As a young girl Ashley was always a hard worker and received character counts and other awards but she was bullied in school for being different. Her dreams may have included being a beauty queen which she was many times but who knew this young lady would grow up to be the Chief Operating Officer of a local empire such as Grindstaff Automotive Group!
Ashley Grindstaff started as the spokesperson for Kia but Steve Grindstaff who later became her husband treated her as any other employee and sent her into the business with his usual “sink or swim” mentality. This former beauty queen learned to swim very quickly in every aspect of the dealerships. She spent years in each department learning about each product they sell and service while remaining the voice and face of the company.
On a typical day just like the one when I went to her office at the dealership in Elizabethon to interview this beautiful lady I had read so much about and watched her commercials you might be surprised to know her day is just like any other working mom. Ashley drives her 9-year-old twin boys to school every morning before catching a quick work out and coming into the office. Her day is filled with managing their real estate properties and making corporate decisions for the dealerships alongside Lee Ann Bowman her Customer Relations Manager. In the late afternoons their young boys can also be found at the dealership where Ashley has set up desks, sitting areas and a kitchen just like home. They have a tutor and all the comforts of home so they can be with their parents after school while they work.
Ashley and Steve Grindstaff both consider their employees and customers to be family. Their son Steven also manages the Kia dealership. Steven is not only a successful manager but a very cherished big bother to the twins Bentley and Baron as they adore and look up to him. Grindstaff Automotive Group has an impressive management team with many years of service including several women in power. Ashley believes in empowering her managers to make the daily decisions and she oversees the corporate decisions. She remains very approachable to them in daily and weekly meetings with her team.
The Grindstaffs love their community and always try to give back as much as possible. They support youth sports at the High School and college level. They are alumni and avid supporters of ETSU sports along with Acoustic Christmas, Niswonger Foundation, Stepping Stones, Isaiah 117 House, Casa, Back the Blue and a long list of other charities.
Ashley says her most important job is still being a wife and mom. Their weekends are filled with family time and dinners together on Sundays. They are typical home bodies in the winter but enjoy time at Watauga lake or Florida in the summer.
The Loafer is proud to present Ashley Grindstaff as a Women in Power in this issue and we urge our loyal readers to visit one of their dealerships and become a part of the Grindstaff family!