Young Professionals: Ashley Eck’s Hard Work, Dedication Paying Off at The Haskell House

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Whether it be teaching or helping to run a small business, Clarion area resident Ashley Eck has proven she is up to the task, and her hard work will shine through.

(Photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPrint Media)

Eck is no stranger to the area as she grew up nearby in “camping central” as she called it; otherwise known as Cook Forest. She attended East Forest High and graduated in 2010. With being familiar with Clarion County and making regular trips into town, she stayed close to home and attended Clarion University.

In 2015, Eck’s time as a Golden Eagle concluded as she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with her focus being on Middle-Level Mathematics. She also worked towards minors in Business Administration and Accounting, a knowledge that would help her just a few years down the road as she transitioned from educator to business manager.

Going from a high school graduating class of 20 to a state university with around 4,000 was quite a change, but it was an experience that would serve her well, as one of her first teaching opportunities after school was in the Warren School District. After some time there as a long-term substitute, she subbed around Clarion County before spending four years as a teacher for the DuBois Central Catholic system.

While she enjoyed being a teacher, an opportunity arose in 2021 to try out a new career. It was a job that would allow her to use a lot of the skills she learned from being a teacher, while pairing those skills with the service industry skills she learned from working in food service. This opportunity was to become the manager of a new business in Clarion called The Haskell House.

“There was some fear on my part of giving this job a shot,” explained Eck. “I always wanted to be a teacher and am still certified to teach, but the people in my life supported me and helped me realize that this opportunity and giving something else a shot could be the change I needed.”

Since taking the role, she has helped hundreds of people organize and have a great time at a variety of events, including weddings, parties, meetings, receptions, dinners, and a collection of other events. With the role being detail-oriented, ownership needed to find someone who was a task-oriented person, was confident that they could help events run smoothly, and would keep clients’ and customers’ interests in mind.

“I think a lot of the skills that have helped me come from working for about 15 years in the service industry,” she said. “The rest of the skills like setting up meetings and communicating well I got from teaching.”

Eck takes the approach to go above and beyond any group or guests’ requests to ensure they have a memorable experience at The Haskell House.

“I never want a bride or a groom or anyone planning an event to worry about anything. I want to make sure our staff does everything in their power to make sure the day is a success.”

The Haskell House has plans to test future events like an adult prom and dinner theatres to offer something new to the area.

“We take pride in building a package unique to each group’s needs,” said Eck. “I have a great team working with me who are all great about pitching in to help out with getting everything ready.”

Organizing events means a lot of late nights and weekends, something that she is used to being a veteran in the service industry. However, she believes the reason she takes so much pride in her work is that her parents, Pam and Adam Eck, showed her the importance of working hard and always doing your best when you have a job to do.

“My parents have always been my number one support system throughout my life and my boyfriend, Luke, has been amazingly supportive throughout my transition from teaching to The Haskell House.”

Outside of work, the Clarion University graduate spends a lot of her time cooking, visiting different breweries with her family and friends, and watching Pittsburgh Pirates baseball and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey.

It may not be where she saw herself a decade ago, but Ashley Eck has impressed many around the area with her organization, her work ethic, and her ability to go the extra mile for the customer. These skills and her work ethic will take her far, regardless if she ever returns to education.

“There is a quote my high school softball coach used to say to our team which still sticks with me to this day: ‘Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done. Do it this way all the time.'”

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