If you’ve seen some new faces at CoCo lately, that’s because we’ve made some new hires! We’re pleased to introduce you to three new CoCo nuts, who will be hosting at both St. Paul and Minneapolis locations, and also keeping things in order behind the scenes. Please say hi next time you see them!
Vilay Dethluxay (“vee-lye da-lou-sigh”) was born in a tiny village in Thailand, but grew up in the exotic “turkey capital” of the world (aka Worthington, MN). Since she had zero interest in ornithology, she spent most of her formative years perfecting Madonna’s dance moves (but for the most part helping out her parents at their retail store). Being she was named after her mother’s favorite Thai pop star from the 70’s, she knew destiny had more in store for her than polka dancing with octogenarians on Sunday afternoons.
She began her career in the fashion industry at the early age of 14 and that opened up opportunities to further explore her interests in film, music, casting, photography, design and event production. After developing her career in LA, SF, and NY, she was drawn back to the Twin Cities to work as a freelance event & festival producer. Some of her projects include the Sound Unseen Film & Music Festival, the inaugural Vita.mn “Small Bites” Food & Film Festival, and the Friedman Iverson Art Gallery. When she’s not belting out glam metal tunes at a local karaoke bar, you can find her collaborating or volunteering on many different local art/film/music-related projects around the metro. She also moonlights as a wanna-be Prince protege and hopes to be the next Apollonia.
For Ashley, this is home. The Midwest, the Twin Cities, CoCo – Ashley gravitates towards places boasting of tight-knit, vibrant communities. She first found her way to the space as a CoCoNut before making the switch to the host post.
Talkative by nature, but a fine listener too, Ashley studied strategic communication at the University of Minnesota. She can be found weaving garrulous Twitter threads or lending an ear in a coworker’s ideation session. Ashley seeks understanding and vision through conversations, once talking her way from London to Cape Town on a 20,000-mile-long road trip.
John is an internet handyman and digital strategy consultant for The Mighty Mo! WordPress Design Group. Before discovering his righteous passion for open source Web development, he produced programs for NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and To the Best of Our Knowledge. He launched Indonesia’s first student-run radio station as a Fulbright Fellow in Sumatra, but you may remember him from local cult classics such as The Dance Shanty, Eat for Equity, and his most recent side projet, The Mobile Sauna. John came to the CoCo community by way of WordPress Wednesday and is thrilled to finally have an official pulpit for his CoCo evangelism.