Note: At its Dec. 6 Women in Business Breakfast, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce named twelve Women of Distinction for 2020. In recognition of their achievements, the Morning Sun will be publishing profiles of each Woman of Distinction.

PITTSBURG — Ashlee Ricks grew up in Crawford County, and still lives here, in a rural area not far from Arma. She attended Pittsburg State University, earning a Bachelors of Business Administration in marketing in 2009 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 2010. She now teaches a business strategy course at her alma mater.

Ricks founded Epic Exhibits, LLC, a company that consults with and helps other businesses plan trade show exhibits, conferences, meetings, and corporate events. She also serves as Association Executive for both the Pittsburg Board of Realtors and the Southeast Kansas Association of Realtors, although she has never worked in the real estate business.

“I actually was kind of switching careers,” she said. While working to get Epic Exhibits up and running, the position with the Pittsburg Board of Realtors became available, so Ricks applied for the job and got it.

“It’s kind of materialized into a little bit bigger thing than I had originally planned,” she said. Ricks has now been working for the Pittsburg Board of Realtors for close to two years, and for nearly a year for the SEK Association of Realtors. She is currently taking courses to earn certifications to further her work in both her roles with the realty boards and in running her event planning business.

When Ricks heard she had been nominated as one of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Women of Distinction, “I was very excited and humbled and I felt very blessed,” she said.

“I know there’s a lot of deserving women out there who also probably deserve that award, so I was pleasantly surprised, I guess you could say,” she said.

“Obviously I would like to thank my husband and my family for their support always throughout my career, and thank those in the community for believing in me and for nominating me, for whoever nominated me for this award.”