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Women in Leadership - Ashley Walton

Updated: Jan 17

Estee Lauder famously said, “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” Every day, women are making great strides in their given fields, from starting businesses of their own to working their way up the ladder to shatter glass ceilings. Offleash’d aims to highlight individuals who emulate this vision, and we are lucky to have women on our own team who work hard to achieve success and continue to push themselves to be better every day.

We are so excited to announce the next feature for the Women in Leadership series, Ashley Walton! With several years of experience in the marketing field, Ashley transitioned seamlessly into her role as Chief Marketing Officer for Offleash’d. Her depth of knowledge and impressive work ethic has paved the way for her success over the years, but it is her commitment to bettering the lives of those around her that truly marks her as a leader.

Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Ashley had already started her first company while still an undergraduate at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. This experience kickstarted a passion for marketing that drove her to pursue an opportunity as the Director of Corporate Partnerships for a national sports agency, representing professional athletes.

Since then, Ashley has started two more companies, the first a property management firm, as well as a nonprofit benefiting athletes in underserved communities (don’t worry, we’ll ask her more about this soon!). From the corporate world to her philanthropic endeavors, Ashley has proven herself to be a driven and capable woman, and we hope you feel just as inspired as we did after hearing her story!

O: When did your love for animals begin?

AW: As early as I can remember. My dad and grandfather lived on farms when I was growing up, so there really was never a time that I wasn't around animals. We always had tons of pets and my involvement in riding horses, from a very young age, really sparked my lifelong passion for them.

O: You spent more than two decades competing on the show jumping circuit against some of the top equestrians in the country. How has that experience shaped your approach to tackling the business world?

AW: There are so many parallels. First and foremost, it's a lucrative business within itself, so watching how it operated my whole life helped me in many ways. I've also been trained by the same strong, successful woman since I started at age two - who preached the importance of "having ice in your veins" and the invaluable lesson of "if you fall off, you better get right back on." Lastly, my passion and competitive nature for the sport taught me that if I was willing to work really hard, I could achieve really great things.

O: You recently founded a nonprofit, The Wally Kelly Foundation, that helps young athletes in underserved communities succeed on and off the field. As Offleash’d continues to grow in its own philanthropic endeavors, what do you think is the most important aspect of community engagement?

AW: Community is everything. I always say that the more we come together, the more we can help, and I believe that to be true with Offleash'd as well. When I sought to start my own foundation, I wanted to ensure that I and everyone else involved recognized that the mission had the power to be bigger than all of us if we were willing to always put the needs of others first. It's a privilege to be part of a company that believes in that same vision and I look forward to remaining steadfast in those efforts.

O: What is one of the biggest lessons you've learned from starting multiple companies at a young age?

AW: Being a young entrepreneur has been an incredible experience. However, it's far from easy. After starting 3 of my own businesses, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is that you have to get really comfortable being uncomfortable. That means putting yourself out there, taking risks without immediate reward, and staying persistent when things aren't going the way you envisioned. Not everyone is built for the entrepreneurial path, but if you are - embrace the peaks and valleys of the journey as much as you can. Your future self will thank you.

O: What advice do you have for young women who are chomping at the bit to make an impact in the world?

AW: Bet on yourself. Be a student of life and business - ask questions, learn by watching, and never underestimate the skill of "figuring it out". Speak up - there's power in your voice and it deserves to be heard, no matter what room you're in. Lastly, a good work ethic will NEVER go out of style and is oftentimes one of the only things you can control.

Stay patient and prepared. You got this!

Read more about Ashley and the rest of the team here and be on the lookout for more compelling stories and interviews with the amazing people behind Offleash’d.

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