Meet Ashley Ruiz
Occupation: Chief Meteorologist
Organization: WVLA NBC Local 33/WGMB FOX 44
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
Louisiana has always been home. I was born and raised in Metairie, but I moved to Florida in high school. I attended LSU for a few semesters before transferring to Mississippi State to pursue a degree in meteorology. I worked in Mississippi and Florida, but once I saw an opening in Baton Rouge, I did not waste any time. I knew it was an opportunity meant for me! Also, it really helped that I still have family here, including my nieces. I love that I get to see them grow up.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge (job or organizations).
As we know, the weather is very important in Southeast Louisiana. I lead my team of meteorologists to make sure the public is informed and prepared before, during, and after any and every storm. Even on quiet days, we are here for the community! Animals are my passion, as well. I was involved with local animal shelters back in Pensacola, and I made sure to get involved with local shelters in Baton Rouge. I have worked with Companion Animal Alliance and Cat Haven for the last two years. The goal is to get more involved with more shelters, rescues, and other animal organizations. We are the voices for animals! I would also like to get involved with a local organization for domestic violence.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
Baton Rouge is so rich in history, culture, and passion. There is something for everyone here. The food, the people, the businesses–nothing beats it!
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
I hope Baton Rouge continues to grow and make a difference in this state and the country. I want more local businesses to move here and thrive. I want the community to continue to grow together and make Baton Rouge THE place that people want to live and raise their families.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
My goal is to make sure people are well-informed about the weather – especially during the worst of the weather. I am extremely passionate about STEM and hope to motivate more children and young adults to get involved in STEM. There are so many fields in STEM that need more people – especially women. Meteorology is a male-dominated field, but STEM is also mainly men. Growing up, I did not see many female meteorologists on TV – especially women of color. I hope I inspire other little girls (especially minorities) that they too can pursue a career in a male-dominated field.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
You will never be bored! There is always something to do and there is something for everyone no matter what your interests may be.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Exotic Sweets, Swagat, Elsie’s – the list goes on and on! I love food.
- Place to hang out: Bin 77 or anywhere in Mid-City and the Garden District – especially dog friendly spots!
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: I love the murals downtown!
- Place to people watch: Perkins Rowe or by the U.S.S. Kidd
- Place to network: Any fundraising event
- Way to give back: I try and use my social media to promote businesses, fundraising events, etc. I always stress that social media is so powerful and truly does help raise awareness. Also, donating to shelters and fundraisers, even if it is just five dollars.
- Event: Spanish Town and Restaurant Week