ASHLEY MELISSE ABESS is a partner and creative strategist with MVW Partners. She is also a founding partner of ThinkLAB Ventures, a family office with interests in aviation, gaming, commercial landscaping, real estate investment, agriculture, silviculture, and fixed income. Abess was a partner and co-founder of Orion Jet Center, as well as creative director for its 45-acre ground-up construction of full-service FBO and related facilities. Within this role she identified and directed all creative teams, including identity, architecture, master planning, interior design, digital design, and brand collateral. In 2017 Orion Jet Center was sold to Atlantic Aviation, a division of the Macquarie Group. In 2005, upon completing her BBA in Design Management at Parsons School of Design, Abess co-founded CHRIS BENZ, a women’s ready-to-wear fashion line, and served as president until 2010. During this time, CHRIS BENZ was carried nationally at both multi-brand boutiques and major department stores, as well as throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Canada. Abess is an advisor to the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. She serves on the Edible Academy Committee of the New York Botanical Garden, the board of directors of Experience Aviation, the Human Rights Watch’s Miami Committee, and previously served as vice chair of the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum.