A roux (pronounced “roo”) serves as a base for most Creole recipes where a rich, deep, hearty flavor and texture is desired.

As a young girl growing up in rural Southeast Texas, I was taught a ‘proper roux’ was essential for success. A hot seasoned cast iron skillet, a heaping scoop of fresh butter and powerful patience. I would hear the sizzling pan in the kitchen and smell the butter melting. Discovering my father gracefully sprinkling the flour into the pan and with a whisk stirring the bubbling mixture.

“If you let the roux cook too long, it will burn” he would say out loud as a reminder to himself and as a life lesson to me.

Ashley La Russa (she/her) founded Roux Events LLC in Tucson, Arizona. Her management experience and life lessons help her provide organizations and community leaders with creative solutions.

“Our communities should focus on revitalizing economic development with businesses AND cultural organizations. What’s needed? Collaboration, history and aspiration.”

Ashley La Russa – KXCI (BLAX) – JANUARY 21, 2019

Ashley La Russa is currently working on the Blax Friday project, we created an accessible list of Black Businesses in Tucson, AZ and met the goals of building a website, app, and online event this past June 2020. She serves on the Local First Arizona Steering Committee, WFSA Annual Luncheon Committee, and Board of Directors at the CITY Center for Collaborative Learning (CITY CCL). Ashley partners with owners of hotels, co-working spaces, and event venues to strategically plan how to serve the community as a whole. In 2018, she was the Projects Manager at Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP) where she actively communicated upcoming events and programs to the community. She coordinated over 80 parade entries for the 24th Annual Parade of Lights and Festival. In collaboration with the Merchant & Retail Council, she strengthened relationships between Downtown Tucson stakeholders, owners and staff.

At Arizona Theatre Company (ATC), she was an Assistant Stage Manager who would oversee stage crew/technicians and track intricate transitions. After six years, she was promoted to Company Manager, the main point of contact for guest artists. As Company Manager she introduced revenue through short term rentals in Armory Park. In the spring of 2016, she was offered the position of Management Associate/Board Liaison tasked with administrative support to the Artistic and Managing Directors, Board of Trustees and Manager of community rentals at the historic Temple of Music & Art.