Ashley Northington is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketing communications strategist. She is the agency director and founder of DENOR Brands + Public Relations, a full-service marketing communications firm with offices in Nashville and Baton Rouge. The agency specializes in data-based communication strategies that inform, inspire, and influence public policy, programs, and partnerships.
A champion of sharing stories that matter, Ashley is actively involved in public education and economic development initiatives that encourage success for students and prosperity for small business owners. She is Chair of Nashville Mayor David Briley’s Minority Business Advisory Council where she will help shape inclusive procurement policies, practices, and programs for minority-owned businesses. She is also a member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Education Report Card Committee. Further, she serves on the Boards of Directors for the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce and Thistle Farms.
Under her leadership, DENOR has been focused on shifting policies and programs that make the world a better place. Most notably, her team helped message around a statewide campaign that ultimately led to Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana; messaged around a campaign designed to shift conversations and policies around how mothers are treated in the American workplace; and is working to create programs and legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of public contracts for small and minority businesses in the state of Tennessee.
Ashley’s career in the communications field spans more than a decade and includes reporting for The Tennessean, Nashville’s local newspaper; national news reporting for USA Today; election coverage for the Associated Press; and multimedia work for The Times in Shreveport, Louisiana. She has also served at the Louisiana Department of Education as Press Secretary and a Public Information Officer. Additionally, she served as a Research Analyst, focusing on public education, parks and recreation, and civil service issues at the Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans.
As a sought-after trainer and speaker who can share insights on entrepreneurship, strategic planning, marketing communication, brand strategy, cause marketing, and social selling, Ashley has nurtured a diverse set of audiences ranging from colleges to corporations to nonprofits to small businesses.
She is the author of many articles, products, and blogs on marketing communication, public relations, brand strategy, and entrepreneurship, including the book chapter on branding she contributed to #BossLiving: A Practical Guide for Starting Your Small Business; the #LiveYourBrand personal brand development system for professionals and entrepreneurs; and The Dream Planner, a vision realization and goal setting guide with four versions for tweens, high school and college students, individuals, and business owners. In addition, she created #LiveYourBrand, an online community for emerging and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to move from ideation to strategic action. The host of the podcast, The #LiveYourBrand Show, Ashley is committed to empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to create their own success.
She has been featured by numerous media outlets including The Entrepreneurial Mind, Tennessee Tribune, Tennessean, Pulling Purse Strings, Common Cents Radio, The Connect Magazine, Secrets to Success, The Brave Entrepreneur, and more. Her work has been featured by publications and outlets nationwide including New York Times, Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, Aspire 360, Clutch Magazine, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and Boston Globe, among several others.
She is a recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 Nashville Emerging Leader Finalist distinction, 2016 Nashville Black 40 Under 40 Awards, Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce’s Rising Star Award, and the 2015 Nashville Business Incubation Center’s Volunteer of the Year Service award. Under her leadership, DENOR has earned two separate honors as the best public relations and best marketing company in Nashville.
A Young Leaders Council alumna, Ashley has served on the board of directors for Purpose Preparatory Academy, as a mentor with tnAchieves!, a reading volunteer with Book ‘Em, and a reader for East Nashville Hope Exchange. She is an active member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, having graduated in 2016 from its ScaleUp program and been selected in September 2017 to participate its inaugural and distinguished Leadership Connect Cohort. In November 2017, Ashley was appointed to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s Transit and Affordability Task Force. In this role, she served as the Small Business Team Lead, and wrote policy recommendations to mitigate small business displacement among high-capacity transit corridors.
Ashley earned a Master of Public Administration with dual concentrations in public policy and higher education from the acclaimed Public Administration Institute at Louisiana State University. She is also a proud graduate of Tennessee State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in women’s studies.