Betsy Ashton joined the Board of Directors of The Friends of Thirteen, Inc. in October 1995. She currently serves as Chair of the Program and Nominating Committees. She was assistant secretary from January 2005 until June 2007, secretary from January until June 2007, chaired the Nominating Committee from 2009 until June 2013, returning in August 2014, and has been an on-air spokesperson for the Friends since 1998. She also serves as co-chair of THIRTEEN’s Legacy Society.
After a twenty-year career as a radio and television news reporter and anchor at major stations in Washington, DC, New York City, and as a correspondent at CBS News, Betsy returned to her passion — fine arts. She established The Ashton Studio, Inc. in 2006 and has been painting full time ever since, specializing in oil portraits. She recently combined her art and journalism skills to create a series of portraits in paint and in print of today’s immigrants and refugees for a traveling exhibition called “Portraits of Immigrants: Unknown Faces, Untold Stories” that’s designed to counter hate with empathy and understanding, by showing Americans who today’s immigrants really are. To date, the exhibition has been displayed in two major Manhattan churches and was featured on THIRTEEN’s “MetroFocus” program, in Fine Art Connoissuer magazine, in the Reuters News Service, and many news outlets worldwide. Her portraits are in private and public collections throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Italy.
Betsy is a member of the National Arts Club, The Salmagundi Club, and the Portrait Society of America. She is also past president and a continuing board member of two journalism societies: the Silurians’ Press Club and the Deadline Club/New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, for which she emcees the Annual Deadline Club Awards. She also co-chaired SPJ’s 2004 National Convention where she launched “The Journalist” magazine and a nationwide newsroom training program. Little, Brown and Company published “Betsy Ashton’s Guide to Living On Your Own,” and she has written articles for Woman’s Day, Redbook, and Self magazines. Betsy currently resides and has a studio in Long Island City.