Let us now hear the other side of Nancy Salzman, the side of those who supported her. Had her attorneys had their way, the supporters voices would not be heard. They filed these letters of support under seal but the judge made them file them publicly.
The reason that the attorneys wanted them filed under seal is because they felt that Frank Report would harm the reputations of the letter writers. Robert Soloway, Salzman;s attorney wrote, “Frank Report weaponizes statements made in support of the Nxivm defendants, and exists for virtually no purpose other than to damage the reputation and fortunes of remaining ‘loyalists.’”
One of Salzman’s supporters is David J Ashen, president of dash design, inc, an interior design and branding agency in NYC. The company specializes in “hotel, restaurant and retail as well as healthcare strategy and design.”
This is his letter of support for Nancy Salzman, written to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, submitted with her sentencing memorandum and now no longer under seal.
By David Ashen
My name is David J Ashen and I reside at … in the village of Rhinebeck, NY. I am the president of an interior design firm in NYC called dash design, inc. I am writing this letter in Support of Nancy Salzman.
I have known Nancy Salzman since the late fall/winter of 2001, and since that time Nancy has been a client, mentor, teacher and has become one of my closest and most trusted friends. I first met Nancy when she hired me to do some design and branding work for her company. At the time I was a principal in one of the largest independent branding agencies in the US. I was also suffering from anxiety and depression and on a cocktail of medications.
Nancy took me on and became my mentor helping me develop certain key personal and business skills which allowed me to open up my own design agency in 2003. No matter how busy she was, she always found time to meet with me, work with me and guide me. I soon discovered that she wasn’t paying special attention to just me, but that this was (and is) Nancy’s nature…she has an unstoppable drive to help people. In the eighteen years that I have known her I have never seen this change, even when she has been under extreme adversity.
In 2013 a dear friend of ours (Barbara Jeske) was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a devastating cancer of the brain with a very low survival rate.
Nancy took it upon herself to partner with Barbara and help her navigate a complex medical system and made sure that she got the best of care. I was part of a small group of friends that had the privilege to be with Barbara during this time (at Barbara’s request), and I watched with amazement how Nancy was with Barbara every single day of her last year of life; flew with her to multiple appointments at Duke University (one of the best medical facilities for this disease); slept in her hospital room after surgery(s); made sure she got her treatments and her medicine every single day; and at the end, made sure Barbara could remain at home and die with dignity. The folks from hospice told us they had never seen someone taken care of so well. Nancy did this while still maintaining her responsibilities with her company, teaching classes, and coaching the folks she worked with.
Again, this is an example of Nancy’s empathy for others and her commitment to the people in her life. This is only one of many stories.
I truly believe I would not be the success that I am today without the support and guidance of Nancy Salzman. Because of her work with me I have grown my business to a very successful global design firm with projects from Shanghai to LA.
I am widely published, and I am a sought-after speaker at hotel design conferences. I am also on the board of directors of two national foundations, for which I am proud of.
Furthermore, I would also like to say that I have been off all anxiety medication for sixteen years, and have been in a successful personal relationship for almost twenty years. I am a much better person because of Nancy Salzman and how selflessly she supported me, and want to it make clear that this was often done outside of the NXIVM coursework and with no financial compensation for Nancy.
She always was there for me and for the many people who were around her.
There is no-one who I have encountered in my 52 years that has more compassion for humans and a drive to help people with such selflessness than Nancy Salzman.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to have any more information on my experience of Nancy.
FR Comment on David Ashen’s letter:
There you have it. A successful, talented designer feels he got off medication, got into his own business, became successful and found personal happiness because Nancy Salzman was his mentor. Nancy was the most profoundly important guide, philosopher and friend he ever met in life.
Whatever else she did, good or ill, she seems to have helped one man. And even if he is wrong about Nancy, he believed she helped him and became inspired to put his faith in her. It seems to have worked.
Who knows the many ways one can find happiness and success? Sometimes it may be just having faith in someone knowing the right and then, because of that, finding the light ourselves.
There was no reason to put his letter under seal. It is fair and honest. I may not agree with Ashen about Nancy but he has the right to believe what he believes and if Nancy helped him in his life, how fortunate for her.
It is not often one gets to provide such aid to anyone and even rarer for anyone to have the grace to admit it and be thankful.