American Pet Products Association (APPA) Board Approves Formation of New Pet Leadership Council

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New Council to Consist of Company and Organization Leaders From all Pet Industry Sectors Working Together to Advance the Industry

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“This is a tremendous advancement for the industry and has taken a lot of work to get here,” said APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere.

American Pet Products Association (APPA) President and CEO Bob Vetere announced today that APPA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to form what is to be known as the Pet Leadership Council. The Pet Leadership Council will consist 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,” said APPA Board Chairman Jim Heim.

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. Its 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. Under the previous structure, issues have all been initiated or addressed independently by individual companies and organizations,” said Petco President Jim Myers.

“This will now give us a big picture view and better understanding of how to work together.”
“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,” said PetSmart Executive Vice President Joe O’Leary.

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,” said APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere. “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 member (non-voting) 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.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers, representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit for more information.

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Jamie Baxter
American Pet Products Association
(775) 322-4022
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