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Stephanie Kaplan, Director of Online Education at PIDA, Dies


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Stephanie Kaplan, the long-time director of online education at the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), passed away suddenly on Oct. 4.

Kaplan led the creation and ongoing development of Pet Store Pro, the free online training program for pet retailers. For more than 12 years, her leadership and dedication drove the success of this program from a concept born in the mid 2000s, to a program supporting more than 6,800 independent retailers and nearly 35,000 individual users in 2019, PIDA officials reported.

“The pet industry and the Pet Industry Distributor’s Association have lost a friend and supporter," said Jeff Boyd, PIDA Chairman. "I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with Stephanie over the last six years on Pet Store Pro and will really miss her ability to manage projects, her comforting smile and her witty comments.”

Steve King, APPA CEO and former president of PIDA explained Kaplan's influence on the development of Pet Store Pro.

“Stephanie Kaplan was the creative genius behind Pet Store Pro,” King said. “From the program’s inception, she was instrumental in developing the content, designing the training site, overseeing the marketing and generally ensuring that Pet Store Pro met the highest standards of professionalism. She was brilliant, tenacious and dedicated. She was also a good friend who will be terribly missed.”

PIDA president Celeste Powers, added, “Stephanie’s legacy transcends the online training program she helped create. She was a unique personality whose infectious laugh and kindness will be missed very much by all of us who knew and loved her.”

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