Straight from the Source

Five key presenters discuss what they will be talking about at the Pet Industry's Top2Top Conference, and why retailers should make a point of attending.




Cathy Calliotte




Pet retailers are invited to join the conversation that will impact the future of their businesses and the pet industry for years to come at the Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference in Amelia Island, Fla., on April 23-24. From key trends among the newest generation of pet owners and the future of product marketing to using business expertise to affect legislative change, the conference provides information retailers need.

The strength of this year’s program lies with the Top2Top Conference’s presenters—experts in their fields who have focused on key topics exclusively for this event. Who better than these experts to explain what retailers will be missing if they are not in attendance?

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Transportation Norman Mineta, the conference keynote, will offer examples as to how business executives can ensure their views are properly represented in the government decision-making process:

“During my many years in public service and in private enterprise, one important lesson I learned was the value of public-private partnership. Too many business executives think of government as only an agent that creates unwarranted business regulations. Too many government officials view business with suspicion. Neither outlook solves real issues. I hope I can answer inquiries as to how we can put aside these differences to foster business growth that will contribute to our overall economy.”

Lisa Camooso Miller, former director of communications for the National Republican Committee and numerous national trade associations, will provide her unique perspective on the effective use of public relations to enhance corporate branding:

“The pet industry has a built-in advantage that enables it to generate positive public relations. Virtually no other industry has this capability. But pet businesses across the country could be doing so much more to capitalize, literally driving media coverage at will. I look forward to sharing my outlook on how successful brands utilize media relations strategies to increase recognition and, ultimately, sales.”

Sam Geduldig, former senior advisor to Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, will illustrate how to apply your business acumen and successes to solve government challenges that could harm your business:

“When it comes to addressing government concerns some our best business talent fails to apply the very business skills that made them successful. Engaging with elected officials the right way is as important as almost any other business function. Whether we like it or not, federal, state and local governments will always have their say about how your business goes about its business. During my presentation I will provide examples of how to better apply your business skills to deal with elected officials to produce the results you want.”

Nathan Richter will explore the key trends of the Millennial generation and provide research on this important market segment:

“Wakefield Research will present new data on the mindset of today’s Gen Y pet owners. Our research finds striking generational differences in what motivates people to get a pet, and how they feel about and treat their pets. Though Gen Y’s current purchasing power is less compared to older, wealthier pet parents, they are the future. We’ll reveal what industry leaders need to know now about the latest generation of pet owners.”

Drawing from experience gained during 15 years in elected office, including a decade on the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman Dennis Cardoza’s session will focus on industry involvement in legislative issues affecting the pet industry:

“I will address the need to get organized and to have the whole industry get involved in the issues that matter to the future of pet ownership and the supply of pets, issues of great importance to companies involved in the pet space as well as pet owners. I will cite examples of industries that failed to rally to various calls to action and failed to get involved in the political process—and the devastating results that flowed from inaction. It is my hope to shape the notion that pet companies need to get politically involved in order to maintain relevance in issues that could impact profitability and the supply of pets for families to love and care for.”

In addition to these compelling sessions, networking events will allow executives to build new business relationships and strengthen existing ones. With 98 percent of previous attendees finding the conference valuable and 89 percent saying the Top2Top Conference will directly impact their business, can you afford not to attend?

Cathy Calliotte is vice president of marketing and communications for the Washington, D.C.–based Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. For more information, or to register for the Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference, visit

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