Meet the Team
CEO & Co-Founder
It would be easy to say that Ashley was born to lead, but in actuality, her leadership has blossomed through constant evolution; extracting lessons from life’s challenges, victories and ambiguity, while staying relentlessly focused on one thing – how does she help those around her become the best versions of themselves?
As the daughter of a professional boxer, All-American track athlete, theatre major, fitness professional, educator, and social justice advocate, Ashley has had the unique opportunity to experience a myriad of physical and mental training philosophies along with real world challenges that served as critical catalysts for introspection and growth. Throughout her life, she has consistently shown the ability to dissect self-limiting beliefs and trauma to summon grit, fortitude, and creativity.
While studying for her MFA in Acting at Brown University, Ashley suffered a concussion which changed the course of her life and helped her assess and apply her true why: to use movement as a way to make the world a better place. Over the course of the next three years, Ashley was an elite trainer at some of the world’s large boutique fitness studios. There, she earned a reputation as someone who could serve up some of the most intense, high-energy classes in the fitness space, but also understand and influence the collective behaviors of those around her with empathy, instinct and unapologetic candor.
In 2018, Ashley and her husband Mark co-founded The Courage Campaign, a nonprofit whose mission is to leverage movement and the power of intention to redefine one’s relationship with fear to attain new levels of personal empowerment. They work with students and teachers alike on the topics of courage, resilience, and inclusivity, as well as raising money and awareness for students in under-resourced schools.
When asked about her teaching (and life) philosophy, she says it can be summed up in two quotes; the first is her own: “You can rest, but you can’t quit.” The other, a favorite from graduate school by Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
VP & Co-Founder
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Mark Bernardo is an experienced executive with over 30 years in the corporate world and a track record of inspiring high performing teams. His expertise spans roles in Engineering, Services, Support and General Management serving various Fortune 500 companies in industries including Food & Beverage, Life Sciences, and Energy. In this capacity, Mark has developed a passionate, inclusive leadership style that is earmarked by his ability to create spaces where co-workers and customers alike feel safe, respected, and seen.
Mark complemented his corporate capabilities by simultaneously spending 25 years teaching various forms of Martial Arts; helping his students find their individual strengths while managing their fears. His coaching style honors both traditional Japanese philosophies and modern-day techniques believing, “history is for learning, not for living.”
Influenced by his years of inspiring teams and teaching people how to use their body to strengthen their mind, he is most passionate about the work he and his partner Ashley are doing with youth in Massachusetts through The Courage Campaign. Helping BIPOC students find agency and confidence while coping with systemic racism in education is not only essential, but immediate.
Whether coaching, leading a team, or working on TCC, Mark fundamentally believes in each human as an individual. He says, “Our environments shape who we are, and by acknowledging each person’s gifts and unique background, we can expand our capacity for empathy and compassion.”