26 Jan Our Founder Thomas R. Willard, PhD
Graduated from North Carolina State University 1974, with a PhD in Animal Nutrition and a minor in Biochemistry. He also holds an M.S. degree in Animal Science, plus a minor in Statistics with a B.S degree in Agriculture Technical Engineering & Animal Science.
Director of Technical Services and Canine research facilities, Campbell Soup Company.
1979 – 1983
Founded A&T Enterprises, a nutritional consulting group for production animals and manufacturer of pet supplements and treats.
1984 – 1989
Five years as Vice President of Technical Services of the Iams Company in Dayton, OH. Established technical services department and set up research parameters for all animal research projects in-house and off-site, departmental staffing, design and formulation of all company products, new product development, technical presentations and leading the design and construction of the first two phases of the multi-million dollar, state of the art, Paul F. Iams Technical Center, located in Lewisburg, OH.
Founded PATH Nutritional Consultants, specializing in consulting with start-up, entrepreneurial companies, seeking to develop innovative nutritional foods, processes and over all quality products. Consulted with both pet food companies and major industry suppliers to the pet food industry, in developing specialized ingredients and super premium foods in eight foreign countries, as well as the US. Involved in the development of several ingredient and equipment processing projects currently being used for pet foods and treats.
1991 – 2008
President and co-founder of Performance Foods, Inc.
Realizing a niche market opportunity, ferret food, under the brand name of Totally Ferret®, was initially introduced regionally. Since 1994 the product has grown to an internationally distributed brand and sold in five foreign countries and the US. The line has grown to include seven products with a total of 14 skus. Further development and testing of specialized foods for performance, working, and strict carnivore animals are continually undertaken for the purpose of continued growth in other pet lines.
Since 1994 Dr. Willard has specialized in ferret nutritional research and product development and has presented several seminars and lectures at veterinarian conferences and special international ferret organizations on the nutrition and husbandry of the domesticated ferret. Performance Foods, Inc., is a major sponsor of university, zoo, as well as private and government research programs regarding ferret nutrition. Recently having supported a three-year study with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center, in Laramie, WY. The research was in support of the reintroduction of the BFF into the wild.
He has also developed and presented various seminars and lectures, numerous times on companion animal nutrition, quality control and process development both nationally and internationally for pet food companies, veterinarian groups, dog and ferret breeders.
A recognized speaker at the international Pet Food Forum in Chicago since 1993. A writer of pet nutritional articles, extensively quoted in ferret publications, and recently completed a section on Ferret Nutrition, plus Formulation and Ingredients Selection, in the First Edition of Petfood Technology published by Watt Publishing Company, Mt. Morris, IL in 2003.