New PIJAC President
I had the pleasure of meeting Pamela Stegeman, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's (PIJAC) new president, at Global Pet Expo, and I came away quite impressed. Intelligent and engaging, with a strong background in marketing--including eight years with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)--Pamela seems ideally suited for the task of increasing the profile of organization, growing its membership and ensuring its financial health moving forward.
What most impressed me about Pamela was that she genuinely understands the uphill battle that PIJAC is fighting against animal-rights groups that threaten the rights of pet owners and retailers, and she is determined to help level the playing field. At a board meeting held at Global, she gave an eye-opening presentation that illustrated just how woefully underfunded PIJAC is, compared to some of the higher profile animal-rights groups. Last year, she explained, PIJAC's total revenues were similar to the amount that several of these groups spent on just postage and office supplies alone. You can imagine how difficult it is for the Council to successfully fulfill its mission ( to defend the pet industry against damaging government intervention) under these conditions.
On behalf of the entire Pet Business staff, I welcome Pamela to the pet industry and wish her luck in her new role. More importantly, I urge everyone involved in the pet industry to become a member of PIJAC. Trust me, the cost of joining PIJAC is much less than what it will cost us all if the organization remains underfunded.