These trends and more will be addressed by a carefully selected faculty including:
Thomas N. Bagamane,
Owner Integrated Pet Solutions,
Moochie & Co.
NexPet Retailer Group and Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals LLC
Jules BensonBVSc MRCVS, Vice-President,
Veterinary Services, Pet Plan
Chief of Operations,
Ceva Animal Health US
Vice President, Sales & Marketing,
Director of Corporate Affairs,
Royal Canin USA
President & CEO,
Fountain Agricounsel, LLC
President & COO,
Marty Glinsky,President, Sedona Pet Products,
Executive Vice President, Chenango Valley Pet Foods
Chairman & CEO,
Vice President of Sales & Marketing,
Vice President Marketing and Information,
Chuck Latham Associates
Connie Packard Kamedulski,
Owner and General Manager,
Animal Fair Pet Shop
Dr. Alexis Nahama,
DVM, Vice President Marketing,
VCA Animal Hospitals
Chairman and CEO,
Bob Vetere,President, American Pet Products Association (APPA)
Jules Benson BVSc MRCVS, Vice-President, Veterinary Services, Pet Plan Originally from Lancashire, England, Dr. Jules Benson joined Petplan in August 2008. He graduated from the University of Liverpool, U.K. with his Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Conservation Medicine (2002) and his veterinary degree (2004). He is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and a member of the Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association. Since coming to the U.S. in 2004, Jules has
Tom Bagamane brings over 25 years of management experience in the areas of consumer product strategic planning, marketing, brand development, manufacturing, retail marketing, sales management, business development and interactive media. He co- founded Integrated Pet Solutions (IPS) in 2006 and subsequently sold it and its robust destination web site, www.seniorpetproducts.com to KONG Veterinary Products, International in 2008. IPS’ mission was to design and manufacture priority products and build community and brands around the challenges that owners face as their precious pets age.
Prior to joining IPS he served as COO of another innovative niche pet products company. Mr. Bagamane also served as Executive Vice President of American Health Sciences (AHS), where he was responsible for developing, implementing and positioning both the AHS corporate and product brands, overseeing its manufacturing and R & D and leading the M & A team. Before his tenure at AHS, Mr. Bagamane served as a senior manager of international business development for direct marketing agencies Frederiksen Television and Williams Worldwide Television. He was also Managing Director of Performance Software Systems and Director of Client Services for Britches of Georgetowne. In his career, Mr. Bagamane has initiated and implemented marketing strategy to launch over 15 consumer brands in every major consumer market in the world. Mr. Bagamane holds an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from George Mason and Oxford Universities.
Albert J. Bell is the Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Moochie & Co., a 12 store chain of specialty retail stores offering “The Coolest Stuff for the Coolest Pets”. Mr. Bell is the former Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of Big Lots, Inc., a Fortune 500 company that grew from 200 stores to more than 1500 stores during his 18 year career.
Mr. Bell is a graduate of Capital University Law School, The Ohio State University, and St. Charles Preparatory High School. He serves on the boards of St. Charles Preparatory School, and the Archie Griffin Scholarship Fund, and is the Co-Chair of the St. Paul Catholic Church capital campaign. Mr. Bell lives in Westerville with his wife of 24 years, two children, and their beloved Shih Tzu, CoCo Puff.
BarryBerman is the president and co-founder of NexPet, a co-op for independent retailers, and Grandma Mae's Country Naturals, a pet food manufacturer. He has served in executive positions for Central Pet and Brinks, and has held executive and entrepreneurial positions in the home furnishings industry. A graduate of Harvard Business School, he has taught marketing at Parsons School of Design.
Brad Butlerserves as Chief of Operations for Ceva Animal Health - USA (Ceva). In this role, he oversees the operations of Ceva’s companion animal business unit within the United States. Ceva manufactures animal health products and currently ranks as the 8th largest animal health company in the world.
Brad’s background includes both animal and human health experience. With over 15 years of experience in animal health, he’s worked for Merck/Merial (manufacturing) andButler Animal Health (distribution). In addition, he served for eight years as the Senior Commercial Director at the American Red Crossin the Biomedical Services division. This variety of experience enabled him to grow Butler Sales Associates, Inc., his family’s business, into a well-positioned company with a comprehensive distribution network within the industry. Ceva took notice, and in 2007 Brad sold Butler Sales Associates to Ceva. The acquisition provided Ceva an established platform to introduce their products into the U.S. market.
Brad was instrumental in Ceva’s recent acquisition of Summit VetPharm, and is currently overseeing the complete integration of both companies into one Ceva in the U.S.
Scott T. Fitzhugh has been with OurPet’s since 2002 and in the role of Vice President of Sales and Marketing since October of 2006. During his current tenure, OurPet’s gross revenue has increased over 300%. Previously, Mr. Fitzhugh had been in a sales capacity with several independent sales brokerage companies, representing a wide variety of known consumer brands. Mr. Fitzhugh received his BS in Business Management from the University of Toledo. OurPet's Company (OTCBB:OPCO) (www.ourpets.com), is a fast growing designer, developer, producer and marketer of accessory and consumable pet products.
Bob Fountain began his 30 year animal health industry career with Merck & Company's Merck AgVet Division (now Merial Ltd.) where he had responsibility for the Australian animal health business. Later he was responsible for international business development and was located at Merck AgVet's New Jersey, USA headquarters. He then moved to Pfizer Inc. with management responsibility for Pfizer's animal health business in Japan and Asia, based from Hong Kong. He then moved to Nairobi, Kenya and managed Pfizer's animal health business for Africa and Middle East business. His last assignment at Pfizer Animal Health was in New York as Vice President of Marketing for the USA business. He founded Fountain Agricounsel in 1992 and went into partnership with Dr. Duane Thurman as Fountain Agricounsel, LLC in 1996. He resides in Stonington, CT, USA. Bob has a B.A. Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. Degree from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He was on the rowing team that won the National Championships in 1967, 1968, and 1969. He represented the USA several times. He is an avid sailor and cruises to Maine every year. He also does photographic trips with National Geographic - with recent assignments in Alaska, Baja Mexico, and the Galpagos (2x).
Darlene Frudakis, President & COO of PetAg, is a pioneer in the pet industry and has specialized in the development and invention of products devoted to enhancing and improving pet health. She was one of the first women to enter the previously male dominated pet product manufacturing industry, and her career successes and company achievements have been profiled in top pet industry trade publications. Frudakis’ established role as an expert in pet product development has led to numerous news features in which she shares her knowledge with consumers, vets or retailers. Her senior pet health and nutrition message has resulted in both consumer and trade stories, including placement in national magazines such as Family Circle, on national and regional radio stations, and on internet-based radio and TV programs. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles written by the Associated Press and trade publications such as Pet Business/Pet Aisle Grocery Headquarters Pet Product News Veterinary Product News
Frudakis jumped into the pet product manufacturing arena in 1982 when she recognized a need for all natural, high-quality rawhide products for dogs. With the backing of her father and uncle, she developed Rawhide Brand Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of rawhide chews that began the trend of creating healthy rawhide chews that were chemical- and preservative-free, and made in the USA. Her company was one of the first to add flavoring to rawhide for dogs, and she redefined the product by inventing the Round Safety-Knot™ chew.
In 1991, she and her backers sold Rawhide Brand, Inc. to PetAg, Inc. which soon became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Milk Specialties. Coinciding with that sale, she joined PetAg as vice president of the rawhide division. She quickly advanced to vice president of sales and marketing, supporting all PetAg product categories. By 1995, she was named president and chief operating officer. Under her leadership, PetAg soon expanded its offerings to include the bird category by acquiring the Pink Parrot brand of bird toys and treats.
Her visionary leadership for the new product development team has helped introduce many new pet product inventions, from a new category of pet health and wellness supplements that deliver nutrients to pets through a palatable gel, to a line of senior pet care products positioning PetAg as the leaders in senior pet nutrition. Additionally, at PetAg she secured patents for Chunky Chews’ product Round-Safety Knot form, the application of glucosamine and all other nutraceuticals onto rawhide chews, and the marinade process of injecting nutrients and flavor into a rawhide chew.
In 1999, she purchased PetAg from Milk Specialties with business partners, George and Sallie Gill. Since Frudakis joined PetAg, the company has more than doubled revenues in the pet nutrition category. With new product developments and introductions, such as DogSlim weight management products and supplements, and DogSure and CatSure, the business will continue to thrive by doing what they do best – providing the highest quality health and wellness products to enhance and prolong the lives of pets worldwide.
Frudakis holds a degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Elmhurst College and currently lives in Marin County, California with her husband and her 14 year-old cat, Lucky. Her son, a futures trader and TV producer, lives in Chicago, IL while her daughter is a freshman at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
Dr. Martin Glinsky has been developing, formulating, manufacturing and marketing pet food and pet supplies for over 35 years. He started his own private label pet food manufacturing company in 1980 after receiving his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois. He has been intimately involved with many of the premium, holistic and organic products currently on the market and is credited with developing the first dry pet food to utilize fresh ingredients. Dr. Glinsky has developed over 300 pet products, ranging from food and treats to supplements and remedies.
A partner in Chenango Valley Pet Foods, Inc., he currently functions as their VP of Technical Services. Dr. Glinsky also has his own company, Sedona Pet Products, Inc., where he develops and markets his own products, as well as operating his own international pet food and supplies consulting firm. He is one of the most respected individuals in the area of pet food and pet product development in the industry today.
Michael Johnson, VP of Marketing & Information for Chuck Latham Associates, has specialized in CPG Marketing, Category Management, Business Intelligence/POS Technology, and Retail Analytics across the Food, Drug, Mass, Wholesale, and Pet Specialty Channels for 15 years. A consumer insights specialist, Michael has conducted a number of deep-dive consumer research studies at CLA to help retailers, vendors, and marketers better understand shopper attitudes and behaviors. Michael is a keen industry observer, and a huge proponent of better marketing and selling through directional/targeted insight.
Bob Grieve, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Heska Corporation earned BS and MS degrees from the University of Wyoming and a PhD from the University of Florida. His early career was in academics with faculty positions in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin and Colorado State University. Beginning in 1994 Bob became a full-time employee of Heska, and has worked as Chief Executive Officer since 1999. During his tenure as CEO, he has led a team that has worked to transition the company from an intensely R&D focused enterprise to a company that is cash-flow self-sufficient, primarily by focusing on advanced diagnostic products and specialty product solutions. Bob shares a rural property in Northern Colorado with numerous dogs, cats and horses.
Ruth Jeffers, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Jefferspet.com, has been involved with direct marketing since the age of 11 when she took the data from her fathers index cards and used pushpins to identify where customers were located. With over thirty years of direct marketing she has moved from pushpins to the latest technology.
Ruth Jeffers is Vice-President of Keith Jefffers inc. She serves as Vice-President of the World Pet Association, and is on the board of the Pet Industry Advisory Council (PIJAC). Ruth has a great passion for sales and marketing. Jefferspet.com has grown from her passion for animals and her passion for selling. Jeffers continues to exceed industry standards with response rates to direct mail pieces, surveys, and emails. Ruth frequently speaks to organizations, and corporations about her experience in the areas of positioning and direct response. Jefferspet.com has been ranked every year in the low 300's by Internet Retailer of the top 500 performing sites on the Internet.
A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Carlotta Mast, Editor-in-Chief, New Hope 360.com, has 15 years of business and health writing experience. For nearly three years, Carlotta led the editorial direction for Nutrition Business Journal, the leading market research and business journal for today’s nutrition and natural product industry executives. Prior to joining NBJ, she was a senior research analyst with The Kelsey Group and a long-time contributor to Delicious Living magazine and other health publications. Carlotta also was a content editor at Pets.com during the dot-com heyday of the late 1990s.
Carlotta is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences, including the NBJ Summit, Natural Products Expo West, the NutriCosmetic Summit and SupplySide West. She has been interviewed about pet and nutrition industry trends, regulatory issues and market performance by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, ABC News and others.
Alexis Nahama is currently Vice President of Marketing for VCA Animal Hospitals, a public company that owns and operates about 500 veterinary hospitals across the United States. He is a 1995 graduate from the Maisons-Alfort Veterinary School (Paris, France). His broad career experience includes pharmaceutical research & development, as well as 13 years marketing global animal health product and services. His current focus is to improve veterinary hospitals revenue and profitability, through the optimization of client value.
In addition to his corporate responsibilities, he also serves as executive secretary for the Catalyst council (a not for profit corporation dedicated to improving the level of care given to cats)
After receiving a BS in Agriculture Economics from Texas A&M, Vince Palasota went to work for Pfizer Animal Health in 1989 and received an MBA in marketing and Finance from the University of Nebraska while going to school at night. His 5 year career with AgriLabs prepared him for his current position as CEO of Med Pharmex Animal Health. Vince is an entrepreneur, and an owner in four businesses in the Carrollton, Texas area. Growing businesses and working with young athletes has been his passion over the past 10 years. He and his business partners recently built a Christian orphanage in India for 450 children. Life lessons learned in a small town and in team sports were the foundation of his personal and business successes. Vince’s infectious personality and dynamic attitude on competing in a difficult economy has guided Med Pharmex as a leader in the generic animal health business.
Vince grew up in a small town in Texas (Mexia). He went to college at Texas A&M in hopes of making the Baseball team. When he was cut from the baseball team, he saw an ad in the school newspaper to try out for the 12th Man kamikaze kick-off team in 1986. With his never say die attitude, he defied many odds to become a three year member of the team.
In 1979 Chip Sammons, Owner of Holistic Pet Center, lost his beloved Boxer, Buster, to cancer at age 4 and a half. His mission since then has been to determine which pet food ingredients might cause cancer in dogs and cats, and then in 1988 to open a health food store for dogs and cats that only carried healthy ingredients for all foods and treats.
Though he's taken canine and feline nutritional classes from Cornell University, Colorado State University, Pet Industry Advisory Council, and many other places, as well as visiting pet food manufacturing plants across North America, Chip continues to research and work directly with customers and breeders "on the front line" at the Holistic Pet Center on a daily basis.
In the course of serving the public by sharing great nutritional information in his store and on his weekly live radio program, Chip co-founded "Friends Involved in Dog Outreach (FIDO)” which supports the Clackamas Dog Shelter, delivers Ani-Meals to homebound seniors along with their Meals on Wheels, and gives dog and cat food away once a month at the FIDO Food Bank
Robert L. Vetere is president of the American Pet Product Association. As the Association’s chief spokesperson, he has written for publications including Pet Business and Pet Product News and appeared on such television shows as CNBC, CNNFN World News Tonight. He has been quoted in various publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.
Before joining APPA, Bob served as senior vice president, administration, general counsel and secretary at Oil-Dri Corporation of America, a publicly traded $175 million international developer, manufacturer and marketer of brand name and private label products for pets, fluids purification and agriculture. Prior to his position at Oil-Dri, Bob spent 25 years at First Brands Corporation, a $1.2 billion publicly traded manufacturer and marketer of consumer products, including GLAD Wrap and Bags, Prestone Anti-Freeze, Scoop Away and Jonny Cat Pet Litter.
Bob earned a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall School of Law, an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a B.S. in Management Science, also from R.P.I. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association and the American Society of Association Executives.
Terry zelen, Interactive Manager, Fetching Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned creative director with more than 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing. A technology evangelist, Terry produces cutting edge work that combines strategic branding with functional, easy-to-use design. Terry's talent also shines in his print work, having received numerous accolades from the American Advertising Federation for his depth and breadth of work for clients throughout the United States.