Local businesswoman Laurren Darr of International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals of Park Ridge, IL has been named a finalist in the third annual Pet Industry Woman of the Year Award competition.

Darr, who founded the association in 2013, was nominated in SOLOPRENEUR category. The other award categories are Entrepreneur, Corporate, Advocate and Rising Star.

The overall Pet Industry Woman of the Year will be chosen from the winners of these five categories. Winners will be announced Aug. 15 during an evening ceremony at the Women in the Pet Industry Conference and Awards Show in Portland.

A panel of four independent judges reviewed and scored nominations for more than 55 applicants in the five categories. This year’s judges included an executive who has a record of success with Fortune 100 companies, a director of marketing for a major technology company, a COO of an architecture firm, and a successful owner of an agency business.

Darr will participate in a round table discussion during the WIPIN conference, which runs Aug.13 through 15 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Portland.

“The Pet Industry Women of the Year Awards were designed to recognize the amazing females who dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of all pets – dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses and exotics – and their parents/guardians,” said Shawna Schuh, president of WIPIN. “These awards are a celebration of women who have made highly successful careers in the pet industry: They shine in large part because they are so passionate about helping women as well as pets. Finalist Laurren Darr is a perfect example! It is exciting to honor her and other women with a genuine calling to make the pet industry stronger.”

About Laurren Darr

In the fall of 2013, Darr combined her twenty-plus years of marketing experience and lifelong love of pet fashionology to launch the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals. In her career, she’s won over 40 marketing and advertising awards, been named a ‘Woman to Watch’ by Alliance for Women in Media, written the #1 best-selling book, “Pet Fashion Almanac,” and is a finalist for Pet Industry Woman of the Year. She appears regularly in media to comment on pet fashion. She’s a certificate candidate for the Pet Product Design and Marketing program at FIT in NYC. Laurren’s busy Chicago-area home is filled with her husband, son, a pug dog, and a blue and gold macaw bird.

About International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals

The International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals is an organization created to inspire and educate pet fashion professionals worldwide through valuable educational, networking, and showcasing opportunities— all while elevating the visibility of the pet fashion industry overall. The organization’s tagline is “Unleashing Pet Style!”

International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals has members throughout the world including countries such as the United States, Canada, Guatemala, South Africa, India, Australia, United Kingdom, Russia, and Thailand. Members not only include pet fashion designers, but also pet fashion stylists, pet architects, pet housewares designers, pet groomers, pet models, pet media, pet industry public relations professionals, and pet bloggers to name a few.

They are creating stronger bonds and connections between pet parents and all different types of pets including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, pigs, horses, bearded dragons, and birds. The website is www.Pet FashionProfessionals.com.

About Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN)

WIPIN is an international membership networking organization where more than 500 pet professionals gather to grow, give and connect. WIPIN is the only organization serving professionals in ALL segments of the pet industry, as well as ALL types of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, small animals, pocket pets, horses and exotics.

More than 120 career paths exist within the pet industry. WIPIN has representatives from most. They include groomers, pet-sitters, vets, pet fashion designers, food and product manufacturers, artists, trainers, breeders, animal welfare advocates, PR and marketing pros, authors and bloggers, animal psychics and pet store operators. The WIPIN membership is unique in an additional way: It is diverse, ranging from women working at their pet business singlehandedly, or in Mom-and-Pop fashion, to those managing teams, decisions and missions at a corporate level.

For details on the conference or the Pet Industry Woman of the Year Award competition, contact Alicia Kushmaul at Alica@womeninthepetindustry.com.

Note to Editor: High resolution logo and photo of Laurren Darr is available on request.