Victoria Stilwell Set to Positively Wow KC Crowd & More

This Monday, August 26 marks the 8th annual Animal Health Corridor Homecoming dinner, which according to the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is “a gathering of animal health CEOs and industry leaders from across the country.” I’ve been to all of them and this year Germinder & Associates is sponsoring the event again as it promises to be the best yet. I had the opportunity to interview Animal Planet’s Victoria Stilwell, the world-famous dog trainer, author and speaker who is this year’s keynote speaker.  Check out her website,,  she appears every bit as charming as her TV persona.  I’m sure she will “positively” mesmerize the crowd as much as she does her canine companions and their human counterparts. The Guest Host this year is Kostas Kontopanos, President of Hill’s USA.  He’s a thoughtful leader of a global company and I’m also looking forward to his host remarks.  But most of all, although I attend most of the major veterinary conferences, I’m looking forward to participating in one of the greatest animal health industry events of the year. It’s filled with familiar faces but the Corridor team led by Kimberly Young,  Vice President, Bioscience Development always manages a new creative spin to each event. The next day, Tuesday, August 27 marks a seriously full day of the Investment Forum, where thirteen companies seeking funding will present their business plans to industry leaders. Kim leads this initiative as well, and by all appearances, these two events will each hit home runs. To check out the events in realtime, follow me on twitter @lgerminder and all the tweets at #kcanimalhealth or better yet, plan to attend in person next year.

From Proof of Concept to Finding the K: KC Animal Health Corridor Delivers

I’ve written several blog posts here about the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, and for good reason. The Corridor is a happening place in animal health and I’ve been so proud to be a part of it. As the Corridor unveils its Fourth Annual Investment Forum, my enthusiasm meter rises all over again. Applications are now being accepted for presenting companies for the program on Tuesday, August 28.  The format promises to be better than ever.  Now with the Center for Animal Health Innovation up and running, the Corridor’s offerings of support for early stage companies — from proof of concept to the Investment Forum providing a platform for raising capital (with a capital “K”) —  is stronger than ever.  If you haven’t checked into this aspect of the Corridor, it’s a great story, all told on the web site.  Check out the criteria to be a presenting company or register to attend.  It’s going to be a good one this year — as always. Next Corridor post, get ready for commentary on the Homecoming Hoedown, Monday, August 27 with more details to come.

New Leadership for the Animal Health Corridor & More

Fall is usually a relatively quiet time as we gear up for 2012. Not so this year. Hot on the heals of the success of its 2011 Homecoming event, the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor confirmed new board leadership this week. The KC Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board voted at its meeting October 5 to appoint Craig Wallace, North America Zone director for Ceva Animal Health, as chair. The board also approved the appointment of Kostas Kontopanos, U.S. president of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. as vice chair. Both positions will be held for one year terms at which point the vice chair will become chair. Read the full story here.

Fall is known as the “second season” for ticks that can spread Lyme disease.   Our guest veterinarian Steven A. Levy, VMD, is president of Veterinary Clinical and Consulting Services, LLC.   Dr. Levy  is a globally known, highly respected researcher & educator and is considered the premier expert on Canine Lyme Borreliosis.   He holds numerous professional memberships and has received countless industry awards recognizing his expertise, his cutting-edge research and his leadership contributions to the veterinary community and beyond.   For the interview with Dr. Levy, click here.

The Goodnewsforpets & Planet Dog “On the Go” Fall Contest is underway.  Submit a one minute video or photo enjoying the outdoors with your pet and you may be one of five lucky winners of a collection of Planet Dog On the Go products. will also make a matching donation to the Planet Dog Foundation for each winning entry. Each of the five winning entries will receive a Planet Dog On the Go Snack Sack, Feedbag, Shammy, Food and Water Bowls, and a WOOF sticker. The contest period runs from October 1, 2011 to November 6, 2011. For more details, click here.

Happy Fall!  For more news and items of interest at goodnewsforpets, go to

Are You Coming Home?

Coming Home.  The traditional interpretation is coming home each Christmas to the ol’ homestead.  But with all the moves people make these days, including me…coming home can now mean a lot of places.  One place for me is Kansas City and a special event, this year’s Kansas City Animal Health Corridor Homecoming dinner Monday, August 29th.  

 For those of us in the animal health industry, we come home to Kansas City to network.  We come home to celebrate the rich Kansas City animal health heritage.  We come home to hear about all that’s “up to date” in the Corridor.   If you are in the animal health industry, come on home!  Register by this Monday, August 22nd. 

 Tied in with the Corridor’s Homecoming is the next day’s Investment Forum, Tuesday, August 30th.   The Forum features presentations from early stage animal health companies from around the world.  Register by this Tuesday, August 23rd

Mike Cavanaugh, DVM, dipl. ABVP, is a Kansas State University veterinary school grad and now executive director of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  Mike is taking the AAHA to new heights.  Read our interview with Mike here.

Karen Miller’s home is a long way from Kansas but it’s in another place I’ve called home — New York City. We wrap up the features on our 10thAnniversary winners with an interview about Karen and her Yorkshire Terrier JaJa.  Karen is enjoying the iPad she won and still wants people to know all about the ASPCA, the shelter that received her matching $500 donation. Read more here.

Finally, do you know what state the National Agro-Bio Defense Facility is going to be located in?  Find out here.

Coming home to Kansas City…I can’t wait.  Are you coming home? 

To see more content on, click here.

St. Louis Celebrations

This Saturday, July 16th , the 148th Annual AVMA Convention  kicks off in St. Louis with a celebration of World Veterinary Year.   St. Louis is special to me as it is the site of my very first public relations conference 30 years ago with a celebration under the Arch.  It’s a great city.

This year, I will be at a different kind of celebration — one of the very few times I will be experiencing the conference from afar.  I will miss seeing so many people until next month at the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor Homecoming Dinner and Investment Forum.   The good news is that for the first time I and many others can receive the conference news online.  I will still have many colleagues with ears to the ground to report back. 

For those attending the conference, check out the new free MapIt APP to plan your schedule.  There are so many interesting meetings and events to attend.  For example, Ceva is offering veterinarians and other AVMA attendee a  flea & tick information session and free lunch from noon to 2:00 PM today, Saturday July 16th.  Speakers include Dr. Phillip McKinney, Dr. Mike Paul and Dr. Mark Setser with moderator Dr. Jim Humphries.

Speaking of another celebration, it’s Christmas in July as we offer congratulations again to Shane Free of  Los Angeles, our latest featured 10th Anniversary winner of an iPad and a matching $500 donation.  Shane produced a fantastic holiday video celebrating the special bond with his cat Annie who has a kidney condition.  Shane designated his matching donation to the Los Angeles Animal Services.  Read more about Shane and Annie in his column.

To read more about when formalized veterinary medicine was founded and more pet questions answered, read our Pet IQ.

For those attending AVMA, have a great conference.  I hope those of you who can’t enjoy reading about it.  I hope to see many of you in Kansas City next month.

Bits & Pieces for the Memorial Day Weekend

Congratulations to Taylor Kearns, one of our ten 10th anniversary winners of an iPad & matching shelter donation. You can read Taylor’s column, “What Is It About Those Cats? Belle Remembered & More ” and his feature story, “Belle, the Wiley Little Thing.”  Also take a look at the Pawmetto Lifeline web site, the shelter he designated to receive his $500 donation. 

The Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) has announced David Haworth, formerly of Pfizer Animal Health, has joined MAF as the new president & CEO.

Last week, I presented a seminar: “Stay True to Your Brand: Tweet, Poke & Post, But Don’t Forget the Basics“ at the NYC Pet Show Retailer Summit. While other social media platforms were discussed, much of the question & answer session focused on use of Linked In and the subgroups.  If you haven’t joined the network, I encourage you to check these by joining Linked In.

Weight management continues to be a hot topic.  There’s still buzz about the NYC event we attended in Union Square with Alison Sweeny and the Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Million Pound Pledge.  And, columnist and veterinary surgeon Phil Zeltzman has his new book out, “Walk a Hound, Lose A Pound.”

Natural products in all shapes and sizes continue to be a growing trend.  We saw plenty of them at the NYC Pet Show.  Check out our “What’s New” featuring the Planet Petco line of new products.

The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is gearing up for its August events.  A reminder the deadline for applications to the Investment Forum is June 24, 2011.

For more news, go to  

It’s a short post this week as we head out for the holidays as well.  Have a great holiday weekend with your loved ones.

Kansas City Animal Health Corridor A Smashing Success

Kansas City’s done it again.  This year’s Animal Health Corridor events held August 30-31st were a “trifecta.”  Between the Biosecurity Research Symposium to the Homecoming Dinner and the Investment Forum, AND a separate media event with Jack Hanna, there was something for everyone. 

Jack Hanna and Lea-Ann Germinder

While we’ve been involved with the Homecoming Dinner and attended the Investment Forum, the Symposium was new for us.  A feature of the program was updates on the National Bio & Agro Defense Facility.  Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of K-State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine provided his views in a video interview with Dan Verdon. 

 We actually had two roles this year.  We handled media relations AND we were proud to be a lead sponsor for the “Late Night in the Corridor with Fintan Molloy” Homecoming Dinner  and the Investment Forum, where 21 early-stage companies presented their business plans.   

Our day on Monday August 30th began with the BioSecurity Research Symposium with a bevy of speakers including the story of the discovery of the West Nile Virus from former Bronx Zoo senior pathologist Tracey S. McNamara, DVM, ACVP and keynote speaker Larry Barret, DVM, MS, ACVPM, Director of the Plum island Animal Disease Center. Fascinating stuff!

Then, it was on to coordinating a local media event featuring an appearance of Jack Hanna, the executive director of the Kansas City Zoo, and an assortment of beautiful animals including a CHEETAH.  This all in the OLD lobby of the Muehlbach hotel.  

After a great networking reception we hosted an outstanding group of animal health professionals at our table at the Homecoming dinner.  Tuesday morning, August 31st, it was an early morning.  I introduced the first few companies presenting to investment firms and leading animal health companies hoping to secure a round of funding. 

I am encouraging anyone in animal health to register and attend all the events next year — they have become not to be missed opportunities.

“Jackpot ,” a fabulous poodle/bichon mix is our latest contest winner. He took home the prize of $100 in pet toys and his owner, Vicki Howell got to donate a matching gift to the Hurst Texas animal shelter to boot.  Register at to get notice of the next contest!