We are pleased to welcome Ashley Dittmar, our new Chief Advancement Officer, to the team. Ashley brings strong nonprofit leadership experience to the role and a drive to build capacity. As we continue to scale our programs for growth, Ashley will lead fundraising strategy and oversee our Development and Communications department.
Learn more about Ashley below.
Tell us about yourself. What are a few things that you would like the Pajama Program community to know about you?
I grew up in the Tri-State area and filled my days with art classes, afternoons with a variety of sports teams and evenings/weekends at my first job scooping ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s. I was unsure what I wanted to do when I grew up, but the value of giving back and supporting your community was instilled in me from a young age. Moving to San Diego to attend college and later starting a career in nonprofit development after graduation felt natural. I love meeting with people, hearing what they are passionate about supporting, and connecting them to causes that are doing tremendous work.
After a decade in California, I moved back to NYC to be closer to my family. Being back east the past six years has brought many new adventures like becoming an aunt, accomplishing my goal of visiting 50 countries before 30, forming new connections and reconnecting with old friends. I also met my fiancé, moved into my first home, and have worked for three incredible organizations that support children.
What is your connection to the mission of Pajama Program?
My connection to Pajama Program’s mission began when Jamie (our Executive Director) asked me to support development efforts as a consultant. I easily fell in love with the mission and the team. As someone who needs 8-9 hours of sleep to be productive and have a good day, I understand how important sleep is to our lives. I also know that every child does not have the same access to bedtime materials and to a consistent bedtime routine. This is no fault of their own, but greatly impacts a child’s health and their futures. Though not on the team that works with children directly, I am responsible for raising the funds to support Pajama Program’s impactful work and I take a lot of pride in being able to connect people who want to support children with the work that we do.
When thinking about the opportunities that lie ahead, what are you most excited about?
I am incredibly excited about building our DevCom (development, marketing and communications) team to help share the Pajama Program’s mission and grow and engage our digital and donor communities. The work we are doing is unique, accredited and impactful for children. I know when more people hear about what we are doing, they will want to get involved.
What’s in your bedtime routine?
My bedtime routine aligns with being a morning person, so it is rare to see me up past 10pm! When I feel tired, I follow my routine: brushing teeth, washing face, changing into pajamas, and retreating to my quiet bedroom. Most nights, sleep comes easily. On nights where I am feeling a little more stressed—or my brain is not winding down—I will make some tea and read a book to help settle my mind, listen to soothing piano music, or practice my Spanish on DuoLingo.
What do you remember most from bedtime when you were a child?
I always remembered bath time and the dreaded task of brushing your teeth! Early on, my parents read to me and I loved putting on fresh pajamas before crawling into bed. Music was a big part of my bedtime routine as music really soothed me as a young child. My dad oftentimes would play guitar until I fell asleep and later in middle school, I would often put the radio on a timer to fall asleep. For the past 5 years, I have been helping with my two nephews’ bedtime routine: bath time, pajamas, and two stories of their choice. Bonding with them during this time is fun and special—truly the highlight of my week!