Bard on the Beach relies on an incredible team of staff, Company members, and volunteers to help put on our Festival every summer. We are so excited to continue our People of Bard series, which will spotlight just some of the wonderful individuals who make our work possible. If you missed our last spotlight on Assistant Head Electrician and Venue Technician Rachel E. Ross, you can read it here.

This week, we’re excited to be highlighting our incredible Administrative Coordinator, Ashley Naim! Ashley first joined Bard last summer as a seasonal employee in our Development team, before returning in November as our full-time Administrative Coordinator.

As the Administrative Coordinator, Ashley works at the front desk of Bard’s administration offices, welcoming visitors and answering any inquiries we receive by phone or email. In addition to reception, her role also involves office management, staff engagement, and Board administration. Ashley really does it all! We’re so grateful for everything she does to keep our administration offices running smoothly, and we’re thrilled to be speaking with her today.

Ashley on site at Sen̓áḵw in the Bard Village. Photo by Jasmine Ruff.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
I just love organizing – it’s very up my alley. Even with these bookshelves at the front desk, I’ve logged every single book on there. It’s like I’m the little librarian. I just love stuff like that. It’s nice to sit at the front desk as well. I’m very friendly, but I’m not super extroverted, so I’m kind of forced to be extroverted. It actually kind of works, because now I know everybody in the office, and it’s literally just because I sit here. I get to know people, and I like the nature of the job – it just suits my lifestyle and my personality.

What were you looking forward to most this Season? 
I was looking forward to seeing the shows. I love theatre, so that was super fun. This Season was also a little different because I’m wearing a Development hat and an admin hat, so I got to plan out all the Member events for the Season. The most exciting thing for me was seeing everything come together when you’ve been planning it for so long. I also got to meet a lot of our Members when I’ve only ever read their names before.

Do you have a favourite memory from this Season at Bard?
The Member Backstage Tours are so fun. I got to plan them out, and then on the day, my main job is just making sure everyone’s on time, so I run around site with a little bell. It’s just such a good time, and I get to stop and listen in and look at things. That one’s a really fun event.

On the admin side, honestly, every office gathering is a really good time. Every month in the off-season, we do an office gathering day where everyone’s in the office and I feed all the staff. Last year, one of the optional activities we did was a little mural walk. A few of us just went around the neighbourhood and looked at the murals, and we did the tour on the app. That was really sweet.

When you aren’t helping to put on a Festival, what do you like to do in the summer? 
I love going to the movies with my partner. We go all the time – last week, we went three times. VIFF had 80s movies all through August, so last week we saw Do the Right Thing, which was so, so good. Then we went to a mystery movie, so they don’t tell you the movie until you sit down, and it ended up being Miracle Mile. It was good, but it was just so random, and then we saw Hairspray, the original Hairspray from the 80s with Divine.

I’m also a crafty gal, I love crafts. I’m doing a paint-by-numbers while watching YouTube videos. I love Stardew Valley. I’m a big reader, but now, because of Stardew Valley, I’m like, well, my books can wait. Literally, if I’m not doing something with my partner, I’m playing Stardew Valley.


Thanks so much for chatting with us, Ashley! Be sure to stay tuned for more instalments of our People of Bard series in the weeks to come.