intrigued you about nursing?
Probably the same thing that brought me to human resources, which is helping people.
It sounds like there was carry over that you may have not realized. Are there some things that you’re able to do here that you may have been able to in nursing?
Sure, helping and teaching. I like being around other people and learning about others likes and dislike, and helping in general.
What are some of the main responsibilities you have here at Smart Motors?
I do payroll, pre-screening and hiring for new employees, as well as assist managers with disciplinary situations. Benefits administration management is also a prominent part of the position.
You said you’ve been here for nearly 6 years. What do you like and what has kept you here?
I love our culture. We are a family owned business, and I like that we try to keep that family atmosphere here, which can be difficult with continuous growth. That’s where Human Resources comes in, putting on United Way events, or an employee appreciation party when we got the Presidents Cabinet award, bringing people together. Running blood drives and getting out into the community makes work more familiar and comfortable, too. It doesn’t hurt that I like the people I work with, as well!
You mentioned United Way and blood drives, among other events to try and engage the employees with community partners. Is that something you’ve been a big part of?
I’ve been the campaign leader and manager for the United way since I’ve been here. I love that part of my job. I do also organize the blood drives.
Is it easy to engage the employees with these efforts, or is it a Smart Motors mandate? Are the employees excited to participate?
Yeah, I think the employees are excited to participate; it’s evident when we do fun events, like chili cook-offs and United Way privilege week. No one has to do those things, it’s just fun and people enjoy coming to work when there are fun events. The blood drive is dependent on employee participation, and we always exceed our goal. We’re working towards expanding this with more employees and even customers. I don’t’ think the events would do well if the employees weren’t engaged, and we would probably stop doing them altogether. We also have Smart Motors volleyball and Softball teams, which are obviously the choice of employees. It’s good to see people wanting to spend time with some co-workers outside of work.
You obviously enjoy being involved in the UW and blood drive; do you find yourself getting involved with these organizations, or others, outside of work?
I do, I’m actually on the board of directors for 4-C’s (Community Coordinated Child Care), which is a community based childcare organization, a not-for profit in Madison. I’m in the first year of my term there. They’re directly supported by United Way, which we are involved with here. Since they’re a non profit and don’t have staff for certain positions, they can ask me human resources questions about policy, or things like the Affordable Care Act. They may need some guidance from another professional, so I’ve volunteered to offer my service and expertise.
You’re from the Madison area. What’s kept you in Madison and what do you personally like about the city?
I love Madison’s diversity, the variety of lifestyle between East and West Madison. I appreciate both for different reasons, East because I grew up there, and West because it has better shopping (laughs)! The events are great too: Bratfest, Taste of Madison, Rhythm and booms is always fun…we’re not a huge city, but it’s definitely a fun area. §
That’s it; a quick glimpse at one of Smart’s fantastic employees. We’ll be showing off more of our excellent staff in the future, so come back in the months to come.
Written By Matt Rice – Smart Motors’ Social Media Coordinator