Dogtopia Chairman Peter Thomas Retires, Names Brand's Largest Multi-Unit Franchisee as Successor
PHOENIX, Oct. 6, 2020 // PRNewswire // - The chairman of Dogtopia, the nation's leading dog daycare, boarding and spa franchise, is retiring from the position he's held since 2012. Peter Thomas, chairman of Thomas Franchise Solutions USA, LLC (TFS), has named one of Dogtopia's multi-unit franchisees Chris Kempner as Dogtopia's new Chairman and General Partner.
Thomas, in his 80s, recently set out to determine who would take over his role with the national franchise brand. The announcement comes with Neil Gill remaining as the CEO and no changes to the leadership team. As part of Kempner's role as General Partner, his New York-based company Red Barn Franchise Holdings LLC has purchased Thomas's interest in TFS, and Kempner now manages the funds that support Dogtopia, in addition to his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Thomas will remain invested in Dogtopia as a substantial Limited Partner.
Thomas became the General Partner and Chairman of Dogtopia in 2012 when there were fewer than 30 daycare centers nationwide. Today, with nearly 150 locations across North America, Dogtopia is the nation's fastest-growing brand in the booming $95B pet industry, reflected by its recent rank on the annual Inc. 5000 list, up 214% from last year.
"Between Chris's experience as a Dogtopia multi-unit operator combined with Neil Gill and the leadership team, I cannot think of a better-suited individual to invest in and take from me the chairmanship of Dogtopia into the future," said Thomas. "I believe Dogtopia will have its best shot at greatness with this team moving forward."
Kempner has been involved with Dogtopia for the past three years. Red Barn Dog Holdings LLC acquired the largest Dogtopia franchise territory with plans to open more than 30 daycares across the East Coast. Prior to founding Red Barn Equity partners, Kempner was vice president at Private Equity Firm Metalmark Capital. Kempner has experience in both investing and private equity and has worked in numerous financial positions, including as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree from Yale University.
"I am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to become Dogtopia's new Chairman and help ensure that as we continue to recover from the ongoing impact of the COVID19 Pandemic, the company is focused and poised to resume its ascent toward daycare category leadership," Kempner said. "With our industry-leading approach to providing the safest daycare services available for our pups and a tangible emotional connection with our pet parents, our CEO Neil Gill, the existing management team and the Support Office employees will remain the champions and leaders of that ascent."
Growth of the brand throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic has been staggering. Dogtopia has awarded 38 new franchise licenses this year, with the majority of new franchisees joining over the past few months. Along with the new franchise sales, the company has opened 15 new daycares with 15 more centers planned to open by the end of the year debuting in new markets like Washington D.C. and Connecticut.
Considered an essential service in most states, the brand developed a series of new protocols to keep dogs, pet parents and team members healthy and safe and has been able to service front-line medical workers. As a result, Dogtopia's NPS score soared from 88 to 94 during the last several months, proving top satisfaction for those using Dogtopia's daycare and boarding services.
Founded in 2002, Dogtopia is an early pioneer and innovator in the pet services industry, offering an experience focused on quality of care, safety and transparency in the market. With an emphasis on education, exercise and safe socialization for dogs, pet parents have the assurance of leaving their beloved furry family members in the hands of trained professionals in an environment created with the safety of dogs in mind. For more information, visit the Dogtopia website.
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