Women in the Pet Industry Network, an organization focused on women entrepreneurs who want to grow their pet businesses, announced the recipients of its first Woman of the Year Awards. The winners were named during a special ceremony at the group's The Start of Something Big! Conference & Awards Show in Portland, Oregon, USA, on August 24.
More than 60 nominations were submitted for the Woman of the Year Awards, which were designed to recognize the pet industry's leading businesswomen in five categories: Solopreneur, Entrepreneur, Corporation, Advocate and Rising Star. A panel of four independent judges selected one winner from each category and designated one category winner as the official Woman of the Year.
"These five incredible females exemplify excellence and dedication to the pet industry through their passion, leadership and outstanding achievements," said Shawna Schuh, president. "All Woman of the Year winners are shining examples of women who are committed to improving the lives of all pets - dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses and exotics - and their parents."
The Woman of the Year Award winners include:
â€¢ Corporate: Patti Moran, Pet Sitters International
â€¢ Entrepreneur: Rose Hamilton, Pet 360
â€¢ Advocate: Darleen Wheelington, Waggin' Tales
â€¢ Rising Star: Jane Harrell, Petfinder.com/Nestle Purina Pet Care
â€¢ Solopreneur: Christina Massie, Club K-9 Doggy Daycare
Of the five category winners, Darleen Wheelington of Waggin' Tales was selected as the official "Woman of the Year." She received an award package worth thousands of dollars in training, treats and exposure.