The American Pet Products Association‘s board of directors voted unanimously to form the Pet Leadership Council, consisting of approximately 20 company leaders from all segments of the industry and will focus on strengthening and consolidating key objectives and initiatives to keep the pet industry strong and vibrant.
“This new organization will provide a forum for a broader spectrum of senior-level industry leaders to participate in discussing and addressing all aspects of the industry to protect its greater good and ensure its success as a whole,” Jim Heim, APPA board chairman, said.
The council will consist of mass retailers, pet retailers, non-food manufacturers, pet food/treat manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, trade associations, industry organizations and live animal suppliers. Their goal is to consolidate the involvement and funding for key initiatives needed in order to promote, develop and maintain the advancement of the pet industry.
“There are a lot of great things happening in the industry today as well as some potential challenges,” Jim Myers, president of Petco, said. “Under the previous structure, issues have all been initiated or addressed independently by individual companies and organizations. This will now give us a big picture view and better understanding of how to work together.”
Joe O’Leary, PetSmart executive vice president, added, “by having all sectors of the industry at the same table we’ll have the unique perspective necessary on the subjects that matter most to protect this great industry.”
The Pet Leadership Council will serve to foster research, development and training, promote a better understanding of the various segments of the industry, cooperatively address concerns of mutual interest, maintain a liaison between government and the industry, and provide joint publicity and public relations for the pet industry.
“This is a tremendous advancement for the industry and has taken a lot of work to get here,” Bob Vetere, APPA president and CEO, said. “This truly can take everything to the next level but to meet its full potential, it is going to require strong participation, input, time and energy from those leaders with the experience, knowledge and ability to continue to move this industry forward. I am confident they will step up to the challenge.”
Vetere will oversee the new council as well as serve as a (non-voting) member of APPA’s board of directors. The APPA board of directors will now consist of nine voting members including: new Chairman Jim Heim of Central Garden & Pet; Secretary/Treasurer Robert Merar of General Pet Supply; Michael Farmer of GlobalOne Pet Products; Steve Ware of Ware Manufacturing; Brent Weinmann of Vitakraft Sunseed; Roger Morgan of PawTree LLC; Rodolfo Spielmann of Nutro and the addition of two new members.