Ashley was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. He graduated from Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in 1985. He received a BA degree from the University of Kansas, a diploma in social studies and political theory from Oxford University in Oxford, England, and an MBA from Friends University.
He is a third generation funeral director and has worked in his family’s funeral home since he was in high school. He became a licensed funeral director in 1995. Ashley has been recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (one of approximately thirteen recognized in the State of Kansas). In 2004, he was recognized as a Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). In 2013, he was among the first group of individuals in the country to be recognized as an NFDA Certified Crematory Operator (CCO). He received training and has been a volunteer group facilitator for Three Trees, a center for grieving children and their families.
Under Ashley’s leadership, Broadway Mortuary and its staff have been recognized multiple times by NFDA as a recipient of the prestigious Pursuit of Excellence Award. This award is presented to firms that exemplify a commitment to excellence and outstanding service to others. Broadway Mortuary is the only Wichita funeral home to have been inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence – having received its 10th Pursuit of Excellence Award in 2014. Ashley is a past president of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association. In 2009, he was named the Kansas Funeral Director of the Year.
On a national level, Ashley served as the Kansas representative to the Policy Board of the National Funeral Directors Association, the largest association of funeral directors in the world. In 2011, he was elected by his peers to serve on the NFDA Board of Directors. In 2016, he became the 123rd President of the National Funeral Directors Association, where his leadership helped shape the future of funeral service.
Ashley’s forward-thinking approach and attention to detail, has resulted in continuous improvements and new standards of service. His goal is to provide outstanding value in an environment where the customer is honored and provided with services which exceed their expectations.
He has served in a number of community service organizations, including the Quivira Council Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America and Wichita Downtown Rotary. He is a past board member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, CYT Wichita, Exploration Place, Wichita Eye Foundation/Mid-Continent Eye Bank, the Wichita Prayer Breakfast and the Operations and Activities Council at the Classical School of Wichita.
In 2001, Ashley received the Wichita Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Award and was also selected to participate in Leadership Wichita that same year. He was a member of the Leadership Kansas Class of 2002 and served as its local program chair in 2003. In 2017, he was named to the Ingram's Kansas City Business Magazine list of "50 Kansans You Should Know."
He has served as a Sunday School teacher and high school ministry leader. He and his wife, Carolyn, have six children and are members of Eastminster Presbyterian Church.