Ashley Ward is the Founder and CEO of Hire For Hope, which is a boutique talent consulting and recruiting firm based in Grand Rapids. She leads community involvement, business development, and acts as the liaison between the talent optimization and recruiting departments. Ashley founded Hire For Hope in 2017 with a mission to start a philanthropic business that gives ten percent of its profit to nonprofits that empower women experiencing domestic violence.
Prior to founding Hire For Hope, Ashley was an Executive Recruiter for a boutique headhunting firm. She also worked for a freight brokerage business based in Cincinnati and recruited the founding team for the new Grand Rapids office. Previous to her work there, she spearheaded the recruiting efforts for a national insurance company based in Grand Rapids. Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Cornerstone University and advanced through graduate coursework in counseling.
Ashley serves on several executive boards in the West Michigan community. She currently serves on The City of Grand Rapids’ Downtown Improvement District Board and Grand Rapids Sister Cities International Zapopan Committee. She previously served on the Board for Safe Haven Ministries where she chaired their Corporate Impact Committee, as well as the City of Grand Rapids’ Mayor’s Next Gen Advisory Board.
Ashley is the proud recipient of recent awards such as Grand Rapids Young Professionals’ 2017 Community Advocate Award and 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year, Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2019, and Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan in 2020. Her firm Hire For Hope has received such accolades as Local First’s 2018 Good for Grand Rapids Award, as well as 2018 and 2019 Startup of the Year at the American Business Awards in NYC.
In her spare time, Ashley is currently working on starting a nonprofit to empower women experiencing domestic violence, and two side hustles including: The Careerist, a virtual platform for online career coaching, and Ward Ventures, a real estate investment portfolio.
The proud mother of a 9-year-old daughter, Ashley loves a balance between spending time at home and seeking adventure. She has a passion for travel, has been skydiving three times, and enjoys cooking, yoga, and upping her chess game. Ashley’s five-year goal includes expanding her businesses to warmer climates.