If you have ever shopped at the LBC, you have had the pleasure of working with our awesome store team, no matter which location you visited.
In addition to having a fantastic crew on the front, we also have a pretty incredible team in the back keeping the LBC running on a daily basis. They say surround yourself with great people and great things will happen - I am so excited to introduce you to this great team we have behind the scenes, making great things happen!
First up is April - April first started with us in June of 2011, right when we opened our Belfast location. Do you remember our Fidelis Treat Co. line? That was her creation! April baked our treats and also worked part-time in the stores when the LBC was just a baby. April is now our Chief Operations Officer and my right hand. With the growth of the stores, we made the hard decision to close the treat company a few years ago. It was a very laborious process and I really needed her time here at the office to help us grow. April is a scientist, with an MS in Immunology and Virology from the University of Southern Maine and was absolutely instrumental in helping us navigate the last few years with Covid in keeping our team and our customers safe. She still fills in on the floor and has an incredibly vast knowledge of pet nutrition - we all ask her questions constantly on unique situations and new product recommendations. She is responsible for making sure all of the store and behind the scenes operations are running smoothly, that our procedures are up to date, and putting out any little “fires” that pop-up during the course of the day. April is dog mom to these two cuties, Maggie and Tippy.
PJ is our Director of Inventory, EComm & IT. A self-proclaimed geek (we all call him that, and he knows we mean it with nothing but love), PJ is our tech guru - making sure our computers, network, and all those things I know nothing about are running in tip top shape (don’t blame him for the credit card machine being down though, that one is not on him!). PJ also created our new website and shopping cart experience this past fall, creating a system that is tied to our point of sale inventory and one that now allows us to ship products as well! In addition to tech and website functions, PJ is responsible for keeping our point of sale accurate and updated, placing direct orders with our vendors, like Ruffwear and Fluff & Tuff, and making sure we receive credit for all of our returned foods, delivery issues and coupons. PJ is a long-time LBC customer that joined us in November of 2019 and is dog dad to Miller (pictured here) and Maisie, as well as Luna the cat.
Meet Ashleigh! Ashleigh started with the LBC almost five years ago as our Brewer manager when we opened that location. In September of 2020, she was promoted to Training Manager and has since become our Director of People, taking on both the training and, more recently, our HR responsibilities. Ashleigh has done an amazing job at creating a full, robust training program, not just for our new people, but ongoing education for those of us that have been here a long time :) She is also just one semester away from becoming a certified companion animal nutritionist - that program is A LOT of work and commitment and she is consistently at the top of her class with her grades. I am so excited for all of the information Ashleigh will be able to share with our team once her certification is complete. Ashleigh has quite a crew at home - let me see if I get this all right - Whynnie, McCoy, Charlie, Ty, Murray, Cece (the dogs) and Meatball, Hazel, Sheva, Ryker (the cats), Polly the bunny and a flock of chickens! Phew!
Erin is our new Director of Marketing - she just started her new position in April, but she has been with us for almost a year now. You may have seen her in Rockland during the summer of 2021 and then in Waterville during this past school year as she lived there while finishing her degree from University of Southern Maine. She received her Bachelors in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing on May 7 and will be based out of the offices in our Rockland location. I am quite excited about all of the great things Erin will be doing for us. She is responsible for all internal and external events, promotions, graphic design, donations, managing our Fenway Fund, creating our e-newsletter and mastering our social media presence. While she becomes acclimated to her new position, she and I will be tag teaming these items, but soon, they will all be hers. College doesn’t leave a lot of time to dedicate to raising pets, but I know Erin is really looking forward to the day when she can have a sweet little kitten of her own. In the meantime, she spoils her sisters’ dog and cats :)
Rounding out our fabulous leadership team is Katie. Katie joined us in September of 2021 in Rockland and was recently promoted to our brand new position, Director of Retail Store Operations. In this capacity, Katie will oversee the day to day operations of all seven stores - assisting our store managers with ordering, counting, visual merchandising, scheduling, staffing and more. In addition, she will be filling in as Manager of our Bath store for a few months while we find just the right person to fill that position. Katie comes to us from Virginia with an extensive background in retail management. In just her first week, that experience led her to question something we have been doing for years, which she and April took on together, figured out, and has ended up saving our managers a LOT of time on delivery days, not to mention a cost and environmental savings in the reduction of items we are printing each week. Katie is dog mom to Copper and Millie.