Press release: Pet Care Trust
The Pet Care Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes public understanding of the joys and benefits of pets through education, support and interaction, is pleased to announce the addition of three pet industry veterans to its Board of Trustees: Greg Costanzo, DVM, of PetSmart, holding the at-large seat; Tommy Baroody of Nestlé Purina as the American Pet Products Association (APPA) representative; and Kevin Kurz of Central Pet Distribution as the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) representative. The Board of the Pet Care Trust also underwent changes last year, with the addition of Clancy Lavins of Animal Supply Company as the newly elected president, Chris Clevers of Hikari, Inc. as vice president and Rand Kollman of Koller Craft as secretary-treasurer.
A graduate of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and an avian practice specialist, Dr. Greg Costanzo is responsible for managing pet health, quality and public health aspects related to the birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians available for sale at more than 1,650 PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Canada. From managing vendor relationships to overseeing the medical care provided for PetSmart-owned animals, Dr. Costanzo strives to improve overall pet health and the specialty division’s financial success. He earned his residency in avian practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) and previously served as an associate veterinarian at Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS), one of the world’s busiest and most advanced exotic animal-exclusive veterinary hospitals.
Tommy Baroody, the Pet Care Trust’s new APPA representative, currently serves at the vice president and managing director of Nestlé Purina’s U.S. Pet Specialty Division. A graduate of North Carolina State University, he started his pet industry career in 1996 at Ralston Purina, where he has since held various management positions. Baroody has also served in leadership positions across multiple industry and community boards.
The Pet Care Trust’s new PIDA representative, Kevin Kurz, currently serves as the vice president of Vendor Relations for Central Pet Distribution. He has spent the past seven years of his 15-year career in the pet industry with Central Pet Distribution, leading Category Management and Vendor Relations. Previously, he served as the director of Procurement at Royal Pet Supplies.
The Pet Care Trust is currently led by president Clancy Lavins of Animal Supply, who assumed the role from Michael Lasky of Schiaffino, Lasky & Associates, Inc. Lasky now serves on the Board of Trustees. Additionally in 2019, Chris Clevers of Hikari succeeded Clancy Lavins as vice president. Rand Kollman of Kollcraft was elected treasurer.
In 2011, the Pet Care Trust established Pets in the Classroom, an educational grant program that provides financial support to pre-kindergarten through 9th-grade teachers for the purchase and care of small classroom pets. The program’s mission is to allow school-aged children throughout the U.S. and Canada to experience the many benefits of interacting with pets. Studies have linked classroom pets to a wide variety of educational, emotional and developmental benefits for students, including improved school attendance, higher self-esteem, stronger empathy and nurturing instincts, and a heightened sense of responsibility. Since the program’s inception, more than 164,000 grants have been awarded, impacting an estimated 6.5 million students.