More than 50 nominations were submitted for Woman of the Year, designed to recognize the pet industry’s leading businesswomen in five categories: Solopreneur, Entrepreneur, Corporation, Advocate and Rising Star.
Shawna Schuh, president of WIPIN, said, “The five winners of the Pet Industry Woman of the Year are an excellent example of innovation, inspiration and hard work. It's exciting to lift up amazing women who are doing good work for pets and their people.
“It's not unusual to find high-achieving women inside the pet industry - it's filled with them. What is unusual is when women from all categories of the industry stand up and say, 'Well done!' no matter what area of the pet industry a woman works in."
This year’s Woman of the Year is Lorien Clemens, director of marketing for Pet Hub, Inc. in Issaquah, Wash. Lorien also won in the Corporate Category.
The category winners are:
· Entrepreneur: Sylvia Wilson, founder and COO of Bark Busters of North America in Escondido, Calif.
· Advocate:Teresa Rhyne, author and speaker, from Riverside, Calif.
· Rising Star: Amber Kirsten-Smit, co-founder and president of Furlocity, Inc. in San Diego, Calif.
· Solopreneur: Robin Bennett, dog trainer, author and owner of RB Consulting in Stafford, Va.
Comments from the category winners follow:
LORIEN CLEMENS: Clemens, has overseen the evolution of a scrappy start-up into a sophisticated, high-tech – but user-friendly -- system that gets lost pets home faster than any other solution available. About being named Woman of the Year Clemens said,
“Being recognized by a group of peers like this is so amazing. I think most significant to me is what people said to me after I received the award – how something I’ve said or done has helped or influenced them along the way. I’m really excited about what being Woman of the Year means for Pet Hub. It will provide another platform to help get the message out about lost pet prevention and getting lost pets home, so they don’t end up in shelters.”
SYLVIA WILSON: In 1989, Wilson left a job working in an Australian animal shelter to form Bark Busters, which has trained more than a million dogs since then. The world’s largest home dog training company, Bark Busters is established in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Spain. About her win she said,
“There is a feast of inspiration flowing from the amazing women in this organization. I have been welcomed, celebrated and encouraged by so many wonderful, giving individuals.”
TERESA RHYNE: Rhyne chronicled how she and her beloved beagle beat cancer in the memoir, “The Dog Lived (and So Will I),” which became a New York Times bestseller. Her second book led to her become a strong advocate for the rescue of beagles and other lab animals used for product testing. About her win she said,
AMBER KIRSTEN-SMIT: Likening her company’s service to Travelocity or Expedia, Kirsten-Smit has accomplished something never done before – provided a comprehensive website where pet parents can instantly find, review, compare and book trusted pet accommodations and pet care services 24/7 every day of the year. About her win she said,
“This honor is such a validation that you can never give up or stop growing and giving. The support among members of Women in the pet Industry is phenomenal. It’s like they always have your back. My business would be nowhere near where it is today without these connections.”
ROBIN BENNETT: She founded and ran the largest dog daycare business in Virginia 18 years; co-founded a publishing company and, most recently, established a joint venture, called The Dog Gurus. Bennett has been a certified professional dog trainer for 20 years. Her mission is helping others learn how to keep dogs safe. About her win she said,
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized. It is great for women to be recognized as leaders in the pet industry! The award is wonderful recognition of the hard work and dedication so many women have for investing in the lives of families in order to make the lives of their pet better.”
As Woman of the Year, Clemens received an award package worth thousands of dollars in training and exposure that includes:
* Year of media / executive coaching with WIPIN President Shawna Schuh, a Certified Speaking Professional and Executive Coach;
* Mobile or mobile-responsive website developed by Mary Miller of GoodDog Marketing;
* Guest registration for three-day “Become Unstoppable”
* Custom commissioned print of her pet by Krista Brooks of Retro Pets;
* Dog-on-the-Go Ultimate Hiking and Travel First Aid Kit produced by Denise Fleck of Sunny-dog Ink;
*Article in "Pet Age" magazine and exposure in pet industry media;
* Cover feature in Winter Winners’ "Top Women in the Pet Industry Magazine;"
* Serving as a featured guest during a WIPIN Monthly Growth Call;
* Appearances and recognition at pet industry events;
* Chance to walk runway at NY Pet Fashion Show before Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in NYC in February 2015;
* Serving as keynote speaker at 2015 Women in the Pet Industry Conference and Awards Show.
About Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN)
Acquired in 2012 by Shawna Schuh, the current president and chief pet wrangler, WIPIN is headquartered near Portland, Ore., and serves a worldwide membership of women in the pet industry. WIPIN has doubled in size, to 450, under Schuh, and the Portland conference attendance in 2014 was up 30 percent from that in 2013.
For more information contact Schuh at 503-970-5774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.