Ashley T Brundage is the Founder and President of Empowering Differences. While seeking employment at a major financial institution, she self-identified during the interview process as a male to female transgender woman and subsequently was hired. She was offered a position and started as a part time bank teller and worked in various lines of business before moving to VP, Diversity and Inclusion in less than 5 years. Ashley recently celebrated 18 years of marriage to Whitney and together they have two biological sons; Bryce, 15, and Blake, 13.
Since beginning transitioning in 2008, she has worked tirelessly to promote awareness and acceptance of gender identity and expression. She works to accomplish this goal by volunteering in the community, and holding education sessions for corporations. She serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the NGLCC-National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Also is the co-chair for NGLCC’s new global Trans+ Inclusion Task Force. She chaired the successful bid to host the NGLCC convention in 2019, and Visit Tampa Bay named her their Tourism Champion for 2017. In 2018, she started serving on the board of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. In 2019, she was voted on the National Board of Directors for GLAAD. GLAAD works to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ+ Community through media advocacy.
Ms. Brundage speaks locally and nationally about her transition, workplace equality, and leadership. She has also been interviewed in several publications and media outlets, including InStyle Magazine, The Female Quotient, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Business Journal, The Miami Herald, Fox, ABC, CBS, Las Vegas Review Journal, Milwaukee Biz Times, the Daily Beast, Fairygodboss, and The Tampa Bay Times.
Ashley has been recognized in many areas and has received numerous awards including: The University of South Florida 2014 Community Pride Award, 2015 St Pete Pride Grand Marshal, 2015 Commendation-City of Tampa, 2016 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year, 2016 Voice for Equality Award from Equality Florida, and LGBT Leadership Award from the Florida Diversity Council. In 2017, she was awarded a Leadership Award from Metro Inclusive Health. Also in 2017 she was a winner of the Inaugural People First Award by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and the TBBJ Power 100 list, the most influential and powerful people in business. In 2018, she was given the Champion Award from international non-profit Out & Equal as well as named one of Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Women from the National Diversity Council. In 2019, she was named one of the Top 40 under 40 in the LGBTQ community nationally by Business Equality Magazine, TBBJ Outstanding Voice for the LGBTQ community and the Inaugural Transgender Rising Star by Trans New York.
Certifications & Education
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certification, University of South Florida
- Disability Access
- Business Sales
Most Requested Presentations
- Empowering Differences,
Awards & Recognition
- The University of South Florida 2014 Community Pride Award
- 2015 St Pete Pride Grand Marshal
- 2015 Commendation-City of Tampa
- 2016 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year
- 2016 Voice for Equality Award from Equality Florida
- 2018 Champion Award from Out & Equal
- 2019 Top 40 under 40 in the LGBTQ community by Business Equality Magazine
- 2019 voted onto the National Board of Directors for GLAAD
- TBBJ Outstanding Voice for the LGBTQ community
- Inaugural Transgender Rising Star by Trans New York
- Leadership Award from the Florida Diversity Council
- Corporate Advisory Council for the NGLCC-National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
- Co-chair for NGLCC’s new global Trans+ Inclusion Task Force.