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May 2, 2017

Pet Age is proud to present the winners of our Third Annual Women of Influence Awards. The awardees are some of the most remarkable female leaders in today’s pet care and service market, representing different sectors of the profession and making many notable contributions to the industry.

Winners were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of Laura Lang from Jones Natural Chews, LLC; Andrea Arden, a world-renowned companion animal behavior and training expert; and Rebecca Tomala of Matrix Partners.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Nancy ApatowNancy Apatow
President
PetLift
Bradenton, Florida

Job responsibility: Director of Sales, Marketing and Product Development
Company description: Pioneering the design and fabrication of products for the grooming and veterinary industries.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
I grew up in the business. My father, Leonard Sciarrino, was a pioneer in the grooming equipment industry, and after getting my degree in engineering, I knew that this was where I belonged.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Developing equipment for groomers that makes their job easier and safer! From tubs with telescoping ramps that can be operated with one hand, to tables and non-slip grooming posts that provide the handler and the pet with the safest environment, my focus has always been safety, quality and function.
Who do you consider your most influential role model and why?
My dad, Leonard Sciarrino! He taught me everything I know and always took the time to explain and show me what he was working with. He never treated me like a “little girl”—instead, he challenged me to use my brain and my education to make a difference.

 

Jennifer ArnoldJennifer Arnold
Founder & CEO
We For Dogs
Milton, Georgia

Job responsibility:
My primary responsibility is to research and develop new ways to help people and dogs live together happily.
Company description: We For Dogs develops products and educational opportunities designed to enhance the person-dog relationship.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
When I was 16, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My dad introduced me to the idea of service dogs for people who use wheelchairs. My dad was killed by a drunk driver before we could begin the program, Canine Assistants. After Dad’s death, my mom and I started the program in December 1991.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
The We Leash is the perfect example of what I hope will be my biggest contribution—the understanding that great dogs are dogs who have roots and wings. With the We Leash, the roots are the security of being physically attached to the people they love through a dog’s collar or harness, while the wings are the line that connect to the toys they carry, providing a sense of self-determination.
What is something you are totally passionate about and why?
I’m passionate about the scientific study of our companion animals.

 

Amanda Malone BennieAmanda Malone Bennie
Co-founder and CEO
Clear Conscience Pet
Cape Coral, Florida

Job responsibility: Manufacturing, customer service and social media
Company description: Clear Conscience Pet creates CleanLabel treats and SuperGravy pet food toppers. Our motto is “purity, clarity and joy.” We have been honored with 17 awards.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
Growing up in the country as the youngest with older siblings, I needed playmates who would always be there for me, and I was lucky that our family always had dogs and cats. I loved and cared for them, and they loved me back, unconditionally.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
To put it simply, it is telling the truth. No matter what fads or marketing trends come around, I have always been 100 percent dedicated to only selling, recommending and now manufacturing the very best for animals.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
We need to re-embrace innovation in both product development and retailing! The natural niche in our industry has grown into a huge business. Manufacturers need to be creative and strive for innovation. Retailers must seek out what’s new to stay strong. Having been there in the ’90s as a retail manager, I know that independent retailers created the natural niche.

 

Janine BergerJanine Berger
Owner
Twigo LLC
Hoboken, New Jersey

Job responsibility: Marketing & Sales
Company description: Twigo is an idea company dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of our pets. We manufacture IDs and accessories for pets.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
We adopted our first pet as an adult, a pit mix named Melou. We were in the process of figuring out our new family dynamics, and every night his collar would jingle and wake me from a dead sleep. We went through numerous methods and products to silence the jingling of the tags and never quite found “the” solution until I sketched a quick tag that was bright, cheerful and made of silicone. My husband and I both said, “What a great idea!”
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Taking the risk to enter an unknown market with a new product idea. Ideas and innovation are the core of keeping any business vibrant, growing and interesting. I would encourage anyone who has the “guts” to bring the idea to market.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
More safety regulations and required testing for pet products. Pet hard goods are not regulated like the children’s industry and are not required to uphold safety testing or safety assurance guidelines.

 

Tierra BonaldiTierra Bonaldi
Partner
The Impetus Agency
Reno, Nevada

Job responsibility: Oversees new business development, campaign strategy, client relations, reporting and emerging communication trends.
Company description: The most experienced agency in the pet industry offering strategic public relations, social media, advertising, design and marketing strategy to associations, organizations, manufacturers, retailers and nonprofits.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
I believe working in the pet industry is what I was destined to do. I grew up with nearly every pet in my home, at one point living on a ranch with cats, a dog, horses, gerbils, hamsters, a snake, fish, cows, pigs, ducks and chickens—and I was in heaven!
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
I have loved helping manufacturers make pet owners aware of incredible, useful, new, better and innovative products that help them care for their pets and spend time with them.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the last year and why?
Our agency began working with the Bird Enjoyment and Advantage Koalition (BEAK) last year to address issues surrounding declining bird ownership, including looking at supply and demand, education and awareness. It has been an overnight success!

 

Bri BradleyBri Bradley
Co-owner
Smart Cookie Barkery
Denver, Colorado

Job responsibility: Own and operate a dog treat barkery and food truck for dogs.
Company description: Smart Cookie Barkery is a small batch dog treat bakery and food truck for dogs.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
My career in the pet industry started after my husband and I lost our 8-year-old Australian shepherd to Lymphoma, and shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24 years old. Our household went on a “health lockdown.” While we had always been healthy, we became more cognizant of what we were consuming, as well as what we were feeding our pets.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
I feel our biggest contribution to the pet business and pet owners is providing a new way to think about dog treats and pet nutrition. We are all about personalized pet nutrition.
What is something you are totally passionate about and why?
I am extremely passionate about animal welfare. I have to thank my mother for that—she may even be a bigger animal lover than I am, which is hard to come by. Whether it be supporting dog rescues, contributing to preserving wild habitats or donating to protect endangered species, I have been a lover of all animals my entire life.

 

Carina EvansCarina Evans
CEO
Dog Rocks USA LLC
Lake Worth, Florida

Job responsibility: To sail the ship
Company description: We bring to market innovative—and, where possible, natural—pet product solutions.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
A product called Dog Rocks—it was and remains a unique, natural prevention and cure to pet urine burn patches. It has taken off really well in the States, and as a result, we are asked by other brands to represent and sell their products. We are proud now to have a really solid line of products including Pet Remedy, a natural way to calm your pets. It’s a great industry to be a part of.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Bringing unique and—where possible—natural solutions to market. We want to share the love and ensure that the relationship between pets and their parents remains strong and only gets better.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
How to create a level playing field and support independent retailers and online retailers who don’t abuse MAP. Without a level playing field, price wars start and selling product online becomes a mini industry. We should put in place a structure where MAP is respected and protected more vehemently.

 

Susan Goldstein
Co-Founder, Co-CEO
Earth Animal
Southport, Connecticut

Job responsibility: I help lead and guide our team through the innovation process to ensure our mission is at the forefront at all times.
Company description: Earth Animal creates award-winning pure and safe products that improve the health and life of animals. All of the products are respectfully sourced from farms and produced with purpose in the USA.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
In 1971, my husband, Dr. Bob Goldstein, opened our conventional veterinary practice. We became disillusioned with the amount of chronic diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, kidney, liver and skin diseases, and the chronic use of strong medications to control the symptoms but could not cure the condition.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Raising the awareness that “we do not own our animals.” The humanization trend has really brought to light that animals are truly a part of the family.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the last year and why?
As Earth Animal moved into the pet food and treat business, I have learned a lot about the horrific treatment of animals. I have made it my mission to bring attention to the plight of factory farmed animals and the inhumane treatment of these animals.

 

Heather HickeyHeather Hickey
National Sales Director
Nature’s Logic
Lincoln, Nebraska

Job responsibility: Manage the outside sales team and our distributor partners.
Company description: Nature’s Logic is the first full line of pet diets made exclusively from whole foods and natural ingredients. We never use synthetic vitamins or minerals.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
During college, I started working one day a week at a local retail store for some extra money and great discounts on supplies for our dogs. Very simply, I loved my dogs. I was promoted to manager in a few short months; I loved that role. I knew all of our regular customers and their pets.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
My biggest contribution is to the health of people and pets. I love doing food seminars for pets and seeing the pet owners and store employees realize that they can benefit from whole foods, too.
What is something you are totally passionate about and why?
I am passionate about whole food nutrition for us and our pets. Whole foods do not provide single, independent nutrients; they provide countless nutrients that work in synergy together. I believe that by consuming a wide variety of whole foods, we minimize our risk of nutritional deficiencies.

 

Mary Helen HornMary Helen Horn
GM, Sales and Marketing, North America
Ziwi
Overland Park, Kansas

Job responsibility: Sales and marketing
Company description: Ziwi is the innovator and global leader in air-dried nutrition. Born of love; crafted for goodness; made in New Zealand. We put the best of New Zealand into our farm-to-bowl recipes.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
When I had a boxer who developed cancer, I discovered the correlation between nutrition and pet health and that many ailments could be treated through improved diet and better quality ingredients. Unfortunately for Bailey, my discovery came too late. Since then, I have dedicated my career to educating pet parents on preventative nutrition.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
I have spent the past year establishing a North American headquarters, hiring and leading a national sales team and administrative support team, implementing and monitoring online MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) compliance, and executing a rebrand with a marketing campaign to expand the brand awareness of Ziwi.
Who do you consider your most influential role model and why?
My father has been, and always will be, my most influential role model. He encouraged me to dream big, set goals and work hard to create a successful life for myself.

 

Jo HuntJo Hunt
President/Owner
DHA Lifestyle PR
Palos Verdes, California

Job responsibility: Oversee agency activities and functions
Company description: The mission at DHA Lifestyle PR is to provide our clients with professional, creative and cost-effective communication services that deliver distinguishing results.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
It was shortly after I got married that my husband and I got a cat, which later turned into five cats and two dogs. We found that owning pets was one of the most fulfilling things we had ever done.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to introduce some of the most breakthrough pet products in the industry. Many of these products have deeply affected the lives and well-being of both pet and pet parent. I am grateful to those pet product manufacturers who have entrusted me to launch these products to both the industry and consumers. It has been a great ride!
Who do you consider your most influential role model and why?
I grew up in the era of such TV shows as “Mary Tyler Moore” and “Murphy Brown.” Seeing these women play important roles in the business world was inspiring to me. It did make me believe that I could grow up and, as a woman, be influential.

 

Kelly IsonKelly Ison
Founder, CEO
Einstein Pets
Sarasota, Florida

Job responsibility: Oversees day-to-day operations and works with wholesale customers.
Company description: Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Einstein Pets was founded in 2012 and is a socially responsible, award-winning leader in all-natural dog treats. Made in the USA.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
A 5-year-old West Highland white terrier, Abbey, who rules the humans that occupy her space. Einstein Pets’ logo and the company are in her honor.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Founding Einstein Pets in 2012 to bring natural dog treats that incorporate chia seed and are made using pure, simple, delicious and nutritious ingredients that you will recognize immediately. Dedicated to the development of pet owners and sharing of best practices in pet health, pet care, pet treats, trends and tips.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
It’s important for everyone in the industry to be open, honest and transparent! Be advocates within our community by providing people with ongoing, updated industry education to help our industry grow and expand. Sharing and educating facts will assist in the development of more knowledgeable pet owners.

 

Penny JohnsonPenny Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Sturdi Products, Inc.
Gig Harbor, Washington

Job responsibility: Marketing strategy, strategic planning, brand development, competitive analysis, social media marketing, sales management and new business development
Company description: Sturdi manufactures unique and innovative pet products. Products are developed with a focus on pet travel, emergency preparedness planning and pet show exhibition.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
During my nursing career, I developed a passion for animal welfare and disaster and humanitarian relief, leading to my second career with Sturdi.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Sturdi’s Pop-Up portable kennels are lightweight and easy to use for people with mobility issues. The kennels don’t require assembly, and people in chairs can contain their animals, often without assistance.
Who do you consider your most influential role model and why?
Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN) founder Shawna Schuh is important to many in the industry, including me. She has the ability to bring out the positive energy in people. I’ve been active in WIPIN since 2012 and have found the networking amongst members to be invaluable. Shawna has set the tone of mutual respect and community spirit.

 

Beke LubeachBeke Lubeach
Founder
Dog E-Discounts
Chandler, Arizona

Job responsibility: Connecting pet-focused businesses with pet parents.
Company description: Dog E-Discounts is a membership for dog parents to get products, services and information to keep your dog happy and healthy … at a discount!
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
My dog, Jake, inspired me to get into the pet industry. He was instrumental in the launch of DOGTV, a television channel developed to help relax and entertain canine viewers. Once we completed a successful test run, we shared the channel throughout the country with the addition of DOGTV on DIRECTV. After that experience, I was “all in” and completely focused on the pet industry.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
My biggest contribution is my ability to connect people. Helping pet parents find the right products and services for their pets or helping businesses find strategic partners is where I focus my efforts.
Who do you consider your most influential role model and why?
My most influential role model in the pet industry is Kristen Levine, founder of Fetching Communications and Kristen Levine Pet Living. Kristen has been a great mentor to me during my time working in the pet industry. I have learned much from her having worked with her.

 

Janet MarlowJanet Marlow
Founder and CEO
Pet Acoustics Inc.
Washington Depot, Connecticut

Job responsibility: Chief executive officer
Company description: Pet Acoustics’ innovative products have helped thousands of pets and owners worldwide to help modify stress induced behaviors. Since 2009, Pet Acoustics has become a trusted brand in the pet wellness market
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
One particular cat, Osborn, changed the direction of my life. One day, Osborn was attacked in our woods and needed emergency care at our local animal hospital. I visited him daily in the ICU to sing to him, which soothed him. When he passed five days later, I decided to dedicate myself to understanding why animals are deeply affected by music.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
My biggest contribution to the industry is raising awareness among pet owners of how sound affects the behavior of their pets and continuing to provide innovative solutions through my company.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
Pet parents need education on caring for an elderly pet and the emotional decision of when, where and how to help an animal pass on. There also is a need for an industry smartphone app where animal shelters can request products to help their cause.

 

Jena LongJena Long
Director of Sales—West
The Honest Kitchen
San Diego, California

Job responsibility: Key account, distributor and sales team management
Company description: The Honest Kitchen is 100 percent human-grade dog and cat food, treats and supplements.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
My goal was to utilize my education and experience to improve the lives of dogs and cats. I wanted a career filled with happiness, passion, critical thinking and science.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
My biggest contribution to the pet business and pet owners was utilizing my position to exponentially grow the number of pets that have access to healthy food. I helped shape the industry by objectively considering and balancing the needs and concerns of the end user, accounts and distributors.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
The pet industry needs transparency in ingredient sourcing and manufacturing processes.

 

colleen planet dogColleen McCracken
CEO/Partner
Planet Dog
Westbrook, Maine

Job responsibility: Oversee all company operations
Company description: For 20 years, Planet Dog has been dedicated to making American-made, durable dog toys that improve the lives of dogs and their humans.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
I always admired Planet Dog’s brand from afar and loved the thought of creating the best products for our four-legged best friends. As an avid dog lover, I couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than using my talent and experience working in an industry dedicated to the education and well-being of pets.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
At Planet Dog, we make the best products for our four-legged best friends while making an incredible difference in people’s lives through our Planet Dog Foundation. Having the ability to lead my incredible team in creating the best innovative products and advancing the mission and support of service dogs is by far my biggest contribution to the company, the industry, and ultimately, pet owners.
What is something you are totally passionate about and why?
I am incredibly passionate about supporting and nurturing family-owned businesses (like Planet Dog) in general. I believe that the values and culture created in family-owned businesses make these organizations more successful, passionate and committed to their customers.

 

Renee PeetsRenee Peets
Vice President, Procurement
Mars Petcare US
Franklin, Tennessee

Job responsibility: Lead the procurement organization for Mars Petcare US.
Company description: World’s leading pet nutrition and health care business. Food brands include Pedigree, Iams, Greenies, Cesar, Nutro and Sheba. Vet practices include Banfield and Blue Pearl.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
Our family pets were an important part of my life growing up. And in my career as a food industry procurement and supply chain professional, I’ve always sought out and sourced the best quality ingredients and packaging.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Since joining Mars Petcare, I’ve been focused on developing and nurturing our supplier relationships. At the end of the day, that collaboration helps ensure that Mars Petcare is able to provide the best quality pet food at every price point, and give every pet the opportunity to live their healthiest life.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the last year and why?
The best decision I made in the last year is deciding to become a grant reviewer for the Pedigree Foundation, which is a charitable foundation dedicated to helping dogs in need.

 

C. Annie PetersC. Annie Peters
President and CEO
Pet Partners
Bellevue, Washington

Job responsibility: Lead the staff team and more than 15,000 registered therapy animal teams.
Company description: Pet Partners is the nation’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams providing animal-assisted interventions.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
The opportunity to lead Pet Partners brought together three things I’m passionate about: companion animals, volunteerism and human health. I’m humbled by what I’ve learned. The impact that a therapy animal visit can have on someone at a vulnerable time in their life is incredible.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
Pet Partners offers pet owners the opportunity to share their companion animals as therapy animals in their community. My contribution, in a volunteer segment that is exploding with interest—therapy animal visitation—is to raise awareness that not all therapy animal visitation programs are equal.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the last year and why?
Leading a non-profit organization gives me the opportunity to work with incredible volunteers. I’m always grateful and amazed that busy people will take time away from their successful careers and family lives to volunteer.

 

Peach ReidLaura “Peach” Reid
Chairman of the Board of Directors
PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council)
Alexandria, Virginia

Job responsibility: President and CEO Fish Mart, Inc.
Company description: Wholesale aquatics, small mammal, bird and reptile distributor.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
I was a poor struggling college student in search of any job to help support myself when I answered an ad in the newspaper about a newly opened tropical fish wholesaler that opened up nearby. Having had fish growing up, I had some familiarity with them, but no idea what a wholesaler was.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
My commitment to continuous improvement, excellence and “doing the right thing” are probably the characteristics that best describe my contributions—whether at my business, Fish Mart, my being chairman of the board of PIJAC or in any of the many other volunteer activities with which I get involved. I expect to learn and grow all the time.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the past year and why?
The best decision I made in the last year was to take on the role as PIJAC’s chair. It was a huge honor to even be considered for that, as our board—past and present—has industry leaders that I hold in the highest esteem.

 

Elnaz SarrafElnaz Sarraf
Co-founder and President
iBaby Labs, Inc.
San Jose, California

Job responsibility: Design, Sales, Marketing and Operations
Company description: iBaby is an innovator of Wi-Fi smart devices in baby, home and pet categories. Our products consist of baby video monitors, pet cameras and air quality purifiers.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
My cats are my world, and I absolutely adore them. I am constantly worrying about their safety and well-being, especially when I am away from my home or office. So I decided to find a way that I can ensure the well-being of my fur babies at all times.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
With the Helmet Monitor, pet parents and fur babies stay together no matter where they are. No longer will pet parents worry about their fur babies, and if the pet parents miss their fur babies, they can give their pets a call through the Helmet monitor. They can also play with their pets using the laser pointer toy.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the last year and why?
Incorporating the Helmet pet monitor into the iFamCare line is the best decision I’ve made. The Helmet has the potential to create a positive change in so many lives for pets and their owners. Life’s too short to miss those precious moments.

 

Debbie ShepherdDebbie Shepherd
Chain Account Manager
Animal Supply Company
Federal Way, Washington

Job responsibility: Outside sales
Company description: Animal Supply Company is the national leader in Local Everywhere pet food and supplies distribution, serving retailers throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
[I] have always loved pets; growing up [I] had a variety of them including horses, pigs, chickens, etc. So, when I started working for a veterinarian, I thoroughly enjoyed helping the pet and their owner. When an opportunity came around to work for a pet supply company, I thought, ‘This is a chance to help the pet owner before the vet.’ From there, my career was born.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
I believe my biggest contribution is my ability to listen to their needs and come up with a solution that first helps the pet, but also the owner, long term.
What is something you are totally passionate about and why?
I’m totally passionate about what goes into the pet. Over the years, I’ve fed various brands and forms of food, but the last 12 years I’ve been feeding 100 percent raw/frozen to my boxers, with great results.

 

Lisa St ClairLisa St. Clair
Owner/President
Tail Bangers
Millsboro, Delaware

Job responsibility: Marketing and product design
Company description: All natural gourmet dog treat bakery.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
My dog, Rasta, became ill, and his illness led me to start investigating the ingredients in pet food and treats. After Rasta passed away, I was still working in the restaurant industry, but I kept thinking about how much I loved him and missed him. So, I decided to create something that did not exist at the time in the pet industry. I decided to create fresh baked treats that would allow people to celebrate their relationship with their dogs.
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
The mission behind Tail Bangers was to create a way for people to celebrate their relationship with their dogs. We believe that dogs are family members. With that in mind, we wanted to make it easy and fun for people to celebrate birthdays/adoption days, holidays and every day with their dogs.
What is the best decision you’ve made in the last year and why?
I’ve worked with my designer and packaging supplier, and we’ve come out with new packaging. In addition to this great new packaging, I am in contract with Chimes, which employs the developmentally disabled. So I have these fabulous new packaged products and they provide jobs for people with special needs.

 

Kim ThompsonKimberly Thompson
Marketing Coordinator
Natural Animal
Nutrition Inc.
Belcamp, Maryland

Job responsibility: Marketing/Brand Management
Company description: Natural Animal Nutrition (NAN) is a distribution center for natural and holistic pet products for the independent pet segment.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
I picked up my whole life and moved out of state to start my career for an architecture firm. After a few months, I realized the position wasn’t for me. I applied to every job posting available, and one of the call backs I received was from the director of sales, Bruce Harrison, at NAN distribution. Despite the fact that I would have taken any position, I could not have been happier that the job was with NAN!
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
I would say my biggest contribution is the ability to help educate retailers and pet owners on the value of nutrition and the importance of trusting the different brands. I strive to make our customers the most successful they can be by providing them NAN marketing materials that emphasize the importance of selling based on nutrition.
What is something you are totally passionate about and why?
Health and nutrition. I am a huge health nut, which fits into my position at NAN so well because we only distribute pet products that are natural and responsibly sourced. If there is anything I love, it’s a good challenge.

 

Jaimie TurkingtonJaimie Turkington
VP, Marketing
Petcurean Pet Nutrition
Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Job responsibility: Marketing
Company description: Petcurean is a family-owned Canadian company that creates premium quality pet food recipes, including GO!, NOW FRESH, GATHER and SPIKE TREATS, for dogs and cats.
What inspired you to get into the pet industry?
I was working in the healthy eating and healthy living space for two-legged (human) consumers when an exciting opportunity to address healthy eating and healthy living for four-legged (pet) consumers came up. My cat was also a happy beneficiary!
What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the pet business and/or pet owners?
My contributions center on building and supporting a team of talented pet advocates who work hard to deliver on our deep-seated commitment to pet parents. It is an honor to work for such a like-minded and passionate team and for an organization that is growing and evolving but which remains mission-driven.
What issues need more attention from the pet industry and why?
The shifting digital landscape and its impact on brick-and-mortar retail, because retailers need to adapt to avoid obsolescence. Eroding consumer confidence in the face of a large volume of product recalls, because consumer trust is paramount.

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