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Check out the 2017 Speaker Lineup!


Bill Bookout is a founding member of the National Animal Supplement Council, serving as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization and has been in the Pet Industry for over 20 years. He is widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the supplement industry for companion animals. Mr. Bookout was President of Genesis Limited, a company he founded in 1999 that provides both feed and health supplements for companion animals. In March of 2012, Genesis was acquired by Kemin Industries Inc., a privately held, family-owned company that has nearly 1500 employees and operates in more than 90 countries. He was Vice President of Global Sales at Kemin before reassuming the role of NASC President. 


Mr. Bookout was selected by Health Canada to serve on the Expert Advisory Committee for Veterinary Natural Health Products.  Prior to founding Genesis, he spent 15 years in the human medical device and animal health industries, including executive positions with Medex Medical, the All-Care Animal Referral Center (a specialty referral veterinary hospital) and AnaMed International, and was Director of Sales & Marketing for Marquest Medical Products. Mr. Bookout received his bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from Pepperdine University, Presidents and Key Executive Program.



Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, is the best-selling author of 8 books on cat behavior and was the host of the Nat Geo Wild/Animal Planet UK show, Psycho Kitty. With a career that spans 35 years, she is a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. Her books are considered cat bibles by veterinarians, shelters, behavior experts and cat parents worldwide. Her newest book, CatWise (Penguin Books) was released in October 2016. Her groundbreaking book, Think Like a Cat (Penguin Books), originally released in 2000 and updated in 2011, changed the way people viewed cat behavior and training.


Pam formerly served as VP of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also worked on the American Humane Association’s Advisory Board on Animal Behavior and Training, as well as being a member of the AHA’s Feline Health and Welfare Forum. She has worked with the Winn Feline Foundation and is a recipient of the Winn Feline Foundation Media Award, along with numerous other writing awards. Pam lives in Nashville and owns Cat Behavior Associates.



Dubbed the ‘Caped Crusader for Safe Pet Food’, Susan Thixton is a pet food consumer advocate giving consumers a voice in the regulatory system. She holds an advisory position to the AAFCO Pet Food and Ingredient Definitions Committees and provides consumers a voice with the FDA. She is the author/publisher of the website and the organizer of the only official pet food consumer association – Association for Truth in Pet Food.  



Tilford is a leading force and early pioneer of the pet supplements industry. He is co-founder, formulating herbalist and CEO for Animal Essentials Inc., a company that has been producing a full range of animal supplements for over 20 years.   A charter member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Animal Supplements Council (NASC), Greg is a world renowned expert in the field of veterinary botanical medicine.  An international lecturer, he has taught courses at several veterinary medicine institutions throughout the world, including Colorado State University Teaching Hospital; the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University; University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and the nationally accredited Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.  In Asia, he is an honorary advisor to the Japan Animal Wellness Association, a model educational institution training international pet care professionals on the science and philosophy behind natural veterinary medicine.

Greg is the author of five books, including the acclaimed Herbs for Pets, the Natural Way to Enhance your Pet’s Life (i-5 Publications, second ed. 2009). Other books include Edible & Medicinal Plants of the West, From Earth to Herbalist, and The EcoHerbalist’s Fieldbook. He’s also published numerous articles on herbs in consumer and trade magazines.



Billy Hoekman is the Natural Science Coordinator for Answers Pet Food. He is involved in nearly every aspect of their nutritional and educational focuses. Including working with farms, product development, nutritional analysis, developing educational materials, in store trainings, and social media. He routinely speaks around the country in places ranging from pet stores to public libraries to Veterinary Colleges. He also does health and nutrition consultations and is a frequent contributor to Dogs Naturally Magazine. He currently lives in Los Angeles California with his wife Emily and their dog Lua. 



In over 40 years as an animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton has worked in 25 countries formulating diets for nearly every kind of animal.  Previously, he was marketing manager for a company that recycled food waste to animal feeds and Director of Research for Prescription Diet pet foods. As a consultant based in New Mexico for the past 30 years, Patton has worked for agriculture enterprises, zoos, foreign governments, Fortune 500 companies, local and regional feed mills and pet food companies. An adjunct professor at Penn State for 15 years, he has 25 scientific publications, two patents, a book on pet nutrition (second edition) and numerous popular press articles. He writes a regular feature in Dogs Naturally Magazine. Past research focus included Vitamin E, chelated minerals and energy metabolism of the birthing mother. Patton’s role in the market place is to serve as a translator of technical insight for the benefit of the animal and the animal owner. 



Nancy Hassel is the founder and President of American Pet Professionals, an award winning business-networking and educational organization for the pet industry since 2009. Leading over 100 in-person educational networking events, seminars, fundraisers and online events for pet industry professionals. A Public Relations specialist for the pet industry, Nancy works with pet companies in many aspects of PR, event planning, media relations and training for pet professionals. Nancy also runs the Re-tails & Sales Pet Expo with Dana Humphrey, a trade show featuring Made in the USA pet products. Nancy is also a speaker at various pet industry conferences, a writer for pet trade and consumer magazines, blogger and photographer, and was a TV producer and production coordinator for 10+ years. Nancy also created a Responsible Dog Ownership program and taught over 2,500 pet parents in a 5-year period. Nancy resides on Long Island, NY and is the proud pet parent of Cody, a rescued American Pit Bull Terrier.

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