Change in the Coalfields: A Podcast by Coalfield Development

Ashley Stinnett

December 30, 2021 Coalfield Development Season 1 Episode 29
Change in the Coalfields: A Podcast by Coalfield Development
Ashley Stinnett
Transcript
Brandon Dennison:

This is Change the Coalfields, a podcast by Coalfield Development. My name is Brandon Dennison. I'm the founder and CEO and I am your host. This week is different for a lot of reasons. For those of you that know us well, we have not in fact renovated the outweighing office. That Marshall University iCenter, led by Dr. Ben Eng has been kind enough to let us host a podcast here. We're thinking about making this a permanent setup because it's so nice. There's great equipment. There's a Starbucks nearby, and I'm excited this week to have Coalfield's very own Communications Coordinator, Ashley Stinnett, as our guest. Ashley, thanks for being on the podcast.

Ashley Stinnett:

I'm honored to be here.

Brandon Dennison:

So you are now the Communications Coordinator for Coalfield Development. I'd love to hear the long and winding story of how you landed here. What changes you've been a part of over the course of your life? So I know you grew up in Wayne County, is that right?

Ashley Stinnett:

That is correct. But not all the way out, Wayne (County). East LA, Lavalette.

Brandon Dennison:

Depending on local preference...

Ashley Stinnett:

Right? Yeah.

Brandon Dennison:

Your family, I assume goes back in Wayne County a while?

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, yeah, it's weird. My family originally settled in Putnam County...

Brandon Dennison:

Which is where you live now?

Ashley Stinnett:

Which is where I live now and migrated out to Huntington, down to Huntington, I guess some people would say. And so my grandmother was born and raised in Huntington. She was a Huntington High School girl and then met and fell in love with my grandfather, who was from Wayne. And then they just settled in Lavalette. And that's kind of where the family started. But there was still a split like between Cabell and Wayne County, and then with some remnants of the family in Putnam County.

Brandon Dennison:

Gotcha.

Ashley Stinnett:

So it's kind of aa three county origination.

Brandon Dennison:

When I say boyhood in Wayne County, what pops to mind?

Ashley Stinnett:

Football, running around on four wheelers. Walking around getting all nasty in Twelvepole Creek. You know, I have fond memories. My grandmother lived right on Route 152, which is where my mother lives in her house now, but it's, it's right there, right in Lavalette before you get to Tractor Supply. And so it's right on the main highway. And I always loved as a kid, because back then the traffic wasn't as bad and it was really quiet and they would always have like Saturday yard sales and big family get togethers. And that's kind of stuff that you know, you kind of hang on to, kind of go there mentally.

Brandon Dennison:

And Twelvepole Creek. There's nothing more West Virginia than playing in a creek.

Ashley Stinnett:

Playing in a creek, looking for crawdads maybe not so much fishing out of Twelvepole - and some people like turn their nose at that but depending on where you're at in Wayne County, you know, the creek goes from very narrow to very wide.

Brandon Dennison:

Sure.

Ashley Stinnett:

And surprisingly, there's actually a lot of fish in some areas of Twelvepole. I don't fish as much as I used to, but I grew up fishing a lot because I was very close to Beech Fork Lake, there at the marina side. So I'd always go over there as a kid and so just very outdoorsy, very stereotypical Appalachian.

Brandon Dennison:

And you mentioned football. So you went to Wayne High School.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yes, I went to Wayne High School. I grew up in sports, a multisport person and you know, really fell in love with sports, the bonding and the unity and I wasn't always the best at grades. So there was a little bit of a struggle there. And then when I graduated from high school and went to Marshall, I tried to stay active, played a lot of intramural sports, you know, try to stay in the gym as much as I could.

Brandon Dennison:

So those that know Wayne (County) sports are taken very seriously...

Ashley Stinnett:

Yes.

Brandon Dennison:

...in Wayne County. So what sports did you play? Were you part of any of those famous championship teams?

Ashley Stinnett:

I was not part of any championship teams. So when I was there, we were really bad in football. It was still a very much a baseball school, basketball was not very good. I did play basketball, ran track. We actually had a little bit "better than mediocre" track team my junior and senior year. You know, at one point I played soccer but we actually lost our soccer program. So Wayne's not had a soccer program since like 1996. Sports is a big deal in Wayne and then about probably around the late 90s, early 2000s, there was like a coaching change...and that's when Wayne really became a dynasty in Double A football in West Virginia.

Brandon Dennison:

So you missed it.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, I definitely missed that.

Brandon Dennison:

So what did you study at Marshall?

Ashley Stinnett:

So at Marshall, I never could figure out what I wanted to do. So I almost had a double major in history and criminal justice. I took a couple of semesters of theater, ended up just getting my bachelor's and I spent way too much time trying to recreate scenes out of Old School and being a good student. So I was that stereotypical college guy. Yeah, but I had a blast. You know, a lot of my family went to Marshall, so lots of support there. But I knew that education is important because I knew that education is desperately needed, because not everything works out. And you know, we see that now...

Brandon Dennison:

We can't all become professional athletes.

Ashley Stinnett:

That's right. That's right. So it's like, you know, people say, Well, what are you going to do when you grow up? What's your real job going to be? And so I did go to Marshall, did get my degree. And then some years later, I ended up, I was the guy that thought I needed not one but two master's degrees. So in hindsight, that probably was a mistake.

Brandon Dennison:

You overdid it there?

Ashley Stinnett:

I over did it, yeah.

Brandon Dennison:

You mentioned theater, so tell us about - I know you're an actor. You've done quite a few films now. Mainly film actor, right, as opposed to live theater. Where did that interest come from? And how does a boy from Lavalette, Wayne County become a famous actor.

Ashley Stinnett:

You know, Brandon, when I was really little, I say I dabbled. I was never really serious in theater. But I did some stage productions. My parents were old theater hippies, from from the heyday at Marshall in the 70s.

Brandon Dennison:

Really?

Ashley Stinnett:

So they were coming in on the heels of like, you know, Brad Dourif and Billy Crystal was here for a little bit. Yeah, the 70s was like big not just at Marshall, but in Huntington, a lot of community theater, theater, dinner theater. I mean, you had so many different stage venues...

Brandon Dennison:

I did not know that.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, it was unbelievable. So my parents, they met doing theater, and it's just been in the DNA. I've always wanted to be an actor, as a kid, I did, you know, some stage. And then as I got older, started doing some commercial work. But with me, I always had a love of movies. Like when I was little I was using like a VHS camera and I wanted to be one of the direct movies, wanted to write movies, and be in them - just kind of absorbed the whole atmosphere. Which you know, playing sports, and acting is kind of a weird combination. Weird dynamic there. So as I got older, I just really, you know, I would do other things. Like I spent nine years in higher education, but I would kind of sneak in some commercial work here and there, because it never really leaves you like it literally is in your blood. And no matter what I've always done...

Brandon Dennison:

What it that so, that makes it be such a deep thing? what makes it such a meaningful experience for you?

Ashley Stinnett:

It's, it's euphoric. It's a natural, it's a natural high to just be able to create something visually, that's entertaining. And to be able to step back from that and be proud of doing a good job and and being proud when other people are entertained and giving people a parachute. Because you know, life's a struggle. There's a lot of good in life, but there's a lot of bad. You know, people deal with financial, health problems, family problems, death. So we're always looking for a parachute, and an outlet to just disconnect just if it's for a 90 minute movie or 120 minute movie. And that was always my thing. If I could help alleviate that, you know, if I could just entertain somebody and have a blast doing it, then that's what I wanted to do.

Brandon Dennison:

I love the passion in your voice when you talk about acting.

Ashley Stinnett:

Well, and even in this job now, a lot of what I can do, I can channel that here at Coalfield via the communications outlet. Because with acting, there's creativity, there's being on different sets...

Brandon Dennison:

...storytelling. Part of the reason we've never had a communications coordinator before you, part of the motivation to hire one was, you know, I can give you statistics all day long. I can show you numbers on a PowerPoint all day long. That's not really going to change anyone's perspective or change anyone's life but powerful stories, it probably really is the only way most people's hearts and minds can be changed or swayed.

Ashley Stinnett:

You ever watched that movie? And when it goes off, you can't get it out of your head. Or there's a soundtrack that you just hear that music and it takes you to that scene. And long after the movie is finished, the ending credits have wrapped up, you're still thinking about it, or you're talking about it. I mean, that's where it's at. It's powerful.

Brandon Dennison:

Top three favorite movies?

Ashley Stinnett:

Oh, no, that is...

Brandon Dennison:

Does the answer change every time?

Ashley Stinnett:

It probably does. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Absolutely. Has that been true since childhood or is it a recent love? It's been true since childhood. Definitely Raiders Lost Ark, Shawshank Redemption has to rank up there.

Brandon Dennison:

Classic. I'm gonna tell you the definitive best three of all time. I'm gonna educate you.

Ashley Stinnett:

All right. Give it to me.

Brandon Dennison:

Forrest Gump.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yes.

Brandon Dennison:

A River Runs Through It. We Are Marshall.

Ashley Stinnett:

Oh my gosh. I knew you'd have to have a Marshall movie. The one and only Marshall movie.

Brandon Dennison:

Yeah, great movie.

Ashley Stinnett:

Those are powerful movies. A Time to Kill - the ultimate jury nullification.

Brandon Dennison:

Also featuring Coach Lengyel.

Ashley Stinnett:

I mean, you know, there's so many movies and I could just go on and on talking movies, because, you know, I watch movies as a fan. But then I watch movies as a student, and to study...

Brandon Dennison:

What makes for really good acting?

Ashley Stinnett:

So here's what's funny, in stage, it's about bold and projecting. But in film, it's about quiet and natural, the less you can do the better on film, you know. When I'm honing in on a role, and I really do like to do a deep dive and study roles. And I like roles that challenge me. It's like we were talking prior to this podcast, a role that I've been blessed to be a part of, actually here locally, it's a boxing feature length film, and that really challenged me mentally and physically - eight months, I had to become a trained fighter. And I enjoy that. You know, yeah, it shouldn't always just be playing yourself. So you know, and recently, I went out of state to Wilmington worked on a very great period piece about slavery in in America and how - it's a true story how a mother and daughter escaped the clutches of slavery, and it follows their journey that winds all over America, just fabulous.

Brandon Dennison:

Incredible, you reminded me of, in creative writing, which I'm not yet but I'd like to one day be, you know, a creative writer. There's this debate about some people say you should only write what you know, because you can only be true to that, which, you know. There's a whole nother camp says, well, no, the whole point of art is to walk in the shoes of another person to build empathy to understand other experiences that are different from our own. I think what I'm hearing from you is similar and acting that really the point of it is not just to do what you already know, but to stretch and challenge ourselves to understand different perspectives and different experiences.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, and my job is to bring a lot of truthfulness to an imaginary world.

Brandon Dennison:

Even though the world's not real, the points and the themes and the lessons are very, very real.

Ashley Stinnett:

Right. And I like good stories. I mean, yeah, I mean, I, you know, I grew up a horror fan. I cut my teeth on horror. Some of the old school horror movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, classic horror movies that are just they get you. But I love drama.

Brandon Dennison:

And there's nothing more dramatic. So you mentioned boxing, what's another, what's another film, you've been a part of that was a highlight for you?

Ashley Stinnett:

Well, other than the boxing, like I said, the recent film that I worked on, it's called Hope of Escape. It's a historical, you know, it's a period piece. It was really remarkable, very well shot, that definitely sticks out to me in a very, very minor role, because I was, so I guess I would have been 25 at the time. I worked a little bit on We Are Marshall, kind of hanging around the set. And so that was that was cool - that was kind of like a big production. But when I was 20, I was living in Wilmington, North Carolina, and working on a show called Dawson's Creek, and worked a little bit at Screen Gem studios, kind of trying to cut my teeth in like a bigger studio atmosphere. But I've done a lot of short films too...and so many projects, I just always take something away from it, you know, I try to get some meaningful projects.

Brandon Dennison:

So you can answer this as an actor, you can answer this as just someone who's grown up in West Virginia, you've been in addition to acting, you said, you've been in higher education, you've been in business, you've been in politics, you're now in the nonprofit sector at Coalfield. What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in the coal fields of Southern West Virginia? And then what are some big changes that that you still hope to see?

Ashley Stinnett:

Obviously, witnessing this transition away from what I would call "King Cole". I mean, it's happening. And, you know, realistically, it's not coming back. But there's brighter days ahead. And, you know, a big change for me has almost been internally, allowing myself to be educated and to see that there's other options on the table. And I'm, you know, what, I'm a very, I've always been a very open-minded person. You know, I like to hear other conversations. And so that's always been...

Brandon Dennison:

Not scared of a different perspective.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah. I've never been one to shy away from good conversation. Good, good, healthy debate. And I feel like that and someone is an artist, you know, I've always said, why aren't we bringing that to the table? That's been a change that I have started to see slowly, is a little bit more of an open mindedness to allowing different industries to come here. And at least a willingness to accept we need to, we need a lot more options at the table if we want to rebuild Appalachia.

Brandon Dennison:

Yep. We got to be more than just one thing.

Ashley Stinnett:

We do and we are unique. Appalachia is a big area on the map, but we're the only state where our entire state is inside of Appalachia. And it's in it's interesting beause we might be small population but we're so big geographically. You think about down in Welch, Beckley, Wyoming County, all the way all the way up to Chester West Virginia, which is geographically more north than then Pittsburgh and then all the way over to Martinsburg. I mean, we're big...it's a big landmass. And so I don't think you can be one dimensional when you're looking at how do we move this area forward economically, and and look at job creation. That always blew my mind that when people would sit down at the at the brain trust table, and they just, you just wouldn't hear a lot of options. And I would always say - this can't be it, there's got to be more to it.

Brandon Dennison:

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you've had a lot of experience in West Virginia politics. And you and I come at it from different angles, but actually, the more we talk, (we) share a lot in common we do.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah.

Brandon Dennison:

Tell us a little bit about your experience in politics. And were you disappointed by the lack of actual solutions that were coming out of the political process?

Ashley Stinnett:

You know, it's funny Brandon, as an actor, I definitely recognize theatrics. I would even go as far as say, even like histrionics, which can be summed up as politics. And I've heard you use a line when you talk about these issues about how you say a lot - we've heard a lot of promises that never come to fruition - or I'm probably butchering it. Yes, politics, lots of empty, broken promises, and and even from like, even, you know, from some community leaders and business leaders, and I think people have relied too much on politics, when sometimes solutions are right there in front of them. And I think that looking at issues from the ground up, I don't think everything is black and white either. And we've talked about that.

Brandon Dennison:

I totally agree with that. You know, I'm not a big believer, I don't like boxing people in, drawing a line in the sand and just making it if you don't believe this way, then you're on this side of the line. And I'm on the other side of the line. I think there's too much at stake to think like that. And so yeah, I've been disappointed politically, there are politicians that I have rooted for that have let me down. And as I've gotten older, I have evolved on several issues. And I look back, and it really came down to like an education, really understanding the issues and understanding the people that the issue effects and we just get caught up in these echo chambers, you know, everybody wants to be, seems like they want to be in an echo chamber. They just want everyone to kind of agree and back their narrative. Affirm what they already think.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yes, and that's not healthy.

Brandon Dennison:

This gets back to that empathy thing, too, that I'm hearing you, you as an actor, it's about understanding a different person's experience, and then trying to honor that and give voice to that on a screen for lots of people to share. I feel like we've got to find a way as a society to somehow have empathy and understand different viewpoints and not get so hateful.

Ashley Stinnett:

Exactly. You know, I hear a lot of people lecture on various issues, you know, the old saying, until you've walked a mile in my shoes, it's like, you just want to say to somebody, have you really been, have you spent time in an impoverished community in rural West Virginia? Have you been up these hollers?

Brandon Dennison:

And the answer is often - No. Well, we're dealing with, you're a communications coordinator, so you've had an interesting view, the amount of national media. I mean, you've been here how many months and how many different national media outlets have we talked to just since you've been here?

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, we've been pretty inundated. But you know, what's weird? What I'm trying to adjust to is closing the bridge a little bit. It's weird. We're in...this is a weird dynamic. We can get a big audience nationally, but not so much right here in our own backyard at times. And I don't mean necessarily like Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, you know...other parts of the state, Northern Panhandle, Eastern Panhandle. So it's just really like getting the message out and letting people in our own backyard know that we're here. But it has been an interesting thing to watch the number of national media outlets that inquire about...

Brandon Dennison:

It oftentimes (is) they want to meet a Trump voter. They want to meet a coal miner. And the story is already written. And they're just looking for an alias (to) basically, like, fill the character that they've already created. And so what made me think about this, when you said, Well, have you ever met somebody in hills and hollers, who's really dealing with poverty? You can't understand Change in the Coalfields and Appalachia off a five or 10 minute segment, right? And you got to spend some time here and build some relationships and to really understand what's going on here.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, and I think we can do a great job of the storytelling. And it's authentic, because a lot of what we do is real people are telling the stories. Even I don't... I have to, I have to keep myself in check. You know, I don't want to tell somebody else's story for them. You know, again, it's a unique situation and it's really easy for national media or someone, I hate to use the phrase from the outside, to come in, they get a snippet of what's going on, maybe they don't really go to certain areas, but all of a sudden, they just have this grandiose solution. And again, it doesn't always work that way.

Brandon Dennison:

Hardly ever works that way.

Ashley Stinnett:

And yeah, and I just think, I think, I think being here in the action is what makes us so unique and so invaluable to these communities. Because we're face-to-face. It's it's a relationship. It's it's a, it's a special bond that you could never replicate with someone that's not here in the state. And I don't mean to, I'm not trying to degrade or put dow - if someone moved here who had, who had a big heart...

Brandon Dennison:

They're welcomed.

Ashley Stinnett:

They're 100%...I'm not going to shut the door on somebody.

Brandon Dennison:

It's a point about storytelling. You know, who gets to tell the stories? Right, and what gets included in the stories of what gets cut out?

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah - and breaking stereotypes. You know, when I travel, even in acting, as soon as out my mouth somebody knows like, Well, this guy is not from...this guy's from somewhere down south. Just can't figure it out.

Brandon Dennison:

And then you tell him West Virginia, and then they say - Oh, I have a cousin in Roanoke.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, I have a cousin in Richmond. The other Virginia, the one that became a state during the war, not the Iraq War. Isn't it amazing how many people do not know that we're a state?

Brandon Dennison:

It's unbelievable. Yeah.

Ashley Stinnett:

I'm not kidding when I say this. I find people in Lexington, Kentucky, that do not know we're a state. And I'm like - how was this humanly possible?

Brandon Dennison:

Two hours away?

Ashley Stinnett:

Two hours away. And I'm a UK fan. I've had family in Lexington. I'm like - how's this possible? They just don't know.

Brandon Dennison:

So the podcast, this is an interesting podcast, because it's the last of the year. And this is the first time we've had a whole year of Change in the Coalfields. It's been really, really fun. And the point of this is to get stories out from a local perspective and to help people understand change that has happened, that is happening, that still needs to happen here in the coalfields. Listening to the podcasts, I love to hear your sort of into year reflections. What are some big themes that have emerged from this podcast?

Ashley Stinnett:

I mean, to use the same theme, there's been a lot of storytelling, I think this podcast showcases really genuine wonderful leaders that are emerging out of this state and, and very diverse backgrounds. And I think we do a great job of allowing these diverse individuals to tell their stories. One thing I love about this podcast is it's very conversational.

Brandon Dennison:

Yep. It's pretty much all it is - conversation with leaders and changemakers.

Ashley Stinnett:

But I think, I think because it is so conversational, and in a relaxed setting, people open up I think way more - people don't feel like they are under duress.

Brandon Dennison:

Well, we tell folks too you know, it's your podcast, when we have a guest. So if there's something that you aren't comfortable with, and you say, I don't want that, then we'll cut it. You know, there's no gotcha moments.

Ashley Stinnett:

Right. And there's been a lot of great stories told, and there's been a lot of good individuals come on who are helping to shape their communities in a positive way, and really start filling in the pieces of the puzzle.

Brandon Dennison:

That's a big takeaway for me, I think a lot of people think of Appalachia as a static place, sort of a place of yesterday, a place of the past, a place that got left behind. And I think what we've seen through this podcast is there's a lot of change that is happening, change that is afoot here. This is a dynamic place. This is an evolving place. It's actually a fairly exciting place to be right now.

Ashley Stinnett:

And that's what bothers me about the stereotypes. Because if somebody were to spend time here, they would quickly understand there's a good chance that they're going to have a lot of "wow moments". Wow, I didn't know people did this, or I didn't know that was that, that you could do. And so you're right. There's a lot happening here. And we are in such a unique position to tell these stories and really showcase what's going on right here under our nose. I've learned a lot.

Brandon Dennison:

So looking ahead to 2022, what communications goals do you have for our organization and our podcast?

Ashley Stinnett:

So my motto has always been, go big or just go home. You know, it's funny because one of the goals was to do this. Get cameras...yeah, lights, cameras, visual, headphones, graphics. So that was like an early check on the to do list this.

Brandon Dennison:

Thank you, Marshall University, Marshall iCenter.

Ashley Stinnett:

Early Christmas gift, appreciate that. But you know, I feel like that, you know, I know 2021 was a year of healing. And I think, to me, I feel like '22 is - I liken it to Superman was down and out, the kryptonite hurt, you know, but now he's back and he's better than ever. And I just feel like now it's time to be bold. And now it's really time to like, dig the heels in and get it done.

Brandon Dennison:

I love it. Actually speaking to each year at Coalfield, we set an intention. 2020 - our intention was that was going to be our breakthrough year where we just really achieved a new scale of impact and figured a lot of things out. And then, of course, ended up being the pandemic year. 2021 was healing, the goal is healing for ourselves healing for our communities, and our economies from the pandemic, healing for the planet from climate change. And I think, you know, it was up and down. But ultimately, I think we did achieve a lot of healing. You know, more than half of our trainees right now are people who are in recovery from substance use and the amount of healing that comes from our 33-6-3 model, our WRAPS program, the dignity of a job, you know, and the excitement of being part of an innovative business. But I like where your head's at that, you know, we sort of focus on ourselves this year, figured out a lot of systems, strengthened our businesses, consolidated some of our businesses into Mountain Mindful. 2022 is the time to scale it up.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, I think we can be bigger and better than ever, just and that's just my personal observation. I think that big things are on the horizon. And I know you're a big picture guy. And I really love that about you because you know, I'm big picture like, why, why settle for this? Why stop at this? It's in the - you're a football guy, so when you're coming out a locker room, and you're up by maybe a touchdown, and you tie the ballgame. And now you're up by three, now's not the time for conservative playbook, grind it out and get it done. Sprint to the finish the finish line.

Brandon Dennison:

So Ashley, we're gonna do this more. This is fun. This is gonna make a great sort of cap to the to the podcast. We're gonna do it here at Marshall, because this is great. You've been here, how many months now?

Ashley Stinnett:

Well, I was I was thinking about that today. So it'll be six months, I believe in December or January. It will actually be seven months in January. So...

Brandon Dennison:

You've almost (at the) halfway mark. How would you sum it up so far?

Ashley Stinnett:

You know, I don't want to sound too cheesy about it. But it has really been good for the soul. I've never worked for a company, and I've worked for several companies, and I've never worked for a company that truly cares about people, as much as Coldfield, and just puts people first. There's such a humanitarian presence about it that, you know, you can't replicate this. It's wild.

Brandon Dennison:

We're a weird bunch.

Ashley Stinnett:

But it's, but weird in such a good way. Like, I've never, I've never worked for a company that does so many good things to make the area around them so much better to make the lives of people around them so much better, but then stop and realize, oh, it's not about us, it's about them. And then just the gratitude, I just, you know, it's hard to really put it into words. And I think that if every company would model themselves after Coalfield with the human side of things, I don't know that you'd ever have turnover, right?

Brandon Dennison:

Make it a thing of the past.

Ashley Stinnett:

Make it a thing of the past. But in all seriousness, I'm incredibly blessed to be here, how that all unfolded was, was crazy. And I know that was a lengthy process. And I think everything happens for a reason. I think God, you know, allows people to meet, and little nuggets of life to germinate. And it has helped me out tremendously, both professionally and personally. Like I said, it's been great for the soul.

Brandon Dennison:

Well, I'm glad you're here. You're a huge addition to the team. I'm feeling very optimistic for 2022. You have, you're a family man, want to give a shout out to the family?

Ashley Stinnett:

Oh, yeah.

Brandon Dennison:

In case they happen to be listening.

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, my wife Sarah, and my three kids, I got three boys. So my house is a circus.

Brandon Dennison:

That must be a loud place - I've got two and it's pretty loud. So three...

Ashley Stinnett:

Yeah, Kennan and Kelan and Pierce. You know being a dad is a blessing, it really is, nothing is greater than fatherhood. It's awesome. Raising kids and you know, the wildness of that. And, and that journey is something special. So, my life's good. And you know, my thing is, I know that my life, I'm in a good moment right now, but I know some people are not. And and how can I give back? What can I do to change their course for the better?

Brandon Dennison:

Absolutely. I did. We're wrapping up. I thought of one last question. So what's the next? What's the next acting gig?

Ashley Stinnett:

Oh, a couple of small projects before the year is out. I don't let them interfere with my day job here at Coalfield. And then next year...

Brandon Dennison:

I'm watching your timecard.

Ashley Stinnett:

I know, right. Like next year, there's a couple of big projects. I was fortunate enough to get cast in a pretty big project. It's like 15 months out now over in, over in Kentucky. So knock on wood, there might be a pretty big name celebrity in that. I can't really give too much away but...

Brandon Dennison:

You got stuff - it's coming.

Ashley Stinnett:

There's some stuff on the horizon. Yeah, there's stuff on the horizon.

Brandon Dennison:

All right, Ashley. So thanks for all your hard work for Coalfield, for the region andd thanks for being on the show.

Ashley Stinnett:

I appreciate you so much.

Brandon Dennison:

Change in the Coalfields is a podcast created by Coalfield Development at the West Edge factory in Huntington, West Virginia. This episode was hosted by Brandon Dennison, and produced and edited by JJN Multimedia. Become a part of our mission to rebuild the Appalachian economy by going to our website Coalfield-Development.org to make a donation. You can email us anytime at info@Coalfield-Development.org and subscribe to our newsletter for up to date information on the podcast. You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn by searching for coalfield development. Check back soon for more episodes.