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Ashley Peterson

Early Career Development & Coaching Leader, Employee Experience Consultant, & Mental Health Storyteller

M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications (West Virginia University) 

Ashley N. Peterson is the associate director of Intern Impact at GardHouse, a workforce development nonprofit, based in Charlotte, NC. In this role, she leads the hybrid recruiting, personal & professional development, and coaching programs for 40+ BIPOC students placed into skills-based internships at nonprofits and small businesses throughout the academic year. Prior to this position, Peterson spent a decade at a Fortune 200 financial services organization in progressive leadership roles in project management, communications, employee experience, DEI engagement, and early career development. 

As a graduate of the WVU IMC Master’s Program, she is proud to have charted a unique career journey as she identified ways to apply her coursework and learnings to the corporate space, specifically during critical moments of change. Some of Peterson’s greatest career accomplishments include revamping a global, hybrid career program for a 16k employee audience in 2018-2019, establishing a new executive brand and engagement strategy in early 2020, leading the employee experience communications strategy during the pivot to remote work following March 2020, evolving the organization’s DEI integrated communications strategy in 2020-2021, and leading the organization’s first (planned to be) virtual diversity conference in 2021.

Peterson’s communications background and dedication to early career development provided her the opportunities to guide the development of the organization’s HBCU recruiting strategy in 2018-2020 and serve as the Participant Engagement Leader for two Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs in Summers 2019 & 2020. With the skills built through passion projects, Ashley ultimately moved into a role overseeing the career acceleration and recruitment brand strategy for the organization’s entry-level rotational program as it returned in person in 2022, before transitioning to GardHouse in November 2022.

With a deep-rooted passion for mental health and its impact, she approaches each role as a purpose-driven storyteller with a vision to serve as a light to those who are in the shoes, she once filled while creating spaces for individuals to be their authentic selves. This passion - paired with her career experiences - is the foundation that guides her role as a nonprofit leader, employee experience consultant, adjunct professor, and Board Member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Charlotte Chapter.

Peterson received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 2012 and her Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from WVU Reed College of Media in 2016.