Often found at the Columbus Commons, Goodale Park, or The Rossi, Ashley Lester has a passion for downtown Columbus, especially “making downtown a great place to live, work, and play.” What is truly unique about her job are the visual results on the landscape of the downtown area. “It’s tangible – I can see what we do, see it in action. Great things are taking shape,” she said.
Her favorite part is watching everyone enjoy themselves. “Seeing the park [Columbus Commons] in use. Weekly Commons for kids represents what the community is. It is something cool to see kids in a green space surrounded by a downtown environment.”
Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games.
“It is a challenge being a big city non-profit and dealing with the skepticism. Some people are passive,” she says. The positive side remains the non-profit itself. “The inherent mission is to provide vibrant and active downtown and we are able to stay true to that.”
She stays active in such organizations as the Create Columbus Commission and draws a special connection to Lifeline of Ohio through her nephew – a transplant recipient.
Lester’s notes for newcomers follows a common Columbus thread: “There’s always something to do; there’s always friendly people around… you came to the right place!”