Former Helena librarian ‘fearless’

Victoria Ashford, former Helena Public Library director.

Victoria Ashford has never been afraid of taking action — not in her past retail, education, information and military environments — and certainly not in the past 18 months since leaving her director position at Helena Library, determined to take on new leadership roles as a speaker, trainer, coach and author.

“It is taking that next step — putting one foot forward — that brings providential opportunities into our path,” she said.

Ashford is now executive director of Excelcis Training & Consulting and has established an online presence at

She is co-author of “When Would NOW Be a Good Time?” — a collection of stories that address living up to one’s true potential.

Her contribution to the book speaks to how to recession-proof your life — now.

“I am excited about this book. It gives the reader a very functional plan that combines knowledge and action. It presents 10 strategies to help people thrive under any economic conditions,” Ashford said.

The strategies begin with “Scrutinizing Your Support System.” Ashford teaches sessions devoted to developing a “Care-Compass” to enlighten, empower and overcome discouragement in the work or personal arena.

“As a life coach, I remind people of ongoing principles. I bring tools and strategies to the table to help people overcome their fears.”

Ashford currently references the movie “The Other Guys.”

“In this economy, you may start feeling like you are one of the ‘other guys’ — under-appreciated, under-utilized or abused in your current job. I tell people that my goal is to help you become a peacock at home or at work.”

In October, a second book, “Incredible Business,” will publish Ashford’s contribution, “Creating Sensational Customer Service.”

Ashford attended a Chick-fil-A Leadercast event at BJCC, a simulcast program featuring speakers such as Mark Sanborn, Ben Carson, Tony Dungy and business researcher Jim Collins, author of “Built to Last, Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall.”

“Collins presentation was so compelling, I went right to the library to request his first two books and really devoured them,” Ashford said.

This conference proved to be a springboard to further developing her work as a speaker.

Ashford employs humor and stories from her own experiences, a technique she calls “Edu-tainment.”

Ashford is an upcoming moderator for one of the panels at Birmingham Diversity Summit; a frequent presenter to Birmingham Public Library managers and department heads; past keynote speaker at WSPA, Washington School Personnel Association and trainer for Citizens Property Insurance and A. G. Gaston Conference.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by e–mail at