Meet the Just Right Experts: Our Passion, Our Work
Behind your dog’s personalized food is a team of animal lovers. Meet the experts who are dedicated to helping your unique dog be the best he can be.
With a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Georgia and a background in agronomy and animal science, Chris formulated the nutrition in our personalized blends. He also contributes his nutritional insight in our Expert Q&A Articles. Personalized nutrition got personal for Chris when he created a blend for his Boston Terrier, Max, a small dog with a big personality. Max is the only one in the household who can go toe-to-toe with Chris in stubbornness, which, he says, makes for a wonderful and entertaining relationship.
As a senior nutritionist who works in R&D, Alison is responsible for tying everything together. Not only is she involved in transforming basic knowledge-building science into real products, but she’s also responsible for making sure that what goes on “behind the scenes” of your dog’s nutrition lives up to what we say it does. When Alison received her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences and Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, her Maine Coon mix and constant companion, Prada, was close by her side. Alison, her husband and Prada now share their home with recently-adopted Midnight, a Chiweenie puppy who captured Alison’s heart the instant she saw him on Petfinder.
Lauren’s passion is teaching. After earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University and gaining experience in small animal medicine and surgery, Lauren joined the team at Purina. Much of her time is spent educating young veterinarians across the country about veterinary nutrition – a subject not often covered in vet school. When it comes to dog owners, she realizes that people are eager to learn, especially when it’s about their pets. The trick is to help them find the right information (You can find Lauren’s advice in her Surprising Things Your Veterinarian Wishes You Knew series). Lauren adopted her best friends for life when she met Bruno, a loyal Basset Hound Mix, and Coda, an energetic Labrador. Even though Lauren lives with her husband, two dogs and twin baby boys, she still says that her two cuddly cats are the cutest couple in the house.
More than a decade at Purina has taught Viktoriya the ins-and-outs of sourcing ingredients. From evaluating new suppliers and selecting the ingredients to meet the nutritional specifications of our blends, Viktoriya’s work is another guarantee that each blend is safe and delivers the high-quality nutrition your dog needs. Viktoriya says she’s passionate about Just Right because it gives dog owners an opportunity to treat their pups to something special and make them feel extra loved. Dogs are part of the family, after all. As for Viktoriya’s family, her Chihuahua, Lola, has seen it grow from zero to three kids. Though Lola loves attention (she’ll jump on your lap for some affection the second you sit down), she’s been great at sharing the spotlight with the kids who love her.
Nicole earned her Bachelor degree in Food Science from Purdue University and joined the Just Right by Purina team shortly after. Even though her time with us hasn’t been long, it might be fair to say that Nicole knows our Just Right blends better than anyone else. As a product specialist, Nicole works closely with our nutritionist, Chris, and our company-owned manufacturing facilities to ensure that our personalized blends deliver the nutrition, quality, structure and everything else that they’re designed to deliver. Nicole and her husband are the owners of two cats, Buoy and Rudder, who know without a doubt that the world revolves around them.
Daniel has spent the last 13 years of his career overseeing plant operations and guaranteeing the safety of every product. Daniel’s been with the Just Right team from the beginning and even witnessed the first ever bag of Just Right coming off the line. His passion for quality dog food and food safety is inspired by his German Shepherd mix, Missy, who he says is like one of his children. Missy is extremely smart, intuitive and eager to please, and every moment they spend together is a cherished one.
For most of us, Cyndy has our dream job: she’s spent the last 37 years at Purina surrounded by dogs. Heavily involved in our puppy and adult socialization, enrichment and training programs, Cyndy also manages the pet adoption program and loves finding Purina dogs great homes. She’s provided her expert advice on dog behavior and training for several Just Right articles too. With four dogs at home and several “granddogs” who come to visit, Cyndy knows how unique each dog’s personality and preferences are. When it comes to Just Right, she says that she loves the freedom of being able to have a say in her dog’s diet based on their differing nutritional preferences.
Monique attended California State University for both undergraduate and graduate school and studied Agricultural Education and Animal Science. With 16 years at Purina under her belt, Monique’s day-to-day involves applying her technical knowledge to the claims we make, ensuring that we’re in line with federal and state standards and overseeing the communications you see from us. She helps to make sure that our writers are accurate when translating the science into infographics, blogs, etc., and that nothing comes across as misleading. Beyond the somewhat standard processes of regulatory, Monique brings a unique perspective to Team Just Right. Monique is an animal lover of all sizes and has a soft spot for “discarded dogs” – mostly pit bulls (“pibbles”) and hounds. She’ll take them in, feed them, spay or neuter, and work to find them forever homes. She says that these dogs always have a sense of gratefulness about them; they know they dodged a bad thing. Monique’s latest project is a cross-country ride on her horse along the Oregon Trail to raise money and awareness for veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Ashley lives and breathes all things dog. And that’s a wonderful thing, because it means she always has the perspective of our dog owners at the top of her mind. As our customer engagement specialist, any questions, comments or concerns sent in from customer service go directly through her. But Ashley does more than have all the answers – every day, she looks for new ways to go above and beyond for our dog owners. Ashley's best friends, Bow, an American Bulldog, and Georgia, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, go everywhere with her – and couldn't be more different. Bow lives up to her bulldog stereotypes: she's stubborn, snorty, slobbery and very smart. Georgia, on the other hand, is the delicate flower of the group and absolutely lives for cuddles. Both of Ashley's dogs have being doing great on their own Just Right blends. Ashley says that she loves the feeling that she's making the best choice for them that she can, always with their individual nutritional needs in mind.
With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Katie quickly made it her mission to decode the science behind dog food through blog posts, infographics and interviews with the experts. Dog owners deserve to know what’s going in their dog’s food, and though nutrition is extremely complicated, it shouldn’t be a mystery. Katie considers herself extremely fortunate to be surrounded by so many experts walking the halls of Purina, and she believes that it would be a shame not to spread their knowledge to others. Katie began her career with Just Right as the team’s resident cat lady, but now considers herself a dog lover too. Her longhaired calico cat, Roxie, is well known as an attention seeking comedian. If no one pays her attention for longer than a minute, Roxie flops on her back in the middle of the floor, belly up, feet in the air and waits stubbornly until someone – anyone – comes around.