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PetRays Veterinary Telemedicine Consultants

How to EnterCompany: PetRays Veterinary Telemedicine Consultants, The Woodlands, TX
Company Description: PetRays, the recognized leader in veterinary telemedicine services, was founded in 2006 by Melisa Fields Tugwell. The PetRays team consists of 42 staff and veterinary specialists. The telemedicine services offered by PetRays are specifically designed to help veterinarians improve the speed and quality of animal healthcare.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Young Entrepreneur

Nomination Title: Melissa Fields Tugwell, Founder

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated young entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

In November 2006, Melissa Fields Tugwell, at 27, founded PetRays, a veterinary
telemedicine consulting company and has built the business from the ground up. 
The veterinary telemedicine consulting services offered by PetRays are specifically
designed to help veterinarians improve the speed and quality of animal healthcare
by providing Board Certified specialists to consult with 24/7.  PetRays is one of
only a few veterinary telemedicine providers in a small niche market.  In
addition to being a Board member, Melissa serves as the company’s President and CEO. 

In November 2006, prior to founding PetRays, Melissa was the full time marketing
and sales director for a large human teleradiology company.  With Melissa’s
marketing and sales background, telemedicine experience and love for animals,
PetRays, was a natural expansion.

In 2006-2007, Melissa launched PetRays on to the national scene by organizing
and personally attending numerous veterinary industry trade shows throughout the
continental U.S.A.  By the end of 2007, PetRays was a recognized leader in the
veterinary industry.  In 2008, company revenues increased 397% form 2007
revenues.  By the end of 2008, under Melissa’s leadership, PetRays had become
a multi-million dollar company.

Melissa also increased market share in 2008.  PetRays’ customer base grew by
over 300% in 2008.  PetRays market penetration has resulted in active clients in
all 50 states, Canada, Australia, and Europe.  By the end of 2008, PetRays had
become a global leader in veterinary telemedicine and maintains an international

In addition to increasing revenue and market penetration, Melissa manages all of
the day to day operations of PetRays including marketing, advertising, website
development, IT infrastructure, management of clerical and accounting staff, and
all aspects of PetRays public relations.  In 2006-2007, PetRays had two staff
members.  By the end of 2008, Melissa had recruited a dedicated sales staff, a
trade show coordinator, an operations manager, several clerical staff as well as
contract IT staff.  PetRays now operates with 42 staff and veterinary specialists.

Melissa also serves as the PetRays’ spokesperson.  Melissa has conducted
several invited interviews and is often quoted in national veterinary journals and
publications due to her expertise in the field of veterinary telemedicine.  As a
value added service to PetRays clients, Melissa and   the trained PetRays staff routinely
provide guidance and consulting services for clients who are purchasing
telemedicine equipment or imaging equipment for their veterinary practices.

Typical PetRays clients include:

- small rural veterinary clinics that do not have immediate access to Board
Certified specialists.  PetRays service allows access to world renown specialist to
all rural clinics
- busy emergency veterinary clinics that need specialist consults to treat life
threatening conditions real time
- non-profit organizations or charitable organizations such as animal shelters or
guide dogs for the blind

Melissa, through her efforts since 2006, makes Board Certified veterinary
specialists available to virtually every veterinary clinic in the country.  By
partnering with PetRays, these clinics can provide the same high quality care that could
previously only be obtained at large multispecialty referral clinics or University
based teaching hospitals.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []: 2007-2008 Revenue Letter romCPA.pdf    

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Immediately after college, Melissa Fields Tugwell began her professional career as
a marketing intern at a national staffing franchise corporate office.  Melissa
rapidly worked her way up the corporate ladder and purchased her own staffing franchise
in less than two years.  In January 2006, while continuing to maintain co-
ownership of her franchise, she accepted the position of marketing and sales
director for a national teleradiology company.   In November 2006 she founded
PetRays, a veterinary telemedicine company.   Additionally, Melissa is the proud
mother of three young girls who keep her very busy with extracurricular activities
as well as various community activities.