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September 01, 2013

Where Talent Matters | A Bold Faced Blog Series … Meet Gretchen Hirsch

Posted 5 years 172 days ago by Alison Harrison

Our Ashton Associates are great at what they do – that goes without saying. But terrific consultants are so much more than the work they do and we love to find out what other talents and passions motivate them away from the office. This month we caught up with Ashton associate, Gretchen Hirsch.


So tell us a little about your background and how long you’ve been a consultant. I’ve been consulting since 1990. Prior to that, I was VP Marketing for a hospital system in Ohio.


And what kind of consulting work do you do?  When I left the hospital system, I set up my own shop to provide communications consulting, writing and editing. I’ve had long-term consulting jobs in nonprofits and healthcare, financial services and education.

I’ve also written eight books. The first was in 1984 about time management for women, which was a very hot topic at that time. I also wrote a biography of Bud Wilkinson, the famous football coach and two books on the education of gifted children.


For the last five years, I’ve been an independent editor helping people get their books ready for submission to agents or editors or for publishing. I also have a part time job – I work in marketing in a university here in Columbus, Ohio.


How on earth do you find the time? I don’t! You remember what my first book was? Time management for women! I learned and I used.


What do you most enjoy about being a consultant? I love being able to learn new things and the freedom to set my own hours.


What kind of clients do you work with most often? I mostly work with nonprofits and financial services companies. Size doesn’t matter, it’s more important that clients understand what we can do for them and want to work with us.


What was one of your favorite consulting assignments and why? I have two favorites, both in the nonprofit health sector. I have a big love for healthcare and I really enjoy it. My father was a doctor, his father was a doctor, so it’s something I have a lot of affinity for.


What have you been working on lately?With Ashton212, I’m working on a rebranding project in education. On the editorial side, I recently finished editing the second part of a trilogy. It’s great because the author’s really funny, which is hard to find.

You were the first Flyin’ West consultant and now you’re working with Ashton 212. Why is it such a good fit for you? I first met Sheila on a project here in Columbus and we just hit it off. It was one of those perfect clicks where our skills were completely complementary—she brought marketing skills and I had the communications piece, and it was just a very good fit.

So we have stayed at it since 1997 and the funny part of it is that we’ve probably seen each other less than 10 times in all those years. It’s all been by phone—we even won a big award from Working Woman’s magazine for a nonprofit organization we co-founded which we facilitated mostly via phone.


I’ll continue working with Ashton212 because I know that whatever Sheila does and whatever she is associated with will be A - Team stuff, top-drawer work, and that makes it worth doing.


Where would we find you when you’re not working – what are you passionate about? Whenever possible I spend time with my grandchildren, four boys and a little girl. The oldest one is going to college in the fall and the youngest one will be starting second grade. I like to spend as much time with family as possible. And writing can be pretty solitary, so I also belong to a writing group and try to see friends as frequently as possible.


If you were listening to music right now, who would it be and what song would be playing? Michael Bublé – I’m a real Sinatra fan but, unfortunately, he’s dead so I have Michael Bublé instead! I also really enjoy classic Beatles and I’m a huge fan of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio. The first time I heard it, I cried for 20 minutes.


What’s the boldest thing you’ve ever done? Left a job without a job to go to. I don’t recommend it but it makes a good story.

Tags: Ashton212 Associate associate author consultant Gretchen Gretchen Hirsch Hirsch writer

Categories: categoryConsulting categoryWhere Talent Matters

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