2023 40 Under 40: Ashley Blasewitz of Heart of Florida United Way

The movie title that best represents her business philosophy is The Wizard of Oz. "You need to have brains, courage, heart and a strong set of values to guide your journey," she said.

2023 40 Under 40: Ashley Blasewitz of Heart of Florida United Way

Heart of Florida United Way is ready to act when the Central Florida Community faces a crisis.

Mackenzie Scott was attracted to the senior vice president for donor and volunteer experience's communication skills by the agency's pandemic relief, which led to an historic $20 million donation. Blasewitz led the planning, communication and execution for the first major investment announcements. These included a $1,000,000 investment in The Sharing Center’s Live United Village, and a $1,000,000 investment for a Live United Scholarship Program, which offers trade students at Valencia College’s Center for Accelerated training a living stipend.

Blasewitz stated that he had the chance to rethink our communications team's structure last year. I allowed myself to dream big, to hire people with brains and hearts, to be confident in my leadership, and to empower the new team to take ownership of their positions.

Blasewitz, a young professional under 39 years of age, was selected as one of Orlando Business Journal's 40 Under 40 in 2023. You can read more about the 2023 class in OBJ's weekly edition April 21-27 2023 and online.

What is your biggest business challenge for this year?

Balance - achieving important strategic goals while meeting day-today demands and deliverables

What is your ideal mentor?

Simon Sinek

What you think people do and what you actually are:

They think that I should be able to publish my name as an author, plan extravagant parties, and meet donors frequently. I support story-telling from behind the scene, create inspiring brand experiences – often not extravagant – and connect supporters to our mission (sometimes at coffee).

Your ultimate career goals:

I will use my skills and experience to make Central Florida a better place, to share my experiences with others to help them learn and grow and to be active in my children's lives.

How can you overcome feelings of doubt?

I have a "smile file" of emails and notes to remind me what I can bring to the table. It helps to be vulnerable with colleagues and to talk about my self-doubt.

Are you a traditionalist, a disruptor, or both?

Both -- traditionalist who questions the 'way we've done it for years'

Order your favorite Central Florida restaurants:

Cooper's Hawk: Short-rib Risotto

Every morning drink

It's a coffee so strong that even cream can't make it a dent

After-hours alcohol or nonalcoholic beverages

I love to share adult beverages with my friends and colleagues after work.

You need brains, courage and heart to make it through the Wizard of Oz.

Heart of Florida United Way Senior vice president of volunteer and donor experiences