WPA Honors Bill Chappell with New Retailer Lifetime Achievement Award
WPA board member Mike Lasky, award winner Bill Chappell, WPA board member Vic Mason and WPA president Jacinthe Moreau
World Pet Association (WPA), the organizer of SuperZoo, recognized Bill Chappell of Bill’s Wonderland of Pets in Magnolia, N.J., awarding him the inaugural WPA Pet Retailer Lifetime Achievement Award during a presentation held in the New Product Showcase area on the show floor Tuesday, Aug. 20, following the Pet Product News Retailer of the Year Awards ceremony. Chappell was selected for his lifetime dedication to pets and their people, according to WPA officials.
Chappell created Bill’s Wonderland of Pets in 1968 as a starter store in a strip mall, primarily selling fish. It has since moved to a freestanding 75,000-square-foot destination, where he sells fish and reptiles.
“Bill Chappell has been an influential figure in this region for over 50 years,” said Jennifer Hamilton, his sales representative from Pet Food Experts. “Over the last half century, Bill has been a teacher and a guide to nearly every representative and partner that has walked through his doors. Many of the major players in this region have grown up knowing Bill as a constant source of information and a steady example of how to build a successful store and brand.
“The time within which Bill’s store has prospered has not been easy for small-business owners,” Hamilton said. “Pressures from large-format retail, and now online commerce, have made it more difficult for the small-business owner to survive. However, it is within this climate that Bill has not only survived, but has prospered and grown a successful brand that has adapted to the times.”
Chappell attends all major industry trade shows and industry events. He supports and partners with all worthwhile charities in his local communities and serves on a number of pet company advisory panels, WPA officials said.
“I have been in the pet industry close to 40 years and have had the opportunity to personally learn and benefit from Bill’s insight and wisdom,” said Mike Lasky of SLA Brands, who is also a WPA board member. “He is the perfect first recipient of the WPA Pet Retailer Lifetime Achievement Award.”