6 NEWS Pet Product News International November 2018
Unleashing Their Impact
A Closer Connection
The Pet Sustainability Coalition’s second annual event gave sustainability-
minded attendees the opportunity to be inspired, connect and take
home an action plan.
A newcomer among trade shows, Pet Connections Expo proved
valuable for its compact setting and conference lineup.
Top: Margaret Morey-Reuner of Timberland gave a keynote
address about her company’s sustainability initiatives.
Bottom: (Left to right) Speakers Stephanie Volo of Earth Animal,
Tina Nguyen of Jax & Bones and Andy Downs of Only Natural Pet an-
swered questions posed by Henk Bosch of DSM Nutritional Products.
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BY CARRIE BRENNER
The Pet Sustainability Coalition’s (PSC) second annual Impact Unleashed event, which boasted 55 percent higher attendance compared to last year’s, served as a rallying cry for socially and sustain- ability-minded companies, and a call to action.
“We are an industry that is fueled by a love for people and their connection to pets, and this comes with a
sense of obligation to ensure the long-term health of people and pets, intrinsically linked to the health of our
planet and global communities,” said Caitlyn Bolton, executive director of the organization.
PSC is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance business through profitable environmental and social practices, Bolton said. The organization assists members in measuring their sustainability
performance, and helps them implement sustainability through their business practices, improving the health
of their businesses.
Impact Unleashed, the organization’s flagship event, provides an opportunity for business leaders to come
together to hear innovative ideas and inspirational stories from leaders within and outside of the pet industry,
and it offers a forum for networking as well as workshops designed to accelerate attendees’ sustainability
The event, held this year Sept. 20-21 in Denver, set out to “inspire the next wave of innovation in the pet
industry that adds value to people, pets and the planet,” Bolton said. “Innovation is driven by inspiration
coupled with action.”
Impact Unleashed kicked off with a presentation from keynote speaker Margaret Morey-Reuner, director
of strategic partnerships and business development at Stratham, N.H.-based Timberland, a manufacturer
and retailer of outdoor clothing and footwear. She challenged attendees to cascade what they learned at the
event through their organizations.
BY JENNIFER BONCY
Following up on the success of its inaugural year, the Pet Connections Expo, held Oct. 2-3 at he Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., provided two days worth of educational programming and speaker presentations, as well as ample opportunities for attendees and
exhibitors to network and mingle with industry peers.
Pet Connections, which kicked off with a keynote presentation from Dave Ratner, owner of Dave’s
Soda and Pet City and Dave’s Pet Food in Massachusetts, boasted 120 exhibitors and a 30 percent
increase in attendance over last year, according to Bill Doherty, show director with ICD Events, the
producer of the event. New to the pet trade show circuit, the expo’s timing, location and small scale
all serve as advantages for exhibiting manufacturers as well as attendees, and the event provides an
alternative to the two largest shows in the industry, Doherty added.
He also pointed out that the expo is the only one of its kind to occur in the fall on the East Coast,
adding that the show’s fall dates allow buyers an opportunity to benefit from the pre-holiday sales
promotions many exhibitors offer.
“It’s geared toward independent retailers who either don’t have the time or can’t afford to travel
to Global Pet Expo or SuperZoo,” he said. “We attempt to [fill that need].”
Exhibitors and attendees both noted advantages that they said are a result of the expo’s compact
show floor and Pennsylvania locale.
Diane Lawley, head of sales for Side By Side, a new Telluride, Colo.-based manufacturer of dog
diets, treats and more, said Pet Connections gave the company access to like-minded retailers and
pet professionals, such as veterinarians and owners of dog day cares and farm and feed stores, all of
whom seem to “understand the value of whole food ingredients” and quality products.
She added that Side By Side has not yet exhibited at the industry’s larger trade shows.
“We weren’t ready for that type of audience,” Lawley said, noting that the company has just begun
shopping its line to independent retailer buyers and is looking for stores that are highly invested in
Top: Brad Solomon (left) and
the team at Prana Pets were
on hand to talk about the
company’s line of hemp-based
Left: Keynote speaker and
owner of Dave’s Soda and Pet
City Dave Ratner delivered a
rousing presentation during
the first day of the show.