Retailer of the Year, Community Partnership Awards Given at PPN Networking Event
The big highlight of the first day at SuperZoo was the Pet Product News-sponsored networking event at which the Retailer of the Year and Community Partnership Award were presented.
PPN Editor in Chief Ellyce Rothrock said that while choosing the Retailer of the Year is an often-difficult process, “this year it was easy.”
“TailsSpin embodies the best of small business: offering a carefully curated product selection, educating customers to give pets their best life, giving back through a deep commitment to community, treating staff with generosity and inclusion, and so much more,” Rothrock said.
In 2006 TailsSpin Pet Food and Accessories owners Jusak Yang Bernhard and Jeffrey Allen Manley moved from lucrative entertainment careers in Southern California to Savannah, Ga. They opened their first TailsSpin in 2007 and now the small chain consists of four Georgia-based stores.
Giving back to the community is an important hallmark of any Retailer of the Year recipient and TailsSpin gives back to its local community in spades.
Bernhard and Manley hold regular pet adoptions at all their stores, they partner with local media outlets for “Rescue Me” and “Pet Patrol” segments, they sponsor Bark in the Park at the Savannah baseball stadium, where pet owners can enjoy a ball game with their four-legged friends, they used a local elementary school as a pet food distribution point and help sponsor the TailsSpin Pet Care and Adoption Fair at the school as well, they support the local high school’s veterinary science program, they co-sponsor the annual Woof-Woof 5K Walk/Run Over Pet Cancer and, if all that weren’t enough, Bernhard and Manley sponsor the annual TailsSpin Skyhoundz Canine Disc Championship Qualifier Throwing Competition.
As Rothrock said, it was easy to pick this year’s winner.
Once TailsSpin left the stage, Rothrock was joined on stage by David Yaskulka, vice president of marketing communications for Halo, Purely for Pets, as the 2015 Community Partnership Award was presented to Four Your Paws Only, an independent pet retail store in North Conway, N.H., co-owned by Brian and Kathy Ahearn.
In winning the award, Brian, his wife was unable to attend, won a free trip to SuperZoo as well as 10,000 meals donated by Halo for the Ahearn’s shelter partner, the Conway Area Humane Society, which the Ahearns were instrumental in helping start.
It was a great night and wonderful to see two very deserving independent pet retailers receive the honor they deserve.