I am writing this letter today with a heavy and broken heart. With the utmost transparency I am addressing the allegations that have transpired over these past 12 days. My character, integrity , purpose, and intent behind my actions are in being questioned.
With my fitness endeavors in place, time training and traveling had taken me away from physically being inside my companies. As a business owner, I put management in place to oversee, make decisions and lead a team as I would be while away.
In June of 2018, I embarked on a 1,300 mile bike ride going from Virginia Beach to Tulsa, Oklahoma to raise money for the children of St.Jude. This trip was funded with my own personal money. Never from the Unbroken Foundation.
The total amount raised was $5,225 and $5,225 went directly to St. Jude.
In August of 2018 I embarked on the WomanOfIron Event for the children of Maison Fortune Orphanage Foundation. To date, the money raised has totaled to $17,622. The same amount was donated to MFOF. The Unbroken Foundation was never utilized.
Additionally, a few charitable events I have raised through official fundraising websites have been
- AshleyRunsHaiti- $84,493 all donations went to MFOF, the orphanage in Haiti
- 201mileswim- raising $6,490 every dollar was donated to the orphanage, MFOF
The money was sent directly to MFO from the fundraising website.
Lastly, my very own donations (not charitable events) from my personal checking account, not the Unbroken Foundation, to date has been $89,051 to support these children at MFOF in Hinche, Haiti. I will continue my efforts being involved physically as well as being a monthly supporter for these children I love and care for so much.
All of these endeavors, pulled me away from overseeing my companies. But, while away, I was confident in the leaders I had in place to create a seamless operation and communications to uphold my visions and procedures for each company.
Upon my return from my most recent endeavor: Woman of Iron in August 2018, I began stepping back into my companies being more involved in person. It didn’t take me long to notice a few cracks in the team and leadership in place at American Brew. Immediately, I began working directly with the managers. Most importantly, my efforts with the entire team at American Brew to be just that; a team. I wanted them to understand the ‘why’ behind everything they do and purpose of American Brew. With these efforts and the growth of my establishment, it was important that procedures and values were held to the highest standard.
Instead of another holiday party inside of AMERICAN BREW, I wanted to bring everyone together. Therefore, I closed the doors to all companies in hopes to bring the crew, tighter and stronger than ever before. Again, I personally funded the entire trip, the Unbroken Foundation was never utilized.
After this trip, I had hoped the leadership and comradery would reflect our team building and time spent in the mountains. The morning of Sunday, February 10th, 2019, I received a phone call from an employee. She was crying and ready to quit as she felt as if she was being bullied by other employees. I contacted my GM to schedule an all hands meeting to confront and rectify the issues that continued to happen. On the same day, February 10th, being my late father’s birthday, my family obligations required that this meeting be anytime after 6pm or a date when ALL employees could attend. The GM proceeded to set the meeting that day 4pm anyways. At 4pm all employees gathered only to hear from the GM that I didn’t show up.
They proceeded by laying their keys on the bar and walking out. I was left with a team of 3 and with this very small team (five, including myself and Erica) we opened the doors of American Brew Monday morning. All employee NDA’s were destroyed, computer wiped, property stolen and social media slandering and false accusations began.
I worked inside those walls, in the kitchen for the very first time, learning and re-establishing daily operations at American Brew. I was in the kitchen open to close everyday. I had to shut out the world and have kept my head down, and will continue to do so. My focus is on my small team and rebuilding the foundation.
In July of 2018, I let go my Director of Operations whose duties were to oversee all aspects of the companies. With this termination, all employees files, including records and emails were destroyed by the employee upon his departure. (Please see my CPA, Blake Kerr’s official statement for more detail regarding) two employees were miss-filed as a 1099 from the result of uncollected paperwork. due to the files destroyed by the terminated employee in July 2018.
In January of 2019 I was made aware of this mis-filing for the first time. Both myself and my CPA firm spoke to both employees separately on the phone and in person in attempt to make it right. I offered to personally reimburse them all taxes they would pay being misfiled as 1099 employee to rectify the situation and properly submit the paperwork for proper filing to make it right and move forward.
Aside from these two employees all employees have been filed and paid appropriately, according to the federal regulations and the state of Virginia tax laws.
In regards to the accusations surrounding a wrongful firing of an employee at American Brew who was also serving in the military had absolutely nothing to do with his service to our country. The employee already had ramifications due to performance during employment at American Brew. On March 13th, 2018 a proper termination letter was delivered appropriately.
On January 23rd 2019 this same employee was re-hired at American Brew while being in the military. I was extremely happy to have this employee back on the team and did an incredible job.
Currently, we have an employee who is serving her country and upholding an impeccable job at American Brew.
My hope is that you hear my heart through this statement, this is and has continued to be the most challenging time to work through. I’m incredibly thankful for my remaining team, and the ones who have stood by my side.I have learned so much these past few weeks but the most important thing i’ve learned has been this: Get small, and focus on what matters most, so I can be present and fully involved in the daily operations.
I, Ashley Horner have never misused any funds or donations of the Unbroken Foundation for personal use nor the use of anything other than the principles and purpose of the Unbroken Foundation: To help women in children in need.
I will be more than happy to turn over all bookkeeping of the Unbroken Foundation to anyone who questions the transparency, or character of myself and the foundation. And those hiding under fake blank profiles, making these accusations I’m asking you to come out and make an actual legitimate claim stating funds of the Unbroken Foundation has been abused in any way. The Unbroken Foundation is proud to have helped the women and children we’ve had the opportunity to help and will continue to do so, just like it has in the past, we will continue with the utmost integrity.
Additional Statements and Documents: