Ashley Ward is the founder and CEO of W Talent Solutions. She leads talent strategy, brand management, and national expansion efforts for the firm. As a talent expert and executive recruiter by trade, Ashley is certified in several psychometric assessment tools, including talent optimization through Predictive Index, in which she facilitates large workshops. She has conducted over 20,000 professional candidate interviews within her career and has placed c-suite and president-level roles throughout the nation.
Ashley founded W Talent Solutions in 2017 with a mission to start a philanthropic business that gives ten percent of its profit to nonprofits that empower women and children in the communities the firm serves.
Prior to founding W Talent Solutions, Ashley was an executive recruiter for a boutique headhunting firm. She also worked for a freight brokerage business based and recruited the founding team for their new Grand Rapids office, including twenty additional offices across the U.S. Previous to her work there, she spearheaded the recruiting efforts for a national insurance company.
Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and advanced through graduate coursework in counseling and human behavioral studies.
Ashley serves on several executive boards in the community. She currently serves on The City of Grand Rapids’ Downtown Improvement District Board, Wedgwood Christian Services’ Board of Directors, and the YWCA’s Fund Development Committee. She previously served on the board for Safe Haven Ministries where she chaired their Corporate Impact Committee, as well as the Grand Rapids Sister Cities Council, and the City of Grand Rapids’ Mayor’s Next Gen Advisory Board. She is also currently the Executive Director for Grand Angels, a venture capital angel investment group, and a Member of the Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program. Aside from board work, Ashley is an avid professional guest speaker.
Ashley is the proud recipient of awards such as Grand Rapids Young Professionals’ 2017 Community Advocate Award and 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Honoree in 2019 and 2021, Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women Honoree in 2020, West Michigan Woman Tenacity Brilliance Award in 2021, and recognized as The Face of Talent by the Grand Rapids Business Journal in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
W Talent Solutions (previously Hire for Hope), has received such accolades as Local First’s 2018 Good for Grand Rapids Award, the 2018 and 2019 Startup of the Year at the American Business Awards in New York City, and West Michigan Woman’s Readers’ Choice Award for best recruiting services in 2022.
As a seven on the enneagram, Ashley seeks adventure and frequently travels to warmer climates. She is also a writer and regularly contributes to publications such as West Michigan Woman Magazine and Northern Michigan Woman Magazine regarding career advice and entrepreneurship.
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The recruiting landscape continues to evolve rapidly, forcing executives to adapt for optimal performance. Curious about the value of passive candidates? Wondering about the risks associated with job-hopping?
W Talent Solutions’ 2023 Talent Predictions offers helpful insights for the coming year from our experienced recruiters.