For today’s Meet Us Monday post, we are introducing you to one of our newest Sales Associates at the Jewel Box, Ryan Jackson!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, but was originally born in the Philippines. My family is a military family so we moved around quite a bit. I came to Ashland after meeting my husband, Paul, online in 2001. This was right when online dating first showed up on the internet and I’m so glad I took the risk coming here!
What is something about you that would surprise people?
I’m a hula dancer! It’s not just a dance form, it’s cultural storytelling, and I have the deepest respect for the heritage of the Hawaiian people. I started learning hula when I moved to Ashland to honor that part of my childhood and it’s something that brings me so much joy every time I take part in it.
What is the best meal you ever had?
I’m a foodie so it’s hard because there are so many good meals! I’ve got to say that my favorite meals are always home-cooked because you can feel the effort put into them.
What is your favorite time of year?
Summer! I’m a sunshine person and hate the cold, so I like being able to dress in comfortable clothes.
Where is your favorite spot in Ashland?
I’d have to say downtown, from Lithia Park all the way to the fire station. I like walking around everywhere and I’m a community-oriented person, so I like being able to be a part of the people here and know what is available.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like to catch up on my knitting! [Interviewer’s note: Ryan pulled out his current project to show me and it was wonderful!] I like art and I like gardening- fruit trees and vegetables in the garden beds. We also try to plant flowers for the pollinators and we love roses because they are beautiful and so hardy.
Tell me about your favorite pet you’ve ever had.
I don’t have pets because we’re actually allergic!
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
The cartoons of the 1980s and 90s, X-Men and Captain Planet in particular. I really related to the X-Men because I loved their motto of doing good for the benefit of all despite not being understood. It really resonated with me as a child of so many different cultural heritages.
What is a mantra you like to live by?
I’m currently in a huge life transition after moving on from teaching for 13 years. My motto currently is “Where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be” and that has brought me much comfort.
What is your favorite thing about working at Paddington Station?
Paddington has felt like a wonderful and safe place to land as I figure out what to do next and I’m so grateful to be here.