Pet Advocacy Network Celebrates Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Care Community with Annual Awards



Orlando, Fla.March 19, 2024 – Today, the Pet Advocacy Network (PAN) recognized six individuals and organizations for their extraordinary commitment to responsible pet care, animal health and wellbeing, and advocacy on behalf of pets.

The awards were presented during the organization’s annual meeting on March 19 in Orlando, Fla.

“The Pet Advocacy Network is proud to celebrate these inspiring leaders and their remarkable efforts to promote responsible pet care and animal health and wellbeing,” said Mike Bober, president and CEO of PAN. “Their dedication and tireless work have helped improve the lives of pets and their owners in meaningful ways. From shaping positive legislation to encouraging collaboration across industry partners, we are grateful for the contributions of this year’s class of award recipients.”

Elwyn Segrest, president of Segrest Farms, received the Nancy G. Knutson Lifetime Achievement Award for his unwavering dedication to building and protecting a vibrant and responsible aquatics industry. His lifelong commitment to innovation and excellence continues to influence and inspire the future of pet care.

David Dieter, senior director of Zoo Med Laboratories, received the Allan L. Levey Chair’s Award of Excellence in recognition of his outstanding work chairing the Pet Advocacy Network’s Herp Committee on pet reptile and amphibian regulatory and legislative issues. His leadership, collaborative spirit, and sense of initiative have been instrumental in guiding the Herp Committee towards success, including his work to prevent a turtle importation ban in California. David has also been a staunch advocate for expanded collaboration between the various associations representing the pet care community and increased support for PAN.

Tim Norsen, U.S. sales manager at AngelCare, received the Pet Advocacy Network Ambassador of the Year Award for his invaluable work and wisdom promoting the value of membership to the greater pet care community. His recruitment efforts have been integral in expanding PAN’s membership and voice nationwide.

The National Aquaculture Association received the Pet Care Community Leaders of the Year Award for its leadership in federal and state advocacy on issues that have a profound effect on people’s access to companion animals. The organization’s tireless work educating lawmakers and committee staff members helped successfully block several harmful bills threatening U.S. pet care.

The National Service Animals Memorial received the Power of Pets Award, which recognizes the hard work and infectious enthusiasm of Susan Bahary and her team at the National Service Animals Memorial Project (NSAM). NSAM’s efforts have helped take a memorial recognizing the many ways animals continue to serve Americans from a good idea to a very real prospect in record time. PAN recognizes the project for its remarkable efforts to communicate the power of pets in Washington and across the country.

Lori Wilson, owner of Uncle Bill’s Pet Centers, received the Pet Advocate of the Year Award. Lori’s tireless advocacy efforts, including her instrumental role in defeating a local pet sale ban in Indianapolis, and supporting the passage of the Puppy Protection Act in Indiana, exemplify her unwavering commitment to advancing canine welfare standards and the health of the pet care community at both the state and local levels.

PAN CEO Mike Bober and outgoing PAN Chairman John Mack

From Left to Right: PAN CEO Mike Bober, David Dieter of Zoo Med Labs, and PAN Chairman John Mack

From Left to Right: PAN CEO Mike Bober, Geno Evans with the National Aquaculture Association, and PAN Chairman John Mack

From Left to Right: PAN CEO Mike Bober, Tim Norsen with AngelCare, and PAN Chairman John Mack

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About Pet Advocacy Network 

The Pet Advocacy Network connects the experience and expertise of the responsible pet care community to lawmakers and governing bodies, advocating for legislative and regulatory priorities at the local, state, federal and international levels. Since 1971, the organization has worked to promote animal well-being and responsible pet ownership, foster environmental stewardship, and ensure access to healthy pets, including small animals, cats, dogs, fish, reptiles, and birds. Pet Advocacy Network members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists, and other trade organizations.