We believe in the power of strong friendships – especially between women. When you bond with another female on a personal level, you’re both better because of it. So, we’re getting to know women we look up to and admire a little bit better! It’s a fun, chatty series called “Take 5.” Studio 5 viewers submitted questions they think would help forge a deeper friendship. Our guests “Take 5” and answer those five questions on the spot.
Get to Know Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. In her youth Ashley discovered a deep love of the arts and set off on a path to focus and develop her musical and dancing abilities. Ashley left Las Vegas in 2000 to attend Brigham Young University where she continued to cultivate her talents in the arts and also realized the strength of her own entrepreneurial spirit.
While enrolled in Accounting 200, Ashley met Ryan Smith, a fellow, deep-rooted entrepreneur. Ashley and Ryan began dating and were married in 2006. Simultaneously, in separate basements, Ryan developed and sold tech software while Ashley curated a healthy environment to teach dance classes. These adventures eventually turned into the creation of Qualtrics and SMASH Dance Academy. Today Ashley continues to run and teach at SMASH with the end goal of providing healthy and empowering opportunities for youth to express themselves through the art of dance. SMASH currently has over 80 employees and approximately 500 students.
Along this journey Ashley and Ryan had 5 phenomenal children. As their family and businesses grew, Ryan, Ashley and their kids developed a deep love for and connective experience in the sport of basketball. Avid fans of both BYU and Utah Jazz basketball, their family found unity in the sport. In October 2020, Ryan and Ashley were provided with an opportunity to become the new stewards over the Utah Jazz NBA franchise. Now, as co-owner and one of the few females in the NBA, Ashley is excited about telling the story of Utah. She has been inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit that began this state and that continues to flourish today. Ashley and Ryan have a strong desire to use the platform to continually improve, diversify, and unify the incredible state of Utah.
Ashley currently serves on the board of Ballet West as well as the board for Abby Cox’s Show-Up INITIATIVE through which she is able help to provide opportunities for Utahns to serve many living in our state who are less fortunate. She also is heavily involved in the foundation Ryan and his colleagues started, Five for the Fight. Through it, they hope be bring awareness to cancer research.