The World Pet Association (WPA), the business association that supports the needs of the entire pet community and produces SuperZoo, has welcomed Mike Karsting and Pete Risano to its executive leadership team. Karsting will serve as senior vice president of events, and Risano will step into the role of vice president of membership and partnerships. Both executives have valuable past experience on leadership and executive teams at WPA, officials said.
“We are delighted to have Mike and Pete leading such important and dynamic teams within World Pet Association,” said Vic Mason, president of WPA. “Both have over 25 years of event marketing and pet retail experience and will be incredible assets as WPA continues to grow our organization, the WPA365 platform and our events, including SuperZoo, Atlanta Pet Fair and Conference and America’s Family Pet Expo.”
Karsting’s 25 years of experience include event marketing and management of numerous trade and ticketed events. He spent 18 years with TEN: The Enthusiast Network, where during the last 10 years, he served as vice president of events. In this role, he was responsible for planning, production and execution of shows, which included the EnduroCross event series, Motor Trend International Auto Shows and multiple custom car shows and concerts. Most recently he was the marketing director at MotoAmerica and prior to that at PBR. He also served on the WPA leadership team in 2018.
“Mike is joining us at the perfect time,” Mason added. “As live events return this year, we’re thrilled we can lean into Mike’s vast experience in event marketing and management to ensure WPA events continue to exceed expectations for our pet retail and service communities.”
Risano served as a consultant to WPA during the past year and was a previous board member of the organization from 2010-2018, where he most recently served as second executive vice chair. He has almost three decades of pet retail experience, during which time he successfully grew and transitioned two retail chains to new owners. He founded his own consulting practice beginning in 2018, and in 2020, he was hired by WPA to design and establish a new member services division.
“Pete will hit the ground running at WPA,” Mason said. “We’re thrilled he will stay on to lead the member services division and fulfill the vision he created.”