Andy Faessler, director of national accounts
and training for Canidae, recently became
a certified DiSC trainer. Faessler attended
an onsite training conducted by Cooper
Consulting Group of Yorba Linda, Calif. The
business-building and training session highlighted learning tools used to deliver insights
about workplace relationships and achieve
The company’s growing organizational
needs prompted Canidae to promote
Faessler to his new role. Faessler will be
instrumental as he rolls out the new DiSC
program to all of the Canidae associates.
Canidae will be using Wiley’s DiSC
products for all its training needs. Wiley
is a leading publisher of research-based
Two staff members of the American Pet
Bopp (top) and
have received the
from the International
Association of Exhibitions and Events New
York Chapter (NY
IAEE). The award
and Simonfay for
service as founding
members of the Young Professionals
Committee of the NY IAEE in 2015. They
currently serve as co-
vice-chairs of the committee. At Green-
wich, Conn.-based APPA, Bopp is the
associate manager, booth sales and opera-
tions, and Simonfay is associate manager,
Additionally, Simonfay is a 2015 IAEE
20 Under 30 Honoree. She was recognized at Expo! Expo!, IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition held in Baltimore Dec.
1-3, 2015. The IAEE 20 Under 30 program
affords young professional exhibitions
and events organizers the opportunity
to attend Expo! Expo! and to help further
their education and experience in the
exhibition and events industry.
The J.M. Smucker Co. announced
several executive appointments
by its board of directors.
Effective March, Barry
C. Dunaway will assume the
role of president, Big Heart Pet
Dunaway succeeds David J. West,
who has served as pres-
ident, Big Heart Pet
Food and Snacks,
since joining the
company in March
2015. Dunaway and
West began transitioning responsibilities Jan.
1, 2016. On March 1, West will assume the
role of strategic advisor to the executive
committee. At the conclusion of his employment agreement, on April 30, West will
remain a member of the company’s board
of directors, advising in areas that include
corporate strategy and growth capabilities.
Effective Jan. 1, 2016,
Mark R. Belgya, senior
and CFO, took
that will include the
and industry affairs, information services
and corporate strategy departments.
Belgya has 30 years of experience with the
company, serving in a number of leadership
roles within its finance
and Belgya will
report to CEO
in their new roles.
Vets Plus Inc. of Menomonie, Wis., has
named Dave Wheat as
its national account
to Vets Plus after 10
years as a regional sales manager with
Sergeant’s Pet Care Products Inc., where
he was responsible for generating an
increase of net sales for accounts such as
Publix, Ahold, CVS and BI-LO Winn-
Dixie. His management of promotional
programs, along with account vision and
strategies, allowed for key distribution
in existing and prospect accounts. While
at Helen of Troy LP, Wheat managed 12
broker groups representing the annual
sales of accounts that included Eckerd
Drug, Regis Corp and Kroger. Wheat’s
additional experience in sales includes
Renaissance Cosmetics Inc., Revlon Inc.
and The Quaker Oats Co.
Tommy Xiong has been hired as a product development associate for Menomonie, Wis.-based Vets Plus Inc.
Xiong recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. At UW-Stout,
Xiong took rigorous coursework in biotechnology, biology and chemistry in preparation for a career in biotechnology and research. Xiong participated in an independent
research project for three years, conducting a genetic search for native brook trout populations in Western Wisconsin and an effective population size estimate for Cycleptus
elongatus in the Wisconsin River.
OurPet’s Co., a Fairport Harbor, Ohio, pet supply company, has named
Dean Tsengas as COO. Tsengas will be overseeing operations, global
logistics, quality assurance and product development.
Since the founding of OurPet’s in 1994, Tsengas has held various
engineering, marketing and operational responsibilities as the com-
pany’s vice president. Under his managerial guidance, OurPet’s has
developed extensive supply chain management, sourcing, warehouse
and QA capabilities, the company states.
A Rare Bird Indeed
RONIE WHEELWRIGHT, owner of Ronie’s
for the Love of Birds in Sandy, Utah
Type of business: brick-and-mortar
Years in business: 18
Special services and community
involvement: boarding, grooming,
adoption, limited home delivery, limited at-home grooming
for clients with disabilities,
bird retrieval for stolen birds
by court order, rescue and
re-homing, behavioral rehabilitation, behavior analysis, bird
owner training, resource to
local humane society, animal
shelters, bird clubs and law
PPN: What are the top-selling products
in your store right now?
RW: My proprietary Ronie’s
seed blends, and toys and cages. Our grooming services also
are very popular.
PPN: What are your favorite products
RW: Lafeber’s bird food
and nutrition products,
With Natural Fruit Flavors
and Caitec’s Oven Fresh Bites
PPN: What trend have you been keep-
ing your eye on most closely?
RW: With the economy improv-
ing, clients have been upgrad-
ing and replacing older cages
with our newer Sunlite cages,
which are more attractive and
much easier to keep clean. Cli-
ents donate the older cages to
our rescue organization, Ronie’s
Rescue, and we use them for the
homeless birds in our care.
PPN: What business challenge are you
currently in the process of tackling?
RW: The industry has changed
so much since the Great Reces-
sion that the challenge right
now is the amount of sales
that are completed online. My
business model is based on the
intimate relationships I have
nurtured with my clients over
the past 18 years. I
understand that time
is a critical element that
drives Internet product sales.
We are working extra hard to
ensure our clients benefit from
our expertise and community
care (the bird rescue) so that
we bring value to them that
cannot be found with online
PPN: What business goal are you
hoping to achieve this year?
RW: Expansion and co-branding.
We opened a wild bird supply
next door to my original store
in April 2010, and it has been
growing steadily. We have
partnered with Dawgz-N-Whiskers, a store that opened
next door to our exotic bird
store in July 2015. We have
installed doorways between all
three stores so that clients can
select and purchase anything
from all natural fresh (
refrigeration required) dog, cat and
reptile foods, plus my diverse
selection of exotic bird foods,
services and products as well as
wild bird supplies. In our wild
bird store you can find some of
the most unique wild bird supplies and feeders in the valley.
In addition to this we hold
exotic bird, dog, cat, reptile,
rodent and arachnid adoptions
every day. I know of no other
boutique or big-box outlets that
This Sandy, Utah, store is a bird lover’s
paradise, with toys, cages, seed mixes,
grooming and boarding services, and more.