2022 Impact COMO Award Winner

Ashley Emel

Most Impactful Board Member

True North of Columbia

Honorable Mentions

Carson Coffman, Love Columbia
Janet Davis, The Center Project

Ashley Emel has been a part of True North of Columbia for the last three and a half years, and board president since 2021. 

“There are so many things that motivate me. For True North, it is the victims. I want this community to be a better and safer place. I want those that are in need to have the support and or shelter they need to keep moving.  No person should feel they are alone when in a horrible situation. I have two girls of my own and want them to be safe and live in a safe community. I want to know when they are alone, they are OK. I also want to raise my children to know that there are many people that may not be as fortunate as they are and if they have the means to give back and don’t, then I didn’t raise them well.”

According to Jennifer Graves Hickam, also of True North, Ashley has helped form True North’s protocols and procedures during an unprecedented pandemic, has initiated partnerships with new donors and sponsors, has worked hard to maintain the professionalism and cohesiveness of the board while ensuring agency staff remain supported during crisis periods.

“Throughout it all, Ashley has never lost her passion for serving victims of domestic and sexual violence and continues to bring her strong work ethic and an attitude of ‘we can do this’ to every problem or challenge brought before her,” Jennifer says. “True North has never been stronger — both financially and programmatically — and this is in large part due to Dr. Emel’s calm in the face of challenges, her ability to listen and guide staff appropriately, and her leadership of the board. The impact she has had on True North and our community has been positive and tremendous.”