Member Since March 2022
Ashley Sharp is the executive director of the Texas-based nonprofit Dwell with Dignity, where for four years Sharp has led countless designers, donors, sponsors, and more than 1,100 local volunteers on a single mission: to create safe and beautifully designed living spaces for families to escape homelessness and poverty. A trained dancer with an entrepreneurial mindset, Sharp spent seven years in the Dallas arts scene, working with notable organizations such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Nasher Sculpture Center, before heeding a calling to servant leadership and pursuing a career in social services. A survivor of home insecurity and domestic violence, Sharp became personally aware of the challenges facing mothers and families living in transient, often unsafe living situations. Her own experiences fueled an understanding of the ubiquity of home insecurity and the need for safe, sustainable housing solutions to help families thrive. As executive director, Sharp is working with the Dallas City Council on policy changes to create affordable housing that is also beautiful and serene, creating valuable social impact in communities. Under her stewardship, Dwell with Dignity has grown from serving 180 people to more than 7,000 a year. Sharp has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including being named to the Dallas “40 under 40” list and a nomination for leadership excellence. In addition to her work with Dwell with Dignity, Sharp is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council and a TEDx organizer. Along with degrees in arts administration and performance, she holds a master’s in public affairs from UT Dallas, a certificate from the Women’s Campaign School at UT Austin, and is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in executive leadership at UPenn. Sharp has also been in over 60 musical productions, and once trained as a dancer with the New York City Rockettes.
Feb 1, 2024
Nonprofits play a crucial role in creating positive social change, but their impact is hindered when internal culture is neglected.
It takes a village to grow your company and thrive. When you are just starting out during the first few years of a new business operation, it may be instinctive to keep your head down and focus on how to thrive in your day-to-day workflow procedures and how to deliver customer satisfaction first and foremost. However, it's also just as important to engage in strategic partnerships and collaborations that can impact your company's growth potential. The end game is learning to work smarter, not harder. Leading experts from Fast Company Executive Board experienced positive results when they took advantage of untapped opportunities that moved their businesses forward. Below, they share 13 reasons why business leaders should keep an open mind to exploring new partnerships that may be a good fit right now.
20 tips to set your new company up for success in the marketplace. As a company leader, you may be confident about your organization's ability to meet consumer demands and thrive at meeting your quarterly goals on a regular basis right now. But if you don't have a systematic approach to coming up with ways to keep your business financially fit, you'll be setting your company and team up for failure in the event of unforeseen circumstances. For example, an unsteady economy. Your numbers may look good on paper but regulating your KPI metrics in real-time is essential to generate a true measure of financial success. Below, 20 Fast Company Executive Board members share one piece of advice that aspiring business leaders or small business owners should consider when it comes to understanding the importance of financial management and planning for longevity in any industry.
14 tips for business leaders aiming to reframe a culture of adaptability at the office. For a company to remain competitive and survive in today's marketplace, its leaders must be willing to fully embrace what it means to build a culture of adaptability among a diverse workforce and live up to its own expectations. Improving the company's culture won't happen overnight, but if leaders begin to gather and share employee success stories and transformative behavior patterns, doing so will plant the seed of change for the better. In turn, top talent will be more likely to take a second look at potential career opportunities at the prospective company. Here are 14 suggestions from Fast Company Executive Board members that can lead to a better work environment and a desire to change.
Dwell with Dignity
Dwell with Dignity is a nonprofit organization based out of Dallas, TX, with a mission to help unhomed families lift themselves out of poverty and thrive by creating safe, beautiful, affirming living spaces. The organization partners with local community groups, leveraging donated household items, monetary donations, time and talent to help families. Dwell with Dignity provides homes that are furnished and designed thoughtfully, with the family’s aesthetic and needs in mind. Recently, Dwell with Dignity has also started designing and creating spaces for nonprofits, such as call centers for 911 first responders, student resilience centers, teachers’ lounges, meditation and pumping rooms, and even homes designated for women veterans — always with the goal of creating spaces that are functional and practical and promote health and recovery. A social entrepreneurial venture, Dwell with Dignity operates in part on earned revenue from its annual Thrift Studio, a 30-day pop-up shop at which high-end donated furniture and other items are sold to the public. Proceeds allow Dwell with Dignity to continually house families for free by combining these funds with philanthropic donations. The organization has also partnered with local NPR and PBS affiliates to design spaces, as well as the Dallas Mavericks, Toyota, the Container Store, and Habitat for Humanity. Dwell with Dignity has seen “powerful generational impact” from its housed families, with more than 90% reporting sustained employment, improved academics, and positive social connections. The organization has routinely been named a Best Place to Donate, and won a Dallas Award for Outstanding Innovator in 2021. Dwell with Dignity has been featured on Dallas Morning News, Fox, Forbes, and HGTV.