Advancing all women podcast

Episode 17

How Fur Parents Adapt to Going Back to Work!

This week’s episode of ‘Advancing ALL Women’ with Sarah Alter is ‘How Fur Parents Adapt to Going Back to Work!’ Our panel will discuss the pet situation during COVID-19, and the importance of flexibility for pet parents.

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Brad Bedwell

Senior Merchandising Director - Pets, Walmart

Brad Bedwell is currently the Senior Merchandising Director of Pets at Walmart, responsible for durables, services, and new business development. Brad has spent his career in various roles across Walmart marketing and merchandising, including the last decade in the toy business. New to his role on the Pets team, Brad is passionate about making pet ownership easy, affordable, and stress-free, and believes Walmart can play a unique role in making this happen for all pet lovers out there. Working right along him at home, Brad has 2 rescue dogs, Jack & Georgie.

Annie Valuska, PhD.

Annie Valuska, PhD.

Sr. Scientist, Purina

Dr. Annie Valuska brings over 15 years of animal behavior experience to her role as a Senior Scientist on Purina’s Pet Behavior team. After a variety of undergraduate research experiences at Kenyon College, Annie received her PhD in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis, then went on to serve as the Post-Doctoral Behavior Research Fellow at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Since joining Purina in 2013, Annie has gotten to use her expertise to serve as the “voice of pet,” ensuring that the needs of cats and dogs are kept top of mind in all of Purina’s products and outreach efforts. Annie’s passion for pets extends into her personal life – she is an award-winning animal shelter volunteer and currently has a rescued pit bull/shih tzu mix (Arya), a beagle (Bubblegum), and black cat (Jack) sharing her home in St. Louis, MO.

Lilly Voelker

Lilly Voelker

Associate Brand Manager Marketing, PepsiCo.

Lilly Voelker is a dynamic CPG professional with experience in and a passion for brand strategy, data analytics, and business development. These interests developed throughout her time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Marketing as well as Hispanic Studies. After graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Kenan Flagler Undergraduate Business School, she joined Kraft Heinz as a Management Development Associate. For nearly 6 years, she explored a variety of roles in retail, insights, and customer development with a focus on key customers like Costco, Kroger, and Boxed.com.

Most recently, Lilly joined PepsiCo as a part of the Brand Marketing team at Quaker where she manages the Hot Cereal Cups portfolio. She is focused on delivering a long-term portfolio growth strategy and driving greater understanding and penetration of Millennial consumers. Lilly is fueled by leveraging her experience in sales to bring valuable perspective to her new role in marketing.

Lilly lives in Chicago, but is a native North Carolinian, which is clear from the passion she exhibits for her alma mater. While in Chicago, she has enjoyed regularly volunteering at the Ann Lurie’s Children’s Hospital, exploring neighborhoods and restaurants with her husband, and of course, joining the NEWGen Board this year.

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