ASHTON HAGOOD

Company: Torrent Consulting
Position: Partner Alliance Manager
Age: 28

WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Fayetteville, North Carolina.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?

24 Years.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?

After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education in 2011, I spent four (amazing!) years as an elementary school teacher within the Cabarrus County School District. However, with North Carolina’s educational system becoming more politically fueled and uncertain each year, I finally decided to explore other career options after finishing the 2014-2015 school year. Through connections I made while teaching, I landed an opportunity to interview for an entry level, part-time position with Torrent Consulting. Within weeks, my role transitioned into a full-time, permanent position with the company. As the company experienced massive growth, my role also flourished and I was continuously granted new opportunities and responsibilities. Currently, I serve as the Partner Alliance Manager, responsible for creating an entirely new program and business channel for the company. I love having the opportunity to meet with other companies within the Salesforce ecosystem and learning about the amazing, innovative solutions that we can offer to our clients! I spend the majority of my free time going on adventures with my husband, Benjamin. We love exploring new places in Charlotte each weekend. It’s such an exciting time to be in Charlotte. The growth we’re experiencing is so energizing – there’s never a lack of new restaurants, bars, breweries, or activities to try out! During the fall, you’ll find me cheering on the Gamecocks and Panthers each weekend.

DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?

My most memorable moment was at the finish line of my first Girls on the Run 5k. On race day, I was paired with a student who had particularly struggled throughout the entire program. As the head coach that year, I had poured my heart into mentoring her but I had serious doubts that she’d even show up to participate in the final race. Self empowerment, building confidence, healthy choices, and physical fitness were not themes that she was exposed to very often in her home life, so the entire Girls on the Run program – while amazingly impactful for her, was also bit overwhelming for her at times.

I was thrilled when I saw her arrive, but knew that the biggest challenge was yet to come. I’m not going to lie – that 5k took us a LONG time! There were several times when asked to quit and was clearly frustrated that I was pushing her so hard, but that all changed the moment that the finish line became visible. We turned the last corner of the course and saw nothing but banners, signs, the huge decorative arch over the finish line and hundreds of people cheering us on. The smile that immediately came across her face was the biggest I had ever seen. She picked up her pace and finished that race with self-pride oozing from every pore - I had never seen someone more proud of herself! I feel incredibly blessed that I had the opportunity to be present in that life changing moment with her!

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY?

I contribute my time to organizations such as Girls on the Run, Habitat for Humanity and Susan G. Komen. However, I also contribute my ability to truly listen and understand others, my strength in finding common themes that unite us all, and my passion for providing equal opportunities to people of all backgrounds.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?

Experiencing all the new places that Charlotte has to offer, reading books that encourage self-growth and self-discovery, traveling to new places with my husband, Gamecock and Panthers football, deep conversations over a bottle of wine with friends, trying out new recipes, and since we just purchased our first home – learning how to garden!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?

“Why Not?!” It’s short and simple, but it’s my go-to mantra anytime I’m facing a new challenge, struggling with self-doubt, or giving encouragement to a friend. It always reminds that anything is possible and the only limitations are the ones that we impose on ourselves.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?

Professionally, I see myself still with Torrent Consulting, in a role of leadership that allows me to mentor and impact others in the organization. I’d love to be in a client-facing role, ideally managing strategic relationships. I’m extremely passionate about developing the processes and methodology that drives how we stay engaged with our clients and partners.

In the community, I see myself involved with initiatives that work to bridge the gaps between people of different races, religions, and socio-economic statuses. As much as I adore Charlotte and the positive changes that we’re experiencing, I’m increasingly aware of a massive divide that we’re facing between the “new vs. the old” and the “haves vs. have nots”. Many of us are very quick to grasp onto the excitement of a new brewery or the expansion of the light rail, but gloss over the segregation and injustice that also affects our community. I want to find a way to give an equal voice and equal opportunities to every single citizen of Charlotte.

CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

Before I die, I HAVE to stay at least one night at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?

Last August for my honeymoon in Mexico, but using it again in a few days to travel to Bonaire!

WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?

I have an obsession with both Bravo reality shows and political conspiracies. I spend an embarrassing amount of time engulfed in each! I absolutely love learning about the secretive, sometimes shady, inner workings of American politics – but equally love watching any of “The Real Housewives”. You can’t tell me that there’s ever been anything more entertaining than Kelly Bensimon’s breakdown at Scary Island, Aviva’s prosthetic leg throwing, or Camille’s dinner party. I WILL be on “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen one day!

WHO IS YOUR HERO?

My little brother, Tommy. I envy his sensibility and pragmatism, as well as his ability to walk into a room and immediately befriend every single person. He’s always been the calm, constant factor in my life – grounding me when everything else seems chaotic. I have no doubt that he’ll probably become the President one day!

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?

“Clean” by Alejandro Junger. If you have any interest in how our food sources and choices affect our overall mental and physical well-being, I highly recommend this book!

WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?

I’m embarrassed to publicly admit this, but I really hate watching movies! I very rarely go to the movie theater, but my husband was able to successfully convince me to go see the latest King Kong movie with him a couple months ago.

WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?

Darius Rucker.