Newman University checked all the boxes for alumna Ashley (Myers) Howard ‘10. She was looking for a school that could offer a faith-based education to go with her love of volleyball and desire to earn a degree in counseling.
The skills she gained in the process of earning that degree have come into play both in her personal and professional life.
Howard is currently the director of events and marketing for United Capital Management, a financial firm whose home office is located in Salina, Kansas.
She said she is first and foremost a wife and mother of three with strong family values. But as a professional, she enjoys helping others make their vision come to life with personalized and well-thought-out event coordination.
“Getting into event planning happened pretty organically,” said Howard. “I don’t have schooling for marketing or event planning, it’s just something I enjoy, and I love celebrating people and making moments special for others.”
Outside of her day job, Howard plans events for family and friends. Using the moniker “AH Events,” she helps coordinate everything from weddings to birthday and retirement parties. Smaller, more intimate events tend to top her list of favorites to plan.
Howard was very involved in Campus Ministry while at Newman and her first experience in event planning happened during that time as well.
“In Campus Ministry, I worked as a student with Father Tatro and we did a charity event for Haiti my junior year. I got to work on that and it was a big successful event. That snowballed into a new passion and now I love event planning.”
Newman remains strong in her memory bank and three of her best friends, whom she met at Newman, are still very important in her life today.
Her counseling degree is something Howard is thankful for as well. Her oldest daughter, Nora, was adopted. Nora was born weighing just one pound and the experience of becoming first-time parents was very emotional for Howard and her husband.
“I got my counseling degree in child and adolescence at Newman,” said Howard. “The background of what I learned has helped me be a better mother and handle the adoption process with grace and patience.”
That background has also helped Howard in her professional life. She said it has made her a better peacemaker and has given her a solid base of understanding of how people react to the ups and downs of life.
Howard met her husband, Jim, after moving to Salina after graduating from Newman and accepting her job at United Capital Management.
Jim raises Wagyu cattle and also runs a catering business.
Howard said, “He’s an amazing meat smoker and caterer. We join forces in that aspect. He is very good at what he does and can feed the masses. He and I both love events and serving others.”
Howard said in the long term, she would love to grow her business and work even more with her husband in the process. But for now, she is loving her life and soaking in the experience of living in the here and now.
“We are so knee-deep in little kids it’s hard to see five or 10 years from now. But I’m so grateful for the stage of life we’re in. I’m really focusing on giving my family my all.”
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