John Sturgess, who operates four upscale Adogo Pet Hotels in the Twin Cities, is consulting nationally with pet-related companies and organizations through his new venture, RetrieveOne Advisors.

Sturgess had more than 20 years of executive experience in the human hotel industry with Carlson Hotels Worldwide and other brands when the lifelong dog lover opened his first Adogo location in 2011.

With Adogo’s growth, Sturgess, who has an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, began getting an increasing number of requests for advice on how to start or expand pet-related business.

That led Sturgess to launch RetrieveOne just over a year ago as a consulting and management company offering services to companies ranging from startups to established businesses. “There aren’t many consultants that have my background. There aren’t any that have my background in this space,” Sturgess said.

The American Pet Products Association estimated total pet expenditures of more than $69 billion in 2017 with more than $6 billion spent on services including boarding. That’s up from nearly $67 billion and $5.8 billion, respectively, in 2016. “Nobody sees it going down because pet ownership is only going up,” Sturgess said.

RetrieveOne can help companies with development, finance and operations, sales and marketing, human resources, loyalty programs and company culture, Sturgess said. He also audits pet-related educational programs and speaks at major industry trade shows. Sturgess’ experience includes working as corporate vice president of development for Carlson Hotels Worldwide and chief development officer of Hunter Hotels.

Q: What’s driving growth in the pet industry?

A: Millennials. They’re into pets as much, if not more, than other generations. When they look for a house they’re looking for a big enough yard for a dog. If a house has a mud room where they could put a little shower for a dog, they’d probably buy that house.


Q: How does RetrieveOne work with clients?

A: Our process is focused on the clients’ needs and development as pet business owners or manager, allowing them to grow their company, achieve their goals and reach sustainable milestones while building a winning culture.


Q: What’s an advantage of working with RetrieveOne?

A: They’re dealing directly with the main partners. A lot of the smaller guys can’t pay the rates of the major consulting companies. They wouldn’t get nearly the value because a major group is going to use a basic model that has nothing to do with the pet industry. We’ll be that much more successful because of our understanding of the industry.