Nichols joined the Humane Society of the United States in November of 2017 after a career as a serial entrepreneur. She started her first company, Dogtopia, in 2002 in Tysons Corner, Va. A groundbreaking dog daycare and boarding business, she grew the business via franchising to nearly 40 locations in the U.S. and Canada with more than 100 employees and $20 million in annual revenue. After selling the business in 2015, she ran bThere, a technology start-up, but missed working with and for animals, which led her to join the HSUS.
As Vice President of Companion Animals, she oversees Animal Care Expo, the largest animal welfare educational event and trade show, the Shelter Pet Project, a joint venture with the Ad Council and Maddie’s Fund, a new program with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Operation: Hero-Animal Bond, Spayathon for Puerto Rico, the Shelter Ally Program, the organization’s efforts to stop horses slaughter and the cruel practice of horse soring and a policy team that is active on both state and federal legislation related to companion animals including equines.
Nichols has considerable public speaking experience including testifying before a congressional panel on the impact of legislation on small business and she has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, ABC, NBC and Fox News and in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post and People Magazine. She was a 2014 finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program and under her leadership, Dogtopia was on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies for seven consecutive years, from 2008 to 2014. Nichols is also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the Women’s Presidents Organization.