Future in Focus
By Cathy Calliotte
Published: November 1, 2012
The second-annual Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference will offer a variety of sessions that focus on ensuring the continued success of the pet care industry.



Industry leaders from across the nation will be attending the 2013 Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference, which will be held at the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, Calif., April 23-25, 2013. With meaningful sessions that focus on the state of the industry, economic trends and forecasting, and the changing demographics of human and pet populations, this must-attend event is for anyone invested in the future of the pet industry.

“We are proud to partner with leading retailers, manufacturers and distributors to bring this event to the industry,” stated Mike Canning, president & CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), which is organizing the event. “With top experts discussing the issues that face the pet industry today, this conference provides the opportunity our industry needs to set the course for the future.”

Here’s a look at the 2013 agenda:


April 23, 2013

Welcome Blues Jam—This premier networking event for leaders in the pet industry will be hosted in the wine caves of the Meritage Resort & Spa. Attendees will have a chance to join colleagues for good food, conversation and live music.


April 24, 2013

State of the Industry & Town Hall Meeting—
In this session, industry leaders will discuss the state of the industry from a variety of perspectives. An open forum discussion will allow for multiple viewpoints on what keeps industry leaders up at night and the latest issues since last year’s Top2Top Conference. Attendees should come prepared to discuss the industry issues that matter most to their business.

Keynote Address: The Dynamic Impact of Macro-Economic Trends on the Pet Industry—Dr. Edmond Seifried will combine economic trends and forecasts with valuable industry insights to discuss how events in the macro-economic sector will affect the pet industry. A frequent speaker, Dr. Seifried has delivered more than 2,500 economic presentations throughout the United States and abroad.  

The AVMA Pet Demographic Study: Population Trends and the Industry—
Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), will present the results of the latest AVMA survey, which has provided important trends for nearly 30 years. The results serve as a valuable resource to help measure and track trends in pet ownership and pet related issues, pet populations and veterinary expenditures.

Golf Tournament at the Chardonnay Golf Club—Spanning more than 150 acres of vineyards and lakes, the Chardonnay Golf Club offers a unique blend of golf holes for players of all skill levels and is the premier course in the bay area.

Bowling Tournament at the Meritage Resort & Spa—Not up for golf? Partner with colleagues and friends at the highly competitive bowling tournament at the resort’s hip new bowling alley.


April 25, 2013

The Future of Pets in Pet Stores—With a plethora of dog, cat and rabbit retail sale bans confronting the nation, what does the future hold for pet stores selling live animals? Will retailers be able to sell goldfish and hamsters in the future? If pet stores can no longer sell pets, will pet populations decline (and therefore the need for pet food and pet products)? This lively panel discussion will answers these and other questions.

Legislation and the Pet Industry—Legislation affects pet businesses every day, from restrictions on pet ownership to bans on the sale of certain pets. This brief discussion will illustrate the need for industry participation in protecting our industry and will underscore the need to communicate the industry’s contribution to American life.

The Opportunities of Shifting Demographics and Pet Preferences—Future trends in the pet industry including shifts in demographics, lifestyles, economics and technology affect all businesses. Illustrating how these trends affect the industry, Michael Johnson, vice president of marketing and information for Chuck Latham Associates, will share ways to prepare for these new business opportunities.

Government Panel on Legislative Issue—
A panel of government agency officials will provide overviews of major government initiatives that will affect the pet industry. This panel discussion will provide the information business owners need about legislation affecting their businesses.

Topic Roundtables—Industry leaders will discuss important topics facing the industry today. These roundtable discussions will offer ways to connect with the industry and devise solutions for common goals and issues. Prior to the conference, a brief survey of topic ideas will be sent to all participants to vote on the topics that matter most. 

Closing Session—This facilitated closing session will highlight the topic roundtable discussions with a focus on moving the industry forward. One presenter from each roundtable will give a five-minute overview of ideas generated during the discussion. An open forum discussion will follow to create action items for moving the industry forward.

Wine Tasting—Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and wine from Trinitas Cellars.


Cathy Calliotte is vice president of marketing and communications for the Washington, D.C.–based Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. PIJAC provides its members a voice in state and national legislative issues through advocacy and timely information regarding upcoming policy issues that affect the pet industry, pet owners and the animals they care for.