Ashley McChesney, 33

2 Posted by - October 12, 2016 - 2016, Tampa Bay 2016, Tampa-St. Petersburg

Director of events, Armature Works

Ashley McChesney has become a pro at helping people imagine events at a nonexistent space.

As director of events at the Armature Works in Tampa’s hot development, the Heights, McChesney relies on renderings of a renovated 73,444-square-foot former streetcar storage facility.

The building will soon include the Heights market, two restaurants, a shared workspace, a rooftop social area and two event spaces. One of the spaces seats up to 800, and will host everything from social events and fundraisers to galas and proms.

McChesney has started booking events for May. The building is expected to open in the spring.

Planning events is nothing new for McChesney, who helped plan more than $10 million worth of events in five years as a senior event coordinator at A La Carte Pavilion. She’s also acted as hospitality event chair for the Outback Bowl since 2009, and worked with the hospitality committee for the Team Lunch, Ladies Lunch and Gridiron Gala since 2006. She’s also volunteered for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Special Events and Annual Gala for the past five years.

McChesney started with Armature Works when her former boss from A La Carte encouraged her to meet with the team leading development in the Heights. She started as a consultant, but was quickly invited to become a  part of the team.

“My heart and passion is in events,” she said.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, McChesney says. She could not pass up being part of something “crucial to the development of downtown and the Riverwalk.”

— Traci McMillan Beach


Name: Ashley McChesney

Age: 33

City of residence: Tampa, FL

Twitter handle:

Employer: Armature Works

Title: Director of Events

Birthplace: Tampa, FL

Years on the Gulf Coast: 33

Marital status/children: I’m married to Kevin McChesney who is a teacher. We have a 1-year-old son, Liam.

Best place to network: I don’t think the place is as important as the people. I enjoy getting together with other industry leaders in smaller, intimate groups maybe with a glass of wine.

Coolest business experience: I’ve been lucky to be a part of some amazing events over the past decade. Many of these events brought in big name entertainers. During one event, I found myself hanging out “backstage” (really just a draped off section of our service hallway) with TIM MCGRAW. I remember thinking at that moment, “I have a really cool job!”

Messy desk or clean workspaceClean is preferred but current status is messy

Best business lesson ever learnedA very smart, business woman once told me, “Do what you love, love what you do and always deliver more than you promise”.

A website that makes your job

Community group you’re most involved withI enjoy helping organizations that support kid’s and animals. I have been lucky to volunteer for many years on events related to Big Brother’s Big Sisters and Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida.

Favorite off-hours activityOff-hours you are likely to find me spending time with my friends and family. We love to spend time on the boat when the weather is nice, eat at our favorite restaurants and cheer for the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sundays.

Right now, our one-year-old keeps us very busy during the off-hours. We love to get him out for new experiences at the Zoo, Aquarium and Glazier Museum.

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner withMy mother’s mother (my grandmother). I know she had many life challenges as the mother of 6 kids and military wife. I didn’t get to meet either of my mom’s parents, so I would love to meet her and hear about my mom’s childhood and what made her into the amazing woman she is today.

Eleanor Roosevelt who redefined the role of First Lady. Instead of giving up her career and becoming a White House house wife she continued an active business agenda and was referred to as, “the most controversial First Lady in United States history”. I admire that she spoke her mind, was a voice for those in need and didn’t always agree with her husband, the President.

What you would be doing if you could pick another careerI think that I’m in the career I’m supposed to be in, but I do have an alter ego that believes I should be a trauma doctor on Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe this is because I’ve watched WAY too many episodes, or I just enjoy the thrill of thinking on my feet.

Top item on your bucket listTravel. There are so many places that I would love to see and experience, I think I will put them all in the bucket and draw one when the time is right!

Skill you’d like to learnHow to cook. I’ve always been in the hospitality business either working in restaurants or at events surrounded by amazing chefs. I’ve had some really amazing meals…all prepared by other people. My meals at home are pretty boring.

Who would play you in a movie about your lifeBased on the quick on-line quiz I just took it would be, Sandra Bullock. I love this pick because she has so many sides. She can be the funny girl, America’s sweetheart or at times be very serious. I think that is a great representation of me.

If I had a magic wandI would use this gift to support underprivileged children both locally and worldwide. This would allow every child to receive the basic necessities such water, nutrition, shelter, healthcare, education and a caregiver to love them.

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