Ashlea Graves Turner is the President of Gavel In™, LLC. A well-rounded professional with twelve years of combined experience, Ashlea has worked at all three levels of government. She has extensive experience working with elected officials, corporate and community stakeholders to achieve policy goals.
Her career began during the 80th Texas Legislative Session as a policy adviser to State Senator Rodney Ellis. In 2007, she moved from Austin to Washington, D.C. to join U.S. Congressman Al Green’s policy team on Capitol Hill. After championing the passage of a $570 M amendment for Hurricane Ike recovery, Ashlea joined Bill White’s gubernatorial campaign as a regional political director.
Ashlea’s lobbying experience spans over nine years, fighting for Houston’s business community and most recently the state’s largest school district.
In 2011, Ashlea joined the advocacy team for Houston’s regional chamber of commerce, world trade center and economic development arm, the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). Her time at GHP was well-spent as she tackled federal relations, planned three successful D.C. fly-ins for Houston’s CEOs and led a grassroots movement statewide to pass a $2 B investment in better water infrastructure. Ashlea also oversaw health policy, small business and economic development issues for Houston’s business community.
Ashlea led the largest school district’s government relations team for almost six years. As the Chief Governmental Relations and Strategy Officer for the Houston Independent School District (HISD), Ashlea and her legislative team brought back over $1 B in state and federal funds. The bulk of these dollars are savings towards recapture payments to the state, given the passage of House Bill 3 in 2019. Ashlea has passed critical legislation in support of public education, including bills related to dual credit for high school students interested in college-level coursework.
She is a recipient of the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and the Women Who Mean Business Award. Ashlea is a graduate of Stanford University. She received her executive education from Harvard and Yale Universities. Ashlea volunteers with a number of organizations, including the Junior League.