Merritt Group Blog

Q&A With a Merritt Group-er: Get to Know Ashley Howard


LinkedIn Q&A-AH

What do you do at Merritt Group?
I’m an account supervisor in the Security Practice.

What’s your greatest moment — whether in work, school or marketing/PR — so far?
I’ve been lucky enough to have some really amazing and rewarding moments in my career thus far. I’ve had the honor of working on projects that help benefit active duty service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, which allowed me to witness and tell the story of the huge impact that proper medical care can have on their lives. I’ve been able to work on putting together some amazing summits, where we’ve been able to get folks like Al Gore, Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and others to speak candidly about the value of investing in new and innovative energy technologies in this country. And now I feel really fortunate to be working with companies who are tackling cybersecurity head on, which is certainly no easy feat in this day in age. So, in that sense I guess, I can’t really narrow it down to just one great moment, but honestly I’m okay with that.

Who do you love to follow on Twitter or Instagram and why?
This might be a silly one, but I really enjoy following @thehomeedit on Instagram. Their pictures speak to the neat freak in me, and I love how sassy they are in their stories. It’s a great juxtaposition of organization and real life, which makes them so relatable.

What's your favorite piece of technology?
I just got an Amazon Echo Dot for Christmas (thank you Merritt Group!), and honestly it’s kind of changed my life. I’ve resisted getting a smart speaker for awhile, but now that I have one it’s really made listening to music, making grocery lists, and asking dumb questions much more enjoyable and easy.

What’s the one gadget you think needs to be invented?
A teleportation device. I realize it’s a pretty big ask, but it would make traveling so much quicker and easier.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the Washington, D.C., area?
I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area so there is a lot I love about this city, but one thing I will never tire of is driving along the G.W. Parkway when the sun is setting with the monuments reflecting off of the Potomac. It reminds you of what a special place D.C. is and all of the history that’s happened here and all that is yet to come.

What do you love to do when you are not working?
I love to travel with the goal of seeing as much of the world as possible. My husband and I try to get out of the country at least once a year to explore somewhere new. It’s something we try to prioritize as much as time and money will allow. Our favorite trips tend to be with friends and often in places that allow us to immerse ourselves in a new culture — that’s where we tend to have the most fun!

What's the best book you've read recently?
"Radical Candor," by Kim Scott. The whole leadership team at Merritt read it as a group, and now I’m telling everyone I know that they need to read it. It really challenges you to think about how your management and communication style can either help or hurt both you and your team.

What are your podcast recommendations?
The ones I listen to the most are NPR’s "Embedded" and "Young House Love Has a Podcast". I love how detailed “Embedded” goes with their stories, and “Young House Love” is always a fun and easy listen if you're a DIYer or enjoy listing about home renos and decorating.

What's your favorite Merritt Group memory?
It’s a tie between delivering gifts to our adopted family over the holidays and my first Merritt holiday party, where we all got to dress up in 1920s attire to celebrate MG’s 20th anniversary.

What's one thing you can't live without?
Coffee — I’m working on it, but it’s become a bit of a problem. Let’s consider it a New Year’s resolution.

What's the most interesting item on your desk?
I have a challenge coin that I was presented with when I left one of my first jobs working as a consultant for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It’s a special memento to me that I’m proud to have.

Topics: Security Corporate Culture staff profile 2018