March 24, 2016

American Pet Products Association (APPA) Chairman of the Board and President of Exclusively Pet, Inc., Bob Merar announced that Bob Vetere, president and CEO of APPA, was honored with the Rolf C. Hagen Hall of Fame Award during the Pet Industry Breakfast at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida.

Vetere has been at the helm of APPA for 14 years where he has played an integral role in expanding the Association’s offerings and growing membership from 668 in 2002 to more than 1,200 today. Among his accomplishments, Vetere was instrumental in combining what used to be known as the APPMA Show with the Pet Industry Distributors Association’s (PIDA) PETS Show to form what is now the world’s largest annual pet products tradeshow, Global Pet Expo, recently named “Trade Show Executive’s” Greatest Show on Earth.

“On behalf of the APPA Board of Directors, we are tremendously proud to be honoring Bob at a critical time for our industry,” Merar said. “His efforts are far reaching beyond what he has done to grow and strengthen APPA. He has crossed some tough lines in an impressive effort to get the industry working together, speaking with one voice. Bob’s accomplishments in the pet industry are truly remarkable and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for us as he continues as one of the preeminent leaders in our industry.”

Under Vetere’s leadership, numerous organizations and initiatives have been created including the Pet Leadership Council (PLC). The PLC is composed of pet industry leaders that have joined forces to unite and advance the industry. This effort has also strengthened industry relations with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). He also led the charge to form the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), an organization that gathers and funds the most extensive research on the benefits of pet ownership on human health, and launched Pets Add Life (PAL), a national social media campaign that serves to promote and grow responsible pet ownership.

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