SuperZoo 2015, which opened on July 21, 2015, started off on a strong leadership note with its keynote speaker, Keni Thomas, country singer, motivational speaker and US Army Rangers veteran of the “Black Hawk Down” mission.


Lindsay Beaton | Petfood Industry magazine

SuperZoo special keynote speaker Keni Thomas discusses the role of leadership on and off the battlefield.

Thomas, who detailed his part in the special operations mission recounted in the movie “Black Hawk Down,” stressed three key tenets for success in any area of life: planning, training and leadership. While highlighting these aspects in his fellow Rangers through his storytelling, Thomas explained how the strengths the Rangers instilled in him have colored his life since that mission—and how anyone can apply those same lessons to benefit their business and their life overall.

“If you want a good company, have good standards. If you want a great company, have exceedingly high standards,” said Thomas during his talk. Those standards begin with a plan. “If you fail to make a plan, plan on failing,” he said. Once plans are in place, training must inevitably follow. The military has a saying, “train as you fight, fight as you train,” said Thomas, and the same concept applies to the business world. Everyone in the company must know their role, and know it well. Further, everyone should be confident not only in their own expertise, but in the expertise of those they work with. Once plans and training are in place, the final, and perhaps most important, cog in the wheel can be set: leadership. True leadership, said Thomas, is everyone knowing their job and leading in their own expertise. Leadership at every level, according to Thomas, is what breeds success—both individually and for a company.

“We’re only as good as our weakest link,” said Thomas, who expanded by saying that all the training in the world won’t mean anything if each person isn’t striving for excellence in all that they do and taking responsibility for their roles. He ended on a more individual note, applying business strategy to personal lives. “Own up to your gifts,” he said. “You always have the ability to change lives.”

New Products Showcase highlights top pet food industry trends

Among the many products on display in the “New Products Showcase” are pet food items highlighting all the latest industry trends. From high-protein formulas to grain-free products to new pet treats of all kinds, the showcase serves as an accurate assessment of what pet food consumers are currently looking for on their pet store shelves.


Lindsay Beaton | Petfood Industry magazine

Natural Balance highlighted its Original Ultra Whole Body Health formulas and its WIld Pursuit line at SuperZoo's New Products Showcase.


Lindsay Beaton | Petfood Industry magazine

Plato Pet Products showcased its new line of dog treats, Hunder's Crunch Icelandic fish jerky, a 100% natural product made of 100% Icelandic fish.


Lindsay Beaton | Petfood Industry magazine

Prairie Dog Pet Products displayed its treat options at the Showcase, including its Smokehouse Jerky made of 100% pure meat farm-raised in the US.


Lindsay Beaton | Petfood Industry magazine

Wellpet highlighted its Core line of pet products, including dry food, canned food and treats for dogs and cats.

SuperZoo 2015 has a sold-out floor plan with 983 exhibiting companies filling 2,170 booths, as well as several education and networking opportunities throughout the show. The tradeshow goes through July 23.