MEET POWER HOUR FOUNDER, Ashleigh Young
Where were you born?
Johannesburg, South Africa.
What’s your Myers Briggs Personality Type?
INFJ which is apparently the rarest personality type in the US. Only about 1.5% of the population falls into this category.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I always knew I wanted to go into advertising and marketing, because I had always been fascinated by the power brands had to impact pop culture. Throughout my career, I actively sought out opportunities to work closely with the world’s most famous marketers and brands to uncover what made them successful, including Avon, Dove, General Mills, Maybelline, and Ralph Lauren, working across every facet of brand communications: from developing global positioning to executing local market strategies across traditional, digital, and brick-and-mortar channels. An ex-boss once told me he always admired how I navigated my career path to create such a multi-faceted skillset. It was the ultimate compliment.
What made you start Power Hour Consulting?
After 25 years working in advertising both agency and client side in New York City, I needed a change. I knew from experience that I worked faster and better when untethered from the daily politics and processes of full time positions, so I decided to offer clients a more flexible and cost efficient way to get the best of what I offered.
What was your initial vision for Power Hour?
To make exceptional branding, marketing and business expertise available by the hour to anyone who wanted to take their advertising and marketing efforts to the next level, but weren't quite ready to hire an agency or full time CMO.
Where did the resume & career and business offerings come from?
After receiving my CWC1 Wellness Coach certification from the Institute for Wellness Education in January 2018, I started getting requests for help from colleagues who were looking to "go beyond their resume" to brand and market themselves more effectively to give themselves an edge in today's competitive job environment. This is when I realized that branding is branding, whether you're marketing products or people! We just launched our Financial and Business Education services this year, because we saw a huge opportunity to teach others to become more financially literate in order to help build strong money habits early and avoid mistakes that lead to a lifelong of money struggles. We are all about empowering others to get ahead in today's competitive culture, whether you're a business or individual.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done since starting Power Hour?
Probably making my national TV debut at 48 years old as a brand spokesperson in a 60 second News Watch commercial and as a live HSN On-Air Guest for one of my beauty clients.
What’s the thing you enjoy most about what you do?
I love so many things about my current role: the flexibility, the variety, the fact I get to work from home with people I genuinely like and respect, and most of all being able to see the direct results of my efforts pay off in my clients’ business results.
What’s one thing you want to do more of in 2022?
Continue to leverage my interest and passion working with female founded brands that market to women over 40, identify new low cost acquisition strategies to drive growth to help fill the gap paid social has left in many brands’ strategies, and to help more people take control of their lives and their personal wellbeing.
MEET POWER HOUR CFO, John Santamaria
Where were you born?
I was born in Englewood, New Jersey.
What made you go into Finance?
One day in my senior year high school accounting class, the teacher used a large desk to divide the classroom in half. All students started out in one half of the room facing the teacher, who sat at the large desk. The teacher told the class that he would move any student who demonstrated an understanding of accounting and completed assignments on their own to the other side of the room – which he'd named “The Executive Board Room”. Being competitive, that was all the motivation I needed to dive into the coursework! I was the first student to make it to the Board Room, and in the process, discovered I actually loved accounting.
What are some of your qualifications?
I received a BBA in Accounting from St Bonaventure University and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Monmouth University, after which I spent 20 years at Morgan Stanley in a variety of progressively senior roles from Product Controller to US Chief Operating Officer for Morgan Stanley’s US Credit Trading business.
What made you decide to join PowerHour?
After 20 years at Morgan Stanley I knew I needed a change. After I left I sought out opportunities to apply the business and financial knowledge I'd attained working at one of the top financial institutions in the world. I first volunteered at SCORE, part of the Small Business Association, providing free advice to small business owners in a variety of settings, from 1:1 sessions to guest speaking at group seminars. After SCORE, I migrated to a full-time role at a local high school, teaching Personal Finance, Accounting, and Excel to juniors and seniors through one of the most challenging times, the C19 pandemic! In my spare time, I taught financial fundamentals to adults at a school for individuals that did not go to a traditional college, as well as instructed new analysts and interns across the top 20 investment banks on banking, asset and wealth management fundamentals and the workings of various financial instruments.
Over the last few years, I realized I loved teaching and also realized how many people don't have access to practical business education. Especially high schools students, many of whom are online trading, buying bitcoin, and using credit cards - basically making complex financial decisions without any sort of base education. I was seeking a bigger platform through which I could offer my knowledge to empower more people, individuals or groups, from high school to Wall Street to take better control of their wealth.
What do you do in your spare time?
My main loves are traveling with my wife and golf. Over the last 20 years, my wife and I have traveled to many places including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Maldives. We just got back from a 5-week road trip in the beginning of 2022 to that included stops at Pinehurst, Savannah, St Pete and Charleston. I was able to play some of my 'bucket list' courses during this trip including Pinehurst #2 (Google “1999 Payne Stewart” if you don’t know) and Pine Needles, site of the 2022 US Women’s open. I’ll play, watch, and talk golf anywhere and anytime.