Small Business Spotlight- Pet Paradise

Michelle Wilkerson, Resort Manager of Pet Paradise Gainesville

1. Tell us about your business; and what is your business philosophy?
Pet Paradise is committed to being a Safe, Clean and Fun place for your pets. We want to be the place your pet enjoys coming to when you leave town or are even just busy at work. All of our employees are animal lovers and most have pets of their own, so we know what it’s like to leave your pet for any period of time. It’s a lot of hard work taking care of people’s furry little loved ones, but it’s one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had.

2. Why are you passionate about your commitment to United Way’s Community Investment Fund?
I’m so excited to be a part of United Way’s Small Business Partners because you get to see where the donated time and money goes back into our community. As a company we are all about giving back to the community and this way there’s no doubt that it is put to good use.

3. What is something interesting or surprising that most people don’t know about you?
I have a passion for exotic animals and want to work with African animals like rhinos and giraffes. I went through the zoo program at Santa Fe College and dream of working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom someday.

4. What would your older self tell your younger self?
Well, I still have a lot to learn, and I’m sure I will probably tell myself something totally different when I’m older. I think I would tell myself to just remember to breathe, everything will pass.

5. Favorite quote?
“I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her.” –Kaci Diane

Small businesses play a critical role in maintaining a thriving local economy. They are no less important to the success of United Way, as we endeavor to improve lives through our work in education, income, and health. Our Small Business Partners are an important, growing family of donors, who are vital to helping us meet the needs of our community.


To learn more about how you and your business can support United Way, contact Chris Wells at or (352) 316-0666.