Colorado is home sweet home
By Hollen Wheeler; courtesy photo
Neighbors Ashley and Jay Byars moved from Atlanta to Colorado almost 18 years ago. First living in Highlands Ranch, they settled in Castle Pines in 2011. Their son Alex (13) attends American Academy – Castle Pines and enjoys football, basketball, skiing and skateboarding. The family spoils Hunter, their 2-year-old Maltipoo Shih Tzu with regular walks and treats.
Both Ashley and Jay are originally from South Carolina and avid Clemson Tiger fans. Ashley attended Emory University and has worked for Coca-Cola for 28 years; many of her accounts are based in Colorado. Ashley has been offered other opportunities within Coke, all of which she has turned down because of how much her family loves the Centennial state.
“We love living in Castle Pines because although we are only 10 minutes from everything, we feel that we are away from the everyday hustle and bustle in our own little world,” Jay stated. “The fact that on any given day, we might have a deer (or 12) in our backyard is amazing,” Ashley added.
Both Byars say they are fortunate in that their jobs have allowed them the flexibility to be involved at Alex’s school. Ashley was the vice president for fundraising and through various activities, like a fun run and a spring gala, raised a significant amount of money for American Academy. Jay volunteered at the school library and led a team of students for an educational competition called Destination Imagination.
Jay is a software trainer primarily focusing on Microsoft’s version of Enterprise Resource Planning called Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. A graduate of Clemson University, he is also currently working on his financial coaching certificate at a program by financial guru and national radio host Dave Ramsey. Jay will be starting a new business once his training is complete.
In their spare time, the couple teaches classes on becoming debt free. They were teaching in-person at Journey Church once a week before the pandemic hit, then finished the courses online.
“We are excited as the world begins to open up from COVID to lead more classes for Journey, as now perhaps more than ever, many people understand what it means to struggle financially,” added Jay.
For fun, Jay and Ashley love to travel and joke that they have been to more countries than states. They also love skiing and anything mountain related – “as long as it ends with a cocktail,” they quipped. The couple will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this summer in Mexico.