Tag Archives: Chicago

Member Spotlight: Amanda Schmidt

iGnite - Amanda SchmidtRoots:
I was born in Chicago but became a Texan at the age of 2 when my Dad took a teaching position in Dallas with the business school at SMU. I grew up in Dallas and graduated from Highland Park High School and then from Smith College in Northampton, MA in 1986, after which I worked in Spain for a year. I landed in Austin for law school at UT in 1987 and have lived here ever since.

Basic family stats:
I am married to Dick Schmidt, and we have 3 daughters: Samantha (sophomore at Northwestern University), Sophie (senior at Westlake High School) and Lucy (freshman at St. Stephen’s).

Current/Previous Occupation:
After law school, I got to clerk for Justice John Powers on the Austin Court of Appeals for a fantastic year after which I practiced commercial litigation for ten years, mostly at the firm Clark, Thomas here in Austin. After trying to practice a litigation practice with mom responsibilities and feeling like I wasn’t doing well at either thing, I retired when our third child, Lucy, was born. For the last 15 years I have worked as mom and participated in a variety of volunteer jobs through schools and philanthropies.

Biggest lesson learned through iGnite experience:
I have learned a lot of life lessons from many of the dear women I have gotten to know in iGnite. I’d say the most important lesson I’ve learned is to surround yourself with positive people who support you and don’t waste your precious time with people who drag you down.

Who inspires me the most and why:
My mother is a terrific role model to me and my biggest inspiration. If asked this question ten years ago, I would have picked someone more illustrious like Amelia Earhart for following her dreams and breaking accepted norms for women, but in the last few years I have come to realize what I should have known all along: my own mother lived her life the way I hope to live mine. She was a wonderful and supportive friend to many people, and she maintained an extremely positive outlook on life, living it to the fullest, even after losing her lifelong partner (my Dad) and her youngest daughter in the course of 15 months.

In my free time, I like to:
Other than work out with iGnite, I love to read, see movies, travel (especially to snow-covered mountains) and just hang out with my family.

If I were an ice cream flavor, I would be:
Chocolate because it brings so much enjoyment to so many people; chocolate is a real mood booster!

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Member Spotlight: Ashley Lottman

iGnite Member Spotlight

iGniter of ~ 4 years

Technically I’m from Chicago. When I was younger, we moved every 2-3 years for my dad’s job, but our last move was to Chicago when I was 11 so it became home. I’ve lived in Austin for 8 years on and off. I went to UT and moved back to Chicago for a job in 2007. I came back to Austin in July 2011 when my fiancĂ©, Ryan, decided to get his MBA from UT.

Family Life:
I am engaged to Ryan Brueckner, and we are getting married October 17th in Austin! Ryan is a Consultant for Deloitte so he’s typically traveling for work Monday through Thursday. Thus, we really cherish our time together on the weekends! Although we don’t have any kids, I’d love to have 3 later on down the road.

Work life:
I am currently a Banker with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, and I work with individuals to help them with investment management, banking and estate planning. I started with the bank 8 years ago when I was right out of college as an assistant and worked my way up to Associate and now Banker.

Biggest lesson learned through my iGnite experience:
I’ve learned many things, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. With the encouragement of the iGnite leaders and my friends in class, I find I continually surprise myself with what I can do and love that I am always challenged to do more.

Best advice I’ve received:
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received came from my dad which has served me well over the years. He always told me to never stop challenging myself and go out of my comfort zone. This advice has led me to set challenging goals for myself which has helped me to continually learn, grow, try new things, and be open to new experiences.

I am looking forward to:
My wedding! We are very blessed to have friends and family flying in from all over the country to help us celebrate our big day. I’m also very excited for our honeymoon. We will be spending a week laying on the beach in Bora Bora and then two weeks exploring the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be:
Tennis shoes. I love to be active and love to travel/explore and being tennis shoes would allow me to do both all the time!