Petland’s 50th anniversary was recently celebrated at the annual Petland Awards Banquet and Trade Show held in Kissimmee, Florida.
Petland, Inc. was the vision of Ed Kunzelman, who took his fishkeeping hobby to the next level by opening a single pet store in Chillicothe, Ohio, on October 21, 1967. The first franchised location opened in Portsmouth in 1972, and the company now has locations across the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, South Africa, Brazil and El Salvador with openings planned in Saudi Arabia by the end of the year.
President and CEO Joe Watson opened the celebratory evening with a salute to Petland’s culture.
“It’s not every day you get a chance to celebrate a 50th anniversary. To make it 50 years… there must be some magic in the mix. Just think about this,” Watson continued. “Less than 20 percent of all companies make it to their 50th anniversary. Petland culture… that’s the magic. It’s a culture of love and compassion. This culture of compassion is on display every day in our stores.”
The Awards presentations followed. The Petland IMPACT Award, highlighting stores that have made significant contributions to their community and the Petland family, was presented to two franchise locations.
“At Petland we impact the lives of people every day around the world, enhancing the human-animal bond,” Petland Director of Operations Jimmy Taylor said. “In fact, we are most proud of the positive impact Petland stores have on their staff, their customers and their community.”
The IMPACT Award was presented to:
Ted Karcher and Kurt Karcher, Petland Norwin, Pennsylvania;
The Marquez Family, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Three seasoned franchisees were also honored with the Distinguished Franchisee Award, which recognizes long-term franchisees who have made a specific impact on the Petland culture. Bill and Sandy Wymard, former operators of Monroeville, Pennsylavnia, and current operators of Aquarium Adventure in Hilliard, Ohio; John and Aggie Rhoades, operators of Petland Ft. Myers, Florida; and Jimmy and Donna Taylor, former franchisees of multiple locations including Sarasota, Florida and Blue Springs, Missouri.
The Store of the Year Award was presented to JR and Jennifer Harper, of Petland Pensacola, Florida (pictured above).
The International Store of the Year Award was presented to Marcio Lacava from Petland Santos, Brazil.
Finally, Presidential Awards are given to outstanding employees in each management department of the Petland store. The 2016 recipients are Holly McFarland, Petland Columbus Carriage Place, Ohio (a three-time winner), Pet Counselor of the Year; Jackie Comas, Petland Jacksonville, Florida, Kennel Manager of the Year; Jenn Sutphen, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Inventory Control Manager of the Year; and Michelle Sliger, Petland Columbus Carriage Place, Manager of the Year.