December 2018 Young Professional Profiles: Ashley Smith & Hannah McCarthy

AshleyAshley Smith is originally from Venango County and is passionate about helping our region thrive.

She grew up in Sandycreek Township and graduated from Franklin Area High School. She then went on to attend Clarion University, where she got an associate’s degree in Industrial Technology (specialized in Computer Aided Drafting) and her bachelor’s degree in Technology Leadership.

Ashley is currently a Land Use Planner at the Venango County Regional Planning Commission and is also studying towards a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Youngstown State University.

Some of Ashley’s proudest achievements include being a feature majorette baton twirler her junior and senior year of high school, then going on to twirl at a college level. At college, she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and graduated Cum Laude.

With her husband, Jake, Ashley lives happily in the historic district of downtown Franklin and looks forward to being a more active member of the community. She is a Be Here Ambassador and a member of the Leadership Venango Class of 2019, and she plans to take part in volunteering for more Franklin events and groups.

In her free time, Ashley is a Franklin High School Marching Band Bandfront advisor and volunteers with the Franklin Middle School Basketball and Wrestling Cheerleaders. She also enjoys spending time playing video games with her husband.

Ashley can often be found on the Allegheny River and French Creek fishing with her dad, at Leonardo’s or Trails to Ales enjoying dinner, or at a downtown event.

Professionally, Ashley is working toward grant writing with staff of the Planning Commission and plans to hone in on that knowledge to better serve the community that she is very passionate about. She has also been thinking about obtaining a PA Real Estate Salesman License and would like to become a part-time evening and weekend real estate agent within the next few years.

When asked what she enjoyed most about working in Venango County, Ashley said: “Since a majority of Venango County workers also reside in the area, employees are dedicated to creating a better community for their friends and families.” Thanks, Ashley, for being one of those community members with a goal to make this area a great place to live!


Hannah McCarthyHannah McCarthy wears many hats in Venango County—she’s an Arbonne International consultant, part-time employee at Caldwell Signage Solutions, performer and producer at the Barrow-Civic Theatre, and incoming FLEX Events & Fundraising Committee Chair.

She was born in Centerville, PA, then lived in Granada, MN, for a few years before moving to Venango County when she was four years old. Hannah was a homeschool student and, while in high school, competed nationally in speech and debate all over the country.

For five months, Hannah interned with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Houston, TX, where she traveled to Madrid, Spain, and New Orleans, LA. She also worked at Child Development Centers, Inc. during high school and at the start of her career, where she earned her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential—the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education.

Hannah started selling Arbonne in early 2017 and hopes to continue to grow her business in this area and bring more awareness to health and wellness. She also has dreams to continue to travel internationally, especially Ireland, New Zealand, and Italy.

The majority of Hannah’s free time is spent at the Barrow-Civic Theatre performing or staying behind the scenes as a choreographer, producer, and next year a director for the first time. She also enjoys hiking, playing guitar, dancing, and visiting local business such as Trails to Ales, Printers Cabinet and Curiosities, and Core Goods.

“There’s always something exciting going on. I’ve always said we live in our own version of Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference),” Hannah said. “I love seeing our area work together to make such wonderful things happen.” We’re happy to have Hannah playing a part in making those things happen!


These articles were published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) December 2018 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter. Find more young professional profiles here.

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