Michelle Ashby, Coach, Consultant & Confidant
Michelle is a veteran advertising agency owner-operator with a team of twenty-four that spans the United States in a hybrid work environment. Her full-service agency has weathered multiple recessions, a pandemic, and ownership transitions, and has faced both euphoric and heartbreaking client and staff challenges for more than 17 years.
Still leading the agency, Michelle begins her second act (and everyone should have one) as an AMI coach and trusted business advisor. She has been a member of AMI since 2012. Michelle is passionate about helping agency team members grow interpersonally, and developing their business acumen grounded by AMI best practices. She facilitates our virtual peer group meetings with owners and up-and-coming leaders.
She founded her agency by negotiating the purchase of a media department she was leading from her employer. With her first child on the way and very little in the bank, she financed this dream through a second mortgage and an SBA 7a loan. Just five years later, Michelle co-founded a subsidiary to expand agency services to include public relations and social media. Just after the COVID-19 pandemic, she acquired a digital creative firm.
Michelle has been recognized by the Small Business Council of Rochester as Business Person of the Year in 2014 and by the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation as the “2016 Ethie Award” recipient.
Michelle has her BS in Advertising Management and Journalism from Ohio University and is a certified member of the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and member of Vistage International. Her firm is an Accredited AMI advertising agency.
At her core, Michelle is a mom of two awesome boys and wants to help owners create a fair balance in their professional and personal lives while achieving their vision. She loves live, loud rock and alternative music, traveling, and is a yogi through and through. #namaste