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WPA Names New Officers


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The World Pet Association (WPA) has elected new officers.

The officers are Michael Twain, chairman; Barry Berman, first vice chairman; Pete Risano, second vice chairman; Vic Mason, CFO; and Troy Firth, secretary.

New board members include B.C. Henschen of Platinum Paws, Michael Lou of Patchwork Pets and Keryn Rod of Puppy Spot.

Lew Sutton, executive vice president of the International Markets Division at PetAg Inc., will be leaving the board. WPA honored Sutton durings its President's Reception at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas before the kick off of the SuperZoo trade show. 

Twain operates three direct import businesses—Amazing Pet Products, One Pet Planet and Pet Specialty Merchandisers—and a web business, PetTrain.com. He has experience in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors.

Twain graduated from Oregon State with a degree in statistics and operations research, and a minor in computer science. His work experience includes selling computer systems to the banking industry with NCR.

Other involvements include the original strategic plan and financing for Banfield Pet Hospitals (more than 1,000 locations inside PetSmart and freestanding), serving as president emeritus of the National Animal Interest Alliance and the Oregon Pet Industry Association, his appointment to the Oregon Wildlife Integrity Task Force, and being a member of the Animal Control Advisory Committee.

Berman is co-founder and president of NexPet Retailer Co-op and of Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Pet Food. He has written a regular column for pet industry trade publications for 14 years, and he currently writes Counter Points for Pet Product News. Berman was formerly president of Kenlin Pet Supply, a distributor subsidiary of Central Garden & Pet Co.

Earlier in his career, he served as general manager at Brinks Inc., and in executive and entrepreneurial positions in the home furnishings and architectural products industries. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Berman has also been an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design. He is active with charitable efforts in support of early childhood literacy initiatives. 

Risano is president of the Pet Life retail chain. He took over the chain—formely a six-store operation called The Kennelshop—rebranded it as Pet Life and grew it to be 17 stores and more than triple the previous sales. 

Previously, he was a district manager of Petco, responsible for growing the business’s market share in Central New Jersey while controlling expenses and maximizing individual store and total district contribution. He also served as corporate general manager for NJ Pets, overseeing every aspect of opening and operating the multistore retail business, and as store manager before that.

Mason is CEO and co-founder of Replenish Pet, a company that makes superior-quality pet food..

Previously, he was director of business development and key accounts at Veterinary Service Inc. (VSI), a large West Coast distributor servicing the animal health industry. Mason was instrumental in growing sales and the customer base during his 20-year tenure (1995 to 2015) serving as sales representative, purchasing manager and director of purchase before becoming the director of business development.

Mason started in the pet industry working at his uncle’s pet store at the age of 15 and worked retail until he founded a distributing company in 1985. Mason also owned a retail pet store before moving to VSI in 1995.

Firth is CEO of Anipet Animal Supplies, a Western Canadian-based distributor of pet food and supplies. Previously, he served as territory manager, Western Canada, for Nutro Products and Lumber Broker servicing the Midwest and Southeast. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and a diploma in technology and international trade from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.    

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