(Orlando, FL-March 17, 2016) – American Pet Products Association (APPA) Chairman of the Board and President of Exclusively Pet Inc. Bob Merar announced that Bob Vetere, president and CEO of APPA, was honored with the Rolf C. Hagen Hall of Fame Award today during the Pet Industry Breakfast at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL.
Vetere has been at the helm of APPA for 14 years where he has played an integral role in expanding The Association’s offerings and growing membership from 668 in 2002 to more than 1,200 today. Among his accomplishments, Vetere was instrumental in combining what used to be known as the APPMA Show with the Pet Industry Distributors Association’s (PIDA) PETS Show to form what is now the world’s largest annual pet products tradeshow, Global Pet Expo, recently named Trade Show Executive’s Greatest Show on Earth.
Upon entering the pet industry, Vetere quickly recognized that there was a broader need to get the industry working together for the greater good. Under his leadership, numerous organizations and initiatives have been created including the Pet Leadership Council (PLC). The PLC is comprised of pet industry leaders that have joined forces to unite and advance the industry. This effort has also strengthened industry relations with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). He also led the charge to form the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), an organization that gathers and funds the most extensive research on the benefits of pet ownership on human health, and launched Pets Add Life (PAL), a national social media campaign that serves to promote and grow responsible pet ownership.
“On behalf of the APPA Board of Directors, we are tremendously proud to be honoring Bob at a critical time for our industry,” said Merar. “His efforts are far reaching beyond what he has done to grow and strengthen APPA. He has crossed some tough lines in an impressive effort to get the industry working together, speaking with one voice. Bob’s accomplishments in the pet industry are truly remarkable and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for us as he continues as one of the preeminent leaders in our industry.”
Serving as an industry spokesperson, Vetere has been interviewed by the most prestigious media outlets including CNNFN, ABC’s World News tonight, CNBC, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Vetere authored a book entitled From Wags to Riches: How Dogs Teach Us to Succeed in Business & Life and serves on the Board of Directors for Green Chimneys, an organization providing animal-assisted therapy for children with special needs.
Vetere 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.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,100 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.
Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The 2015 Show featured 1,051 exhibitors, 3,113 booths and more than 3,000 new product launches. Additionally, 6,061 pet product buyers from around the world attended. Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals. The 2016 Show will take place March 16-18, 2016 in Orlando, FL at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, visit www.globalpetexpo.org.