American Pet Products Association Announces Five Employee Promotions and Welcomes New CEO

APPA Home / Events & News / Press Release
August 9, 2022

STAMFORD, CONN. (Aug. 9, 2022) – TheAmerican Pet Product Association (APPA) is pleased to announce five staff promotions across the trade show operations and booth and membership sales departments. This announcement comes as new CEO Peter Scott prepares to come on board next week.

APPA is renowned for its mission to promote responsible pet care and advance the pet products industry. Along with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), APPA co-produces Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s premier annual event featuring the newest, most innovative pet products on the market today.

In support of Global Pet Expo, APPA has promoted Kate Stewart to Vice President, Trade Show Management. In her new role, Stewart will oversee the trade show team, leading day-to-day operations and working closely with the show’s general service contractor. Since joining APPA in 2011, Stewart has received a Certification in Exhibition Management and recognition from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), for which she serves on the NY IAEE Local Chapter Board and IAEE National Young Professionals Committee.

The Association has named Chris Bonifati as Senior Director, Trade Show Development. Bonifati joined APPA in 2015 and is now responsible for overseeing trade show operations, including facilitating attendee registration, expanding programming and maintaining Global Pet Expo's brand. He has expertise in data analytics and is using a data-driven approach to drive APPA forward as the trade show industry continues to evolve rapidly. Bonifati has completed a Certification in Exhibition Management and is a member of the IAEE Young Professionals Committee.

Tracey Wilson has been promoted to Senior Director, Trade Show Planning and Operations. Wilson has been with APPA since 2000 and is responsible for Global Pet Expo’s vendor and onsite staffing management, as well as coordinating meeting rooms for the Global Learning Series and exhibitors and overseeing the New Products Showcase. Wilson is certified in Exhibition Management and is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and the Professional Convention Management Association (PMCA).

APPA has promoted Karyn Bennitt to Director, Booth and Membership Sales. In her new role, Bennitt will spearhead APPA’s membership growth through acquisition, engagement and retention efforts. Since joining APPA in 2008, Bennitt has developed APPA's robust education program and other key membership benefits. 

Elizabeth Valencia has been appointed Manager, Exhibitor and Attendee Services. A member of the APPA team since 2019, Valencia has contributed to advancing APPA’s trade show team and is working towards earning a certification in Google Analytics. In her new role, she will assist with Global Pet Expo’s recruitment and retention of buyers and exhibitors, booth sales and assignments, and buyer and exhibitor services.

“Congratulations to these professionals,” said Chuck Latham, chair of the APPA board and founder of H&C Animal Health. “The board is also excited for Pete to take the helm as the Association’s new CEO.”

As a team of more than 17 professionals dedicated to elevating the global pet care community, APPA has built a network of members across large corporations and growing business enterprises worldwide. The trade association is comprised of nearly 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers.

“I continue to be impressed with what the entire APPA organization has accomplished in recent years,” said incoming APPA CEO Peter Scott. “I am eager to join the team and see what we will do together throughout the remainder of the year and into the future.”