Ashley Dodd is the event specialist in The New England Center for Children’s (NECC) Development Department. Dodd, who joined NECC two and a half years ago, worked as the development coordinator for two years before taking over the event specialist position in January. She was nominated for being a hard-working team player who “represents the most positive aspects of NECC,” shared a colleague from another department. “Through events like the Boston Marathon, the Woo Sox [Autism Acceptance] game, and the 5K, she goes above and beyond to ensure smooth planning of events that benefit our staff and students!” Another colleague shared that Dodd is an “incredibly caring individual” who is “extremely dedicated to her role and always diligent in the work she does. All the hard work she does is always done ‘for the kids of NECC’,” which also includes taking on helper shifts at ITT in her free time.
As the event coordinator, what are your responsibilities and daily duties?
As event specialist, I work on planning NECC’s signature events, such as the Annual 5K Walk/Run for Autism and the Children of Promise Gala, which help raise much needed funds to support extracurricular programs and necessary equipment for students and staff. I have also managed TeamNECC’s Boston Marathon and Falmouth Road Race runners, and work on recording gifts and sending out donor communications. And of course, I have been the NECC Now host for the last year.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with my team behind the scenes to plan events for the community and then seeing how much fun the students have during them. Though I’m not a direct care staff, it’s important for us to make sure we plan great events for our students. Seeing such happy faces like we recently saw at the 5K makes everything we do worth it!
Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism?
Children with autism and special needs disorders have always held a special place in my heart. From engaging in volunteer work to caring part time for a young boy with special needs, I have always been interested in this field. Having a career that helps raise awareness and funds for such an important, yet meaningful cause, is so important to me.
I was introduced to NECC by my sister, Sara, who is someone I look up to personally and professionally. She started at NECC as an intern that led to a full-time job in HR. Given my passion for this field, I thought NECC would be the perfect place to go for my career.
What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn? (Any hidden talents, bad habits, interesting hobbies, etc.)
I’m about halfway into getting my master’s degree in marketing and communication. Working and attending classes full time doesn’t leave much room for hobbies these days!
What is your life philosophy or a motto you like to live by?
I have a small tattoo of a wave that reminds me to ride the way of life. To me, it means to live in the present, embrace the challenges, and find joy in every day.