The Florida College Access Network’s Board of Advisors is thrilled to announce the addition of two exceptional leaders to its ranks: Ashley Butler, President and Franchisor of Ice Cold Air, and Channing D. Thornton, Executive Vice President at Regions Financial Corporation. The board plays a pivotal role in guiding FCAN’s strategic vision. Butler and Thornton’s commitment to fostering collaboration and inclusivity aligns with FCAN’s mission of ensuring every student’s success on their postsecondary education journey.

“This is an exciting time for FCAN,” said Marlene Spalten, Chair of FCAN’s Board of Advisors. “Ashley Butler and Channing Thornton’s proven dedication to Florida communities and their passion for shaping the future of Florida bring invaluable perspectives that will enrich our board and drive FCAN’s mission to new heights.”

Portrait of Ashley Butler posing inside a photo studio.

Ashley Butler, a dynamic entrepreneur, philanthropist, and passionate community advocate, hails proudly from Tampa. With a bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of South Florida, Butler approaches all her endeavors with an informed perspective. Since 2006, she has thrived as a franchisee of Ice Cold Air.

Notably, Butler is a founding member of USF’s Black Leadership Network, where she actively contributes to strategic planning and fundraising, embodying her unwavering dedication to effecting positive change. Butler also holds influential positions on the boards of organizations like Kitchen Table Literary Arts, the USF Foundation, and the USF Alumni Association and serves as the Alumni Chair for the Tampa Bay Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator.

“I wholeheartedly believe in the transformative power of education as a personal path towards success,” Ashley Butler said. “As a new member of the FCAN board, I am eager to collaborate and explore opportunities to ensure every Florida student can pursue education beyond high school in a way that truly suits their unique needs and aspirations.” 

Portrait of Channing D. Thornton smiling.

Channing D. Thornton, an accomplished executive with a long history in the banking industry, catalyzes Regions Bank’s inclusive approach to fair lending. As the Community Market Relationship Process Executive, he promotes banking practices to support inclusive prosperity across Regions’ expansive 15-state retail banking footprint, spanning the Southeast, Midwest, and Texas.

Thornton’s holistic approach to fair lending fosters synergy among various banking departments. His journey with Regions began in 1999 as a branch manager in Brandon, Florida. With an M.B.A. in Finance from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Florida, Thornton brings a wealth of experience and expertise to FCAN’s board.

“Organizations like FCAN play a pivotal role in shaping the conversation and creating pathways that empower people through education, ultimately contributing to greater financial prosperity and economic mobility in our society,” Thornton said. “I am honored to serve on the board, and I look forward to helping prepare Florida students for life and career.”

The unanimous approval of Butler’s and Thornton’s appointment recognizes their years of exemplary leadership.

Join us in welcoming Ashley and Channing to FCAN’s Board of Advisors! 

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