Friday, April 3, 2015

Journalist and Storyteller, Ashley Bellman

As many of us focus on doing our jobs, building our businesses, spreading the word on LGBT certification we have become accustomed to meeting and working with allies across the city. Allies are some of the most effective voices in helping others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect.

We at the NGLCCNY are very lucky to have an ally joining the Media Communications Committee as a Corporate Journalist. Ashley Bellman’s role will be focused on interviewing featured Members, Corporate Partners, Non-Profits and covering the events and programming produced by the Chamber.

Ashley Bellman

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Ashley and got to learn more about the latest addition to the NGLCCNY team.

Ashley Bellman is a poised young woman with a polite, unassuming air that is literally just the surface. Ashley hails from Newton, PA, a Philadelphia suburb.  She understands diversity coming from an Italian/Portuguese family. She is no stranger to entrepreneurship, as her dad owns a concrete contracting company. Growing up, Ashley’s parents encouraged her love of being on stage, as she performed in local theater and high school choir. She, her parents and younger siblings Alex and Gianna are as close a tight knit family can be. So much so that Ashley and her sister Gianna share a birthday twelve years apart. Being the creatives, Ashley and Gianna created a blog called Twelve Years To The Day where they share their points of view on fashion, style and living.

Ashley (L), Gianna (R)

Ashley lives life to the fullest. Nowhere is that more evident than in the choices she has made along the way. At the age of 17 she thoughtfully applied to NYU. She took full advantage of the city and all it had to offer her as she attended NYU where she earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Politics. She travelled throughout Europe while studying in Florence, Italy. When asked what her top 3 places to visit in her future she immediately replied Australia, Amalfi Coast and Iceland. Currently she is in training to run her first NYC Marathon in an effort to raise funds for Team for Kids - Team for Kids supports youth programs that combat childhood obesity with running and character-building programs in low-income schools and community centers in New York City and across the country. Support Ashley by visiting her page here.

Inspired by Gonzo Araya, Media Communications Chair, when he told her about his role within the chamber and everything the NGLCCNY does as an organization. She could not resist the opportunity to be an active ally when presented with the opportunity to join the Media Communications Committee. As Ashley put it “There are so many different people out there with great stories to tell. I want people to know I’m here to help tell their stories. I am honored to be able to contribute in any way that I can.”  She continued to say, “This opportunity not only allows the chamber voice to be elevated and heard with consistency, but it also allows me to embrace my journalistic roots by being able to cover unique and empowering stories that impact today's diverse business culture.” So whether the story is in print, radio or television Ashley is ready to bring it to life. She is looking forward to meeting and learning and sharing the stories of the membership.

When asked about her status as an active ally she replied, “I believe an ally is anyone who believes in equality and is helping those fighting in the challenge to achieve or maintain it both socially and professionally.”

On the realization of being an ally she statedI honestly did not ever consider myself an ally until recently. I have grown up with very close friends and family members in the LGBT community, and I have always considered them as much of an ally to me as I am to them. The people who I know and love who pave the way for a better, diverse, and fair atmosphere for our present and future, deserve equality. I am excited to help in that venture.”

Ashley is moved by the diversity the world offers and she has enjoyed the privilege of sharing stories while working as a reporter and/or writer for various media outlets. True to her fashion roots, she can currently be seen on QVC as an On Air Guest.

When not "on-the-air," capturing a story or directing a production, you can find her enjoying her life alongside her husband Ryan and their "daughter" Myla ("ruff!").


To learn more about Ashley’s accomplishments check out her website, the links below or chat her up at the next M3.

Written by Ingrid Galvez,
Diversity Inclusion & Outreach Chair


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