“You’re here for a reason.”
Ashleigh Davis’ mom told her those words as a young child, and she’s worked hard to live up to them ever since. Since 2010, she’s worked many different jobs in Santa Barbara that naturally led to her current position as community outreach coordinator for Montecito Bank & Trust. “This is what I should be doing,” she tells me. “It is perfect for me.”
Montecito Bank & Trust annually donates more than over $1 million to various nonprofit organizations in the greater Santa Barbara community, and it is Ashleigh’s job to facilitate the execution of these relationships while also running the bank’s extensive volunteer team.
Among other past jobs, Ashleigh worked for the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization, where she was able to get a “finger on the pulse of understanding how non-profits work.” She loves helping those in need, thinks it is rewarding to attend fundraisers all over town, and also finds it gratifying to help Montecito Bank & Trust make such a massive impact in our community.
I’ve known Ashleigh for many years now, and have always found her to be genuinely big-hearted and optimistic.
Here she answers the Proust questionnaire.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Team Blonde.” I play on Team Blonde for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football fundraiser and I call out Team Blonde whenever I can. Any time there is a mention of football, team sports, the color purple, or fundraising, I make sure to mention Team Blonde and all of the awesome ladies that I have had the privilege of getting to know over the past few years. We are a tribe of athletic beauties. Check us out on July 23 at the Polo Fields!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’m a perfectionist and what some would call high maintenance. I need to work on not being an over-achiever all of the time.
Who do you most admire?
I have a handful of powerful, female mentors in my life that I look up to as professionals, mothers, friends, and advocates, but no one can top my mom. She had four kids by the age of 25, which kept her from pursuing a college degree, yet she still paved the way for her career in management while having lunches packed and dinner on the table for us every day. She’s an incredible woman, with an unbelievable work ethic, and I still don’t know how she does it.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My height has always made me stand out, but more often than not I have people comment on my laugh. I enjoy a good laugh, especially those that bring me to tears. That’s when you know something was REALLY funny!
What do you like most about your job?
My job at Montecito Bank & Trust has been an absolute blessing from day one! I love all of my day-to-day tasks but my favorite part of community outreach is having the opportunity to attend nonprofit galas and fundraisers all over town! I have met so many amazing people that are doing incredible things for the local community, learned what it truly means to give back, and indulged in some of the best food and wine Santa Barbara has to offer. There’s never a dull moment!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness in my world looks something like this: a clear schedule, a bottomless bank account, and a private jet to take me around the world. Oh, and don’t forget a husband and a couple of kids!
What is your greatest fear?
What is your greatest extravagance?
I’d say my greatest extravagance lately is live music. I’m constantly buying tickets to shows and I love a good dance party!
What is your current state of mind?
Work hard, play hard. I don’t live in the American Riviera for nothing!
What is the quality you most like in people?
Ownership. I have the most respect for people in my life who take ownership of the lifestyle they create and lead – everything from their emotions, behaviors, value system, diet, etc. It’s a lot harder than it sounds!
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Spitefulness. It’s so hard for me to watch people mistreat others to prove a point or get ahead. An eye for an eye makes everyone blind.
What do you most value in friends?
I love so many of the qualities my friends have, and I truly believe in the statement that you are who you surround yourself with. Lately, I have really valued my friends’ ability to gather and actively plan time to catch up. Life gets so busy that sometimes I forget to slow down and reconnect with people that are important to me. I learn so much from my time spent with friends too as we chat about everything … a good gossip session is priceless!
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could play a musical instrument, specifically the piano.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I was born and raised in Clovis, CA and worked really hard to enable myself to move out of the Central Valley. My greatest achievement has not only been the move (which happened 10 years ago), but the ability to support the lifestyle I have created for myself here in Santa Barbara. Independence feels damn good!
Where would you most like to live?
I’m pretty stoked on where I currently live but I would always welcome the opportunity to live abroad. I did a brief study abroad program in Spain during my early college years and it was life changing.
What is your most treasured possession?
My cat Batman. He brings so much joy to my life!
Who makes you laugh the most?
My dear friend and roommate Hailey always has me cracking up! We joke that every hour in our house is Happy Hour! Non-stop entertainment.
What is your motto?
“A place for everything, and everything in its place.” I’m a very organized, calculated person and I thrive when there is balance and order in all aspects of my life. People tell me this will change when I have kids. I hope not!
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Hmmm, this is a tough one. I don’t know that I identify with a historical figure but I do appreciate a good Marilyn Monroe quote: “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
On what occasion do you lie?
My nieces and nephews come up with some random questions that are best left to their parents to answer at times. In those instances, I have to “fib” a little in order to move on to a new subject. Sorry kids!