Steve Dale, a leading pet journalist, will open Petfood Forum 2014, describing how a dog changed his life, how he embarked on his career and what he has learned throughout it from pet owners, including their perceptions (and misperceptions) about petfood and pet nutrition.
Also a certified animal behavior consultant, Dale reaches more pet owners than any other pet journalist in America, with a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column through Tribune Media Services and as the host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, Steve Dale's Pet World and The Pet Minute (together heard on more than 100 radio stations, via syndicated Black Dog Radio Productions). Dale is a contributing editor with USA Weekend and the blog Petphoria, a columnist and special correspondent for Cat Fancy magazine and a blogger for the Chicago Tribune and other websites, including for behaviorist Victoria Stilwell. He has authored two e-books, Good Dog! And Good Cat! (Chicago Tribune, 2011), as well as DogGone Chicago and American Zoos. He also edited Decoding Your Dog, written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (due out in 2014). On TV, he has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic Explorer, Pets Part of the Family, PBS, various Animal Planet shows and many others.
Dale is a founder and former board member of the CATalyst Council, a board member of the Winn Feline Foundation and the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago and a national ambassador of the American Humane Association. He also serves on the advisory board for national animal-assisted therapy organization Angel on A Leash and for BlogPaws, as well as part of an AVMA/AAHA initiative to encourage preventive care veterinary visits, called Partners for Health Pets.
Maria Lange, senior product manager of consumer choices for GfK Retail and Technology USA, will provide an overview of the US petfood market in the pet specialty channel, with some data and insights on the global market as available. She will provide a picture of how retail and volume sales are trending, which petfood categories are growing (and which are not) and who the major petfood players are in US pet specialty, along with product trends and projections for future sales and growth.
Lange is based in New York City, New York, USA.
Wells Jones, CEO of America's VetDogs, will explain this organization's origins and how it selects, trains, feeds, cares for and provides service dogs to military veterans. VetDogs is part of the Guide Dog Foundation, which was founded after World War II to train and provide guide dogs for blinded veterans, a mission that eventually expanded to helping civilians. After the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the organization saw a need to provide service dogs, too, that help their human partners in many ways in their daily lives. Some of these human-dog partnerships will accompany Jones and help him close out Petfood Forum during lunch on Wednesday, April 2.
Jones has served as CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Inc., headquartered in Smithtown, New York, USA, since 1989 and as president and CEO of America's VetDogs since 2006. Under his leadership, the organization constructed a new training center, complete with a state-of-the-art kennel, as well a newly designed student residence hall, in 2002. Other development and program strategies, including the creation of America's VetDogs, have seen the foundation experience tremendous growth in both charitable revenue generated and numbers of blind and visually impaired individuals served, leading to recognition by Reader's Digest as the number one charity in US serving individuals with disabilities.
All new for Petfood Forum 2014: thought leaders in pet nutrition, pet retailing/marketing and petfood regulatory/safety will head discussions that wrap up the concurrent session part of Petfood Forum. These discussion sessions will each feature several industry experts offering perspective on the issue, then open up to the floor for full audience participation and Q&A. The discussion sessions will take place from 10:15 am to 12:00 pm on Wednesday, April 2, just before lunch and the closing keynote. Read full descriptions of the sessions and their speakers.
Mary L. Bandu, PhD, director of technical services, chemistry and research for Chestnut Labs, will provide information on validation of thermal processes and discuss the effects of matrix components on thermal lethality of Salmonella spp. She will present experimental data to demonstrate the insulating effects of fat and the importance of moisture in the reduction of Salmonella during petfood processing, as well as show how thermal processing cycles should be validated for each matrix formulation. Variations in product formulations can produce unexpected thermal death rates for Salmonella.
Bandu has a doctorate in bio-analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas and a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Houston. Currently, she oversees the research department at Chestnut Labs in Springfield, Missouri, USA, where she designs, conducts and evaluates results from experimental protocols for laboratory and in-plant validation studies.
Ed Beecher, manager of the process laboratory for Coperion Corp., will outline a number of new options available in the petfood extrusion process to improve efficiency, lower manufacturing costs and improve quality. The presentation will cover how to best choose the proper type of equipment for several processes and investigate the specific advantages and disadvantages of each, including ingredient feeding technologies, flow aids and pre-conditioners. It will also compare various process improvement methods.
Beecher has been with Coperion Corp. in Ramsey, New Jersey, USA, since 1989 and earned a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Much of his experience is as a process engineer specializing in food processing, with responsibilities including field support, system startups, process training, pilot line development trials and sales support.
Henriette Bylling, CEO/owner of the Aller Petfood Group, will focus on the Russian market, which has been in the spotlight of the international business community, alongside other BRIC countries. This includes impressive year-on-year statistics on the Russian petfood market. And with a population of 40 million cats and 30 million dogs and an estimated petfood usage rate of only 10%, Russia might seem like the ideal market-but there are numerous bumps on the road to Russian pets. Bylling will take you behind the data and provide insights into the complexity of the Russian petfood market and its consumers.
At Aller Petfood Group, Bylling is the fourth-generation owner and also goes by the title of HRM the Queen of Pet Food. She holds a bachelor degree in business management and a master degree in marketing and communication. Aller, which also has facilities in Denmark, has been producing and selling private label petfood in Russia since 2004 and accounts for approximately 50% of the private label market there.
Carlos Crosetti, DVM, PhD, technical director for Gepsa Grupo Pilar, will share information and insights on the Argentinean and Latin American petfood markets and how his company develops products for those markets. Specifically, he will address ingredient, equipment and distribution considerations and how those relate to the petfood brand value proposition, along with how formulators at his company engage with consumers to develop products that meet their needs and desires.
Crosetti earned an undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine at Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, a graduate degree from Cornell University in the US and a doctorate from the Department of Clinical Science at New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. He previously worked for Alimentos Pilar SA in Argentina, where he helped develop the petfood division and became technical manager. In 2007, the company was merged into a larger feed and petfood group called Grupo Pilar SA, which operates plants in ﬁve locations in Argentina. As technical director, Croscetti's main responsibility is to ensure development positions the company as one of the leading animal nutrition companies in Argentina and Latin America.
Sara Cutler, PhD, scientist, and Ben Bowen, worldwide director of customer laboratory services Kemin Industries, will present results of a study they conducted to determine the extent of oxidation of protein sources in petfood raw materials and their effect on diet stability. Their findings show that protein oxidation measures may be an additional tool to measure petfood quality and the relationship between protein oxidation and lipid oxidation in the extruded matrix.
Cutler works in the antioxidant R&D group for Kemin's petfood division in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, and has been with the company since 2008. She holds a doctorate in animal science from Iowa State University, a master of science in veterinary microbiology (also from Iowa State) and a bachelor of science in animal science from South Dakota State University. Prior to Kemin, she worked in the animal health industry doing product development and at Iowa State University as a lab manager.
Bowen directs laboratory services for Kemin's petfood division, managing three laboratories located in Belgium, Australia and the US. He specializes in worldwide methods standardization and provides customers with technical support, presentations and on-site visits. Bowen joined Kemin in 2002; previously he worked for nine years as a laboratory manager and chemist for National By-Products Laboratory. He earned a bachelor of science in animal ecology and environmental studies from Iowa State University and has professional affiliations with the American Chemical Society and the American Oil Chemists' Society.
Andrea Fischetti, managing director of Chicago Pet Video, will offer relevant, actionable take-home tips on all facets of online marketing, from website basics to search engine management to social media, email marketing, blogging and video marketing. Examples include considering your audience for anything posted or shared online, how to measure social media success and five helpful video marketing tips.
Chicago Pet Video is the only production company in the country that specializes in filming animals and working with pet companies. Fischetti also co-owns Contemporary Creative Productions, a production company for the hospitality industry. Her expertise is in creating video marketing content, primarily in social marketing video as well as overseeing production. She's worked on behalf of clients including Stella & Chewy's, Pet360 Media and HH Backer Associates. In addition, Fischetti teaches a monthly class for pet business owners in Chicago and serves as a contributing writer for World Pet Association Briefs and Pet Age magazine.
Dave L. Flick, founder of Champ Pet Care, will share research on using fermentation means to stabilize uncooked meat slurries for at least 10 days at ambient temperatures. An important finding of the research is the ability of this technology to minimize growth of pathogens in meat, leading to more stable meat ingredients that are maintained in a more wholesome way and pose lower risk for consumers and their pets. The new technology enables a paradigm shift in meat supply chain distribution for the petfood industry.
Flick, based in Oak View, California, USA, has been a petfood operations expert for over 40 years, with his career starting as a laboratory technician at Friskies Pet Food. He also worked for Carnation and then Nestlé, where he spent three years in Vevey, Switzerland, setting up the petfood technical group. As director of strategic planning with Superior Brands, he oversaw global operations, exports, industrial performance and manufacturing for the petfood brands Alpo and Purina. After "retirement" in 2005, Flick established the manufacturing strategy for Freshpet, then founded Champ Pet Care with a colleague in Thailand and developed strategies for US Pet's manufacturing capabilities in North America.
Genevieve M. Forster, veterinary and doctoral student at Colorado State University, will present evidence supporting the feasibility, safety and digestibility of navy and black bean powder extruded diets for overweight/obese dogs, preliminary evidence of weight loss and health benefits of dry bean powder consumption in dogs and the utility of metabolomics to evaluate the physiological effects of dietary bean intake in dogs. These promised benefits make common dry beans a potential novel source of protein, carbohydrates and fiber in extruded diets for overweight or obese dogs.
In her studies with the Departments of Clinical Sciences and Environmental and Radiologic Health Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, Forster's research focuses on canine cancer prevention using dietary interventions. She has several peer-reviewed articles in review with scientific publications and has presented research at regional and national conferences on companion animal diets, ingredients and canine cancer prevention.
Matt Gordon, business development engineer, and Dave Mardon of Hydro-Thermal will explain how, with today's trend of high meat content in many petfood products, heating frozen meat blocks to the desired state and consistency is crucial to prevent downstream freezing while also preventing biological contamination. Decreasing the cycle time and further homogenizing the product improves the plant throughput and prevents maintenance outages due to freezing that can render a batch of petfood unusable and create costly waste. Gordon and Mardon will present a case study showing how a petfood manufacturer used direct steam injection to meet all these requirements.
Gordon joined Hydro-Thermal, based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA in 2011, and, in 2012, earned his professional engineering license (PE). Previously he worked as the lead engineer for Siemens Water Technologies. He graduated from Marquette University with a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering.
Jarlath Harkin, product manager for EDL Packaging Engineers Inc., will explore opportunities for performance, financial and environmental improvements in secondary packaging. In selecting a design and configuration of a primary package, it is important to consider subsequent packaging operations, materials and the distribution channel. Current technologies and materials create substantial potential to reduce the cost and environmental impact of secondary and subsequent methods and materials necessary to get the product from a production facility to the point of sale.
Harkin has worked in the packaging industry for 18 years, much of it with petfood manufacturers in the US and also Latin America, Europe and Australia. As a member of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute and the Institute of Packaging Professionals, he has worked closely with manufacturers in developing new packaging and improving associated operations at both a plant and corporate level. Harkin has presented to groups ranging from brand owners considering new packaging initiatives to production and operations personnel seeking innovative ways to improve performance and reduce the cost and environmental impact of packaging. EDL is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA.
Dominic John, PhD, VP of strategy and product management for Entelos, will highlight the principles and role of a novel approach to helping petfood companies deliver nutritional products to market faster and at lower costs: through computer simulations versus physical study. Traditional R&D to deliver targeted petfoods can require expensive, time-consuming dog studies. For over 15 years pharmaceutical companies have been using whole body physiological computer simulations to predict the effects of products on rats, mice, rabbits, monkeys and humans prior to clinical trials. A similar approach is now available for petfood nutrition studies. This session introduces the concept and explains how a mathematical physiological model can be used to simulate, examine and predict the effects of food intake within different dogs and the corresponding body weight outcomes.
John has spent over 15 years managing project teams that deliver scientific software, including chemical and biological laboratory software, modeling and simulation software and scientific information databases to pharmaceutical and consumer products companies worldwide. He holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Cardiff University in the UK, a master's of science in toxicology and bachelor's of science in environmental biology. John also completed post-doctoral work in molecular biology. Entelos is based in San Mateo, California, USA.
Kadri Koppel, PhD, research assistant professor with the Sensory Analysis Center at Kansas State University, will present results of a new study that helps address the scarce research to date on the sensory aspects of petfood and relations to aromatics and instrumental measurements. Specifically, the study compared baked and extruded petfoods for flavor, aroma and appearance using descriptive sensory analysis, determined the effect of meat inclusion and extrusion thermal input level on sensory properties and described the aromatic compounds and texture characteristics of the samples.
Koppel has a doctorate with an emphasis on sensory analysis from Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. Before joining the Department of Human Research at Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas, USA, she worked in the food industry for several years and has experience in professional development workshops in the field of sensory analysis.
Brad Kriser, founder and CEO of Kriser's, an independent pet retail chain selling all-natural and organic petfoods, will describe what his customers are looking for in petfoods and treats and how he created his business model, company culture and staff training program to align with those customer needs. He will also describe how he selects petfood brands to stock in his stores and what he's looking for in vendor partnerships.
Kriser started his company in 2006 in the Chicago area; the chain has since grown to over 20 stores in Chicago, Southern California and Denver. Previously he founded the Barking Lot, a pet boarding and retail business. He holds a master of business administration degree from Loyola University.
Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, PhD, DACVN, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at University of California-Davis (UC-Davis), will provide an overview and research on how fiber and digestible carbohydrates in companion animal diets affect obesity and diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. The presentation will include the latest data on fiber in pet diets.
Larsen earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine and bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from UC-Davis. She completed one year in local private practice before accomplishing a clinical nutrition residency at the university. In 2007, Larsen attained diplomate status from the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, and completed a doctorate in nutritional biology in 2008. She does clinical nutritional consulting through the VMTH Nutrition Support Service.
Michael Overturf, CEO of ZF Energy Development, will explain an emerging energy management approach that delivers new and significant cost saving opportunities via the application of lean energy and just-in-time (JIT) principles. He will focus on how petfood manufacturers and processors can apply the principles to take an energy productivity (vs. energy efficiency), strategy-driven approach, requiring no investment while delivering significant energy cost reductions via a comprehensive model that leverages the entire energy supply chain.
Overturf holds multiple patents and patents pending in the energy field. Prior to starting ZF Energy Development in Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA, he spent 20 years managing the execution of hands-on business and productivity improvements including turnarounds, M&As, management training and JIT systems. Overturf has contributed to Forbes magazine and multiple energy, manufacturing and IT journals authored a publication on energy engineering and is writing a white paper series on lean energy management.
Richard B. Smittle, PhD, chief science officer for Micro-Nature LLC, will describe a new technology that can be applied during petfood production to reduce Salmonella and other pathogenic re-contamination past the primary critical control point, such as extrusion, identified in a hazard analysis and critical control point system (HACCP). The technology, which has a means of seeking out and deactivating pathogenic organisms that might have re-contaminated the product after the primary HAACP control point, also includes novel approaches to controlling Salmonella prior to packaging within a plant as well as after the package has been opened.
Smittle earned a doctorate in food science from North Carolina State University, a master of science in agricultural bacteriology and a bachelor of arts in biology from West Virginia University. Prior to founding Smittle Consulting and Micro-Nature (based in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA), he worked for US Pet Nutrition, Silliker Laboratories Group (where he was executive VP of laboratory options and co-founder), Best Foods Co. and the Food and Drug Administration.
David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, will share data and insights on retail petfood spending in the US, along with historical information, trends and projections for specific US product categories. The presentation will include highlights from the report Pet Food in the US, 10th edition, as well as other Packaged Facts research and reports.
Sprinkle has contributed to publications such as Natural Products Insider, Nutraceuticals World and Progressive Grocer, as well as presenting at conferences including SuperZoo University, Focus on the Future, GOED Exchange, Innovations in Food & Beverage Packaging, Nutracon and SupplySide West. His report on Premium Consumers and the New Economy was published by Packaged Facts in 2009, and he recently compiled a consumer trend study entitled Americans in 2020. Sprinkle has an MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans, where he also taught business communications.
Robert Stezinar, DVM, CEO of Creogen Ltd., will present research showing how the composition and spatial structure of the volcanic mineral zeolite provide a foundation for health-related beneficial effects for companion animals. Micronized zeolite clinoptilolite (MZC), suitable for human and animal consumption, constitutes a novel and possible petfood ingredient that is more potent, bioavailable and efficacious than the original grinded zeolite. Reports from clinical studies demonstrate how MZC repeatedly shows immune-modulation properties and potential to improve gastrointestinal health and bind mycotoxins. This potential represents an opportunity for petfood manufacturers to upgrade their product claims.
Stezinar has over 20 years of hands-on business experience as an entrepreneur and as a business development manager for international, fast moving consumer goods companies. With Creogen, based in Dublin, Ireland, he works on developing and licensing value added food supplements, cosmetics, complementary animal feed and pharmaceutically active ingredients, contract research and consultancy services. He also partners with Nexus Outsourcing & Consulting.
Beth Vann, director of marketing for Coating Excellence International (CEI), will illustrate the value and power of conducting primary research-voice of the customer, focus groups and usability studies-and using key findings to drive product innovation. This primary research can supplement secondary research from outside sources, helping you read between the lines of the secondary reports to ask the how's and why's, as well as customize the research to better understand the unmet needs in your market.
Vann is has been with CEI, based in Wrightstown, Wisconsin, USA for three years. Previously she worked internationally with IBM and has held marketing positions in the flexible packaging industry over the past 10 years. Vann has successfully conducted primary research in seven different countries.
Jason Vickers, section head of product safety and regulatory affairs for Procter & Gamble Pet Care, will outline what the new preventive control rule for feed and petfood, issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), mean for petfood producers. What do you need to know and change within your facility to ensure compliance? How can you contribute to the industry's response to FDA about the rule.
Vickers also co-chairs the Pet Food Institute's FSMA working group and has helped orchestrate members' responses to FDA. He is based in Lewisburg, Ohio, USA.
Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVSMR, associate professor of clinical nutrition at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, will explain how new types of activities mean different nutritional requirements for working dogs. Popularity in field trials, hunt trials, search and rescue and agility activities has increased, changing the expectations and environments of working dogs from traditional activities like racing and sledding. While research on nutritional requirements for these "new age" working dogs and strategies for optimal feeding are in their infancy, encouraging results mean it's time for discussion of energy requirements across activities, substrate utilization based on activity, nutrition and olfactory acuity and supplements to improve performance/recovery.
For the past 15 years, Wakshlag has lectured about working dog nutrition to many lay audiences as well as veterinary specialist groups. He became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition in 2008 and was a founding member of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2010. Much of his research at Cornell in Ithaca, New York, USA, has revolved around working dogs and has been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Journal of Nutritional Sciences.
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