Impacting the Pet Industry with the Florida Pet Services Association

Impacting the Pet Industry with the Florida Pet Services Association

Heidi Lewis-Pracko and Savanna Westwood, from the Florida Pet Services Association (FPSA), discuss the organization’s mission to connect and support pet service businesses in Florida and beyond. They highlight their first aid kit initiative, which provides basic supplies to homeless pet owners and is expanding to shelters and hurricane preparedness. The upcoming FPSA Summit will be held in Naples at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center in August 22-24 2024, offering educational speakers, activities, and networking opportunities. Attendees will gain valuable industry insights and explore the renovated center’s exhibits and trails. They each underscore the importance of community collaboration for the pet services industry to thrive and improve care standards.

The original episode can be found at www.petsitterconfessional.com

Main topics:

  • Learning from feedback
  • Expanding the Association
  • Planning the summit
  • Giving back to the community

Main takeaway:

As the pet care industry continues to grow and expand, this means more potential for business and impacting people’s lives, but also more scrutiny and attention.

About the Florida Pet Services Association

Florida Pet Services Association is a 501C3 comprised of companies that provide professional pet services in Florida. All members of FPSA are required to be a legal business, and be insured.

Mission Statement: To promote professionalism, provide elite education and create and connect professional relationships in the pet industry in the state of Florida.

Vision Statement: To promote the highest level of excellence in the pet industry and advancement of pet care standards in the state of Florida.

About the Board of Directors:

Savanna Westwood

“Hello! I am Savanna Owner and Founder of The Savvy Sitter, Pet Sitting and Dog Walking, LLC. I have grown up with animals all my life and enjoy spending time with them. I have lived in the Winter Garden and Windermere Area for over 30 Years. Though I do not have any animals myself, I love taking care of them and giving them the cuddles, playtime, and treats they deserve. I am an active equestrian, big dogs and horses do not frighten me. When I am not taking care of your Fur Friends, you can find me reading, practicing archery, riding, and figuring out ways to provide additional and great services to our clients!”

Doug Keeling

“I’m Doug the Dog Guy, and I’m the owner and founder of Bad to the Bone Pet Care. I began pet sitting and dog walking in the Fall of 2013 because I missed my childhood best friend, a Jack Russell named Skip, and because I wanted to combine my passions for animal welfare and entrepreneurship. Bad to the Bone Pet Care was born in 2014, and we have since had the privilege of working with thousands of pets across Northeast and Central Florida. We have won multiple awards for our premium-level professional pet sitting and dog walking, including Pet Sitter of the Year 2023, Best Jacksonville Dog Walking Company 2018-2022, and Best Pet Sitting Service in Northeast Florida 2016 & 2017. I tell everyone I meet, “this is a dream come true for a dream I didn’t know I had.”

Amber Van Denzen Suarez

“Amber is the founder of Atta Boy! Animal Care. She has been working in the animal field for over 16 years. She started in the field by working in the horse industry – stable hand and pet sitter. She then trained as a local Veterinary Kennel hand, Veterinary Assistant and then an Emergency Veterinary Technician for both small and large animals for over 13 years. She has a bachelors of Animal Science from University of Florida.”

Heidi Lewis-Pracko

“Throughout my childhood, the running joke was always, “Where’s Heidi? She’s probably with the dogs.” In 4th grade, my family adopted our Welsh Corgi, Angel – the light of my life all the way into college. When she passed away, I was devastated. Luckily for me, 4 months later, we brought another Corgi into the family. I named her Hope, because she was doing exactly that, bringing hope to our family. Thus…Heidi & Hope Pet Services! My true passion came when I began pet sitting on the weekends. Pet sitting showed me the rewards of getting to work with animals one-on-one. I LOVE being the only one to care for people’s pets and being relied upon to do so. I finally made the full-time move to Naples in 2016, where I feel lucky every day getting to live in the place that I vacationed all the time growing up. I immediately got into pet sitting upon my move and the rest is history!”

Links:

Donate to the Association: https://my.cheddarup.com/c/donate-to-the-florida-pet-service-association?cart=15b52209-2cbe-40e0-96d7-096dfad9942d%21%2178747167

https://www.facebook.com/FLPetServices

https://www.instagram.com/flpetassociation

FLPETSA@gmail.com

FlPetAssociation.Org

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Transcript:

A very rough transcript of the discussion – Provided by otter.ai

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

pet, florida, people, regional directors, summit, heidi, business, association, wanting, connected, orlando, pet sitters, naples, learning, industry, excited, speakers, environmental learning center, community, aspect

SPEAKERS

Heidi, Savanna, Collin

Collin   00:02

Welcome to pets in her confessional today we were brought to you by time to pet. And the National Association of Professional pet sitters communities. And professionalism is a major theme in the growing and expanding pet services industry. And one of the leaders of that as the Florida Pet Services Association held their first summit last year. And they have their summit coming up this year, as well. And to talk about that summit, the association and some of their initiatives, we have two of their board members, Heidi and Savannah on the show, and so super excited to have both of you back on. For those who are not familiar with you and your work, especially with the Services Association. Could you please tell us a little bit more about that?

Savanna  00:44

Hi, everyone, my name is Savannah Westwood. I am the owner of the savvy sitter pet sitting and dog walking LLC, along with the peaceful pet music youtube channel. But I am also the current vice president of the Florida Pet Services Association along with the founder, one of the founders. Hi, everyone.

Heidi  01:01

My name is Heidi Lewis Proko. I am the owner of Heidi and hope Pet Services in Naples, Florida. I am currently the secretary of the Florida Pet Services Association. And also once again,

Collin   01:12

super excited to have both of you back on the show, especially to talk about the summit. But before we get to this years, I want to think back to last year summit and ask both of you how it went.

Heidi  01:23

Yeah, so we definitely got a lot of positive feedback from everyone from the summit, we sold out pretty quickly, which we were very surprised. Everyone that we talked to you had a great time. You know, there’s always ways that we can improve and take what we learn to do better for this year Summit. But I mean, even the speakers this like we’re really engaged with everyone that came and I just feel like no matter what kind of stage you are in your business, or what kind of had business you’ve had, you could definitely take something along with you. And just like the connections with actual people, I mean, a lot of us have connected over social media and have never met in person. So even though we’re the Florida Pet Services Association, we did have a ton of people come from out of state, you know that some of us have only interacted through on Instagram or on Facebook. So it was nice just to like actually talk and communicate and, you know, just connect in person with other professionals.

Collin   02:16

And you mentioned that the connections aspect to and because you’re the summit that you all put together kind of has a different feel to it than the typical conference.

Heidi  02:25

Yeah, it definitely does. You know, we did a lot of like networking, we did like a little networking activity. And we’re kind of broke out to little groups and introduce ourselves and like what problems we were having in our business. We did a lot of, you know, obviously a lot of speakers this year, we’re gonna do some kind of, you know, like, workshopping style, depending on like, what kind of business you have, and like what your problems you are you’re having in your business where we’re gonna break out into small groups and other rooms, and kind of connect with speakers that way as well. So it definitely is, you know, it’s a different style conference.

Collin   02:59

Yeah, a lot more of the doing of the information, because that’s always something that’s love going to conferences and getting information. But there can be come that time where you go, Okay, now I actually have to do something with this, right, I have to have to start planning and implementing instead of just always taking new stuff. Yeah,

Heidi  03:18

we want to attend these leaving with something already started, not just oh, you know, this is a good idea. Or this is something that I need to do once I get home like no, we want you to like start it at the summit. And like have a clear vision of what you need to do and implement.

Collin   03:31

Well, and you mentioned that the feedback that you got, how did that shape when you went to go plan this years. So we

Savanna  03:40

actually sent out a survey and we got some feedback back and a lot of it was people wanted more in depth and longer sessions, but not as many sessions. So we took that to heart. Definitely more business related content that would help everybody from the solos to the businesses that either have ICS or employees. And then people liked the location. But we kept hearing that people wanted to go to the beach, nick of time. So Naples was one of the places on the shortlist. And you know, Naples is a beach area. So why not? Again,

Collin   04:17

that feel of longer, more in depth sessions gives you more time to soak in that information instead of you know, a lot of topics is great, especially if you’re trying to cover a lot of ground. But there does come a time for really digging deep into something and when there’s a beach right down the road, it certainly helps that as well. As far as future plans, do you plan to kind of move around the state or do you what are you trying to hone in on one anchor place or two?

Savanna  04:46

That is one of the goals of fpsa is to have it in different locations so we can be accessible to more localized or regional companies and pet businesses. So you know the panhead Noah’s Another area we were looking at, and a couple other locations like Ocala and Miami, St. Augustine and Jacksonville. So somewhat still coastal cities in some parts of it. But the goal is to ultimately, you know, hit different areas of the state and potentially restart in certain areas as well are coming back to like Orlando, since it is a centralized location. But we’re wanting to make sure that we hit all the major sports areas and cities to make sure that we can get to those types of businesses that may not be able to come and join us. It

Collin   05:33

making it a lot more of a community aspect, again, getting the different people involved seeing different parts of the state, kind of showcasing the cool stuff that are going on there, and the cool people doing things around.

Savanna  05:45

Yeah, I think one of the things that I try to explain to people and Heidi may agree with me that Orlando is definitely different from Naples, as far as you know, what it feels like she like Orlando is definitely the tourist trap. And you know, there’s a lot of fun things going on there too. But Naples is also great, based on its location and the beach. And I actually went down there for Heidi’s wedding. And it was a great time.

Collin   06:08

So there’s there’s 115 star review for the town of Naples. That’s awesome.

Heidi  06:14

Yeah, it’s just a, it’s a, it’s also a kind of like a different vibe, because it’s a lot smaller of a city than like Orlando, or like Tampa, or, you know, like the bigger Florida cities, it’s a lot smaller. So that’s been, you know, kind of like a blessing and a challenge at the same time. Because it is such a beautiful city, and it’s, you know, vacation city, and there’s the beach right there. But it’s, you know, it’s it’s also like very far style. So it’s been kind of challenging, you know, people for other senators that live, you know, North Florida, you know, it’s kind of hard for them to get all the way down here. So that’s like another reason, like Savannah said that we want to kind of change cities every so often. So everyone has the opportunity. And the chance to attend. And

Savanna  06:53

the airport they fly into is Fort Myers. Yes.

Collin   06:59

Now, I guess I should back up here a little bit. And because you were talking, we kind of dove right into last year summit and all this stuff, but remind us what the what the mission is of the association and kind of the why behind its existence.

Savanna  07:16

So the mission of SCSA is to obviously set the standard for professional pet care, or the pet business industry, and to grow that set of professionalism with education, networking, and hold that professional standard across the pet business industry as a whole. So before, you know, potentially, the government steps in and says like, here are the rules, and this is what you need to follow. Like no, we’re gonna try to govern ourselves a little bit too. But also just again, that networking and community aspect of things and we’re wanting to also help pet parents in the community with education opportunities, as well.

Collin   08:01

i One of the aspects on your website, I love that you say, you know, you saw a need because you want to vibe off of each other. Right? And really, you know, that that interplay, because, you know, we’re in central Missouri, you know, our needs here are very different from your needs in Florida and even the Panhandle being different than down closer on the coastal portions and, and understanding that there are these very localized needs, and I see that that’s really important to be met. And you know, you have a lot of things in Florida that try and eat you know, we have bears and mountain lion but you have you know, aquatic things and land things and you know, venomous things and you know, that’s that’s things that a lot of people just don’t even think about right and going how do we address these problems or certain health problems? Or how do we operate businesses given the kind of weather conditions we have and I love that that’s kind of at the core of this of learning from one another for geographic and specific lessons that you’ve all taken away.

Savanna  08:54

We have bears two colons

Collin   08:58

fine, Lord, you’re right Florida’s Why

Savanna  09:03

is Australia everything wants to kill it.

Collin   09:07

Yeah, fair enough. Yeah, we don’t have your pythons either. So that’s a whole different thing.

Savanna  09:11

But constructors with condos now to apparently

Collin   09:16

not helping sell this Savannah now.

Savanna  09:21

Give me one of the topics is think by rookery Bay. Heidi correct me if I’m wrong is the exotic animals coming into the natural habitats of Florida is that right? Yeah.

09:34

There’s actually like they’re like disintegrating our ecosystem because they’re eating everything. So yeah, the Python is like a huge is a huge problem and yeah, and then Mercury they it’s definitely gonna address some of the, you know, both the animal and environmental side of Florida.

Collin   09:51

Have you heard of time to Pat Dan from NYC pooch has this to say time

09:56

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Collin   10:16

you’re looking for your pet saying software, give time to pet a try, listeners of our show can save 50% off your first three months by visiting time to pet.com/confessional. Well, that’s a great lead in because one of the questions I had is looking forward to the summit. What are some things that people can expect to learn and see and experience?

Heidi  10:37

Yeah, so we’re our summit is in August the August 22 through the 24th located at the mercury Bay environmental learning center in Naples, Florida. We’re going to have some returning speakers from last year summit like Doug’s healing with that to the bone and the dog guy. Also Morgan Webber with memory lane and lucky adventures. Scarlet Rockwood with for social and also Dr. Ivory Council are returning speakers. And then we do have some new speakers for this year as well. Kim tank is going to be doing a panel with Doug, all about hiring. We have Michelle Klein with DACA launch. Also Anne Marie Kayden with tiny paws bookkeeping. What I’m really excited for is Bethells is who the president of pet sitters international will be there speaking. And we’re also going to have our very own Shannon Hendon, who was a regional director with us, who is also going to be speaking in you, Colin are also going to be speaking.

Savanna  11:35

Yes. We also have Beth Cattell. And Pam, arch Stewart coming with monarchs in motion as well. They’ll be joining us at the summit. When you put

Collin   11:46

the summit together is there Well first off, I will say I’m super excited to get to come speak and and see everybody and experience beautiful Naples and just see the summit. You know, sorry, we couldn’t make it last year. But glad we can make it this year and be there for everybody. So really excited about that. Is there a when you’re putting this together? I thought because you guys are putting this on the organizers here? Is there a theme you try and grab or types of things you’d like to see or solve problems? Or how do you kind of orchestrate that side of things? Well,

Savanna  12:19

we definitely get some feedback from what the based on the survey and what kind of what we were wanting to learn and see. Also I forgot to add Jen Grady with Jen grade digital will be joining us and she’ll be actually talking about a topic I’m interested in is AI on leash so revolutionising sto in the pet industry. So I’m excited to learn about that. But the scheduling aspect of it and this kudos to Amber Ben Denton who sadly could not join us. For our interview with you today. She is the mastermind with the scheduling. But basically we’re wanting all the themes to relate to somewhat to each other so you’re not having to jump from or I’m transitioning from financials to sto and all that fun stuff or now we’re transitioning to how to make my business more environmentally friendly. So it’s we’re wanting it to have some sort of relation to what we’re grouping in with and the scheduled itself along with breaks. That was the only thing we said like more breaks.

Collin   13:28

When it’s hard to balance all that right, if you’re wanting more in depth, longer sessions with a wide variety and diversity of topics and speakers, but also more breaks but can’t be too long, right? There’s a lot of give and take when you’re putting that together. Definitely

Savanna  13:42

a balancing act. So we’re trying to implement what we learned from Orlando summit and applying it to the Naples Summit. We’re still quite young. So we’re still learning but, you know, we’re gonna take what we learned and put it into something new and exciting.

Heidi  13:57

Yeah, and I think also, we there are so many pet organizations out there that are for like the starter business or the starter, pet sitter or the starter business in general. And we just really wanted to be, you know, cognizant of not only the starters but also just like people that are already established and are needing some more advanced help in their business

Collin   14:18

as well. Well, and that comes into what you sound like kind of breakout groups where people can kind of apply what they’re learning from the main session into their specific business and where they are because you’re right, like there is such a diversity of backgrounds and purpose of business and necessity of business and kind of their own goals and then how long they’ve been in so trying to go how do we take the the the same information and apply differently or provide a variety of information that kind of feeds everybody just a little bit and understanding that it is a people are going to hear stuff that might not be applicable to them immediately, but maybe down the line, and that’s what’s really important about this, if not tuning out if you like, well, that’s not for me. It’s like well, yeah, right. Oh, should we do that comma yet? Yeah.

Savanna  15:04

My favorite saying is it’s not? No, it’s not. Yes.

Collin   15:09

So overall, you know, the association. Savannah, you said you all are quite young and existing and kind of implementing a lot of this stuff. How is the association going?

Savanna  15:19

Like I mentioned previously, we are learning a lot as far as Association, a lot about managing organization and teamwork. We’re definitely seeing a lot of growth in interests and interaction on Facebook, particularly with pet sitters and dog walkers. We are seeing, you know, a little bit of struggle in growing with other pet pet businesses to join us and other pet industries. But we were expecting that because you know, we’re more connected with obviously pet sitters and dog walkers. And we talk more to each other in that aspect of things. But we’re excited to announce that we are in her one of our next phases of growth is about establishing regional directors and we have some of that going on. So we have labia routine with Aqua paws in Miami. Laurie with professional pet care in Hillsborough County. Shannon Henderson with Ocala pet sitting in Ocala, Ashley Torres with handles with love pet care in Palm Beach, Florida and Vanessa Williams with Vanessa’s pet sitting in Orlando. So we’re definitely having some growth in their regional directors. And we are accepting applications for people interested in being a regional director to start local fpsa chapters or kind of their own local chapter to get those businesses connected to each other.

Collin   16:37

Talk to us about that position. If somebody’s listening to this, and they kind of maybe were interested a little bit connecting people organizing stuff, what are some more of their responsibilities.

Savanna  16:48

So the responsibilities of a regional director is to establish a Facebook group and connect businesses that way. So again, like we can probably see in Missouri, that you know, there’s these probably local businesses that are talking to each other and connecting like, Hey, can somebody serve as this or what do you use for this and even your own I think Senator confessionals, for example, where people ask questions and kind of post events and all that fun stuff and feedback, it’s kind of the same thing. But also, we’re taking a step further and trying to create events that we all attend, kind of like micro networking, it’s and kind of meeting each other up for like, a beer or coffee. We, Vanessa and the Orlando chapter, recently, excuse me, did a virtual yappy hour. So we did that via zoom. So we could No, we may not be able to all get together, but at least we can do like a virtual thing. We did a Heidi did something recently as well. With the aromatherapy. Right, Heidi? Yeah, so

Heidi  18:00

my group is the Southwest Florida pet printers. So you know, all southwest Florida pet business owners, we recently did essential oil class all about pet safe essential oils to use in our business. So you know, that’s just like just a couple examples of the regional directors and like what their responsibilities are. And then as well as how it relates to fpsa is not only connecting all of these, you know, other businesses to you know, potentially join with us. But it’s also we also have different committees. So we have like a Social Media Committee, we have a summit Committee, and the education committee. So depending on what the regional directors experiences are, what their strengths are, what they’re interested in, we kind of, you know, put them in those different committees, as far as like, you know, how they can help with fpsa, specifically, with our, you know, social media out, you know, outreach, and then you know, like, if someone wants to be in charge, or to help with the summit responsibilities, we have that committee, and then we also our education aspect as well.

Collin   19:01

I what I love about that, and hearing that is it’s finding, it’s actually creating ways for people to be involved, because many of us can look around and go, Yeah, but what can I do? Or how do I do or what is available to me, and that’s why I’m really excited to see the association doing all these initiatives and stuff and growing because it means that there are more ways for local centers to be connected and contribute back to the larger industry and their, their own community and help one another. Because that’s one of the only ways we continue to stay healthy as an industry is if we’re all able to contribute in some way.

Heidi  19:43

And I mean, you know, the connection aspect is great, but we’re also a nonprofit, you know, we’re this is all volunteer. So, you know, we can’t do this by ourselves. We need you know, continuing to have these spots open for people to volunteer to, you know, be interested so fpsa can continue to grow and for ibis,

Collin   20:00

our friends at the National Association of Professional pet sitters or naps have a vision of vision where pet care professionals and pet parents collaborate to make a significant positive impact on the welfare of pets and the industry through education, certification and community outreach. Together, we can make this vision a reality. Naps is run by its members. For its members. It’s a volunteer driven Association. They offer a trial membership and various webinars that showcase the mini naps member benefits offered. Visit and check out the NAPS website at Pet sitters.org for all the membership details and information, well and do cool stuff in the community, too. I recently saw on social media that you all are doing something with with pet first aid kits, right? Could you talk to us about that? Sure. So one

Savanna  20:52

of the goals is obviously to help and assist pet parents, and particularly, we were focusing on first aid kits for homeless pet parents. I actually did some research the this morning that Florida is number three in the in the country as far as a homelessness population, which kind of surprised me a lot. But basically, we are wanting to obviously, animal welfare is a big part of it. Community support. And health education, which is one of our other priorities with PSAs is educating pet parents, emergency preparedness, reducing barriers to care, and then building trust and engagement in the community as well. Building trust

Collin   21:40

and reduce barriers to care care. I think that those are, those are really big, right? Because we want people to live their best life with their pets in every state for every season. And how often do we see people having to give up a pet or who they can no longer afford to care for a pet. And we may think sometimes that this is where as as we go as a business like, oh, I don’t want to market to that person because they can’t use my service? Well, but how can I still help that person at the personal level? Right as, as an individual, make sure that they continue to have that relationship with their pet or I think, finding ways to do that.

Savanna  22:17

I think it’s important because, you know, I pets do provide us with that love and support. And, you know, for most of these people that you know, are out on the streets and are in difficult situation. That’s kind of the only support system that they have. And you know, what, how would that how would that make someone feel if they’re not able to take care of something that they love and cherish so much because they’re not you know, financially able or they don’t have stability, or access to those things that they need to take care of themselves and their pet. So the first aid kit came about to provide at least the basic bare bones necessities to like, handle class or bandage a wound. So some plastic tweezers are in there. So something like pull out a foreign or a piece of glass if need be. And some alcohol swipes too.

Collin   23:08

We’ve had interactions with people who, you know, they’ll tell stories of the only way they got through this hard time in their life was because they had a pet they had a reason for continuing to push through a reason for continuing to try. Right. And then they turn around and they’re like, Okay, well, you take care of my cherished prized family member who helped me through the toughest time of my life. That’s like, Well, yeah, no pressure, right? I understand. And recognize, recognizing that Yeah, little plastic tweezers might not seem too much. But if you are in a situation where you can’t do that, and you see your best friend suffering, right, it provides that much more relief to them. We’re

Savanna  23:46

hoping to expand the kits to domestic abuse shelters or women’s shelters as well, and also providing it for a hurricane preparedness kit. But right now, I think the look, we’re focusing on the homeless population right now.

Collin   24:02

And it’s this continued way of viewing ourselves as either as business owners or as our businesses or association as a way of impacting our community. Right. It’s seeing ourselves as a bigger aspect in that then what about just providing Pet Services?

Savanna  24:20

Yeah, we’re really excited about the initiative and growing that and I have to give a shout out to Katie Castle, I believe her I think I pronounce her last name right with dances with dogs. She actually recently donated $200 to the first aid kit initiative. So we’re really excited to that. So shout out to Katie, is

Collin   24:37

that something that only association members can contribute to or how do people get involved with that?

Savanna  24:43

We do have actually a donation link. I think the chatter up but it should show up in the Florida Pet Services Association as far as the donation button on our website, and people can go donate to FPS Say and through and also the for the first aid kit program. Cool.

Collin   25:04

Yep, I will make sure that that link is in the show notes for everybody to go and grab. So they can help with that. So association is doing awesome stuff. Talk to us about the summit details specifically for this year. Yes. So again,

Heidi  25:20

the summit is going to be in Naples, August 22. Through the 24th. At the rookery Bay, environmental learning center, we’re obviously gonna have lots of speakers, lockstep activities, some vendors, lunches included for both days. And there’s also some information regarding our hotel that’s closest to the location for a reduced rate for both of those days, the 22nd and 23rd, which can definitely be extended depending on if you’re arriving early, or leaving later,

Collin   25:50

when our registration deadlines and things like that for how late can they go? Or when are you expecting to close that or anything, any of those details?

Savanna  25:57

Well, tickets are still available, I we are going to probably up the pricing a little bit closer to the date, just so as last minute, you know, fees and all that fun stuff. So we can make sure that we have the information that we need to pass along to our caterer. And we are providing hope snackies as well. But that’s yeah, we’re snackies are important. We heard that we must have more snackies. But yes, there is there’s still availability, we do offer an upgrade package as well, which is the USPSA shirt with some specialty items on it. And then a printed out version of any other presentations that the speakers have, along with a few other special things in the upgrade package. And that’s available as well. And then, Heidi, do you want to mention that

26:51

the rookery Bay has did a recent renovation to right. Yeah, so there were three, they was unfortunately damaged with hurricane in a couple years ago, but they have newly renovated so everything is brand new. They have a ton of like research laboratories that you can observe like what they do in the lab with all the environmental stuff and all of the animals, they have touch tanks, where you can touch little like little sea creatures and stuff that you would find in the ocean in Florida, which is amazing. I know, like it’s probably like four or five year old, but I loved it. And then they even have the exhibit with the mangroves that are you know, like grow, especially in southwest Florida, that are really important with our like water seat like salt water flow, they actually have like a whole tank where you can like stand in the middle of it. So you’re kind of like part of the mangrove, which is really cool. And then they have this whole big like outdoor seating area. And then they also have like hiking trails and things like that. And if you purchase that ticket for the summit, and automatically includes a daily admission to the environmental learning center as well. So that’s always, always great to like keep learning and seeing cool stuff about Florida while you’re there, too. Yeah,

Collin   28:00

well, you said touch tanks. And I was thinking back to our previous conversation about pythons and bears. And I thought, well, hopefully they’re a little bit cuter than that.

Heidi  28:10

are poisonous, poisonous pose, none of that.

Savanna  28:13

We might be able to persuade an alligator to show up or two. Would you like that? Colin? I’m fine.

Collin   28:18

I’m fine. I pass enough. Yeah. All right. Cool. So no, I’m, I’m really excited for the conference this year. And tickets are still available and can be purchased. You mentioned kind of maybe even some last minute ones as they’re available. But we’re coming up on here and, you know, less than 120 days, you know, 115 days here before the start of the summit. So a lot to get planned for travel and things like that. But but really, it sounds like if you are looking for a way to get connect with other professionals. Take some time to dig into your business and work on it as opposed to always working in it. And really do some high level stuff here. Sounds like it’s a really good fit for for if people are if they’re kind of in that mindset, and visit the beach and visit the beach sorry.

29:12

During cocktail.

Collin   29:15

So for those who are interested in going and getting tickets, finding out more information and seeing everything that’s going on, where can people do that? You

Savanna  29:23

can find ticket sales on our website at Florida pet association.org. You can also on Facebook and Instagram as well. Perfect.

29:31

Well, I will have

Collin   29:32

links to the tickets, the website, the donations, on social media, on the show notes and on our website. So people can click right to that and get connected and look and see if that’s going to be a good fit for them and see all the cool stuff that you guys are doing. Thank you both for coming on the show and sharing about the summit and all of their hard work that you that you and the rest of the board are doing and all of your regional directors. It really is an inspiration to the industry. So thanks Thank you both so much.

Heidi  30:01

Thanks, Colin, for having us. And I know, out of the core four of the Board of Directors, I think Savannah is the only one that hasn’t met you in person. So I know she’s

Savanna  30:12

been told you’re very tall. Well, I’m the tallest out of four of us. So this should be interesting. Okay,

Collin   30:20

yeah, there we go.

Savanna  30:24

Challenge accepted. We wish Amber and Denzin, our current president and Doug Keeling or treasurer wished we could join us. So we just wanted to give a shout out to them and say we missed them. Well,

Collin   30:34

again, thank you both so much. I really appreciate your time today. And I’m super excited about everything. As the pet care industry continues to grow and expand. This doesn’t just mean that we have more potential for business and impacting people’s lives, it means that more and more scrutiny and attention will be paid to the industry as well. Now more than ever, it’s important to be connected with a broader community of pet service professionals, whether that is other groomers or pet sitters or trainers or that’s or whatever that is, will allow you to continue to push the envelope of what’s possible and what is expected from our clients when they look for the care of their pets. The industry is only expected to grow bigger as more and more people gain pets and focus their time and attention and effort on the pets that they do have. It is our responsibility to grow as an industry to work together to develop those standards and develop those goals that we want to achieve as an industry and for ourselves. We want to thank today’s sponsors tide pet and the National Association of Professional pet sitters for making today’s show possible. And we really want to thank you for listening. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week and we’ll be back again soon.

About the Author:

Savanna Westwood

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