The Bold Faced Blog™

September 11, 2018

Ashton212 Selected to Attend Minority Business Executive Program

Posted 277 days ago by Sheila Ellian Lewis

Ashton212 was recently selected to attend the Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) at the University of Washington. Our long-term client, Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank, nominated us and after a comprehensive application process, we were put into contention with firms from across the country. The ultimate selection decision was rendered earlier this summer by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) in New York. The University of Washington Foster School of Business Executive Education and the Consulting and Business Development Center offers this program in conjunction with the NMSDC to support the development and growth of diverse-owned business enterprises.

Keri Tripiano, Vice President, Director of Communications, says of their nomination of Ashton212, “Embracing diversity is one of our core values. Ashton212 has provided valuable insight in helping us grow our brand to better serve our multicultural, multigenerational clients.”   

For 10 years, the MBEP has accelerated the growth of diverse suppliers to the nation’s leading corporations. Business revenue growth for program alumni averages more than 10%. The one-week residential program takes place this year from September 16 – 21 on the campus at the University of Washington. Participants return to their business with enhanced knowledge, a renewed personal energy, and an invaluable network of fellow minority and women business leaders. Areas of focus during the program include:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • The Innovation Value Chain
  • Leadership
  • Brand and Marketing Strategy
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Negotiations

The Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC) is one of 23 sister councils of the NMSDC and represents Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii. Of this program, Cecil says, “It’s well documented that organizations that invest in continuous learning for employees outperform organizations that do not.  Likewise, entrepreneurs need to continue to hone their skills to maintain a competitive edge.  The University of Washington is one of the finest educational institutions in America and a great place for entrepreneurs to continue their education. The NMSDC is the only organization of its kind for people of color and seeks only the finest programs to support certified businesses.”

Representing Ashton212 will be Harold Woodridge, Creative Director. Harold leads all creative activity in support of Ascent which has included print and video. He also led the design of a proprietary board game for Ascent that is used to teach investment and money management principles to young people aged 10 – 16.


“When you work with Ashton212, you actually get to experience collaboration in action. Egos get checked at the door and everyone rolls up their sleeves to get the work done,” says Harold. He goes on to say, “The Ascent team has a clear sense of what their brand is and should be. This has been internalized across the organization, and as a result, they provide clear, concise direction and actionable feedback when they review our ideas. They also know how to step back and give us room to explore the creative possibilities. I truly appreciate the confidence they have in our team’s ability to deliver great work.”


Harold spent his early years in advertising with some of the world’s most prestigious agencies including JWT, BBDO, DDB and Leo Burnett where he created campaigns for McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch and Kraft. His work has been recognized at The ADDY’s, The Cannes International Festival, The Clios, The Mobius Awards, The New York Festival of Films and The Tellys Awards.


Harold also works independently with his firm, Cone Four Brand Alchemists, a brand marketing agency. Before founding Cone Four, he was a partner at The Monogram Group, a boutique brand agency where he launched or repositioned more than 50 brands including The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Life Fitness.


 “It is an honor to have been acknowledged by the Ascent team. We have worked together since their launch 8 years ago and feel very much like a partner in their work. To have been singled out for our work is both humbling and invigorating and I’m delighted to have Harold representing us in Seattle. He has brought a heightened sensibility and sophistication to our creative solutions,” says Sheila Lewis, CEO, Ashton212.


About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with 74,000 employees and $461 billion in assets as of June 30, 2018, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based bank blends its relationship teams, branches and ATM network with mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when and where they prefer. U.S. Bank is committed to serving its millions of retail, business, wealth management, payment, commercial and corporate, and investment services customers across the country and around the world as a trusted financial partner, a commitment recognized by the Ethisphere Institute naming the bank a 
2018 World’s Most Ethical Company. Visit U.S. Bank online or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.

About Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank
Ascent Private Capital Management serves individuals and multigenerational families with significant resources who aspire to make an impact with their wealth. Clients can expect highly personalized advisory services that combine traditional wealth planning offerings with cutting-edge wealth impact planning and communication tools. For more information, visit 

Tags: Ascent award Cecil Plummer Harold Woodridge Keri Tripiano MBEP Minority Business Executive Program NMSDC sheila lewis U.S. Bank University of Washington UW WRMSDC

Categories: categoryAshton212 categoryStaff News

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