Agenda

Petfood Forum schedule of events

Monday, April 29

7:45 a.m.-5 p.m.

Petfood Essentials
1500 Rooms

7:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Registration
Lobby 2300

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Exhibitor move-in
Halls C, D and E

2-4:30 p.m.

AAFCO pet food labeling and ingredients seminars
Room 2505

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Petfood Forum and Petfood Essentials opening reception
Kansas City Power & Light District

Tuesday, April 30

7 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Registration
Lobby 2300

7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cash coffee bar
Lobby 2300

7-8 a.m.

Breakfast

8-8:50 a.m.

Welcome and opening keynote: Barking up the right tree: How consumers, culture and technology are changing the way people will feed their pets
Daniel Levine, director of the Avant-Guide Institute

Levine’s insights will guide pet food producers and professionals in understanding approaching trends and turbocharging their innovation.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Exhibit hall open
Halls C, D and E

9:00 a.m – 6 p.m.

Visiting pet charities
Halls C, D and E

9:15-9:45 a.m.

Coffee break
Halls C, D and E

9:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

Petfood Forum Student Program research presentations and education session
Future of Pet Food Pavilion, Hall C

9:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

Petfood Tech Talks
Tech Talk Stage, Hall D

  • 9:50 am: Protecting rendered fats from Salmonella, naturally – Francine St Pierre, pet food protection, and Charlie Connolly, antimicrobial business development and laboratory manager, Videka
  • 10:05 am: Recyclable/compostable films and machine compatibility – Troy Snader, senior vice president, business development, ProMach
  • 10:20 am: Promote healthy skin coat, digestion & energy levels in dogs with enzymes, studies show – Dr. Abhijit Rathi, director of R&D, pet and human nutrition, Specialty Enzymes & Probiotics
  • 10:35 am: presentation title coming soon – Matt Graunke, sales & marketing manager, Parker Freeze Dry, a Division of ProForm Fabrication LLC
  • 10:50 am: presentation information coming soon
  • 11:05 am: Meeting the sustainability challenge: Quantifying environmental impact in the pet food industry – James Maari, energy and resource efficiency project manager, Buhler
  • 11:20 am: Prebiotics for pets: The next generation of gut-health solutions – Kami Grandeen, Alltech North America sales manager, companion animal, Alltech
  • 11:35 am: Moisture, fat and protein analysis of pet food – Alicia D. Stell, Ph.D., market development manager, CEM Corporation
  • 11:50 am: Frozen in time, preserving life: How vitrification techniques ensure proven stability for yeast probiotics – Russ Kelley, global program manager, PETS, Phileo by Lesaffre
  • 12:05 pm: Benefits of using High-Pressure Processing in raw pet food production – Daniela Sotoo, HPP food applications specialist, Hiperbaric

Learn more about the tech talks >

12:15-1:30 p.m.

Lunch
Halls C and E

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Lunch n’ Learn
Halls C, D and E

1:30-4:10 p.m.

Concurrent sessions: The pet food market and marketing innovations
2500 Rooms

  • 1:30-1:55 — Strategic insights for the pet food and pet care markets Kerry O’Hara, chief insights officer, American Pet Products Association
  • 2:00-2:25 — Tracking pet consumer and retail trends Claire Obertin, market research associate, Cleveland Research Co.
  • 3:00-3:20 — Pawsitively purpose-driven: Crafting a visionary business model for pet food Cindy James, founder and CEO, Crafty Beasts Brewing Co.
  • 3:25-3:45 — New, industry-driven pet food rating systemNeil Thorneycroft, head of marketing and new product development, Sapphire Nutrition
  • 3:50-4:10 — Identifying and avoiding greenwashing in packaging sustainabilityKatie Ireland and Mary Jo Werlein, CRB

1:30-4:10 p.m.

Concurrent sessions: Ingredients/nutrition: Alternative pet food proteins, the microbiome
2500 Rooms

  • 1:30-1:55 — Protein 2.0: Consumer insights and the path to a more sustainable pet food futureRich Kelleman, co-founder and CEO, Bond Pet Foods
  • 2:00-2:25 — Latest research: Insect protein for companion animalsAnne Carlson, founder and CEO, Jiminy’s
  • 3:00-3:20 — The power of data science in unlocking the secrets of pet gut healthAnne Ballou, Ph.D., scientist, Liva Bioworks
  • 3:25-3:45 — Species-specific evaluation: Using postbiotic models to highlight cat versus dog responsesMark Franklin, Ph.D., global additives technical lead for pet & lifestyles species, Cargill, and Holly H. Ganz, Ph.D., chief science officer, AnimalBiome
  • 3:50-4:10 — Longevity, live long and prosper, the fountain of youth and the microbiomeJuan Gomez-Basauri, Ph.D., founder and president, Magellan LLC

1:30-4:10 p.m.

Concurrent sessions: Innovations in pet food processing
2500 Rooms

  • 1:30-1:55 — Enhancing pet food operational excellence and efficiency through innovative optimization approachesLynn Verstrepen, director product management, Bestmix Software
  • 2:00-2:25 — From kibble to bytes: Automating pet food quality controlDean Elkins, senior director, robotics and vision, Gray Solutions
  • 3:00-3:20 — Using run data to determine pet food freeze dryer cycle endpointGene Ligman, independent engineer
  • 3:25-3:45 — Creating and processing new wet pet food products using alternative proteinsRikke Miklos, Ph.D., global senior application specialist, Source Technology
  • 3:50-4:10 — Impact of alternative proteins on pet food extrusionWill Henry, director of technology/R&D, Extru-Tech

1:30-4:10 p.m.

Concurrent sessions: Pet food safety and regulatory updates
2500 Rooms

>> Sponosored by Ecolab

  • 1:30-1:55 — Novel method to decontaminate dry, fresh or frozen pet food Keith Warriner, Ph.D., professor, Department of Food Science, University of Guelph
  • 2:00-2:25 — Pet food FSMA compliance: Glance to the past, look to the futureTim Lombardo, senior director for food consulting services, EAS Consulting Group
  • 3:00-4:10 — Regulatory roundtable:
    • 3:00-3:20 — Current state of animal feed additive regulations for pet foodLouise Calderwood, director of regulatory affairs, American Feed Industry Association
    • 3:25-3:45 — Navigating state-to-state pet food licensing and regulationsStephanie Ugalde, regulatory compliance manager, Merieux Nutrisciences
    • 3:50-4:10 — Modernizing pet food regulationDana Brooks, president and CEO, Pet Food Institute

2:25-3 p.m.

Coffee break
Halls C, D and E

4:10-6 p.m.

Networking reception
Halls C, D and E

4:15-5:15 p.m.

Student and industry research poster meet-and-greet
Future of Pet Food Pavilion, Hall C

Wednesday, May 1

7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Registration
Lobby 2300

7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cash coffee bar
Lobby 2300

7:15-8:15 a.m.

Breakfast

8:15-9 a.m.

Wednesday opening session: Moving at the speed of innovation: Amplifying human capital for business breakthroughs
Tamara Ghandour, founder of LaunchStreet

Ghandour will show you how to harness your greatest competitive advantage — your unique Everyday Innovator style — to outmaneuver and outperform others in today’s high-pressure, cluttered landscape.

9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Exhibit hall open
Halls C, D and E

9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Visiting pet charities
Halls C, D and E

9:30-10 a.m.

Coffee break
Halls C, D and E

9:30-11:30 a.m.

Petfood Forum Student Program presentations
Future of Petfood Pavilion, Hall C

9:50-11:30 a.m.

Petfood Tech Talks
Tech Talk Stage, Hall D

  • 9:50 am: Unleashing nutritional potential: Sorghum bran in pet food – Julia Pezzali, DVM, MSc, PhD Director of Pet Food Program, Kansas State University, Associate Professor. Sponsored by United Sorghum Checkoff Program
  • 10:05 am: Using velocity control to optimize dilute phase conveying systems – Jonathan Thorn, M.S., executive director, process technology, Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials (FPM)
  • 10:20 am: Utilizing plasma-based ingredients in non-traditional applications – Dr. Joy Campbell, senior director of global pet food technical service, APC LLC
  • 10:35 am: From aspiration to reality: Modeling and optimizing pet food production with advanced formulation technology – Ian Mealy, product marketing director-formulation, Format Solutions
  • 10:50 am: Probiotics and their application into pet food diets – Mallory Gandhi, Ph.D., CTO, Hollison
  • 11:05 am: The quest for quality: building trust through excellence – Allison Millican, Ph.D., global technical service, companion animal lead, Zinpro Corporation
  • 11:20 am: Unleashing the future of sustainable pet nutrition: harnessing hydrolysis expertise and encapsulation strategies – Andre Almeida, R&D director, ETSA Portugal

Learn more about the tech talks >

11:30-11:45 a.m.

Announcement of student research competition awards
Future of Petfood Pavilion, Hall C

11:45 a.m. -1 p.m.

Lunch
Halls C and E

12-1 p.m.

Women in Petfood Leadership networking event
Includes presentation by Tamara Ghandour, founder of LaunchStreet
Future of Petfood Pavilion, Hall C

1-2:15 p.m.

Ask the Pet Food Pro panel discussion: Making sustainable pet food
Tech Talk Stage, Hall D

Join this panel of experts to learn the latest about pet food sustainability — best practices, success stories, challenges, as well as consumer perceptions — and take the opportunity to ask questions about how to start or advance your company’s own sustainability journey.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Shannon Brown, pet brand manager, Packaged Facts
  • Adam Craig, director of product development, Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • Stephie Volo, chief impact officer, Earth Animal

Learn more about the panelists >>

2:15-3 p.m.

Ice cream social and raffle
Halls C, D and E

 

Monday, April 29; All activities will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center

7:45-8:30 a.m.

Registration/check-in with light breakfast & coffee

8:30-9:15 a.m.

Welcome and opening session: Unlocking profit potential through pet snacking foresights
Suzy Badaracco, president, Culinary Tides

Badarraco provides an in-depth understanding of the forces driving pet snacking trends, equipping audience members to navigate them skillfully. She helps pet food professionals cross-analyze trend data to craft actionable intelligence, enabling informed decision-making, and develop an enhanced ability to anticipate opportunities and map pathways to ensuring the triumph of their pet snack products.

9:15-10:30 a.m.

Commercialization challenge: How to get a pet treat concept to market 
Aaron Merrell, CEO and co-founder, Plato Pet Treats

Merrell explores keys to success in launching a pet treat to market, including pros and cons and pitfalls of self-manufacturing, private label, white label or contract manufacturing. He highlights critical factors like product development, branding and distribution across different manufacturing models, and discusses how to navigate challenges and mitigate risks. From his perspective as both an owned-brand and contract manufacturer, Merrell offers practical insights and actionable strategies for successfully introducing a pet treat product to the competitive market.

Includes time for group introduction and brainstorming

10:30-11 a.m.

Coffee break

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Pet treats and supplements: Key differences, opportunities for synergy
Bill Bookout, president, National Animal Supplement Council

Includes time for group brainstorming/developing new product or service idea

 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Lunch

1:15-2:30 p.m.

Exploring novel proteins and functional ingredients in pet treats
Angelique Myburgh, nutrition and development specialist, Montego Pet Nutrition

Myburgh introduces the forefront of pet treats with the latest research on functional ingredients and their transformative benefits in crafting enhanced pet treats. Treats with such added benefits beyond basic nutrition are gaining popularity in the overall pet food market. She provides insights into the market drivers and trends behind these advancements and their impact on the pet food industry.

Includes time for group brainstorming/developing new product or service idea

2:30-3:45 p.m.

Ins and outs of pet treat safety
Maria Cattai de Godoy, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Illinois

Includes time for groups to finalize their ideas/presentations

3:45-4:15 p.m.

Groups presentations and judging of the ideas

4:15-5 p.m.

Petfood Essentials mixer

5:30-7 p.m.

Join Petfood Forum opening reception at KC Live! at Power & Light District