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Executives From Across Industry Forming Pet Leadership Council

Posted: March 28, 2013, 5:00 p.m. EDT


The American Pet Products Association announced Wednesday the formation of the Pet Leadership Council, a 20-person panel focused on strengthening the industry.

The council will consist of executives representing retailers, manufacturers, distributors, trade associations, industry organizations and live-animal suppliers.

“By having all sectors of the industry at the same table we'll have the unique perspective necessary on the subjects that matter most to protect this great industry,” said Joe O'Leary, a council member and executive vice president of Phoenix-based Petsmart.

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The APPA forecasts more than $55.5 billion in spending across all segments of the pet industry in 2013.
The group will work to:

• Foster research, development and training.

• Promote a better understanding of the various segments of the industry.

• Address concerns of mutual interest.

• Maintain a liaison between government and the industry.

• Provide joint publicity and public relations for the industry.

“This new organization will [address] all aspects of the industry to protect its greater good and ensure its success as a whole,” said Jim Heim, chairman of the APPA board and president of Central Garden & Pet Co.'s Pet Division.

Also on the panel is Jim Myers, president of San Diego-based Petco.

“There are a lot of great things happening in the industry today as well as some potential challenges," Myers said. “Under the previous structure, issues have all been initiated or addressed independently by individual companies and organizations. This will now give us a big picture view and better understanding of how to work together.”

Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the Greenwich, Conn.-based APPA, will oversee the Pet Leadership Council. The APPA board of directors voted unanimously to create the panel.

“This is a tremendous advancement for the industry and has taken a lot of work to get here,” Vetere said. “It is going to require strong participation, input, time and energy from those leaders with the experience, knowledge and ability to continue to move this industry forward.”

The other council members were not identified.

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