Meet ashley soltysiak

Meet Ashley soltysiak

Program Manager 
Great Lakes Business Network

[email protected]

Jim Bridger, that’s Ashley’s pup’s name, a tribute to the legendary adventurer of the early 1800s American West, and namesake of iconic wild areas there. Ashley channels that same intrepid spirit in her own work as program manager for the Great Lakes Business Network. The network was formed to give environmentally minded business leaders a bigger voice in state policy, and Ashley’s role is to expand both the membership and influence of this visionary and long-needed organization.

“Our three core issue areas are decommissioning Line 5 oil pipeline, promoting clean energy, and mitigating harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes,” Ashley says. She especially likes how dynamic the role can be—organizing press conferences, writing issue statements and white papers, connecting with key legislators, and more.

The enthusiasm Ashley brings to her work is a natural extension of her personal pursuits, which pull her outdoors at every opportunity: snowboarding and skiing, kayaking, biking, rock climbing … “Each of those pursuits depends directly upon Michigan's freshwater and a liveable climate,” she says. “Without reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and retiring a precarious pipeline currently threatening the future of our Great Lakes, we cannot count on deep snowy winters or pristine coastal hikes and paddles.” Ashley’s work directly helps to ensure a stronger climate movement so that these activities stay viable in Michigan for generations to come.

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Graduated from Michigan State University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and Zoology. Master of Public Administration from Cornell University, with a focus on Environmental Policy.

In her spare time ...

"I love snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, biking, rock climbing, and exploring wild places with my trusty adventure pup, Jim Bridger."

Favorite spots in northern Michigan

I think my all-time favorite spot in the state is Isle Royale National Park. It is such a stunningly remote and wild place. Closer to home, I really enjoy cross-country skiing at the Offield Family Viewlands near Harbor Springs or hiking around the Petobego Creek Natural Area near Elk Rapids. 

Why the prop?

I chose to take a picture with Jim Bridger because he is my favorite adventure pal. He provides me with a never-ending source of motivation to explore Michigan's wild places!

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