Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans Ashley Northington

Ashley Northington is an award winning entrepreneur and strategic communications professional. She is passionate about helping people and organizations distill data that transforms into engaging stories that help shape public policy and create new programs, partnerships, and initiatives.

As a champion of telling the stories that matter, she is the founder and agency director at DENOR Brands & Public Relations, a public relations, marketing, and brand strategy firm in Tennessee, Louisiana, and beyond. Through her agency, she and her team focus on communication strategies that influence policy and programs in the education, nonprofit, and small business sectors. 

Most notably, her team helped message around a statewide campaign that ultimately led to Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana; messages 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.

As a sought-after trainer and speaker who can share insights on entrepreneurship, strategic planning, marketing communication, brand strategy, crisis communications, and more, Ashley has nurtured a diverse set of audiences ranging from colleges to corporations to nonprofits to small businesses.

Ashley 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 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 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. 

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. 

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.

Education is of prime importance to her, as she serves on the Purpose Preparatory Academy Board of Directors. Additionally, she has served as a mentor with tnAchieves!, a reading volunteer with Book ‘Em, and a reader with the East Nashville Hope Exchange. She is a Young Leaders Council alumna and a 2016 graduate of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s ScaleUp program. She was accepted into the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s distinguished Leadership Connect inaugural cohort in September 2017. In November 2017, she was appointed to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s Transit and Affordability Task Force.

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.