Name: Ashley Reynolds Marshall
Company/Organization: YWCA of Central Virginia
Job Title: Chief Executive Officer
How long have you been in Lynchburg? 2.5 years
Tell us about your professional role: I currently have the pleasure of serving as the Chief Executive Officer for YWCA of Central Virginia. YWCA has been in the Lynchburg community since 1912 serving women and girls. Our current mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. We do that through our Victim Services programs - the Domestic Violence Prevention Program and Sexual Assault Response Program - that provide unduplicated 24/7 crisis response for women, men, and families escaping trauma; and our oldest program - Town Center Women's Residential Housing. The YW has provided housing for women since 1918 when our facility was completed, and we continue providing housing for single women on low-incomes to this day. For me, the mission matters, and I have worked to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion for marginalized people all my life. Here I get to focus on my own personal intersectionality - of being Black and a woman which is great. I also love that I get to work with such a stellar group of women and men working so very hard to make sure our community has access to the unduplicated programs we provide. Prior to coming to the YW, I was the Executive Director for a mental health-focused nonprofit in Roanoke, VA, and also worked at the United Way of Roanoke Virginia after being a state Magistrate judge for three years.
What do you enjoy in your spare time? Currently, I'm a bit addicted to my Peloton bike that was my husband and I's pandemic purchase! I also love to read and spend time with my family including our dog Charlie when I can -- but currently for my Ph.D. work I'm completing a fellowship through Bentley College focused on Risk Communications and doing some marketing on a book that looked at COVID-19 conspiracies that I just helped co-author so reading is a bit delayed!
Who or what inspires you? My parents inspire me. I grew up watching two true servant-leaders. My Dad has always been a local government manager (with a brief time in nonprofits!) and my mom is a 40+ year veteran at Carilion Clinic as a Surgical Technologist. I got to see how both of them in their own way serve their family, community, and workplaces. Last December my mom even won the Drum Major for Justice award through Roanoke's Southern Christian Leadership Conference - and her response was simply, I just help when and where I can. I just hope that I'm making them both proud.
What's something about not many people know? Most people do not know that I used to be a dance fitness instructor! I worked at both a local YWCA and a boutique dance fitness studio back home in Roanoke. If you google Just Dance Roanoke you might find a photo of me leading along with my sister instructors! Also, many people do not know that I am still a student at Virginia Tech - working on my Ph.D. dissertation (which means I consider writing and then go do anything else! YWCA work, laundry, dishes -- you name it, I do it to avoid my dissertation!)
Why did you join YPCV? I joined YPCV to have an opportunity to network with amazing leaders in my new community, and I haven't been disappointed! It means a lot to be able to walk into a room and discuss wins as well as concerns with people who just get it and want to help you grow!