(This is one of 20 profiles on the recipients selected by an anonymous committee out of an extensive list of nominees for the 2023 Rising Lincoln Leader Award. The Lincoln Parish Journal thanks Mayor Ronny Walker and the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce for their support of this award. Photo by Kevin Hawkins at HawkinsPhoto.com).
Name: Ashley Avery
Employer: Ensure Agency, Louisiana National Bank
Title: Assistant Vice President, Administration
Hometown: Monroe, La.
How long have you lived in Lincoln Parish: 8 years
Civic-volunteer organizations: United Way of Northeast Louisiana and Capital Area United Way (Workplace Campaign Coordinator, previous Member of Campaign Cabinet, named 2020 Campaign Coordinator of the Year); Adopt-a-School Partner (Supports elementary schools in Lincoln and surrounding parishes to promote financial education and positive behavior); Habitat for Humanity (past Lincoln Parish Board Member and Finance Chair)
Professional Highlights: LBA Leadership School: 2021 graduate of Louisiana Bankers Association Leadership School, a program that focuses on leadership in the workplace and the role of financial professionals in the community; Leadership Lincoln: was a graduate of the XXXVI Class of Leadership Lincoln; Uncommon Award: Was a recipient of the Uncommon Award in 2022, an honor presented by Louisiana National Bank and given annually to an employee who embodies core values including integrity, enthusiasm, and commitment.
Brian Woodard, President/CEO of Louisiana National Bank, on Ashley Avery: “Over the last several years, Ashley has been challenged with a variety of different projects and has always been successful. She has a rare ability to focus on the details without losing sight of what we are trying to accomplish. Although her greatest asset is probably her work ethic, she has a “can-do” attitude that is uncommon. I have found she is willing to accept any challenge presented to her and goes at it with the mindset that there will be a successful outcome. All of these traits and abilities are recognized by her peers and what makes her a leader.”
Q&A with Ashley Avery:
What makes Lincoln Parish special?
Each day, I become more impressed with Lincoln Parish. The collaboration and support amongst our diverse group of leaders, business owners, and members of the community is evident and continues to provide a solid foundation for success. Lincoln Parish is a place where voices are heard and progress is made; and, despite continued growth—Lincoln Parish hasn’t lost its small-town feel that we all know and love.
How do you see your role in improving Lincoln Parish?
Working in the insurance industry gives me the opportunity to protect some of Lincoln Parish’s most prominent businesses and offer peace of mind to members of our community. Aside from that role, I take an active approach to support chamber efforts, shop local, and connect with other leaders and elected officials. Being an active member of Lincoln Parish has allowed me to establish collaborative relationships with others who are also focused on the long-term success of the parish.
Who has played a pivotal role in your professional development and why?
This may be cliché, but—my boss, Brian Woodard, has had the most impact on my professional development. Since joining the company in 2017, I’ve had the opportunity to take several training courses to improve my technical skills. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in multiple leadership development programs. Most importantly—I’ve had a front row seat to watch Brian lead a team and run a business. I’ve witnessed the impact of investing in employees, taking care of customers, and giving back to the community. I would not be the leader I am without the examples set by the leaders around me.