Downtown Spotlight: Aschelle Morgan of One Spark

Just one day away from One Spark’s Opening Ceremonies, and you can feel the excitement in the air Downtown. If you are just coming out from under your rock, don’t worry, you can learn about and see how to experience the event here.

Over the past year, DVI has had the opportunity to collaborate with the One Spark team and has gotten to know many of its movers and shakers, like Aschelle Morgan. She’s one of the staff members who is taking the spark and creating fire! Learn more about Aschelle in our Q+A:

Name: Aschelle Morgan

Job: Community Outreach and Engagement Manager

Explain your role at One Spark:

If you ask the One Spark team, my role can best be summed up by “Thanks and yay!” While my primary focus is here locally, I have the incredible role of getting to work with organizations and stakeholders  in the Southeast region to pull off what I believe to be a true game-changer for Jacksonville. Whether that is managing partnerships, rallying supporters, fulfilling speaking engagements or planning promotional events, my purpose in the organization is to get the entire community as jazzed about One Spark as we are.

How did you get involved with One Spark and why?

I initially got involved in One Spark as a volunteer after attending a couple of meetings at CoWork Jax to hear about the idea in its infant stages. To say I was inspired would be an understatement. As a Jacksonville area native, I have always known the potential this city has. Overtime that developed into a huge passion for Downtown and an ever-growing ache to help put this city on the map. One Spark, to me, was an outlet for just that. Getting involved not only meant I could be a part of showcasing amazing talent, but it meant being part of a movement that uncovers the hidden gem of the South.

What do you love most about it?

Do I have to pick just one? I think the best thing about this job is all the new friends I have made along the way. More specifically, all the friends that are just as passionate about this city as I am. I have met so many people from all walks of life who not only want a fun and flourishing Downtown but are willing to put in the leg work to make it happen. It’s really incredible to be reminded of how amazing our community is every day.

What do you want One Spark to accomplish for Downtown?

I would love to see One Spark become a magnifying glass for everything amazing that is our Downtown. Although we won’t know what the impact will be for years to come, it would be a pretty incredible thing to look back and say a side effect was uncovering for the world everything our urban core has to offer.  If that turns into business and residential growth, fantastic, but even if it’s just making us a destination once a year, that’s a pretty astounding thing, too.

What have you learned about Downtown, yourself and anything in between?

Oh boy, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve joked that this job has been equivalent to getting a masters, Ph.D. and J.D. Whatever you need to know about doppelganger outreach, how to power through sleep deprivation or open container laws, I’m your girl.

In all seriousness though, this has been an incredible ride learning about all things Jacksonville and how to create success in our city. The biggest takeaway I have from this journey is how incredible our existing Downtown community already is. I think sometimes we get so caught up in what we want this city to be that we forget to stop and appreciate our existing local character. More importantly, the team of players that contribute everyday by simply doing what they love. From hole-in-wall business owners to community leaders to even the cool 20-somethings with the rockin’ tattoos, thanks for making our urban core something to be proud of. You are the foundation that makes something like One Spark thrive.

What are your plans after One Spark?

Sleep. Dos Gatos. Repeat. Just kidding…kind of.  After One Spark 2013, I’m pumped to move onto…drum roll please…even more One Spark! The team and I are excited to gear up for another year of showcasing innovation in our urban core. I can’t wait to see One Spark evolve in years to come and look forward to continuing to support something truly special for Jacksonville.

Anything else you want to add?

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our creators, venues, community partners and One Spark enthusiasts for making this thing real. We can’t wait to have a blast with you all this week!

Make sure to download the One Spark app for iPhone and Androids and get out there and vote!

This is more than supporting creators and One Spark, it is about supporting our community.