With longtime World Pet Association (WPA) President Doug Poindexter having retired, WPA has welcomed a new president, Jacinthe Moreau, to the team. In her new role, Moreau will lead WPA in continuing to strengthen the pet industry by providing resources and education to suppliers, retailers and pet owners.
Moreau has worked in the animal health industry her whole life, most recently with VCA Animal Hospitals. According to Moreau, animals and pets are her passion and the reason to wake up in the morning and go to work.
“I certainly want to help create a better world and better life for pets, and that’s exactly WPA’s mission is to bring the pet world together through quality interaction and education through suppliers, retailers and pet owners,” she said during a telephone conference in November. “We just want to create a strong, long-lasting bond between pets and their humans. When we accomplish that, the result is a vibrant pet industry, which is something I want to accomplish.”
To do that, Moreau will work with the WPA board and industry leaders in coming up with solutions to address the challenges the changing times bring, especially when it comes to online competition.
“We’re thinking about online or the trends that are being pushed by millennials, so I think we’ll need to be on the edge of trends of technology and be a better advisor to our retailers,” Moreau said. “We’re still trying to find what more we can bring to our stakeholders. We want to have a sense of renewal, to be on the edge, to be relevant and to really bring value to our stakeholders.”
WPA recently held a strategy planning session with its board and people from the industry where coming up with ways to better support the independent retailer and specialty stores was named the group’s top priority.
“We just want to make sure we are providing more support and tools for them to address the daily challenge they are facing. There will be services that will be built to help them do that. We want to earn their respect and support them in these changing times and challenging times through education, research,” she said. “We will help our members expand their customer base, increase their profitability, maintain a competitive edge in the changing times, but there will be a need for change, and that’s the life of a retailer—nothing new.”
While Moreau couldn’t pinpoint specific steps WPA will take to reach this goal, she did say that WPA will “educate on demographic, on trends, on how to better anticipate the needs of their clients—maybe through experiential marketing, same-day delivery.” More details will emerge over the next few months, she said.