by Mike Bober
Over the weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending Petland’s annual trade show in Orlando, Florida. This year, the atmosphere was especially festive as Petland celebrated its 50th anniversary. While it was great to spend time talking with franchisees and pet care professionals from around the world, I was especially pleased to have the opportunity to present Petland founder and CEO Ed Kunzelman with our President’s Gold Medal Award of Excellence.
The longevity of Petland (and Ed!) is certainly something to celebrate, but it isn’t the anniversary that earned Ed this award. Rather, PIJAC was highlighting his commitment to animal care and innovation, and the significant impact they have had on the companion animal trade. Petland’s approach to education – for employees and customers alike – and their unwavering encouragement of responsible breeding and sourcing are a direct result of Ed Kunzelman’s decades of leadership. Their effects are felt throughout the responsible pet trade on a daily basis.
The show was an opportunity to catch up with friends old and new. We spoke about the challenges facing pet retailers and the broader pet industry, but we also spent time learning about some of the uplifting things our partners in pet care are doing to support their communities and their customers. I’m pleased to report that Ed Sayres, PIJAC’s immediate past-president, is taking Petland Charities to new heights. This is great news; as the industry gets better about telling its story, one of the important components of that story are the many ways in which our companies give back.
We at PIJAC are reliant on local retailers to be our eyes, ears, and voice when it comes to legislation across the country. It was great getting a chance to reconnect with many of them this weekend.
Disclosure: Joe Watson, Petland president, serves on PIJAC’s Board of Directors.