Barking Mad Dog Care announced the appointment of two new joint managing directors at its annual conference in the Lake District.
Richard Dancy and Rachel Stewart will run the leading dog care franchise jointly, specialising in communications and operations respectively and leading an award-winning support team.
Barking Mad’s founder, Lee Dancy, retires as MD this month (June). The Dancy name, which has become synonymous with the dog holiday brand and franchising, will live on, however, as Lee’s husband, Richard, takes over the reins alongside former business development consultant Rachel.
Barking Mad, the dog home boarding franchise, has been run semi-autonomously by Lee since the company’s acquisition by the Franchise Brands group in 2016.
Franchise Brands is an international multi-brand franchisor with a combined network of more than 450 franchisees in 12 countries. Under a new structure, the parent company will now play a greater role in ensuring growing success through shared support services such as technology, marketing, finance and franchise recruitment.
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Chairman of Franchise Brands Stephen Hemsley said: “Lee’s passion, commitment and entrepreneurial spirit were instrumental in achieving this success and everyone at Franchise Brands wishes her all the very best.”
Lee was a pioneer in the dog home boarding market 19 years ago when she set about creating a new concept for dog holidays. Today, Barking Mad is a multi-award-winning business with more than 80 franchisees nationwide.
The Barking Mad concept is centred on accommodating dogs in a caring environment, ensuring their routine is kept as consistent as possible with a loving, local host family.
Lee added: “After almost 20 years at the helm I have decided to retire. I feel extremely proud to have founded a business which has changed the lives of so many people: our customers and their dogs, our community of wonderful host families and the enthusiastic franchise network of 82 business owners.
“We recently celebrated all things Barking Mad at the National Conference hosted on the shores of Lake Windermere. It was a very fitting celebration themed ‘Teamwork makes the Dream Work’ and a delightful opportunity to recognise the success of the business. I look forward to seeing Barking Mad continue to grow under the leadership of Rachel Stewart and Richard Dancy.”
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Everyone in the dog-sitting network came together to celebrate and thank Lee for her vision, hard work and unwavering enthusiasm.
Barking Mad franchise owners John and Elaine Warburton, from Fife, have recently been named as finalists in the British Franchise Association’s HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award.
Richard Dancy said: “Barking Mad has really grown up in the 11 years I have worked in the business and Lee has literally changed the lives of thousands of dog lovers and business owners as a result. I am delighted to be able to continue to work with Rachel and the team, including all those at Franchise Brands group plc.
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“Our new structure integrates us more into our parent company, which puts us in a very strong position with such excellent resources at our disposal. Barking Mad will continue to expand in a buoyant growth market with the pet sector predicted to hit £7bn in 2021.”
Rachel Stewart added: “Lee has been an inspirational founder and leader and has steered the business to huge success over the last 19 years. She leaves at an exciting and buoyant time for the pet care sector and she leaves behind firm foundations from which Richard and I can further build upon.”
By Karen Pickwick
Source: Pet Business World