March 22-24, 2023
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL
American Pet Products Association (APPA) Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA)

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March 17, 2016

Julie Rowe 
The Impetus Agency

PIDA President Steve King to Receive Award at Global Pet Expo

Pet Business Names Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) President Steve King as its 2016 Pet Industry Executive of the Year

(Orlando, FL) – Officials atPet Business announced that they will recognize Steve King, president of the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), as the publication’s 2016 Pet Industry Executive of the Year at the Pet Industry Breakfast set to take place at Global Pet Expo, Thursday, March 17, 2016. 

Pet Business Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief Mark Kalaygian reported in a recent article that many factors played into selecting King for this award. “While he heads up an organization that has a very specific membership, many industry officials point out that the impact of his leadership extends much further than the industry’s base of specialty wholesale distributors. In fact, King’s work—whether it relates to trade shows, retailer education or shaping the next generation of pet owners—can be felt at every level of the pet world, many say. It is for these far-reaching efforts to strengthen and expand the pet trade that Pet Business has chosen King as its 2016 Pet Industry Executive of the Year.” 

Among King’s accomplishments include joining forces with American Pet Products Association (APPA) President and CEO Bob Vetere to fuse what used to be known as the APPMA Show with PIDA’s PETS Show to form what is now the world’s largest annual pet products trade show, Global Pet Expo. Recognizing there were too many trade shows in the industry, the two leaders had the foresight to recognize the benefits of combining the two shows. The effort has paid off as Global Pet Expo continues to grow impressively each year, and was recently named “Greatest Show on Earth” by Trade Show Executive Magazine. 

PIDA and APPA also worked together to create the Pet Industry Leadership Conference, which took place in Tucson, Ariz., in January 2016.  The inaugural event was a tremendous success and will be an annual event focusing on industry education and networking. This event stemmed from the long-running, annual PIDA Management Conference, and was another opportunity for King to openly embrace change for the greater good. 

“Steve has always had a willingness to look at the big picture, which is an important quality in a leader,” said Vetere. “From the beginning of my time at APPA, he has been someone I can turn to for help. He is always positive and his get-it-done personality makes him a guiding light for many folks in this industry.” 

King got his start in the pet industry while studying law at George Washington University when he went to work for the law firm that represented the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). In 1990, he took the reins as president of PIDA and has since gone on to not only head up this organization, but to get involved with numerous industry initiatives working to advance the pet industry. 

“Steve’s ability to get along with all types of people by knowing what is important to them helps him lead,” says Bob Merar, president of Exclusively Pet Inc. and APPA’s board chairman. “He has a great skill in making sure all points of view are expressed and everyone feels their points have been made.  He knows and understands the issues and clearly expresses what the issues are about.” 

King also works as executive director of Pet Care Trust (PCT), a non-profit foundation that promotes pet ownership, most commonly through the Pets in the Classroom program. One of the newest initiatives that King has played an integral role in developing is the Pet Leadership Council (PLC), an organization comprised of 20 company leaders from all industry segments focused on strengthening initiatives and advancing the greater good of the industry. 

Vetere added, “Steve’s skill set lets him work well in a collaborative environment. He has to give direction to people who are used to giving the orders, and his demeanor is perfect for that.” 

Scott Rath, vice president – distribution for Central Pet and chairman of the PIDA board, said of King, “Steve’s leadership has been invaluable in representing the pet industry’s distributors over the course of the past 25 years. His deep understanding of the many facets of the industry is a distinct advantage to all and keeps distributors up to date on trends and on top of industry changes.” He added, “His ability to shift focus towards the most important issues at hand is an asset, especially when you think about how fast our industry has grown in recent years and the ever-changing threats we are facing now.” 

King is also credited with launching PIDA’s Pet Store Pro free online training program for pet retailers as he understood that the success of the industry’s distributors is directly connected to their pet specialty retailer customers. King championed the development of the training program for the benefit of the entire supply chain. 


Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) has represented the interests of pet product distributors since 1968. The mission of PIDA is to enhance the well being of the wholesaler-distributor, to promote partnerships with their suppliers and customers and to work cooperatively with other organizations in fostering the human-companion animal bond. Visit for more information.

Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The 2015 Show featured 1,051 exhibitors, 3,113 booths and more than 3,000 new product launches. Additionally, 6,061 pet product buyers from around the world attended. Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals. The 2016 Show will take place March 16-18, 2016 in Orlando, FL at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, visit