View Other APPA Professional Women's Network Issues Print this Newsletter Send this Newsletter to a Friend  |  November 22, 2011

Greetings!  Here is the next edition of the APPA's Professional Women's Network quarterly e-newsletter dedicated to enhancing the women in the pet industry. 

The APPA Professional Women's Network's (PWN) mission is to attract and engage women in all aspects of the pet industry. Our purpose is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, and to promote social and career development activities that can help  everyone achieve greater success.

This newsletter is just one of the many ways PWN  keeps everyone connected to information, education, networking opportunities, roundtable discussions and collaborations on subjects that can help women in our industry to strengthen their skills and grow their careers.

Each issue of this e-newsletter  features a prominent, successful woman in the Pet industry. Our featured guests share experiences, ideas, successes and reflections on the role of women in this business. You will also enjoy a variety of great industry-specific articles on trends, marketing, finance, networking and more!

It's a great way to stay informed about upcoming happenings. For your convenience, we'll always include links to relevant websites and social media sites to help you stay cyber-connected too. 

Thanks for taking time to check out our e-newsletter. We hope you enjoy this issue, and each and every one that follows it!

In the Spotlight: Jody Pinson

Interview with Jody Pinson

Upcoming Events

NEW WEBCAST: Management Skills for Women

Save the Date for a Special Networking Event at Global Pet Expo 2012!

Sales and Marketing

9 Tips to Get Prospects to Call You Back

For Your Business

Access to Capital

Getting Involved


In the Spotlight: Jody Pinson:

Interview with Jody Pinson

Jody Pinson
V.P. of Merchandising - Pets

How did you get your start in the pet industry?
I worked for Walmart as a cashier while I attended college in 1990. After graduating from college, I entered Walmart's management program and worked in four stores over seven years. In 1999, I had the opportunity to move into a merchandising role in Walmart's corporate office. I began in stationery and later moved into sporting goods. In 2006, I was offered the role of Divisional Merchandise Manager of Pet Care. It was a great opportunity and I was happy to accept. I was just a few months into the role when we got Angel, a new puppy. The new job, the new puppy and two children ... our household has never been the same!!

As a corporate industry professional, did you have a mentor who supported you in your career path?
I've been fortunate throughout my career to have several great mentors. I learned quickly that no one person as a "whole" is exactly what I look for in a mentor but that there are elements within others that I admired and wanted to immolate. One of my mentors is a strong and successful woman who taught me how to carry myself professionally. Another mentor who is a former Walmart executive taught me leadership skills and how to align a team to goals and expectations which leads to accountability. My longest term mentor is my former store manager who is now a market manager for the company. He's kept me grounded in the roots of my store career and continues to keep me posted on the pulse of our company and the pet department on the front lines with our customers every day.

What changes have you experienced regarding the role of women in the pet industry?
I most notice change in the role of women within the pet industry when I attend Global Pet. It's been great to see the number of women-owned companies evolve, plus the growth in the number of women account managers. While progress has been made, it's important for the industry to continue to evolve and support women's initiatives and immersion into the industry. We know from Walmart research that women make nearly 70 percent of the household buying decisions for their families ... therefore I think it's important in every industry for a female perspective that reflects the customer base.

How do you balance the demands of work and your personal life?
Work life balance is a conscious decision I make every day. With a husband, two children, a dog and two guinea pigs, it's really important for me to be a part of their lives as much as possible. I am very lucky my family is supportive of my career and also enjoys being involved in my career as well. None of them are afraid to tell me what they think of a toy or treat, kids and pets included!

If you were to quote one notable woman, who would it be?
A quote both my parents used to tell me growing up at 5'2": "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" by Mark Twain. I also love this Japanese Proverb: "When knocked down 7 times, get back up 8."

What's the one thing most people do not know about you?
My very first job when I was 16 was tagging apparel at one of our Walmart distribution centers. It was the ladies on the second shift who I worked with that summer who convinced me to go to college and strive for success.


Upcoming Events:

NEW WEBCAST: Management Skills for Women

December 14, 2011 at 2pm ET
Presented by: Carol Frank and Pam Boyd

Management is challenging, but sometimes even more challenging for women. This webcast provides solutions for some of the specific issues women face, including:

  1. How to say NO to employees and co-workers without guilt
  2. How to speak assertively about what we want and need at work...without earning labels sometimes given to assertive women!
  3. How to stop gossip and bad attitudes before they multiply
  4. How to balance our work and home life

After attending the webcast, attendees will have:

  1. An easy method for saying no in a positive manner
  2. An easy method for confronting and correcting without arguing
  3. Questions to ask yourself that will eliminate your frustration

Register HERE for this webcast!


Save the Date for a Special Networking Event at Global Pet Expo 2012!

Date: Friday, March 2, 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
Location:  Room W209B
Orange County Convention Center

Please join us for a very special networking event at Global Pet Expo 2012. You'll enjoy a complimentary full breakfast and a presentation from our guest speaker BEFORE the Show. Stay tuned for more exciting details!


Sales and Marketing:

9 Tips to Get Prospects to Call You Back

We all "have too many irons in the fire" as they say.  People are so overwhelmed with all the various ways information is being thrown their way, it's hard to keep up with it, plus organize your daily activities. When pitching a sale to a customer, here are 9 quick tips that will help get you that call back you've been waiting for.


For Your Business:

Access to Capital

Where to Find Money to Grow your Business

Women are jumping in the entrepreneurial arena at record pace. According to the Center for Women's Business Research, over the last ten years, women-owned businesses grew by 11 percent, more than 1 ½ times the rate of all privately held firms. These firms now number over 10 million and contribute nearly $2 trillion in revenues to the U.S. economy.

The interesting thing about a woman-owned business is our REASON for starting them: "We want to make a difference." Although we seek money, control, and autonomy, women cite the desire to make an impact or set a culture as the most pervasive reason for becoming an entrepreneur. This differs from what is perhaps man's primary focus of generating an income to provide for family.

With this significant difference in motivation comes major differences in the methodologies and philosophies of operating a business. This became painfully obvious while interviewing dozens of men and women for my book "Do as I Say, Not as I Did: Gaining Wisdom in Business through the Mistakes of Highly Successful People." Fourteen of the 29 entrepreneurs profiled in my book are female, and the differences in their stories and experiences are profound. As studies have shown that women are more relationship focused than our male counterparts, it is probably not surprising that our setbacks have almost universally resulted from being too trusting and naïve. We put a high value on relationships so we don't always do thorough background checks and due diligence, especially if it involves a friend or family member.

But, because of our "higher-calling," our passion and persistence often overcome even the most tragic of adversities. From partners stealing huge amounts of money, to IRS woes, to lawsuits which meant sure bankruptcy, the amazing women in my book fought against huge odds and bounced back to become successful, productive, and profitable. Lessons learned along the way have been profound, provocative, and life-changing.

Neither men nor women are exempted from the challenges of being an entrepreneur. While good ideas, hard work and even luck factor in to whether a business succeeds, I maintain that it is imperative that every entrepreneur - male or female - take the following tips to heart before taking the entrepreneurial plunge!

PARTNERS: One of the things about partners is that you will spend more time with them than a spouse. Just like a marriage, everyone is giddy with joy and excitement going into the relationship - what could possibly go wrong? While going into business with friends or relatives is very tempting, it sometimes leads to disaster. Just ask Dr Judith Briles. Many years ago she went into partnership with a good friend - we'll call her Kerri - to build a hotel in California. Unfortunately Kerri got caught up in the cocaine craze of the 80's. To fund her habit, she doctored and forged invoices for bogus services to the tune of $450,000.

Neither the bank nor Judith were paying enough attention to the details. Judith was suffering from the common "I'm so busy with other things and I'm sure everything is fine" syndrome that many business owners have. Judith and Kerri both personally guaranteed the loan. Kerri declared bankruptcy and stuck Judith with debts and litigation totaling more than $1million...which she eventually paid in full.

Her experience drove her back to school to earn her PhD with a special concentration on behavioral sciences. She wanted to find out how she could have been so easily taken to the cleaners. Her study on the subject led to one of her first books Do Women Undermine Women?

DUE DILIGENCE: Nothing takes the place of it. Becoming an entrepreneur means learning to do doing ninety things at once - you're a multi-tasking fool. But you must delegate and outsource for growth to occur. With that comes a responsibility to monitor and hold accountable the person you put in charge. When that fails to happen, you might end up like Susan Jones Knape, owing the IRS hundreds of thousands in back taxes and penalties. Susan is a beautiful, successful trailblazer -- an advertising executive who opened her own agency without knowing ANYTHING about finance or accounting.

So she did what most smart people would do - she brought in an expert. A CPA who had done similar financial management for other advertising agencies. However, instead of learning something about finance so she could keep tabs on him, she turned the entire money side of the business over to "Mark" for the next two years.

Oops! With the potential acquisition of her agency just a few months away, Mark finally came clean. The company had cash flow problems and he made the BRILLIANT decision to pay their media vendors instead of the IRS. To the tune of $350,000. Bad move.

She immediately fired Mark and ended up working out a deal to get the IRS paid.

She had not checked Mark's references. She just ASSUMED that because he had worked for other agencies he must be OK. She admits she was "just too busy for details like that (there's that syndrome again!). Later she learned that Mark had a track record of financial fiascos at all those agencies that once so impressed her. Not spending that hour doing her homework cost her major bucks and tremendous heartache. She was so moved by the repercussions of not knowing more about finances that she authored a book titled The Money Rule: 50 Ways Women Can Make More, Save More and Have More.

OPTIONS: They are NOT optional! Having options and choices in all areas of your life results in power, freedom, and peace. Mistakes happen when one is backed into a corner. Put your eggs in several baskets. That will result in maximizing your success and minimizing your stress. I learned this the hard way when I contracted with an international manufacturer to make products for my former birdcage company, Avian Adventures. He was the third one I had tried and I was relieved to finally find someone who could produce the quality and quantity of product I required. Things were going so well that I didn't pay enough heed to my business associates warning to find a back-up supplier. Two years into our relationship he got greedy and decided to sell my design to my much-larger competitor. Not having a proven back-up supplier as an option cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars when I decided to stop buying from him.

PASSION. Expertise about a business or industry doesn't mean you care about it. Women want their careers to give their life meaning. It has been scientifically proven that having an emotional attachment to your business builds a stronger intellect, while drudgery actually weakens it. Being passionate about your business will allow you to persevere in ways you never thought possible. If my business had been making paper clips instead of products for my passion in life, parrots, I would never have survived the ugly, nasty, and costly legal battle that my much larger competitor waged against me so he could put me out of business.

PLAY THE GAME of business and life with authenticity, persistence, and integrity. Sometimes you will score the goal-and sometimes you will get scored upon-but at least you are not sitting on the sidelines! You are on the field, playing your heart out, gaining experience, wisdom, and success.

# # #

Carol Frank of Boulder, CO, is the founder of four companies in the pet industry. As a Managing Director at SDR Ventures Investment Bank, Carol leads the team in executing pet industry transactions including M&A, capital formation and strategic advisory services. She is also the owner of BirdsEye Consulting, the consummate source for pet sector consulting expertise.

She can be reached at


Getting Involved:


The American Pet Products Association, along with industry founding sponsors, have formed HABRI – Human Animal Bond Research Initiative – to uncover the science behind how animals improve human health. Click here to link to HABRI’s web site to discover more about this fantastic program.

American Pet Products Global Pet Expo Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube Follow us on Flickr Follow us on Flickr Pet Business, Inc.