KC Animal Health Corridor Confirms 2013 Board Leadership

Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Merck Animal Health will provide leadership

Kansas City, Mo. – October 9, 2012 – The KC Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board voted to appoint Kostas Kontopanos, U.S. president of Hill’s Pet Nutrition as chair, effective January 1. The Board also approved the appointment of Scott Bormann, vice president, U.S. commercial operations of Merck Animal Health as vice chair.

The KC Animal Health Corridor is a nationally-recognized economic development initiative. With a spate of recent announcements, the initiative has resulted in close to 1,300 new jobs and nearly $1 billion in capital investment for the KC region. The program promotes the KC region as the center of the animal health industry with one third of the sales for the $19 billion industry originating from companies located within the Corridor. This represents the largest animal health industry concentration in the world.

“The appointment of Kostas as chair and head of a global pet nutrition company based in Topeka, Kansas, and Scott as vice-chair illustrates the geographic reach of the Corridor and the variety of assets located here. We welcome their leadership as the Corridor continues to grow,” said Kim Young, vice president of bioscience development for the Kansas City Area Development Council.

Kostas Kontopanos was named U.S. president of Hill’s Pet Nutrition in 2011. Prior to this position, Kostas was vice president of marketing for Hill’s U.S. Under his leadership, new product activity was dramatically accelerated. He has held a variety of marketing positions of increasing responsibility at both Hill’s and Colgate Palmolive since joining the organization in Greece in 1992.

Kontopanos’ role as chair of the KC Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board will be to act as the primary point of contact for industry, news media and civic leadership. He will also be responsible for leading board decision-making and Corridor strategy development; monitoring Corridor strategy implementation and interacting with the KC Animal Health Corridor Working Group on the day-to-day management of the Corridor’s activities.

“Hill’s has called Kansas home for more than 60 years.  We wholeheartedly support and have leveraged the rich heritage of animal health, innovation, research and collaborative assets that make the Corridor unique. I welcome the opportunity to lead the Advisory Board and look forward to our new opportunities ahead,” said Kontopanos, Corridor board chair.

Bormann will act as a secondary point of contact as he spends the next 12 months integrating with board leadership, Corridor activities and regional industry leadership.

“Merck Animal Health’s goals are in alignment with the Corridor’s goals. We recognize the region’s rich heritage and I welcome the opportunity to not only help promote, but grow it even more, “said Scott Bormann, Corridor vice-chair.

Kontopanos succeeds Craig Wallace, chief executive officer of Ceva Holdings, Inc. who will remain an advisory board member.  Both the chair and vice-chair positions carry a one year term.  Then, the vice chair will become chair.

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. manufactures Hill’s® Prescription Diet® brand pet foods, therapeutic pet foods available only through veterinarians, and Hill’s® Science Diet® brand pet foods sold through veterinarians and finer pet specialty stores. Founded more than 60 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s produces high-quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition™ visit www.HillsPet.com.

Merck Animal Health
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com.

About the KC Animal Health Corridor
The Kansas City area accounts for 32 percent of the $19 billion global animal health industry. The Corridor, anchored by Manhattan, Kan., and Columbia, Mo., is home to more than 220 animal health companies, which represents the largest concentration in the world. For more information, visit www.kcanimalhealth.com.