Woman of the Year

2018 Finalists
Pet Industry Woman of the Year Award

Here are the 2018 Finalist for Pet Industry Woman of the Year.
This year’s winners will be announced at Pet Connections Expo on October 2nd, 2018.

To register for Pet Connections Expo or to purchase tickets to attend the Pet Industry Woman of the Year Dinner please use this link

Advocate Finalists

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Dee Hoult, Applause Your Paws

Dee currently serves as head trainer and CEO of Applause Your Paws, Inc., Miami’s largest privately owned positive dog training company. Her company’s mission is to help dog owners improve their quality of life through enjoyable, connected relationships with their canine companions by providing engaging, positive education and non-intimidating training so that in any environment they can have the well-behaved dog they always wanted.

Jodi Clock, Clock Timeless Pets

For over 25 years Jodi has worked in the ‘end-of-life planning’ industry including family and corporately owned funeral homes, advance funeral planning companies, casket manufacturers and now practices what she preaches at Clock Funeral Home with her husband Dale. She is an international speaker and expert on how to help families have a difficult conversation with their loved ones about legacy planning. Having personally witnessed the financial confusion that families endure, especially at an emotionally taxing time, Ms. Clock has centered her career on helping people to understand the options that are available to them. She currently writes and speaks about the basics of Medicaid and asset protection, how to avoid family feuds, end-of-life directives and is a seasoned expert in on pet trusts, as well as their final care.  Jodi is also a huge pet advocate.  She believes that pets should be treated with the same dignity and respect with their end of life care as humans. When she’s not consulting or helping manage the family funeral business, you’ll find her helping raise money for Furr-Ever Re-Homing Pets (a trust created to help pets be re-homed when their owner enters hospice or dies) spending time with her grandchildren, rocking out to Bruce Springsteen and hanging out on the shoreline of western Michigan.

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Dr. Judy Morgan, DVM

Dr. Judy Morgan is an internationally renowned author, and holistic veterinarian certified in acupuncture, food therapy, and chiropractic care for dogs, cats, and horses.  She is a sought-after speaker and blogger at both the local and national levels. She integrates Eastern and Western medicine in her two award-winning veterinary practices in New Jersey. She is host on the DreamVisions7 radio network with her show Naturally Healthy Pets and has been featured in over 100 radio and television interviews. Dr. Morgan is passionate about working with senior pets and pet rescue, currently serving on the board of directors for Monkey’s House Senior Dog Hospice and Sanctuary. She shares her home with Hue Grant, 7 spaniels, 4 cats, and 5 horses. She is currently developing a full line of holistic wellness supplements for dogs and cats.

Dr. Sandra Faeh, DVM, Elmhurst Animal Care Center

Dr. Faeh obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Illinois after doing her undergraduate work in the animal sciences, also at the University of Illinois. Her major interests include pediatric medicine and surgery, focusing mostly on cats and dogs.  In practice since 1996, Dr. Faeh is past President of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, past president and current member of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Current AVMA House Advisory Committee Chair, she has also sat on many veterinary committees at both the state and national levels.  Dr. Faeh and her husband share their home with their three sons, as well as Bremy and Ady, their French bulldogs; Sasha, a Himalayan kitty; and Oliver, a long haired rabbit.

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Vicki Lynne Morgan, Animal Brands ®

Vicki Lynne Morgan has achieved a lifelong career in the pet industry as an advocate for B2B channel partners.  Her passion for mentoring entrepreneurs and small business owners is grounded in helping them to achieve their goals for sustaining growth and profitability in our industry.  Her mission has been to develop, support, and educate her target audience on sourcing and selling beneficial and trustworthy products that meet the needs of pets and their pet parents.

Corporate Finalists

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Aimee Gilbreath, Michelson Found Animals Foundation

Aimee joined Found Animals in March 2008 as its first full-time employee and Executive Director. She has been responsible for developing and implementing the Foundation’s wide range of innovative programs. Under her leadership, the Foundation has grown to over 70 staff members and 500+ volunteers. Found Animals’ programs focus on sterilization, microchipping, and adoption as key levers to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia and span from traditional philanthropy to social enterprise.

Carol Borden, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs was started in 2010 by Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Carol Borden. With her dedicated Board of Directors, employees and volunteers; together, we are unleashing the incredible power of service dogs. Guardian Angels utilizes a  positive-reinforcement training method and has a team of staff and volunteers that work incredibly hard to ensure that each applicant is carefully considered, each recipient has the tools they need to be successful with their service dog, and each dog is matched to the right recipient. No matter the disability, Guardian Angels strives to assist as many people as we can through the healing power of service dogs.

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Dog Whisperer Productions

Co-Nominees: Kay Sumner, Melissa Jo Peltier & Sheila Emery

Sumner is/was a television and film producer before Dog Whisperer. She produced the feature film ‘Shadow Dancing’ released by Cineplex Odeon, which was nominated for 3 Genie Awards in Canada – winning “Best Cinematography”. She also produced the documentary “Lady Out Of Lizzy” as well as Quiz Kids for 5 years in Canada and the U.S. starring Norman Lear.  Kay was an executive producer on a documentary “Dreams”. Currently, she is producing a Documentary Not One More Time on Heroin addiction, all the while continuing to work on Dog Whisperer in its many forms.

Kay and Sheila signed Cesar in 2002 to star in a dog show which was to become “Dog Whisperer”. She was a producer and co-creator for which she received  3 EmmyAward nominations in 2006, 2007, and 2009. The show also won many other awards at People Choice Awards and 3 Telly’s.

Early in her career, Sumner was creator and producer of Any Woman Can Fix It, a home improvement television series for women which played on CBC (Canada) for a sixty-five show run. The show was eleven years in syndication. She was creator and Producer for 5 years  of”Eye Bet” for  WXYZ  and also the CTV Network, and staff producer for ABC O&O’s, “The Morning Show” and “The Anniversary Game” for WXYZ-TV, and the Chicago Show for WLS-TV.

Kay is married and lives with her husband on a ranch in Malibu, Ca. She has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

Melissa Jo Peltier was executive producer and a writer/director for the Emmy-nominated National Geographic Channel series, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, as well as Mr. Millan’s co-author for six previous New York Times Bestsellers; the author of three other non-fiction titles, and a first novel, Reality Boulevard, named a ‘Best Indie of 2013.’ by Kirkus Reviews. She is also a veteran television and film writer, director and producer, known for her Emmy-winning A&E miniseries, Titanic: Death of a Dream; the WGA-award nominated History Channel miniseries, Founding Fathers and Founding Brothers; the ground-breaking network television documentary, Scared Silent; and the independent film, White Irish Drinkers. She has over 50 other national and international awards and nominations to her name.  Ms. Peltier lives in New York with her husband, producer/writer/director John Gray and their rescue border collie/pit mix, Frannie.

Emery is the Producer and Co-creator of the National Geographic hit reality show “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan”.She has had a long career in television and film and is recognized for identifying and developing impactful and emotional stories. Her television credits include researching and/or segment producing for “Rescue, 911”, “The Home Show”, “Heroes Made in the USA”, “Scandals” and “Incredible Sunday.”  She has worked with a number of notable industry leaders including Ray Stark, Tony Bill, Arthur Laurents, David Kirkpatrick, and Hal Ashby. She lived eight years in Barcelona Spain and was the Manager of International Relations for the Barcelona Film Commission. She enjoys traveling and speaks Spanish. Sheila received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and a Master of Fine Arts in Motion Picture Producing from USC. She lives with a menagerie of animals, children and her husband in Los Angeles.

Margot Crump, Crumps Naturals

In 2006, Joe and I returned to Ontario, where we were both born and raised, after living in the US for five years. Caledon seemed like the perfect place to raise our young family. Within the year, a unique business opportunity fell into our laps and the decision was made to purchase a small dog treat company. Joe embodied the entrepreneurial spirit while I, a former teacher and stay at home mother of four, went along for the ride. After researching the pet treat category further, we quickly realized there were not many Canadian companies making single ingredient dog treats. The brand we would establish would specialize in high quality, natural dog treats made from minimal ingredients, sourced only within Canada or the United States. Within the month, The Crump Group was incorporated and the Crumps’ Naturals brand was born.

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Sara Morgan, Frenchie’s Kitchen

Frenchie’s Kitchen gently cooked, frozen food for dogs is no ordinary dog food. From its inception, this company has been on its way to transforming an entire industry and at the same time making a difference in the world.  Sara Kuris-Morgan is a woman with great vision, passion and relentless commitment. These are just a few of the special ingredients that make her dog food so unique. The company started in her kitchen by making prescription meals for a Holistic Vet.  Frenchie’s Kitchen provides fresh, gently cooked dog food with recipes based on Whole Food Nutrition. The product is produced in a USDA Human Food Facility with the finest 100% Human Grade Ingredients. We are challenging an entire industry to rethink its approach to providing healthier choices for man’s best friend.  Frenchie’s Kitchen is a woman-owned business that is committed to giving a portion of all proceeds to animal rescue groups and no-kill shelters throughout the country. We are on a mission, one that is making a difference… one paw at a time.

Entrepreneur Finalists

Adrienne Pruess Animal Loving Care

Adrienne Preuss, Animal Loving Care

Adrienne is the owner/operator of Animal Loving Care and it is her dream job. Adrienne first came to know ALC as a Carroll Gardens resident and dog owner and later spent several years managing operations while juggling an editorial career. Her love for the dogs and cats of Brooklyn — and for their people — made for a happy transition into a full commitment to the business when she formally took the reigns in early 2017. She became a finalist for Pet Industry Woman of the Year, announced at the Pet Connections Expo in PA, in 2018. Adrienne lives with her husband and two rescue pups, Gladys and Baxter.

Jamie Migdal, FetchFind

Jamie Migdal has been working with dogs and their people and innovating within the industry for over 20 years. Having successfully built three pet-centric companies – Out-U-Go, AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior, and CanineLink (now FetchFind Academy) – she’s an expert across all aspects of the pet services industry, including training, education, technology, business development, client services, marketing, and management. Her fourth and current company, FetchFind, is first and only B2B content marketplace dedicated exclusively to the pet industry designed to help employers train, educate, and professionalize their staff and grow their businesses.

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Julianna Carella, Treatibles

Julianna’s foray into the pet world happened organically. Creating phytocannabinoid infused products for dogs, cats, horses and other critters was born from her first company, Auntie Dolores, which in 2008 began providing delicious, healthy and effective gourmet medical cannabis edibles for people. Customers of the company began asking Julianna about sharing these products to their pets, who were suffering from many of the same conditions as their people – anxiety, discomfort, joint issues, digestive disorders, terminal illnesses, seizures, and more. Understanding that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis can be harmful to our animal friends, Julianna worked tirelessly to develop safe and effective products for pets.

Nancy Guinn, Dog Krazy

My name is Nancy Guinn and I am the owner of Dog Krazy in Downtown Fredericksburg, VA.  I opened Dog Krazy in August of 2006 with no idea of what it meant to own a business.  All I knew was that I loved my dogs, your dogs, every dog I passed on the street and even the dogs I hadn’t met yet.  I truly am Dog Krazy.  In the 9 years since I opened, I have learned so much about business, pets, nutrition, and I have fallen in love with thousands of dogs and their humans.  Dog Krazy is the “go to” for people who truly love their pets and want only the best for them.  I am now a certified pet nutritionist and several of my employees that share my passion for pets are completing the same course.  Your pet’s health is our first priority.  My other passion is animal rescue.

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Peggy Hoyt, PetFriendly.Love

Peggy is an attorney and animal advocate who has dedicated her professional career to helping families create estate plans that work for people and for pets.  She is the author of numerous books, including All My Children Wear Fur Coats – How to Leave a Legacy for Your Pet.  She hosts a weekly podcast of the same name and interviews animal advocates and rescue organizations.  She is a co-founder of MyPetWill.com, a first of its kind online pet trust and identification system.  In addition, she spends her free time rescuing pets that currently include three horses, seven dogs, and three cats.

Rising Star Finalists

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Cynthia Wood, DOOG

There are employees who do their jobs, then there are employees who redefine their position because of uncommon passion, insight, and creativity. One such person is Cynthia Wood. In her nearly 30 years of a stellar business career, Cynthia has looked beyond what was expected of her and blazed a path of success that inspired those who work with her. Her track record includes creating and driving programs that ensured a staff of 150 people was well compensated to revamping an entire North America operation into a streamlined, profitable business unit in nine short months. Cynthia embodies the qualities of strategic leadership with a heart for co-workers, customers and business partners. Today, she’s leveraging expertise in the consumer retail and services industry with her love for dogs to help dog products innovator DOOG (Dog Owners Outdoor Gear) expand its reach from  Sydney, Australia to markets in North and South America.

Nancy Shadlow, Gen7pets

Nancy Shadlow has had a circuitous path to being VP of Marketing at Gen7Pets outside of Philadelphia. Living on 3 different continents over a span of 10 years, she has always loved putting a global perspective on all things local. She has developed product with everyone from Target to Staples and is fascinated by the science of buying behavior how it effects product messaging. With a Master’s in Global Advertising and Communications, Nancy has taught in the Communications Department at Kutztown University and volunteered with the Pet Sanctuary at Haafsville since 2015. Passionate about health and safety for pets and people. It’s a dream come true to work in the Pet Industry.

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Nicci Decrisantis, Thomaston Feed

Nicci is the canine preventative health nutrition resource for Police K9 Magazine, K9 Cop Magazine, contributes to the Thomaston Feed blog as well as many featured guest blogs on a variety of pet nutrition topics. Nicci’s interests include metabolic diseases, raw diets, nutritional impact on disease prevention, diet supplementation and complementary diets for cancer treatment.

Suzanne Brean, My Little Dog Training Biz

Initially, in January of 2011, I founded Dogs For Invisible Disabilities, an owner-trainer program that is now is registered as a 501c Non-Profit organization.  “My Little Dog Training Business” arose out of people who did not need a Service Dog, but were interested in having a well-trained pet, and in 2013, I began training pet dogs.  I offer individualized training which can include: Basic and Advanced obedience; Behavior modification; Puppy socialization; and a “Merit Badge Program.”  I also offer Pet Tech CPR, First Aid and Care classes for individuals and groups. They make a great gift for your favorite dog or cat person. I am pleased to have recently added the “Family Dog Program”, designed for families with children who are adding a dog into their household. It includes online videos for the family to watch, as well as set homework. It is not designed to handle behavioral issues. These will have to be addressed prior to starting this program.

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Yasaar Nakchbendi, Chirpy Cats

I remember the excitement as a child when I discovered how I could ‘talk’ to cats by slowly blinking. I realized that cat communication is largely non-confrontational and that if I sat down at their level and gave them their space, they would come up to me wanting to be petted. This is a trait that I share with cats – the need for space to gather my thoughts and let my creativity flow. How fitting that I am a cat person. I often wonder whether cats also emerge rejuvenated after some hours spent ‘meditating’ alone in a sun puddle or reflecting on a spot on the wall. Because after their lengthy sojourn in their little cat cocoons or safe spaces, they would greet you with added fervor and jubilance. This greeting is so often laced with excited chiding chirrups of “where have you been, human!” and often results in spilled coffee when the head-butting is a little too enthusiastic! Yes…we allow them to walk all over us and we love it!

Solopreneur Finalists

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Ann Greenberg, A Pet With Paws

The little things make a big difference, A Pet with Paws founder Ann Greenberg can always be heard saying… “While others ask why, I say why not?” As a veteran of the fashion industry, Ann was a designer of women’s clothing and handbags, which she loved. Her multi-million dollar designs appeared in magazines, catalogs, and department stores nationwide. After working in the ever-changing fashion industry for 20 years, and a pivotal visit to China, Ann realized she had greater aspirations and contributions to make.  Wanting to expand her eco-friendly handbag business, The Underground Chic, Ann determined that the pet travel industry had some serious holes to fill when it came to sophisticated, sassy pet carriers for the chic urban on-the-go pet owner. Yet, few companies were offering these types of items, so Ann then launched A Pet with Paws to accommodate the void in the marketplace.

Fiona Robertson, Newflands

12 May 2010 is a day will never forget. Her beautiful Newfoundland dog, Rosie, was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a terminal heart condition common to the breed. Fiona, a qualified veterinary nurse, was not about to give up on her pet. She had read widely about the benefits of fish oil and decided she would try to find a fish oil supplement in the hope that this would improve the quality of her dog’s life and perhaps even prolong it.  Fiona’s love of Rosie wasn’t confined to dogs. She has a love and great respect for all animals and for the environment. So Fiona wasn’t interested in any fish oil. Her fish oil supplement had to be sustainable and ethically sourced and produced. Furthermore, she wanted a New Zealand product.  Fiona could not find the product she wanted, so she decided to manufacture her own. This was the beginning of Newflands.

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Jen Reeder, Divided Sky

Jen Reeder is a freelance journalist who specializes in pet and lifestyle features. Her first job writing about animals was for the World Wildlife Fund in 1994, but since then, her focus has shifted to man’s best friend.  Jen is proud to be the President of the Dog Writers Association of America. She is also a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Authors’ League and the Cat Writers’ Association.

Robbi Hess, All Words Matter, Inc

Before I became a writer I held several other jobs — cashier, executive assistant, store manager. I always dreamed of becoming a writer. I was a lifelong reader. I loved my English classes in high school. I took many creative writing and journalism classes in college. If I wanted to have a fight with someone I preferred to do it via the written word.  I “think” better with my fingers to keyboard or pen to paper than I do in a yelling match with someone. If I am drawn into a debate I usually end it by saying, “I know you are, but what am I?” Yes, I revert to playground comebacks. It’s hours later, usually in the middle of the night when the snappy comeback pops into the front of my mind. BUT if I could have had that debate or disagreement via the written word I would definitely have emerged victorious.  Verbal versus written sparring aside, there are many other reasons I love writing.

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Robyn Kline, Barks, Bones, Biscuits, LLC

Barks, Bones, & Biscuits LLC began business in January 2013 out of the extreme love and desire by Robyn Kline, to have a business dedicated to serving dogs, cats, and all animals, in general.  She had always wanted to be her own boss and to have her own business, which would allow her to work closely with animals and have fun doing what she loves most, being around dogs and cats. Thus, the idea of creating a dog treat bakery has now become a reality and it is very satisfying and rewarding when she sees how much her canine customers enjoy the treats she makes for them. She has expanded her bakery by carrying other dog and cat supplies.