Minority Enterprise Advocate – January/February, 2005
Economic Empowerment & National Women’s Leadership Conference Special Edition:
Distinguised Minority Women in Business – Ashley W. Chen, President & CEO, ActioNet, Inc., Fairfax, Virginia
Ashley W. Chen earned both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees in five years and with honors. After graduation, she took a position with a consulting company which involved assignments on Capitol Hill. In addition to maintaining an exhausting work schedule, she was able to achieve the highest level of professional certifications from both Novell and Microsoft.
Ashley W. Chen, President and CEO of ActioNet, founded the company in 1998 with a ‘dream to build something great.’ She was inspired by an enlightening piece written by a traditional Japanese philosopher that stated, ‘action without vision is a nightmare, vision without action is only a daydream.” Through hard work and persistence, Ashley turned her vision into action and her dreams into reality.
Ms. Chen has transformed the company from an individually-operated company in 1998 to a dynamic information technology solution provider specializing in high-quality services and support with over 70 staff members and over $5 million in revenue today. ActioNet is an SEI CMM Level 3 Certified IT Services Firm that specializes in Enterprise Software Development involving a Full Lifecycle Methodology, Information Systems Security, Systems Integration, and Training. ActioNet also has custom developed products such as iMakeSurveys (www.imakesurveys.com), an online service that was created to simplify the process of collecting survey information and providing timely feedback for a variety of organizations engaged in customer service and outreach activities. ActioNet’s Change Tracker (CT) Product was introduced to support IT Change Management functions.
In 2004, Ashley W. Chen was honored as the SBA Minority Small Business Person of the Year for the Washington District Office and as the Asian Entrepreneur of the Year from Asian Enterprise Magazine. 2004 was a banner year for ActioNet with many awards including the INC 500 fastest-growing private companies, the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 – Virginia and Fast 500 – North America awards for the second year in a row, as well as The Washington Technology Fast 50. ActioNet was also a recipient of the ‘DOT Outstanding Women-Owned Business Enterprise Award’ and the ‘DOE CIO IT Quality Award for Technical Excellence’. ActioNet received the “Exceeds Customer Expectations” Past Performance Rating from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).
Ms. Chen states, “We are very proud of the fact that our first customers are still our customers today.” ActioNet reinvests its profits back into the company and its people to fuel future growth and expansion. ActioNet’s ability to attract and retain the best talent is directly related to its internal mentor-protégé program and philosophy of promoting from within. ActioNet has built a strong financial foundation and has received the Highest “3A1” Financial Rating from D&B with zero debt.
Opportunity and success come with a great responsibility to reach out and help others along the path. It has been Ashley’s passion to promote minority business causes and organizations. Ashley provides marketing, event planning and web hosting support to many community organizations and is also involved with the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Ashley always says, “My passion continues to drive me and I will be persistent throughout the journey.