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Tierra Griffiths / Julie Rowe
775-322-0755 /

APPA Announces Board Changes

-Kay Schwichtenberg Named Chairman of the Board, Michael Farmer Named Vice Chairman, Michael O’Bryan Named Secretary/Treasurer-

GREENWICH, CONN., March 13, 2007– The American Pet Products Association (APPA) has named Kay Schwichtenberg Chairman of the Board; Michael Farmer has been named Vice Chairman; and Michael O’Bryan has been named Secretary/Treasurer of the Board.

As Chairman, Schwichtenberg presides over all meetings of the Board of Directors, the governing body of APPA.She also serves in a leadership advisory role guiding APPA’s industry-wide activities.Schwichtenberg previously served as Vice Chairman of the Board for APPA.Schwichtenberg is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Garden & Pet strategic business unit Central Life Sciences.Specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of category-leading product brands such as Farnam, Zodiac, Bio Spot, Horse Health Products, Adams, PreStrike and Platform Feeds, Central Life Sciences focuses on improving the quality of life for companion animals.Prior to Central Life Sciences, Schwichtenberg was Vice President and general manager of the Consumer Animal Health Division of Sandoz, Inc. (now Novartis, Inc.), a worldwide leader in human pharmaceuticals and animal health products. Schwichtenberg holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and serves as a director on the University of Illinois Foundation board.

Michael Farmer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Firstrax, a leader in the renaissance of the pet products industry, where he oversees the strategic direction of the company. He has more than 24 years of experience in the pet products industry, and earned his B.S. from Emporia State University where he was honored as an All-American athlete for his success on the basketball court, and in the classroom. He later earned his MBA from Wichita State University.

Michael O’Bryan is the Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Virbac Corporation, a leading companion animal health company with products in the pharmaceutical, dermatological and oral hygiene markets for pets based in Fort Worth, Texas.Prior to joining Virbac, O’Bryan managed the marketing and sales departments at Purina. O’Bryan has more than 34 years of experience in the pet industry and he earned his B.A. in marketing at Indiana State University.


The American Pet Products Manufacturer's Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958.  APPA membership includes more than 950 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises.  APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit for more information.