August 25, 2020

Remote Worker Insight: Ashley Spain

Some might think working remotely as an excuse to do laundry in the middle of the day. At least that’s what Ashley Spain thought before she started working remotely for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as Vice President of Strategy and Measurement. Now, she says she finds herself to be even more productive in this role. Coupled with living in the perfect city, Spain says it would take the perfect job situation to bring her back to an office. 

Ashley Spain, marketing professional.

As Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Spain works to forward RNL’s mission of helping colleges and universities with recruitment, retention, and alumni development. Essentially, they work with colleges and universities to enhance the entire student life cycle. Spain first entered the field of higher education in 2011, where she managed admissions, marketing and outreach efforts at the former Midstate College. Before that, she was climbing the ranks of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, beginning as manager of marketing to director. 

At RNL, Spain feels that there’s room to grow. There’s a rich culture of innovation, according to Spain, that makes it an even better fit to continue to advance her career. Working from home also has a plethora of benefits that Spain did not expect. She also has an office space downtown and can therefore get out of the house but still maintain that quiet environment. She also can appreciate coworking spaces on non-meeting heavy days. What this comes down to is that by working remotely in Peoria offers her different options whenever the need may arise.  

Her situation in a normal world without COVID-19 has her traveling up to 50% of the time. This provides what Spain refers to as absolute harmony in terms of the balance between working alone and getting to be around other people. This is all possible thanks to the Peoria International Airport. Spain says, “I can leave my home and be on a plane all in the same half hour,” a feat that is nearly impossible for those in large metropolitan areas. Some of her coworkers at RNL who reside in these areas cannot fathom being able to do something like this. 

What’s more, according to Spain, is the cost of living in Peoria allows her to have the space she needs for a conducive work environment.

“The cost of living here is the key to remote working. And I think it could potentially be something that serves as a magnet for remote workers who are looking for a more quaint lifestyle outside of work. Something that really offers that friendly and smaller town feel.”

Ashley Spain on Peoria’s cost of living.

This is demonstrated by Spain’s ability to have a home office, a dog, a nice yard. These amenities that are so easy to take for granted, are not so easily accessible in a large area with a high cost of living. 

For remote workers considering the move to Peoria, one of the largest draws in the variety. From the restaurants to the different types of housing, there is something for everyone. Then there’s the community. Spain says that the community she and her family have built here make Peoria a place she doesn’t want to ever leave. The relationships they’ve built here are irreplaceable, she says. And that, when all is said and done, is what makes a place a home.