Woman of the Year Finalists Announced

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Women in the Pet Industry Network has announced the finalists in its annual Woman of the Year Award contest.

Award categories include , Advocate and Rising Star. Five finalists were named in each category.

The winners in each category, and one overall Woman of the Year, will be announced on Aug. 15 at the Women in the Pet Industry Conference and Awards Show in Portland.

The finalists are:

Advocate Finalists

Debra Jo Chiapuzio, president, The Emma Zen Foundation, Anaheim, Calif.

Amy Cox, president, The Paws Cause, The Shot Spot and The Pet Vet, McKinney, Texas

Virginia Hamilton, director, Canine Commandos of Brevard County Schools, Melbourne, Fla.

Patricia Jones, president, Paws PR, Woodside, N.Y.

Teresa Rhyne, author and speaker, Riverside, Calif.

Corporate Finalists

Gina Dial, vice president of sales and marketing, John Paul Pet, Lampasas, Texas

Gayle Martz, president & owner, GM, Inc., San Clemente, Calif.

Amy Nichols, Founder and CEO, Dogtopia, North Bethesda, Md.

Stacy Pursell, founder and president, The Pursell Group and The Vet Recruiter, Tulsa, Okla.

Lorien Clemens, director of marketing, PetHub, Issaquah, Wash.

Entrepreneur Finalists

Stephanie Boone, founder and CEO of Wonderside, Austin, Texas

Coleen Demling, owner and dog trainer, Pawtopia, La Jolla, Calif.

Shannon Heggem, president, Shannan Heggem International, Havre, Mont.

Dorla Salling, president, K9 Medicinals, Inc., Reno, Nev.

Sylvia Wilson, founder and COO, Bark Busters North America, Inc., Escondito, Calif.

Rising Star Finalists

Yvonne DiVita, co-founder and CEO, BlogPaws, Thornton, Colo.

Dorothy Hunter, CEO and founder, Paw’s Natural Pet Emporium and Bizaccountability, Richland, Wash.

Janine Kahn, Editor-in-Chief, Dogster.com and Catster.com, San Francisco

Amber Kirsten-Smit, president and co-founder, Furlocity, Inc., San Diego

Amy Swartz, owner, Epic Pet Health, Seattle

Solopreneur Finalists

Robin Bennett, owner, RobinKBennett.com, Stafford, Va.

Jenn Fadal, media expert and pet store owner, The Pack Mom and Wag, Tampa, Fla.

Denise Fleck, instructor and author, Sunny-dog Ink, Burbank, Calif.

Lisa Hegland, CEO, Manly Pet, Camano Island, Wash.

Lorie Huston, veterinarian and certified veterinary journalist, Cat Writer’s Association, Warwick, R.I.

“The Pet Industry Women of the Year Awards were designed to recognize the amazing females who dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of all pets. Dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses and exotics and their parents/guardians,” said Shawna Schuh, president of WIPIN. “The Awards are a celebration of women who are devoting their lives to the pet industry and shine as beacons of women helping women and pets with passion. Every finalist does the industry proud. It is exciting to honor women of such high caliber with a genuine calling to make the pet industry stronger.”

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