Ashland will always be home for Barbie Lange

Alumni Spotlight

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Ashland will always be home for Barbie Lange

Barbie Lange, 1978 graduate of Ashland College.

Barbie Lange, 1978 graduate of Ashland College.

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Barbie Lange, 1978 graduate of Ashland College.

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Barbie Lange, 1978 graduate of Ashland College.

Zach Read, MANAGING EDITOR OF THE COLLEGIAN

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Growing up and living in a small town is not meant for everyone, but for some it can mean a lifetime full of investment towards the same community. If the ladder is achieved, then that person can look back on life and say that they have given back to the community and helped it to grow.

Ashland College alumnus Barbie Lange is one of those people who can say that she has been so blessed to grow up in the town of Ashland and live here her entire life.

Lange, a 1978 graduate of then Ashland College, has lived a life devoted to public service and the betterment of the city of Ashland.

“This is home, this is where I love and this is the community that I want to see prosper and give back to so that means really digging in and being involved and participating on boards, committees and counsels for the betterment of the people and the community,” Lange said.

Lange’s most recent occupation is serving as the President/CEO for the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce for nearly 10 years before resigning just recently on Sept. 18.

Lange said there were some hard days through her time as president, but also said it was very rewarding to learn something new about Ashland everyday.

“It never got old, it was always something new; I would learn something new about a local organization, the people or the community every single day,” Lange said.

Lange now says that she will be entering into the business of selling real estate in the Ashland area and says she has felt like she has had a background in business her whole life through her previous work experiences.

Upon graduation from AC in 1978, Lange decided to stay local and started working for The Timken Company where she was a clerk typist. She continued to work her way up into human resources and then HR and finance later on.

“Once I got into HR I really enjoyed that aspect of it and helping the employees in doing the benefits, compensation and managing the supervisors doing performance evaluations,” Lange said.

In 2002, Lange became one of the co-owners when Timken sold the company. Lange, along with a few other individuals on the business team and some outside investors purchased the company which is when it became known as Ashland Precision Tooling.

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce
Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Lange is pictured fifth from the left.

Lange helped to run Ashland Precision Tooling until December of 2009 when she moved on to the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce.

During her time at Ashland College, Lange received an associates degree in secretarial sciences and was involved with plays and musicals. She later returned to take classes at Ashland in the 80s and then finished up her Bachelor’s degree in management from Malone College in 2003.

When asked if she had any advice for current college students at Ashland, Lange said, “Once they get into the profession and the work God has for them to do, they need to think about how they can give back to the community in which they live and help to see it prosper and grow. And by doing that you need to get involved.”

Personally for Lange, involvement in organizations and committees within the community is not a characteristic that she is lacking in. Lange is involved with the Ashland City Strategic Planning Committee, Ashland Main Street Board, Co-Chair of the AU Community Involvement group, AU Business Advisory Committee and countless chambers of commerce to name a few.

Not only has Lange lived in Ashland her entire life, but her ancestors were some of the first settlers in Ashland in the mid to early 1800s. She also said that her cousins live on the same farm that their ancestors built and lived on during that time.

Needless to say, Lange has deep roots and ties within the Ashland community that she never wanted to leave. Ashland was home.

“It’s been a real joy to see how Ashland has blossomed in that regard over the years, and to have had some small role being one of the many hands, feet and voices of people that have poured themselves into the community; and that’s a real honor,” Lange said.

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