Connect Series: Meet Ashley Kump, Our Assignments Specialist!

Ashley is our assignments specialist, responsible for scheduling the court reporters in our Vancouver and Victoria offices for discoveries, depositions, arbitrations and hearings. She is the master at strategic puzzles, which helps when she is planning which job each reporter will be on and which rooms everyone will be in.

It’s her job to ensure the court reporters are happy and have everything they need for their jobs. Outside of work Ashley divides her time between playing ringette, cooking, canning preserves and sewing. She grew up playing competitive ringette and still loves the game. She currently plays on the PCRMA Open team. She loves to visit farmers’ markets for fresh, local food to create her own canned preserves. Items purchased from the grocery store don’t compare to homemade canned goods! Ashley also loves spending time with her two dogs, Bella (16 years old) and Tiko (2 years old). Since Bella is an old grandma, Tiko helps keep her young with all his puppy energy.

What do you like most about being the assignments specialist at Reportex?

Since starting at Reportex my job has changed a lot. When I first started, I was a receptionist/scheduler, and we only had one floor with nine boardrooms. Since then Reportex has grown to multiple floors with 20 boardrooms, and it is still growing! The position slowly became too much for one person, and the position was split. A couple more splits down the road and I have now landed in the assignments specialist role. I like where my role has landed because it has become a more specialized role. However, I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have now if it weren’t for my position continuously shifting.

I have learned many angles of the business, and I utilize that knowledge to create the optimal experience for both the clients and reporters. Being at reception gave me an appreciation for how everything fits into place. Instead of my focus being pulled in multiple directions at the same time, I can now focus on one thing: the court reporters! I now have more time for them, and I can dive more fully into the bookings, which really helps with my daily strategic puzzle — the schedule! I love puzzles, and this is one where there is no template. There are many factors that have to be taken into account, such as seniority, restriction of all kinds and the number of counsel attending, to name a few. The assignments (or puzzle, as a lot of people call it) have always been my favourite part about my job. I love working with the court reporters and clients, and this position has allowed me to focus on the part of the job that I love.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

The core value that resonates with me the most is mentorship. Throughout my life I have always tried to be a mentor in all aspects of my life. Growing up, I thought I was going to be a teacher because I love to help people learn and grow. I have played ringette for 16 years, and throughout many of those years I have coached and mentored a lot of other players. I would do this by taking kids under my wing and teaching them to be goalies. While goalie is not a sought-after position, mentorship is the best way to get young kids excited about the position. There is very little training available to goalies in ringette, which results in there being a shortage of goalies. Through mentorship we can get the kids excited about a position they might have never tried without that support.

Scheduling at Reportex is something that sounds so easy, but there are so many little parts that come into being a good scheduler. I have been with Reportex for two and a half years now, and when I started, I knew very little about the reporting industry. The knowledge I have now is from asking questions and learning as I go. I love sharing my knowledge through mentorship. When people come to me with questions or apologize for bothering me, I love to help them figure out what they need to know. It is never a bother! I want to help, and I want you to understand what you are doing and why.

Mentorship is one of Reportex’s core values, and I think it is very fitting. It is something I strive to include in all aspects of my life, and knowing that it is one of Reportex’s values makes me feel comfortable asking questions when I don’t know the answer. I know that someone will take me under their wing and provide me with the knowledge I need to succeed!  

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

If I had to choose only three items I could take, I would choose a machete, a blanket and a bottomless bottle of wine. The machete would help me make a shelter, hunt, make sparks for a fire, prepare food and (most importantly) provide protection. The blanket would be for comfort and warmth. A little comfort for however long I’d be on the deserted island sounds like a good way to help keep me sane. While there are many better options out there for a third item, I am going to go with wine. It would keep me hydrated if I couldn’t find drinking water, and it would help pass the time. 😉

What is your top tip for aspiring sewers? 

Patience. If you want your project to turn out, you need patience. When you start to rush or skip steps, the project is unlikely to turn out the way you want. Following the directions step by step is really important, no matter how insignificant the direction might seem. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, forging ahead if you make a mistake will not help your project in the long run. Stopping to take out the stiches and redoing the section or ironing the work you just did is really important for your project. While ironing may seem like a very insignificant step, it can make or break your project. I have personally never been a fan of the ironing step, but I have seen the difference it can make to a project, so I’m always sure to include it.

What it really comes down to in the end, like I said before, is patience. If you can’t practise patience while sewing, your project is unlikely to turn out. I learned early on with sewing that patience is key and that people who rushed through their project had less success than those who took their time.

Do you have a favourite canned preserve recipe that you would like to share?

I love to can. I have made so many different types of canned goods in the past: carrots, pickles, salsa, jams, jellies, peaches, asparagus, spicy beans, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, roasted red peppers and jalapeños. I am sure I am still missing a few!

While canning isn’t the most economical hobby, it’s something that I’m passionate about. I don’t can in order to save money, and I realize that I could just go to the store and purchase the item pre-made. I do it because I like knowing exactly what it is that I’m eating and because the quality of food is so much better. I also have so much fun canning.

I have made a bunch of different things this year as you can see in the list above. This year I think my favourite recipe is salsa! I made more batches of salsa (four!) this year than I ever have before!

Below is the recipe for my salsa. If you like your salsa with more spice, I suggest adding more jalapeños. While eight jalapeños might sound like a lot, when they’re mixed with all the other ingredients, it’s really not! Let me know how it turns out for you!