Kaleob Ashley Used Roadblocks as Building Blocks to Live the Life of His Dreams.

by | Jun 2023

KALEOB ASHLEY learned about the power of faith and perseverance at an early age. The 23-year-old Airbnb owner, coach, real estate investor, minister, and Huntland alum earned his undergraduate degree at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, where he graduated in three years with two bachelor’s degrees: a business management degree with a minor in agriculture and another bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in social sciences. 

Kaleob learned the importance of perseverance by observing how his father, Jerry Ashley, effectively coped with the adverse emotional, physical, and financial consequences of Kaleob’s mother’s debilitating drug addiction. He admired his father’s ability to navigate life during such a difficult time in his and his children’s lives. 

“I remember as a kid seeing my dad work so many long workdays, so many long hours, a physically taxing job here at the sawmill and working on people’s vehicles and cutting timber and things like that just to try and make ends meet,” said Kaleob. 

Kaleob did not have a strong relationship with his mother as a child, but when he was in high school, she joined a rehabilitation program, and during the last nine years of her life, they worked to rekindle their relationship. 

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

After battling a few relapses in between recovery, his mother passed away in January 2023. The strength and perseverance he saw in both parents would later help him navigate hardships as a young adult. 

Amidst an already challenging season, Kaleob and his wife Megan received the news that Megan was diagnosed with cancer, but out of the storm always comes a rainbow. The couple expects a new addition to the family, Canaan Dale, in August. 

The name “Canaan” came from the manifestation of God’s promise to His chosen people, which was “The Promised Land,” or “The Land of Canaan.” “Dale” is the middle name shared between Kaleob and his father. 

With every happening in his life, Kaleob takes daily strides to remain encouraged and encourage others along the way. 

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

“I apply those early examples of strength and perseverance now. Just take one day at a time. Then, take the next step, and then worry about the next step when it comes.” 

Kaleob’s faith in God is a cornerstone of his identity, and he feels grateful for the deep-rooted Christian faith shared by his family. 

Kaleob said his father always pushed him to become his best academically and in sports activities, but one of the biggest lessons he instilled was the importance of keeping his faith in God. 

When he isn’t working or spending time with his family, he is preaching and spreading love to people no matter who they are or where they are from. His unwavering faith has driven him to devote much of his life to spreading the message of Jesus Christ 

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

“If there’s anything that anybody takes from me and my life, it’s that the kingdom of heaven is the most important thing. And there was a perfect creator, Jesus Christ, willing to lay down His life in our place,” he said. 

Kaleob works full-time at his father’s sawmill company, Davie Ashley Sawmill LLC, and owns seven properties, 6 of which are investment properties, and 5 are vacation rentals. 

At Davie Ashley Sawmill, Kaleob finds ways to solve problems by welding or fabricating for trucks, trailers, equipment, and production lines and fulfilling electrical maintenance needs. 

Kaleob’s grandfather started the business in 1972, and the family celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022. The company has taken a complete 360 since its beginning, and its growth, along with the hard work and dedication of his grandfather, father, aunt, and uncle — Davie Ashley, Jerry Ashley, Jana Smith, and Peanut Ashley — inspired Kaleob at a young age. 

Kaleob said, “They took it, and they’ve grown it a lot over the last couple of decades. And from an early age, I saw a group of people who believed in God and their own personal ability to influence the community and other people. And that’s kind of where it all comes from.” 

Kaleob attributes his success in business and passion for coaching children’s sports to the Franklin County community for guiding him and showing him how to use his talents to pour into his community. 

“It was family members, teachers, guidance counselors, and even police officers, and people like that, loving me enough to steer me in the right direction that enabled me to steer other people in the right direction. It was basketball coaches that helped refine the things that I have and me as a person and as a player that allowed me to refine kids now into their best selves. And it was people in our community. It all has to come from understanding what the community has already done for you.” GN

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