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Natasha Ashton

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Business experts think Natasha Ashton is the cat’s meow. In 2006, she and her husband, Chris, wrote their first policies for Petplan, a pet insurance company. Since then, the Newtown Square-based company has grown to more than 200 employees, insured over 500,000 pets, and donated more than $1 million to animal welfare causes. Entrepreneur, Forbes, the Wharton School and Ernst & Young have recognized Petplan’s innovation and success. “But no little girl dreams of being an insurance executive,” Ashton says with a laugh. “I was always entrepreneurial minded, and I loved animals. My first job was dog walking at age 5.”

Business acumen didn’t prepare Ashton for the challenges she faced during Petplan’s first year. Not only did she have a 5-month-old son, but Ashton’s husband fell 15 feet while doing household repairs, breaking ribs and shattering an ankle. He was bedridden for months. Ashton had to rely on her employees, delegating to her staff and trusting their decisions. Hire the right people, Ashton says, and create a team more talented than you.

Tessa Marie Images. 

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