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Tierra Griffiths / Julie Rowe
775-322-0755 /

APPA Announces Board Changes

-Andrew Messinger Named Chairman of the Board, Kay Schwichtenberg Named Vice Chairman, Robin Kershner Named New Board Member and Bob Vetere Named President of The Association-

GREENWICH, CONN., April 18, 2006– The American Pet Products Association (APPA) has named Andrew Messinger Chairman of the Board and Kay Schwichtenberghas been named Vice Chairman. APPA also welcomes new board member, Robin Kershner.In addition, Bob Vetere, formerly C.O.O and Managing Director, has been named President of APPA. Michael Farmer continues as Secretary and Treasurer of The Board.

As Chairman, Andrew Messinger presides over all meetings of the Board of Directors, the governing body of APPA.He also serves in a leadership advisory role guiding APPA’s industry wide activities. In addition to his role with APPA, Messinger serves as Vice President and General Manager with Vitakraft Pet Products where he has been since 1990. Messenger holds a BA in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA in marketing from New York University School of Business.

Kay Schwichtenberg previously served as Secretary/Treasurer of APPA.She is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Central Life Sciences, specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of animal wellbeing and environmental care products. She is currently the President of the Animal Health Division of Central Garden and Pet. Prior to becoming President of the animal health business unit, Schwichtenberg was Vice President and general manager of the Consumer and Animal Health Division of Sandoz, Inc. (now Novartis, Inc.), a worldwide leader in human and animal pharmaceuticals. Schwichtenberg holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA from St. Norbert College. 

Robin Kershner is the Founder and CEO of Fox & Hounds Ltd., a multi-million dollar manufacturer of high-end pet products and accessories based in Alexandria, Virginia. Her acute business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit led her to start Regent Real Estate, a property holding company, in 2004. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President of Sales for Bennett Funding Group in Syracuse, New York. Kershner graduated with a B.A. from Roanoke College in Virginia. She started Fox & Hounds in 1996 and is the sole owner.

As President of APPA, Bob Vetere oversees the staff and all operations of The Association. Before joining APPA in 2002, Vetere served as Senior Vice President, Administration, General Counsel and Secretary at Oil-Dri Corporation of America, a publicly traded $175 million international developer, manufacturer and marketer of brand name and private label products for pets, fluids purification and agriculture. Prior to his position at Oil-Dri, Vetere spent 25 years at First Brands Corporation, a $1.2 billion publicly traded manufacturer and marketer of consumer products, including GLAD Wrap and Bags, Prestone Anti-Freeze, and Scoop Away and Jonny Cat Pet Litter. Vetere holds a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall School of Law, as well as an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and a B.S. in management science, also from RPI.

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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 nearly 900 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.