Ashley O'Brien, Finance Expert in Kennebunk, United States
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Ashley O'Brien

Verified Expert  in Finance

Growth Expert

Location
Kennebunk, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 11, 2022

Ashley brings over twelve years of corporate operations, strategy, finance, marketing, and advisory experience and ten years of nonprofit events, marketing, and strategic development experience. As a corporate strategy and operations visionary and integrator, she brings expertise in strategic growth driver identification and implementation, brand building, organizational effectiveness, efficiency, change management, process improvement, project management, data analysis, and culture building.

Career Highlights

Education Highlights

Bachelor's Degree
Wellesley College

Case Studies

Work Experience

Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

2018 - 2021
Hote Decor
  • Founded a market disruptor web-based startup that focused on meeting the DIY event host's product, vendor, and creative needs.
  • Conducted all aspects of business development, including market research, financial analysis, business planning, setup of legal entity and tax structures, recruitment of talent, and brand development.
  • Built and managed a team of web developers, a CTO, and strategic and legal advisors to form the back-end limited liability company (LLC) and develop hotedecor.com.
Focus areas: Brand Building, Startups, Marketing, Business Planning, Web Design, Web Development, Consumer Trends, Merchandising, Financial Analysis, Team Building, Growth Strategy, Profitability Analysis, Business Strategy, Business Models, Competitive Strategy, B2C, Go-to-market Strategy, B2B Partnerships, Business Analysis, Large-scale Projects, Market Research, Sales Strategy, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Consumer Products, Strategic Planning, Presentations, Retail & Wholesale

Strategic Development and Marketing Manager

2013 - 2018
New York Choral Society
  • Managed social media, print, PR, email, and web marketing initiatives to develop the NYCHORAL brand, engage and broaden the audience base, and drive $600,000 in ticket sales at venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden.
  • Reimagined the annual fundraising gala, introduced a yearly holiday caroling fundraiser, and created a tiered membership program to gather $300,000.
  • Partnered with the board leadership to transform the management board and board of directors of a 50-year-old 180-person symphonic choir to support the organization's new direction, rebranding, and a recently-hired executive director.
Focus areas: Fundraising, Event Planning, Event Marketing, Development, Strategy, Brand Building, Performance, Public Speaking, Organizational Design, Google Ads, Email Marketing, Social Media, Growth Strategy, Profitability Analysis, Business Models, Competitive Strategy, B2C, Go-to-market Strategy, B2B Partnerships, Project Management, Process Improvement, Business Analysis, Large-scale Projects, Management Consulting, Market Research, Sales Strategy, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Business Transformation, Executive Presentations, Strategic Planning, Presentations

Internal Audit and Sales Finance Consultant

2013 - 2018
Pernod Ricard
  • Led a growth strategy and control-based consulting projects across sales, product marketing, finance, operations, IT, legal, and human resources to advance and implement strategic priorities, vision, values, and culture of a $2.6 billion brand owner.
  • Conducted a top-to-bottom restructuring of the FP&A organization, including reviewing processes, remapping ways of working, overhauling the reporting process and KPIs, and retraining approximately 125 impacted employees across nine teams.
  • Established internal controls and a risk management matrix to account for both internal and external risks that could prevent the organization from reaching its objectives. Enabled improved forecasting and monitoring of these risks.
Focus areas: Strategy, Risk Management, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Project Review, Best Practices, Process Design, Process Mapping, Operational Modeling, Controls, Consulting, Scope of Work, Organizational Design, Growth Strategy, Profitability Analysis, Business Strategy, SaaS, Business Models, Competitive Strategy, B2C, B2B, Go-to-market Strategy, B2B Partnerships, Project Management, Process Improvement, Process Optimization, Business Process Optimization, Business Analysis, Large-scale Projects, Management Consulting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Forecasting, Market Research, Sales Strategy, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Consumer Products, Business Transformation, Corporate, Executive Presentations, Strategic Planning, Presentations, Retail & Wholesale

Strategic Pricing and Promotion Manager

2011 - 2013
Ann Inc., Ann Taylor, and LOFT
  • Created pricing strategies using consumer insights and historical performance analytics to increase gross margins, support sales, and manage inventory for 770+ stores and two eCommerce sites to help the brand reach a goal of $1 billion in net sales.
  • Established and implemented best practices for cross-functional team integration, onboarding programs, and training guides for all new pricing teams across LOFT, Ann Taylor, and outlet store brands to enable the company's international expansion.
  • Partnered with SAP to develop tools to capture meaningful pricing data, create QA environments, and enable automated pricing at the point of sale.
Focus areas: Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Pricing, Marketing, Microsoft Excel, Merchandising, Planning, QA Testing, SAP Implementation, Change Management, Profitability Analysis, Business Strategy, SaaS, Competitive Strategy, B2C, Go-to-market Strategy, Business Analysis, Large-scale Projects, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Forecasting, Market Research, Sales Strategy, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Consumer Products, Business Transformation, Corporate, Executive Presentations, Strategic Planning, Retail & Wholesale

Strategy and Business Operations Manager

2010 - 2011
SpeakLike, Inc.
  • Acted as a key contributor to the development of a tiered merit-based translator incentive program, proactive recruitment approach, and more efficient onboarding system that produced a translator community that rivaled competition.
  • Conducted business and industry data analysis to generate project management guidelines and a long-range strategy.
  • Provided legal research and presentations to prepare for and improve contract negotiations.
Focus areas: Startups, Business Operations, Strategy, Contract Drafting, Big Data, Excel Modeling, Data Analysis, Recruiting, Onboarding, Legal Research, Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Competitive Strategy, B2C, Business Analysis, Large-scale Projects, Market Research, Sales Strategy, Business Transformation, Strategic Planning

Associate

2006 - 2010
Morgan Stanley
  • Managed the client relationships for $4 billion of managed assets and performed analysis to identify additional marketing and sales opportunities as a Series 7 and Series 66 registered advisory.
  • Specialized in working with high net worth individuals interested in initial public offerings (IPOs), family offices and charitable organizations, and business owners of startups and high-growth companies.
  • Acted as a cash management and foreign currency specialist for international private companies and startup organizations.
Focus areas: Wealth Management, Client Services, Financial Advisory, Sales, Investment Ideas, Financial Investment Structuring, Profitability Analysis, Competitive Strategy, B2C, Business Analysis, Financial Modeling, Market Research, Sales Strategy, Corporate
2002 - 2006

Bachelor's Degree in Economics

Wellesley College - Wellesley, MA, United States

Finance

Pricing, Due Diligence, Data Analysis, Financial Advisory, Profitability Analysis, Market Research, Fundraising, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Wealth Management, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Forecasting

Output Software

Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint

Data & Analysis Software

Financial Data

Industry Expertise

Consumer Products, Retail & Wholesale

Other

Strategy, Analysis, Best Practices, Process Design, Process Mapping, Operational Modeling, Consulting, Scope of Work, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Marketing, Planning, Change Management, Economics, Writing & Editing, Quantitative Analysis, Critical Analysis, Leadership, Collaboration, Event Planning, Event Marketing, Brand Building, Performance, Public Speaking, Organizational Design, Email Marketing, Product Sales, Product Growth, Brand Marketing, Brand Development, Gross Profit Margin Growth, Stakeholder Engagement, Value Proposition, Big Data, Excel Modeling, Customer Segmentation, Information Memoranda, Business Operations, Onboarding, Client Services, Sales, Investment Ideas, Financial Investment Structuring, Business Planning, Consumer Trends, Financial Analysis, Team Building, Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Business Models, Competitive Strategy, B2C, Go-to-market Strategy, B2B Partnerships, Process Improvement, Process Optimization, Business Process Optimization, Business Analysis, Large-scale Projects, Management Consulting, Sales Strategy, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Business Transformation, Corporate, Executive Presentations, Strategic Planning, Presentations, Risk Management, Controls, Merchandising, Development, Social Media, Pitch Decks, P&L Analysis, Startups, Recruiting, SaaS, B2B, Project Management, Oracle BI, SAP, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Project Review, QA Testing, SAP Implementation, Google Ads, Social Media Analytics, Contract Drafting, Legal Research, Web Design, Web Development

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