PIJAC Honors Industry Leaders at Pet Industry's Top2Top Conference

Contact Information

Cathy Calliotte
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
202-452-1525 x1070

PIJAC Honors Industry Leaders At Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference

Washington, DC – The first annual PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council) Awards Ceremony was held at the Top2Top Conference in Napa, California. The PIJAC Awards honor leaders nationwide for their contributions to foster the pet industry. “We are pleased to honor the work of these committed, talented individuals whose groundbreaking efforts have a direct impact on the entire pet industry,” stated Mike Canning, PIJAC’s President and CEO.

And the winners are…

Pet Advocates of the Year - Bob Ashley and Brian Potter

Bob Ashley (ECO Publishing) and Brian Potter (Chicago Reptile House) operate the leading reptile shows in the country – the North American Reptile Breeders Conference. Their shows offer a venue for the world’s best breeders to showcase rare reptiles as well as great pets for first time pet owners, promoting pet ownership. They hold auctions at each of their events and the proceeds go to PIJAC and USARK. Bob and Brian’s commitment to the industry is evident through their world-class events, educational programs, and generous support of industry advocacy.

Pet Industry Leader of the Year - Sandy Moore

Sandy Moore (Segrest Farms) has served on the PIJAC Board for 4 years. As the head of the Aquatics Committee, she has recruited industry leaders, coordinated the work of renowned experts on coral issues, and spearheaded opposition to a ban on clown fish and selected species of coral used in the trade. She was instrumental in helping the industry develop their grassroots initiatives by sharing her vast network of interested parties with PIJAC. Always the first to respond when the industry needs help, Sandy travels the world troubleshooting problems for the aquatics sector.

PIJAC Ambassador of the Year - Jim Boschee

Jim Boschee (World Pet Association Board) has worked tirelessly to promote the importance of advocacy for the pet industry. As the WPA representative on the PIJAC Board of Directors, Jim has continued to forge a closer bond between the organizations. He has used his vast experience and connections in the industry to help PIJAC become a stronger organization. He organizes meetings on behalf of PIJAC, stressing the importance of industry advocacy and member involvement.

PIJAC Chairman’s Award of Excellence - Joe Watson

Joe Watson (Petland) heads the largest retail chain in the country selling puppies. He is active with the dog breeding community, making significant improvements to the health of puppies and breeding dogs by utilizing market incentives and maintaining close relationships with kennels supplying dogs. Joe’s commitment to improving the sourcing of dogs provides the opportunity for Petland, PIJAC, and breeder associations to work together to better the industry. His perseverance in improving the lives of breeding dogs and their puppies is a testament to his dedication to the industry.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Jim Heim

Jim Heim (Central Garden & Pet) served on the PIJAC Board of Directors for 7 years and as Chairman for 4 years. As Chairman, Jim was instrumental in helping PIJAC reorganize to be an even more effective force for the industry. His innovative ideas, such as the Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference, have not only benefitted PIJAC, but the industry as a whole. Through his leadership and guidance, PIJAC is a stronger organization that will continue to thrive and grow in order to meet the needs of its members.

“It is a privilege to honor these individuals for their breadth of work on behalf of the entire pet industry,” added Canning. “Their commitment to the welfare of animals, as well as the industry, is unparalleled.”