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I Belong: Meet Amber

Meet Amber | District Leader

Growing up, I was actively involved in agricultural programs like Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H. I had always been an animal person; I loved dogs, cats, and horses and raised pigs. I learned that animals are incredible teachers of many valuable lessons at an early age. It was also part of these programs that I had my first introduction to leadership.

I began planning for a college career studying animal science by obtaining a part-time job in retail. I realized that retail offered opportunities to flex the leadership skills I started developing early on and that I found a natural inclination toward. Additionally, retail provided a fast-paced, competitive, and, most importantly, inclusive environment that supported my personal and professional development.

Fast forward about ten years to when I found PetSmart. I remember thinking, “this is the perfect marriage of animals and retail leadership,” two things that have become a core part of who I am. I had no idea when I joined PetSmart that I had found a place that would become home.

PetSmart has provided an environment that has challenged, nurtured, and fed my personal and professional development. I’ve had opportunities to travel the country for leadership programs and meetings, and I’ve been able to move twice for growth opportunities. Our culture of Playing to Win fuels my competitive drive. I feel seen for the business performance I deliver, and I find it rewarding and addicting to see a direct impact on results through my actions and decisions.

I grew up as the kid who always raised their hand and always wanted to be the best, which doesn’t usually parlay into popularity. Now, I can share my #lifeatpetsmart and be an example for other associates, showing them that you can be yourself, work hard, and achieve your career goals beyond what you ever thought possible. I have always said, if you want it and are willing to work for it, PetSmart offers many avenues for growth and is an organization that recognizes talent within.

In addition to my professional journey, I have found the relationships I built at PetSmart are why it has truly become home. I lean on the people I work with in moments of stress, sadness, and celebration. We have tackled loss, a pandemic, marriage, parenting, and everything else life throws at you. I have celebrated many personal milestones with my work family. When my wife and I were about to have our son, my regional team surprised me with a baby shower. The outpouring of kindness, love, and support for my family and me was incredibly touching. PetSmart’s value of being United Together extends beyond the organization’s invisible lines to who we are as people.

At PetSmart, I’m no longer the “teacher’s pet,” “tom-boy,” “FFA kid,” or “know-it-all.” I am myself and am valued for my contribution to the organization, the people around me, and the passion I bring to the business. Every day I wake up knowing I am where I belong.

The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other.


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