To Whom It May Concern:
The predominant fears related to any type of capital construction (after “Is there enough money to do this?”) is whether or not the finished product will be what was “advertised” and are personnel in place to get the job done with excellence. In a sincere effort to dispel those fears, Ashley Horton goes above and beyond contractual obligations to work directly with all parties involved in the construction. Her single-minded focus on the desires of the client and her proactive “can do” approach is evident in how she views her role in the process of construction. I have had the good fortune of developing a close working relationship with Ashley, who is currently serving as senior operations manager for NuJak Development. As senior operations manager, she was assigned to supervise the building of our choral rehearsal hall at Southeastern University. I have witnessed firsthand her knowledge, efficiency, organization, planning, and interpersonal skills. Ashley was assigned to the project midstream and quickly went into problem solving mode to ascertain the full picture for untimely delays in the project. While exhibiting a sense of purpose and establishing exigent timelines, she positioned the project back on schedule.
In addition to serving as project manager for the choral rehearsal hall, another tremendous accomplishment for Ashley was supervising the relocation of two of the three departments within the College of Arts & Media to modular units. The move was necessary due to the demolition of Spence Hall in preparation for a new construction project related to the College of Arts & Media at Southeastern University. Ashley coordinated the ordering of modular units, determined appropriate teaching space paired to the functional needs of the subjects being taught, coordinated moving days, and met with faculty and departmental chairs in ensuring a seamless transition. She contacted me almost daily, often multiple times within a day, either through email, a personal visit, or phone call. Simply put, her client service was superb.
I believe the hallmark of her skillset is exemplified through the process in which she helped construct temporary practice rooms for our department of music; they aren’t simply modular units. The temporary units morphed into rehearsal space that ultimately proved better than facilities previously housing our music faculty and students. To be quite transparent, I am not aware of another post-secondary institution in the nation that has designed such temporary rehearsal space for musicians. What once were basic modular units have been retrofitted for acoustical considerations, inclusive of additional electrical needs, absorption panels, diffuser panels, and complete acoustically-tiled ceilings. In addition to placement of modular units, Ashley coordinated the efforts of Williams Scotsman, Acoustical Services, Inc., and Siebein and Associates, Inc. in taking the project to completion.
As you prepare to engage in the daunting task of hiring an operations manager for your project, especially a fine arts project, I urge you to give immense credence to Ashley Horton. I would welcome the opportunity to work with her once again, and I am confident she will surpass all your expectations. Please feel free to call on me if I can be of further assistance in illustrating the exceptional work of Ashley Horton for the College of Arts & Media at Southeastern University.
Craig S. Collins, Ed.D.
Dean, College of Arts & Media