In good company: Ashley Atiyeh Miles brings her expertise to a new consulting venture
For Ashley Atiyeh Miles, the disruption that’s made 2020 one of the most challenging years on record looked like a new opportunity. The Baton Rouge native and New York-based communications executive launched a management consulting business in September called Franklyn West, a venture she describes as a new model that uses a proprietary planning tool and an A-list of global business leaders who serve as the company’s in-residence mentors.
Miles, an Episcopal High School and University of Mississippi alumna, has achieved tremendous success over the last 15 years in helping global digital companies expand. Most recently, she served as chief business officer at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, a wellness technology company. And before that, she spent six years helping to build Refinery29 into a women’s entertainment and digital media powerhouse.
Now as president and CEO of Franklyn West, Miles is building a consulting business that aims to help global tech, retail and entertainment companies navigate a rapidly shifting landscape. “I believe that the future of work has completely changed forever due to the pandemic,” she says.
One of Franklyn West’s key components is its Ambassadors in Residence program, a roster of high-level global business leaders who provide expert advice to the company’s clients based on what’s uncovered in the earlier business planning process. Years in digital marketing and branding has given Miles a hefty contact list. Among her ambassadors is FUBU CEO and ABC Shark Tank investor Daymond John, former CEO of DVF Sandra Campos, and NHL Network broadcaster and analyst Kevin Weekes. These experts and others share guidance in raising capital, marketing, financial operations, product development and other areas, says Miles.
“We have sourced a stellar list of business leaders who are actively operating in their arenas to help businesses and leaders achieve their growth goals,” says Miles. “It’s like the Uber for consulting and recruiting.”
When Miles isn’t focusing on the demands of a new company rollout (and sometimes when she is) she says she’s finding ways to create a positive work-life rhythm, while not getting hung up on perfect work-life balance. The married mother of two young daughters, ages 8 and 3, says being present for her clients, her family and herself is key.
A perfect example is when her 8-year-old daughter, weary of Zoom instruction at school, wants her mother’s attention. Miles allows her to take a break and “intern with Mommy,” which includes observing Miles’ virtual meetings and taking notes. Afterward, they have a discussion, which gives Miles a chance to pass on some advice and have a moment with her daughter.
“I’m always looking for ways for us to all rise together,” she says.