Inspired by an orange tabby named Pumpkin, Celeste Calderon uses her marketing prowess to connect pets with loving homes and bring the PetSmart Charities story to life. "I adopted my first pet, Pumpkin, in college. He stuck with me through late nights of studying and gave me the courage to live independently for the first time.” It was Pumpkin, and the pups that came after him that gave Celeste a passion for pets and led her to seek mission-based work that brings the power of unconditional love to those who need it most.
Celeste leads the team responsible for marketing and communications in the US and Canada. She was most recently the Director of Brand Marketing for PetSmart. Before PetSmart; she was a marketer in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, leading several brands to growth. Her strong marketing background includes leading brand strategy, events, product development, advertising, media, and promotions.
Celeste and her husband, Tyler, have a six-year-old son, Max, and a coonhound, Beaufort, that she adopted at a PetSmart Charities adoption event.
with Celeste Calderon
How has your pet changed your life?
Beau joined our family when my son was two years old. We didn't know that our son had autism at the time, but, being that he was an only child, we felt like he needed help interacting and engaging. I saw Beau, a loving yet scared, anxious and underweight hound, hiding from the crowds at an adoption event. I knew our family could give him the confidence he needed. Today, Beau and my son are SO connected, and they take care of each other. It's great to see them both come out of their shells.
What is a mission moment you will never forget?
The ones that have stood out through the pandemic have been the reunion stories. There was one about Susie, a Maltipoo, whose parents were hospitalized due to COVID, and she hadn't seen them since. The nurses reunited Susie with her dad, and the moment was awe-inspiring. It truly showed the power of the human/animal bond. (see that moment here).
Finish the sentence: You know you work at PetSmart Charities when...
...your coworkers are referred to by their pets' name…"you know, Violet and Churro's mom."
What's one stigma about pet parenting you wish would end?
A priority should be to keep pets and families together during tough times rather than rehoming a pet due to a families’ lack of resources. Just because you fall on tough times does not mean that your pet is better off without you. Let’s shift our mindset to realize how important pets are in our own families and how that love is the same for all pet-loving families regardless of income range or societal norms. Instead, I would love for us to focus on keeping families together, knowing that families are stronger when they are whole and, to us at PetSmart Charities, that includes pets.