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Pet Age Announces Panel of Judges for the 2018 Women of Influence Awards

Pet Age Staff//January 18, 2018//

Pet Age Announces Panel of Judges for the 2018 Women of Influence Awards

Pet Age Staff //January 18, 2018//

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The nomination period for the Pet Age’s 2018 Women of Influence Awards, which look to honor women leaders who are influential in the pet manufacturing or servicing industry, recently closed. Submissions are now with the awards’ three judges, who will decide which women will be honored. Pet Age will announce the panel’s selections in the March issue. Here is this year’s panel of judges:

Michelle Higdon

Higdon is CEO of Jones Naturals, LLC, a manufacturer of USA natural dog chews, and has 18 years of management experience in branded consumer goods with 14 years in the pet industry. Her experience in the pet industry includes CEO of Solid Gold premium pet food and president/COO of Waggin’ Train natural pet treats.

Higdon received her BS in food and resource economics from the University of Florida and lives in Central, South Carolina, with her two children, Guy and Gail, and three dogs, Patton, Barney and Mochi. She is on the board for the Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Clemson University and is a board member of the Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College Foundation.


Johanna E. Hunt

Recognized as one of the foremost media relations experts in Los Angeles, Hunt has more than 26 years of marketing, public relations and journalism experience to her credit. A former newspaper and magazine reporter, Hunt’s major strengths are her ability to build strong “mediagenic” public relations programs and successfully market new products to both the consumer and trade press—a must in today’s business world.

Hunt has won several awards for her work including a LULU from the Los Angeles Women in Advertising, 12 Awards of Excellence from the Public Communicators of Los Angeles (PCLA), and several Platinum MarCom Creative Comm. awards.


Sheryl Maher

Sheryl Maher has been a pet industry professional for over 25 years (1991-2016) most notably as the chief marketing officer at the national distributor Phillips Pet Food & Supplies (1999-2016).   Currently, Maher is retired and spends her time consulting with a number of companies in the pet industry. She also serves on two charitable boards: the foundation board for the Performing Arts Charter High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the PAWS executive board for the Fort Lauderdale Humane Society, which places close to 8,000 dogs and cats in homes annually.