Celebrating the Pet Industry's Most Important Organizations
There’s nothing like a milestone anniversary to give us some perspective on the passage of time and the important role that certain people and organizations play in our lives.
That is certainly the case as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) and the 60th anniversary of the American Pet Products Association (APPA). These two organizations, probably more than any others, have been vital to the success of all of us in the pet industry, and I am honored to have the opportunity to thank and congratulate them both with a one-of-a-kind commemorative publication.
To tell the history of APPA and PIDA is to tell the history of the pet care market overall. Both of these organizations have been around since the beginning, helping to shape an industry that has evolved into a nearly $70-billion juggernaut by stringing together multiple decades of enviable growth.
They’ve done this in ways almost too numerous to count—by creating the industry’s largest and most important trade show, Global Pet Expo; by constantly improving communication and performance up and down the supply chain; by developing key programs to promote and secure the future of the very idea of pet ownership, like Pets in the Classroom and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute.
But looking at the hand that APPA and PIDA have had in our success from a purely organizational perspective misses the point of the story of these two industry pillars. It is, in fact, the people behind the acronyms that have always made all the difference. Both organizations are full of folks who have a genuine affection for and work tirelessly to benefit everyone in the pet world, and that starts at the top. You would be hard-pressed to find two industry figures with a more generous spirit than APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere and PIDA President Steve King, and their influence is reflected throughout their respective organizations.
I have personally been lucky enough to work quite closely with Bob, Steve and their staff for the past 15 years, and that experience has made it impossible for me to look at them simply as colleagues. They are friends, in the truest sense of the word—not just to me, but to everyone who is lucky enough to work in the pet industry. So please join me in honoring both organizations for their longevity and, more importantly, their valuable contributions to all of our success.
Thank you for everything, APPA and PIDA. Here’s wishing you both a happy birthday, with many more in the years to come.