Meet Jo. Jo is our Executive Coordinator. She has purple hair and is an expert level multi-tasker, meeting planner, logistics organizer and cool Chicagoan. She always makes sure everyone is doing their job! I recently learned that she is Polish (as am I) and we are planning to exchange golumpkis to see whose are best. Jo is always on top of everything making sure the company is running smoothly and efficiently. I spoke with Jo about her five favorite things and here they are!
What do you do for East Fork?
I am the Executive Coordinator at East Fork. I do a variety of organizational tasks behind the scenes to try to make life easier for our founders and our team. I can usually be found behind a giant monitor in my home office.
Tell me about the objects you chose.
Bird Feeder: Since moving to Asheville last fall, I have gained a far greater appreciation for the outdoors. After spending most of my life in and outside of Chicago, I haven't really connected with nature until now. Granted the Chicago skyline is a majestic sight, but it is not quite as lovely as the Smokies. I love seeing my little bird friends outside my window throughout the day. They remind me that there's a lot more to this city than just good food and beer.
I love watching the birds flutter and chirp around my yard too! Ok, next?
Deep Dish Pizza: I love food... and anything related to it! Deep Dish is one of those quintessential Chicago things. While it is not my favorite type of pizza, it reminds me of Chicago and my friends back home. Pizza brings people together! Pizza for president!!! (PS: Thank you to Nikki and Dana for these pizzas!!!)
Deeply agree with the pizza love. I’ve never tried deep dish; I’m curious, but it kind of freaks me out. Was this frozen one sent to you from friends back home?
Deep Dish pizza is delicious! But it is also intense. It's a nap inducing meal, like Thanksgiving dinner. My friends Nikki and Dana gifted Jordan and I with a pizza gift card as a going away present when we left Chicago. This was to be used in the event of home sickness or hunger... and it really came in handy. Thanks again ladies!!!
Ok, whats next?
Bone Folder: This is one of my oldest crafting tools. I have used it so much that it has chipped and bowed. It has made MANY invitations and paper crafts over the years. Something I don't have as much time for these days. I enjoy making things with my hands or even simply writing notes to mail to friends - getting something other than bills/junk in the mail is always a treat. My friend Traci and I have an art card project where we mail a card back and forth and each add new embellishments to it. Highly recommend this - you NEVER know what you'll get back!
I've always thought bone folders were such beautiful tools - so strong, yet simple as they come. Can you tell me about the bowl?
Sugar Bowl: This is a hand painted piece of porcelain from a city in Poland called Opole. I have not been there YET. Mine all came from various shops in Warsaw. This and other pieces remind me of my family and my Polish heritage. My mother and other family members have always had these pieces on display in their china cabinets. I admired them since I was a child and felt like it was some sort of rite of passage into adulthood to own my own. I have collected a number of these pieces over the years, which I to used to display... but at some point I decided that it was silly. Delicate or not, it's a functional item and should be used!
That sugar bowl’s sweet as can be. Who’s that in the photo?
This is a photo of my mother sometime before I was born. I lost her to sudden sickness a few years ago. I love seeing this photo specifically as it makes me smile to see her young, happy and full of strength. When I moved into the house I am in now, I hung (2) pictures of her... Both of them came down simultaneously in the middle of the night. I don't think she liked where I hung them!... I moved them to a different wall and have not had any issues. She was always a goof! And she loved birds, which is how I became a bird lady.
What’s your favorite way to get outside in Asheville?
I like to explore! My partner Jordan and I like to get out, walk around, and see what's out there. Greenways, parks, neighborhoods, restaurants, bars...we like to explore anything that is new to us. We have a system where we pick an area, walk around, and then visit a handful of the local establishments. Our rule is that we have to stick to one drink and snack at each place. It's a fun way to try new places and also to see things we might not have initially noticed without going on foot.
For outdoors specific experiences in town, I really enjoy the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary and the Asheville Botanical Gardens. They're great places nearby to take a short walk or sit by the water for a relaxing moment.
I have also gotten into gardening and enjoy spending time outside pending to my patio garden. I've got a variety of things going like herbs, cucumbers, peppers, and some sickly tomatoes. I think all the rain did them in! This is my first time growing and it's def a learning experience.
Thank you, Jo! We appreciate you!
(Interview by Anne Symons)