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The original item was published from 1/19/2022 12:09:30 PM to 3/1/2022 12:00:10 PM.

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Posted on: January 13, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Town of Ashland Welcomes Four New Full-Time Staff

New Hires

The Town of Ashland welcomed four new full-time staff members between August 2021 and January 2022. The Business Development Coordinator and Planner II positions were hired to fill vacancies in the Town’s Planning & Community Development Department, while the Community Engagement Manager and Parks & Recreation Coordinator are new positions made possible by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

“I am excited to welcome these four highly competent and dedicated individuals to our team in Ashland,” said Josh Farrar, Ashland’s Town Manager. “They represent the next generation of local government leaders, and I expect the Town will benefit greatly from their professionalism, creativity, and considerable skillsets.”


Nicole Preisner was hired as the Business Development Coordinator for the Town of Ashland in August 2021. A graduate of Virginia Tech (2016), Ms. Preisner studied Applied Economic Management. Prior to joining the Town, she was the Senior Administration Manager for the Irrigation Association. Ms. Preisner works within the Planning & Community Development Department and can be reached at:

Spencer Norman joined the Town of Ashland as Planner II in the Planning & Community Development Department. Mr. Norman grew up in the small town of Smithfield, Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary and graduated in 2013 with bachelor’s degrees in history and government. In 2017, he earned a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mr. Norman has worked for the Counties of York and Henrico in local government planning before arriving in the Center of the Universe. He can be reached at:

Martha J. Miller was hired in November 2021 as the Town of Ashland’s Community Engagement Manager – a newly created position focused on community engagement and tourism marketing. Ms. Miller is a graduate of James Madison University’s School of Media Arts & Design (2005) and holds a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University (2011). Prior to joining the Town, Ms. Miller worked as a communications consultant and freelance writer. She spent 10 years working in the public relations, nonprofit, and internal communications fields in Washington, DC before returning to her hometown of Ashland in 2017. Ms. Miller reports directly to the Town Manager and can be reached at:

Emmy Houck joined the Town of Ashland as Parks & Recreation Coordinator – another newly created position – in January 2022. A graduate from Georgia Southern University, Ms. Houck holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Health Education from the University of Florida. She joins the Town with 12 years of experience in university recreation and corporate wellness program management. In her free time, Emmy enjoys playing recreational sports, Irish Dancing, and exploring Virginia’s parks with her husband and two dogs. She can be reached at:

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