JANUARY 13-15, 2020



TUESDAY, January 14


12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - Questions on DCM and Diet? What Your Business Needs to Know (working lunch session)

Dana Brooks, President & CEO, Pet Food Institute and Dr. Tim Schell, Ph.D.Director Office of Surveillance and Compliance at US Food and Drug Administration

Across the pet care community, we have seen media headlines and received customer questions regarding the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) investigation into canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and if there is any relationship to diet. What causes DCM? Is grain-free pet food safe? Is the news coverage accurate? To help equip stakeholders across the pet industry as they talk with customers and stay abreast of the ongoing developments, Dana Brooks, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute, will discuss our current understanding of DCM, the impacts of FDA’s messaging, and the resources available to the pet industry to help them navigate the ongoing developments.  

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Pet Trends for the Taking

Michael Johnson, FINN CADY Marketing & Professional Services

There’s a lot going on in pet today…many marketplace trends will drive fresh growth and lasting change, and others will be quickly forgotten.  Are you concerned about getting on the right bus, or are you ready to set your own trends?  To succeed in the pet market of tomorrow, you’ve got to be smart and you’ve got to be strategic…we’ll help! 

Join us for this fascinating and entertaining session as we discuss some of the trends going on, and which you should consider and which you should avoid.  In addition to this, for the truly bold and unfettered, we’ll look at some new terrain where you can blaze a trail of your own design.

About the Presenter: Michael Johnson is a consumer insights and trends thought-leader in the Pet Industry, regularly consulting retailers, veterinarians, distributors, and manufacturers on the dynamics of the pet industry and how to best develop and position their products, brands, programs and services to connect with consumers.

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm - Transparency in the Age of Radical Activism: What the Pet industry Should Know

Hinda Mitchell, Inspire PR Group

In the current age of radical activism, why does transparency matter?  How does our industry combat activist tactics that try to “expose” the industry on animal welfare issues?

Don’t be afraid to talk about the tough topics, instead learn how to effectively respond in crisis by opening our “doors” to show how we do things.  Hear how using transparency in crafting and telling your own story will help you get in front of these issues.

Join a discussion of the benefits of bringing folks into our operations and other tools to help pet companies affordably and effectively be more transparent, and leveraging this transparency as a strategy when the going gets tough, and integrating transparency as part of your operating strategy.

About the Presenter: Hinda Mitchell is the founder and president of Inspire PR Group, a nationally recognized communications firm representing valued brands across the United States. At Inspire, Hinda leads a team of public relations and digital professionals shaping communications strategies and delivering strong results for a diverse group of clients.

WEDNESDAY, January 15

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Advocating with the Underdog Edge: What It Is, How to Get It, and Why You Need It for Legislative Advocacy Success

Amy Showalter, The Showalter Group

No matter what your current station in life, there will come a time when you will have to “influence up.” To get what you want, you’ll have to change the mind of someone more powerful than yourself---whether a regulator, legislator, your corporate board or CEO.  And powerful people are different. The typical influence tactics you may have read about for general influence situations don’t often work with powerful people.

Amy’s findings in her book, “The Underdog Edge: How to Change the Minds of the Powerful,” will make you re-think influence myths like “be passionate and you’ll win” and “one person can make a difference.” Find out why the past is prologue when influencing up, and how you can leverage your reputation in your favor. Learn the one tactic you must use if you want to change a powerful person’s mind, plus how to build trust with those who are apathetic and even averse to your position. Understand why showing passion for your cause actually dooms your request when influencing up (except when two conditions are present). Know how to recognize your influence prospect’s values and their “taboo trade-offs” when negotiating and the three characteristics of persuasive teams that make their efforts more persuasive than their opponents

About the Presenter:  Amy Showalter is a grassroots and PAC influence expert who founded The Showalter Group to help associations and corporations increase their grassroots and PAC effectiveness. Over 85% of her long-term consulting clients have experienced an increase in budget, staff, and senior management recognition after collaborating with Amy. She has delivered over 300 workshops and keynotes to over 25,000 grassroots advocates, PAC contributors, PAC boards of directors, government relations staff, and non-profit volunteer leaders about how to maximize their political and civic influence.                       

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm - The Myths and Realities of Pet Industry Mergers and Acquisitions:  Revelations from a Pet Industry M&A Insider

Carol Frank, BirdsEye Advisory Group, LLC

Join Carol for an entertaining story-filled session to include an overview of the state of M&A markets and why buyers are still more interested than ever in investing in the pet industry. What characteristics allow a company to achieve maximum valuation? What is a realistic expectation of value and what are buyers REALLY paying?  How can you position your company to take advantage of these trends through the four areas of Personnel, Process, Reporting and Performance?  Learn about the top FIVE Deal Killers and the importance of Exit Planning in this informative session.

About the Presenter: Having developed three multi-million-dollar pet companies, Carol Frank combines her insider’s expertise in all aspects of businesses to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors executives shorten the learning curve and maximize the value of their business.

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