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The Poodle to Pitbull Pet Business Podcast

Jun 2, 2023

This weeks podcast guest is Carmen Rustenbeck, who is the founder and CEO of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association.

Carmen was born and raised in Gorgia to a military family, before moving to Arizona after her father returned from Vietnam. 

She married her highschool sweetheart Rusty who was in the airforce, and they spent the next 23 years living all over the world including five years in the U.K, and now reside on the top of a mountain in New Mexico.

Carmen did a number of different jobs all over the world, but discovered the pet care industry when she landed a temp job in Colarado, which led to an opportunity to work with the American Boarding Kennel Association. Carmen loved working with passionate pet business owner, and this sparked passion for non-profits. 

3 months into her new job Hurricane Katrina happened and Carmen was tasked with creating a non-profit organisation in 3 weeks, which she managed to do! 

This mean they could accept money and donations to buy food and work with AKC to rescue and rehome animals. 

The whole Katrina experience was a huge learning curve, and like crisis situation, it brought some unique challenges like transfer of infectious diseases with pet care facitlies. 

A year of two later Carmen could see there was a need for a new organisation that helps educate and support ambious, heart-centered pet-preneurs, and so the IBPSA was born. 

Carmen did revolutionary things with the IBPSA which when it launched in 2010 was the only non-profit organisation to be totally online.

In order to provide the essential resources she knew the IBPSA would need Carmen asked some crucial questions about the vision for the furture of the industry, like;  What does education look like for employees? What does a business plan look like for a facility? What does exit planning look like? What does succession planing look like so you can pass your business onto the next generation? 

Carmen wanted the IBPSA to look beyond just the world of dogs and be able to provide resources and education for feline, equine, avian and small and exotic animals so she had vetrinarians create the care plans and then tested it in a facilty in Dripping Springs.  

Now the organisation has 4 remote full time staff, around 1000 members and its growing all the time. They also run a conference every year in Orlando, which I am attending and speaking at. 

Tune in to discover;

  • How the IBPSA took best practises and trainings from other organisations to provide the best resources for their members.
  • Why it's crucial you have a succession plan for your business, something Carmen saw at first hand when the ABKA went bankrupt. 
  • Why travelling not only broadens your horizons, but makes the world seem smaller, AND more accessible - this is something I've discovered in the last year 
  • You'll also learn about British refrigerators, furniture for dogs, international currency, and much, much more...this is a wide ranging, informative and hughly entertaining interview with a leading light in the pet care industry. 

Carmens passion for pet care owners and the values of the IBPSA really shine through in this interview. Enjoy! 

You can find out more about the IBPSA (International Boarding and Pet Services Association) by clicking here

You can grab a ticket to the IBPSA Flow conference which is happening in October in Orlando (and I'm going to be speaking there) by going clicking here now

If you want more help and advice from me then you should grab a copy of my brand new book, How to Disnify Your Pet Business, click here to get your copy now

If you want to join the Pet Business Inner Circle where you can get access to hundreds of trainings and ask Dom anything inside the members only private forum, then click here now

To apply to join Dom's Diamond private coaching program click here now