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Rolf C. Hagen Hall of Fame Award Goes to APPA’s Vetere


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Bob Vetere, recipient of the 2016 Rolf C. Hagen Hall of Fame Award

Bob Vetere, president and CEO of Greenwich, Conn.-based American Pet Products Association (APPA), was named the recipient of the Rolf C. Hagen Hall of Fame Award for 2016 during Global Pet Expo, held March 16-18 in Orlando, Fla.

Since becoming the leader of the pet industry’s largest trade organization in October 2002, Vetere’s mission has been to encourage and facilitate cooperation among all sectors of the pet industry to ensure its continued success. The man behind what Trade Show Executive magazine has dubbed the Greatest Show on Earth has been instrumental in creating the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative, which funds research exploring the benefits of pet ownership, Pets Add Life, a social media campaign designed to promote responsible ownership and, most recently, the Pet Leadership Council, a coalition of industry influencers acting as one to reinforce a singular voice behind a $60.28 billion industry.

Vetere also is the author of “From Wags to Riches: How Dogs Teach Us to Succeed in Business & Life” and sits on the board of directors for Green Chimneys, a Brewster, N.Y-based nonprofit that provides animal-assisted therapy for special needs children, as well as for Denver-based Morris Aninal Foundation.

Prior to becoming president and CEO of APPA, Vetere was the director of government relations for First Brands Corp. for 13 years and senior vice president and general counselor for Oil-Dri Corp. of America for four years, and began his career as an industrial engineer for Union Carbide Corp.

Vetere holds a B.S. in Management Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.B.A. in marketing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - The Lally School of Management and Technology and a Juris Doctor in business law from Seton Hall University School of Law. He is a member of the American, Connecticut and New Jersey bar associations, as well as the American Society of Association Executives.

The Hall of Fame award is named for Rolf C. Hagen, the man behind one of the world’s largest family-owned pet product manufacturers and distributors. In June 1999, Hagen received the APPA’s Hall of Fame Award (which was named after him after his death in October 2011), and in March 2004, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pet Industry Distributors Association in recognition for innovative design of pet products and for his support of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the lives of both pets and people.

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