NAPHIA is governed by a Board of Directors made up of appointed representatives from our pet health insurance provider member companies.
Board members are executives at the highest levels of their organizations, who have committed to working objectively and collaboratively to establish and maintain universal and professional standards for: customer service, business best practices, quality-of-health care options, emerging technologies, universal terminology, community-building, and ethical conduct in the pet health insurance industry.
Each month, the Board of Directors discusses the ways in which to promote the benefits of the pet health insurance and to set high standards in the industry.
Vice President of Marketing, Nationwide Pet Insurance
Susan McManus is the Vice President of Pet Marketing and Strategic Initiatives at Nationwide. She is responsible for marketing and strategy for the pet insurance and pet healthcare financing. Sue was previously Vice President of Direct and Customer Solutions Marketing where she ran the marketing for Affinity, Employee Benefits, Specialty Insurance, and Banking. Prior to that, she led Digital Marketing at Nationwide for 5 years, where she was responsible for Internet strategy, content for nationwide.com, search marketing, social media, display ads, email, and Nationwide’s industry leading iPhone apps.
Since joining Nationwide in 1993, Sue has held a variety of positions in marketing, sales, IT, billing, operations, and business strategy development. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a master of applied statistics degree from The Ohio State University.
Sue lives in Orange County, CA with her partner, and they are pet parents to 3 dogs (Bear, Jack, and Max), 1 cat (Snugs), and 3 backyard chickens (Rosie, Sunday, and Donut).
President and Chief Executive Officer, PetPartners
Steve Popovich came to PetPartners with a 25-year track record in various financial positions, both corporate and operations, with several global companies including Tyco International and Georgia-Pacific.
Steve has an accounting degree from the University of Florida and an MBA in Finance from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
With tennis racket and ragged ball in hand, Steve and his wife, Sharon, spend a lot of time with their terrier-mix, Leo, who loves to play fetch more than food itself. “Boy, that little dog can out-and-out fly!” exclaim his neighbors. Leo is now listed with the AKC Canine Partners program, and is destined to become a star in Flyball.
President, Pets Best Insurance
Chris joined Pets Best Insurance in 2010 as Marketing Director. Shortly after, he was promoted to Vice President of Marketing, then Chief Operating Officer. In August of 2014, Chris was named President of Pets Best.
Chris started his career as a CPA at Big Eight firm, Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC). He then spent 18 years in the technology field at Fortune 50 Company, Hewlett-Packard (HP). During his time at HP, he held a variety of roles in accounting and finance, sales and business development, and marketing for their North America division.
The Boise native holds a bachelors’ degree from Idaho State University and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oregon. Chris was a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field team during college, and continues to be a fitness enthusiast. He also enjoys motorcycling and is an avid woodworker. He and his wife of over 27 years, Nancy, are parents to two children. They are also pet parents to two spoiled dogs who frequent the Pets Best office; Attie, an 80-pound mixed breed, and Otto, a 10-pound Yorkie and Maltese mix.
Past President 2013 – 2015
Senior Vice President of Hartville Pet Insurance Group
Dennis Rushovich is the SVP of Hartville Pet Insurance Group. Prior to joining Hartville, Dennis founded Strategic Financial Solutions, Inc., a consulting, software, and services supplier to financial institutions, where he served as CEO from November 1999 to July 2013. Dennis also co-founded and was COO and CFO of Independent Financial Marketing Group, a marketer of investment and insurance products to financial institutions nationwide.
Dennis graduated from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa with a B.Com. degree in Business Administration and Accounting, and a B.ACC degree in Accounting and Computer Science. He also holds a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting and received the qualifications of Chartered Accountant (South Africa).
Directors at Large
Chair, Membership & Co-chair, Research & Benchmarking Committee
CEO and Co-Founder of Embrace Pet Insurance
Laura Bennett is the CEO and Co-Founder of Embrace Pet Insurance. She trained and worked as an actuary at a life and health insurance company in Toronto, Canada and Dublin, Ireland for 12 years before pursuing an MBA.
She graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania as Palmer and Siebel Scholars. While at Wharton, she also learned to play hockey, climbed a glacial volcano, and wrote a daily blog to round out her academic learning.
After graduation, Laura co-founded Embrace Pet Insurance. She was the first US pet insurance actuary and was named to the Society of Actuaries Top 100 Actuarial Pioneers for her ground-breaking work in pet insurance. Laura developed the actuarial models and product design allowing pet parents to personalize their own product features to suit their budgets. Laura is on the Boards of Safeguard Guaranty, a company that develops ground breaking, socially responsible consumer insurance products, and Bad Girl Ventures, a non-profit that creates opportunities for female entrepreneurs through education, developing connections and by giving access to capital. Laura is active on social media on many topics, as well as a runner and professional speaker.
American Modern Insurance Group
Bob Capobianco assumed responsibility for American Modern’s pet health insurance partnership with Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the spring of 2016. Bob has more than 30 years of insurance experience with national, regional, standard and specialty insurance carriers and holds a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, an MBA in Business Administration from Rollins College and CPCU, CIC and ARM designations. His background also includes experience in carrier sales, marketing, operations and strategy.
Bob looks to expand American Modern’s growth of pet health insurance within their Strategic Alliance carrier partnerships while continuing to support Embrace’s significant growth in the veterinary, breeder and shelter channels. He is an enthusiastic observer of the inner workings of the pet insurance marketplace and is active in the digital insurance and innovation space. He is already an Embrace pet parent as his wife insisted that their orange tabby Hank experience the Embrace promises firsthand.
Interim President and Chief Operating Officer, Western Financial Insurance Company
Appointed in 2014 as Interim President and CEO of Western Financial Insurance Company, Rod is a passionate leader focused on delivering customer excellence. Rod is committed to working alongside our partners and industry experts to create leading-edge solutions that provide quality products and care for our customers.
He joined Western Financial Group in September 2011 to build and lead the Western Direct Insurance product line and to oversee the enterprise’s online presence, social channels and digital media as Chief Operating Officer, Direct Distribution.
With his specialized combination of skills and expertise, Rod is uniquely positioned to promote and elevate awareness of pet health insurance in Canada. In addition to his role as Western Financial Insurance Company’s Interim President and Chief Operating Officer, Rod continues to lead Western Direct Insurance and the e-Business initiatives for Western Financial Group.
Chief Business Development Officer, IHC Carrier Solutions
Rick Faucher is the Chief Business Development Officer of IHC Carrier Solutions, a member of the IHC Group, and is responsible for the pet insurance coverage offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC), an A.M. Best A-rated carrier.
IAIC is a member of the IHC Group of companies. Rick is a member of the executive team in IHC Group’s fully insured division which brings pet insurance, dental, vision, hospital indemnity, limited medical, short term medical and critical illness products to the marketplace.
Rick has been with the IHC Group for 18 years, holding various executive positions in the areas of product management, sales, marketing and operations, including Chief Operating Officer at one of IHC Group’s administration companies. He brings over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry having started his career while in college in 1984 with WPS Health Insurance. After graduating with a degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rick joined Golden Rule Insurance Company selling insurance products to the brokerage community in Chicago. He went on to join Starmark’s group underwriting team, and then on to Celtic Life Insurance company where he held the position of Director of Marketing before joining the IHC Group.
Rick is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute and also holds the designation of Health Insurance Associate awarded by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
A life-long pet parent, Rick is a resident of Phoenix, Arizona.
Co-chair, Research & Benchmarking Committee
President, American Pet Insurance Company
Tim Graff is the President of American Pet Insurance Company (APIC), the only 50-state admitted Property & Casualty insurance company in the United States, solely dedicated to writing Pet Insurance.
Tim brings 37 years of experience in the insurance industry. He began his insurance career in 1979 in the London market, where he spent three years working as an underwriter for Royal Insurance. He then joined the broker/consulting side of the industry with Alexander & Alexander (A&A), at that time the second largest global broker (subsequently acquired by Aon).
Tim spent a combined 15 years at A&A, many of which he was involved in their Middle East and South East Asian operations, and seven years running their South East Global Broking Unit in Atlanta, Georgia. Following A&A’s acquisition by Aon, Tim left the broker side of the industry and created a reinsurance entity in Bermuda as part of Oakwood Homes Corporation, a vertically integrated housing manufacturer.
After seven years with Oakwood, Tim then joined Renaissance Re, a Bermuda-based global catastrophe reinsurer, where he spent seven years in various leadership roles within their U.S. primary operations. In 2010, Renaissance Re elected to exit the US primary market and Tim played a lead role in selling the US primary insurance business to QBE the Americas. Post close of the sale agreement, Tim spent 15 months running QBE’s South Region from Dallas, Texas before leaving to join APIC.
Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, PetFirst
Brent Hinton co-founded PetFirst in 2004 and served as CEO for the first nine years of the company. Currently, he is PetFirst’s Vice Chairman.
Brent created PetFirst following 17 years of executive experience for various non-profit organizations. During his leadership, PetFirst has successfully leveraged relationships across multiple verticals to develop a diversified marketing strategy. Most notably, PetFirst has relationships with world-class Fortune 500 companies that include Kroger, Merck, and Discovery Communications.
With an extensive background in animal welfare and insurance, PetFirst has partnered with national brands interested in generating incremental revenue and strengthening customer loyalty to their brand. This successful platform has awarded PetFirst the #1 fastest growing company by Business First in 2010 and was listed among the top of the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies in 2011.
Brent is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and serves actively as a member of Simpsonville Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.
Chair, Summit 2017
Co-Founder & CEO, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation
Rob is the Co-Founder and Chief Pet Protector of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation leading product development, insurance underwriting, strategic partnerships, customer care, and claims management.
Prior to forming Healthy Paws, Rob was the President & COO of Trupanion Pet Insurance. Rob also was the founder and CEO of OUM & Associates, a national liability insurance MGA for allied healthcare providers which was acquired by Aon in 1994. Rob began his career of over 30 years as an entrepreneur and insurance executive with General Reinsurance Corporation.
Rob graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Passionate about giving back to the community, Healthy Paws Foundation is a natural extension of Rob’s interests as he had also founded Partners in Education and Home Court NW, two non-profit organizations serving youths of Greater Seattle.”
Veterinary Relations Committee
Steve is the Vice President, Channel Development at Petplan pet insurance. Steve and his team work to create & support relationships with the veterinary and animal welfare communities and with agents, brokers and other business partnerships. Prior to joining Petplan, Steve lead businesses at pet health companies Merck Animal Health, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service and Pfizer Animal Health.