STAMFORD, CONN. — On Feb. 8, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) announced seven employee promotions. The promotions span many different departments within the association, including attendee service, business development, human resources, member relations, marketing and communications, and trade show operations.

Jennifer Skelley has been promoted to vice president of the information systems department within APPA. The newly formed department will use cutting-edge software to provide value for APPA members. Skelley will oversee all enterprise systems and will be responsible for finding opportunities to use technology in support of the organization’s growth. She previously served as senior director of communications and publica relations at APPA.

Karyn Bennitt has been promoted to director of member relations and business development at APPA. Since 2008, she has helped the organization develop its education program and other membership benefits. She helped APPA grow its membership through acquisition, engagement and retention efforts. Bennitt also spearheaded the member communications and weekly member newsletter.

Chris Bonifati has been promoted to director of attendee services at APPA and will now be responsible for directing the redesign of Global Pet Expo registration, selecting new partners and providing attendee analyses and digital solutions in response to COVID-19. He is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Young Professionals, having completed its Certified Exhibition Management (CEM) program in 2019.

Kate Stewart has been promoted to director of trade show operations. She joined APPA in 2011 and has worked with the organization and with Global Pet Expo. She will direct the day-to-day preparations for the trade show and will act as a direct contact to all exhibitors. Stewart will be responsible for booth sales and assignments, exhibitor management, exhibitor recruitment and retention and exhibitor service. She also serves on the NY IAEE Chapter Board and the IAEE National Young Professionals Committee.

Cori Stoutenberg has been promoted to director of public relations. Stoutenberg joined APPA in 2017 and will now direct all public relations and social media for the organization and the Global Pet Expo. Since her beginnings with APPA, she has developed and implemented several strategies to promote and expand APPA and the Global Pet Expo’s reach.

Josh Vetere has been promoted to director of marketing and communications. He joined APPA in 2006 and will now be responsible for all APPA and Global Pet Expo email communications. He will also direct the creating and implementing of annual advertising plans to increase awareness of the pet industry’s events.

Megan Brennan has been promoted to human resources manager. She joined APPA in 2019 and will direct all facets of human resources, managing and planning office functions and executing logistics for APPA’s board of directors meetings. She will also supervise on-site registration at Global Pet Expo.

"On behalf of the entire APPA team, I would like to congratulate these employees on their well-earned promotions," said Andrew Darmohrai, CAE, executive vice president and chief operating officer, APPA. "We are proud to see our organization continue to grow and advance with the help of our entire team, including these talented professionals. We look forward to all we will accomplish together in 2022."

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.