Our Leadership

Michelle Ashby, Founder & CEO

Michelle Ashby Founder and CEO Tipping Point Communications Marketing Agency

Michelle Ashby is Founder & CEO of Tipping Point Communications, an upstate New York advertising agency that specializes in strategic planning, media planning and buying, digital marketing, public relations, inbound marketing, and research. With more than 25 years’ experience in communications, Ashby leads Tipping Point’s offices in Rochester, Buffalo, and Cleveland, OH.

Ashby sees her role as a business partner first and agency marketer second. After launching Tipping Point in 2005 on her own, she realized the importance of understanding the critical business issues, or opportunities, facing CEOs and CMOs every day. Her personal mission is to provide sound counsel to executives that will grow their businesses. Her entrepreneurial spirit grants the Tipping Point team the latitude to tap into new marketing methods while balancing the effectiveness of the tried and true. She is all for producing award-winning ideas and creative so long as a positive ROI can be achieved for clients.

The Small Business Council of Rochester named Ashby Business Person of the Year in 2014; she is also a member of the Rochester Business Journal’s class of 2007 “Forty Under 40.” Michelle is a visionary leader with a unique blend of business development, one to one (IDI) research, coaching, account strategy, and a commitment to building long-term partnerships with clients.

Before opening Tipping Point Communications in 2005, Michelle was the Executive Vice President of Media at Mason Selkowitz Marketing, a full-service marketing communications firm where she led the newly acquired media buying and planning division, formerly known as Media Matters. Before working in the agency world, Michelle “got the bug” for media when she spent 12+ years in business development at Gannett and WEBN-FM in Cincinnati, OH and WROC-TV and WHEC-TV in Rochester, NY. She served as General Sales Manager at WWYC-FM in Lexington, KY and stations WNVE-FM, WZNE-FM and WCMF-FM Rochester, NY. She is a social media advocate and enjoys expanding and engaging with her network on Twitter.

Ashby is also dedicated to the positive development of her community.  When she’s not leading the charge at Tipping Point, Ashby serves on the board of directors for Willow Domestic Violence Center, St. Ann’s Home, and the Advisory Board for the Roland Williams Champion Academy. In 2016, Ashby was named Fundraiser of the Year by Genesee Valley and in 2010, the recipient of the Annette Itkin Volunteer of the Year award.

She is married and has two boys who play football and lacrosse.

Michelle’s favorite ad of all time? Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola Classic

Barbara Pierce, APR President, Tipping Point Communications

Barbara Pierce President Tipping Point Communications Public Relations FirmIn her more than two decades of experience in marketing and public relations, Barbara has led numerous high-profile communications initiatives, including product introductions, crisis communications programs, guerrilla marketing efforts and special events. She has conducted B2B and consumer public relations programs on a global, national and regional basis.

Barbara is active in national marketing and PR trade organizations and volunteers time to many not-for-profits in the Greater Rochester community. She currently serves as member of the board, executive committee, and communications committee of the Ad Council of Rochester, is a member of the board and board development committee of WXXI, and is a current member and past president of the Rochester Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2000.

She has won numerous industry awards, including the PRSA Silver Anvil Award, a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, and numerous Rochester Chapter PRSA PRism Awards and local ad club ADDY Awards. In 2013, she received the 2013 PRSA Rochester Sharleen Bruse Award for career achievement in PR.