On The Job: Sherry Acanfora-Ruohomaki
Acanfora-Ruohomaki is the owner and founder of K9 Kampus, a full-service luxury dog daycare, boarding, grooming and training facility and all-around doggie wonderland in Melbourne. Features include a Lure Chase Course, doggie pool, indoor play area and multilevel outdoor playground.
[quote]”I worked for a few highly successful high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and loved every minute of it. When I moved back to Florida, I worked for XL Vision in their business development department, which is a company that created business entities from identifying unmet business needs in various industries. That experience led me to become co-founder of XL TechGroup, the successor of XL Vision and then to open my own consulting company, Facets Consulting Group in which I focused on assisting entrepreneurs realize their own dreams of bringing their technologies to fruition.
Then one day I was contacted by the dean of engineering at FIT and was informed they were the co-recipients of grant from the National Science Foundation with the University of Central Florida in association with UCF’s very successful Technology Incubator to start a Technology Accelerator on the campus of FIT. I became the director of operations for the Business Accelerator, Florida TechStart, which provided educational programs and technology boot camps for members of the community that had technology ideas and aspirations to start their own businesses.
During this, I always had a passion for animals and realized an unmet business need for fellow animals lovers. You see I couldn’t find a place I felt comfortable leaving my four-legged family member whether it be for a day, a week or longer. Not that there weren’t dog daycare or boarding facilities in the area, I just didn’t like the way they operated. I also realized there were no places in our area where people could go with their dogs and just have fun. In 2000, the idea sparked and throughout the years I would perform due diligence until one day I said, ‘I am tired of working with the two-legged dogs; I want to work/play with the four-legged furry ones.’
I said it out loud in a kidding manner, but realized if I wanted a fun place for my dog to go to, other people would too. Nine years later, I evaluated how many people/companies I assisted over the years and knew if I didn’t attempt to put my dream together I would live to regret it.
I have been asked many times don’t you miss doing what you went to school for and I answer that there is not a day that goes by that I don’t use every one of my degrees. I run a staff of nearly 25 that includes dog trainers and groomers, and I do everything from payroll, to the website, to marketing, to networking, to maintenance, and more. There is never a dull moment.”[/quote]