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PORTLAND, Ore. (August 29, 2013)Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN), the industry-leading organization focused on women entrepreneurs who want to grow their pet businesses, announced the recipients of its first annual Woman of the Year Awards. The winners were named during a special ceremony at WIPIN’s The Start of Something Big! Conference & Awards Show in Portland on Aug. 24.

More than 60 nominations were submitted for WIPIN’s Woman of the Year Awards, which were designed to recognize the pet industry’s leading businesswomen in five different categories, including 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 of WIPIN. “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:

  • Corporate: Patti Moran, Pet Sitters International
  • Entrepreneur: Rose Hamilton, Pet 360
  • Advocate: Darleen Wheelington, Waggin’ Tails
  • Rising Star: Jane Harrell, Purina Pet Care
  • Solopreneur: Christina Massie, Club K-9 Doggy Daycare

Of the five category winners, Darleen Wheelington of Waggin’ Tails was selected as the official “Woman of the Year,” receiving a valuable award package worth thousands of dollars in training and exposure that includes the following:

  • A full year of media and executive coaching with WIPIN President Shawna Schuh, a Certified Speaking Professional and Executive Coach;
  • A featured article in Pet Age magazine and exposure in multiple other pet industry media outlets throughout the year;
  • A feature on the cover of the WIPIN Winter Winners Biz Book;
  • Serve as a featured guest during a WIPIN Monthly Growth Call;
  • Appearances and recognition at pet industry events;
  • An invitation to walk the runway at the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals’ Pet Fashion Show at Total Pet Expo in Chicago in September 2013;
  • The opportunity to meet and greet at the WIPIN reception during Total Pet Expo in Chicago;
  • The chance to walk the runway at the NY Pet Fashion Show just before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in NYC in February 2014;
  • Serve as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Women in the Pet Industry Conference and Awards Show;
  • Gifts and treats provided by other top women in the pet industry.

About Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN)
Established in 2010, and then acquired in 2012 by Shawna Schuh, the current president and Chief Pet Wrangler, WIPIN is headquartered near Portland, Ore., and serves a worldwide membership base of women in the pet industry. WIPIN helps entrepreneurial women grow their pet-focused businesses through unique networking opportunities, valuable business growth meetings and online resources. The Start of Something Big! Conference & Awards Show, held Aug. 23-25, 2013 in Portland, brought women together to connect, network and learn how to grow their pet-focused businesses. WIPIN is affiliated with Black Dog Education, Animal Wellness Magazine and With more than 300 members, WIPIN is the premier networking organization for women in the pet industry, offering its members the opportunity to connect, share and learn from other likeminded professionals. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a member at For more information, please visit, or contact Schuh at 503-970-5774, 877-474-2962 or

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Media Contact:
Shawna Schuh

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