The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute’s (CWLI) board of directors and members are pleased to announce Holly Ashley as the new executive director of the nonprofit organization. Beginning Monday, Oct. 17, Ashley will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Mical Traynor, the former executive director.
CWLI’s board president, Patti Frierson said, “Holly’s talents and experiences are a perfect match for a leader who will continue to push for growth, influence and opportunity for the women in our community. We are extremely excited about her vision for the future of CWLI.”
As executive director of CWLI, Ashley will lead the board of directors and more than 635 members, and oversee the leadership training programs, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
“I love this city, and am inspired by the women who are pushing it forward, many of which are CWLI members,” said Ashley. “It will be an honor to serve as the executive director of this vital organization, and I’m looking forward to working with our members, volunteer leadership, and corporate partners to continue paving the way for women leaders in Chattanooga.”
Prior to joining CWLI, Ashley worked with the economic development team at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce from 2014 to 2016, supporting domestic and international business recruitment, expansion, and entrepreneurship projects.
A first generation college graduate, Ashley completed her undergraduate degree in human services management in 2004 and earned a master’s degree in business management in 2013 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Beginning in 2004, Ashley served in the social service nonprofit sector, where she previously led fundraising and communications projects and managed programs at United Way of Greater Chattanooga, Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
In addition to her nonprofit service, Ashley holds various volunteer leadership positions. At the Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts, she serves as the president of the CSLA strings committee and is vice president of the Friends of CSLA. She is a member of YMCA’s Youth Leadership Chattanooga committee, a 2011 graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, and a member of the Leadership Chattanooga’s Alumni Association.
Ashley and her husband, Shane, live in Chattanooga with 12-year-old daughter, Isabella, and their two cats and two dogs. She is originally from Cleburne, Texas, and has been a resident of Chattanooga since she was four years old.