July 19, 2018 – Phoenix, Ariz. – Today PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, announced four new members of its board of directors. Kimberlee Cornett, Joshua Kanter, Neal Litvack and J.K. Symancyk will lend their expertise to provide governance and oversight to PetSmart Charities as the charitable organization strives to connect people and pets in impactful ways.
As managing director of the Social Investment Practice at the Kresge Foundation, Cornett is responsible for a $350 million fund for impact investing. Before joining Kresge in 2010, she held leadership positions at Enterprise Community Investment – a syndicator of Low Income Housing Tax Credits – where she was vice president of the Investment Management group and subsequently, National Equity Initiatives. Cornett was a White House Fellow in the Clinton Administration and earlier in her career was the founding executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Virginia. In addition to PetSmart Charities, Cornett currently serves on the Investment Committee of Goodwill Industries International and the boards of Habitat for Humanity International and The Conservation Fund.
Kanter is the executive vice president of Marketing and Customer Experience at PetSmart. Having joined the nation’s largest pet retailer in November 2017, he oversees all aspects of PetSmart’s brand marketing, digital, media and creative to deliver a best-in-class, convenient customer experience across PetSmart’s 1,600 stores and online. Kanter joined PetSmart from Viking Cruises, where he served as a senior vice president of marketing strategy. He has previously served in several leadership positions including senior vice president of marketing at Caesars Entertainment and earlier as an associate principal at McKinsey & Company. For a decade, Kanter served as a trustee on the Board of the Center for Supportive Schools, previously known as the Princeton Center for Leadership Training.
Litvack is the chief marketing officer for the American Red Cross and is responsible for all enterprise marketing, including brand stewardship and marketing strategies of digital channels, customer relations management, and emerging technologies. Prior to this role, he served as the organization’s chief development officer, leading the team that raised more than $600 million each year, as well as $2.7 billion in additional funds for major natural disasters during his tenure. Litvack has also been the COO and CFO at Milton Academy, a prestigious college prep academy in Milton, Mass., president of marketing at Fidelity Investments, and a consultant for Bain & Co. He has a deep passion for animals and is currently on the board of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, a PetSmart Charities partner, as well as the Buddy Dog Humane Society.
Symancyk is the CEO of PetSmart and a member of the company’s board of directors. Having joined the retailer in June 2018, he brings 25 years of deep operational experience across all areas of retail, including merchandising, consumer brand marketing, proprietary brands, services and ecommerce. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated his ability to lead companies, driving profitable growth and improving the organizational performance of internal teams at large, multi-channel consumer businesses. Previously, Symancyk served as the president and CEO of Academy Sports + Outdoors and president of Meijer. He also held management positions at Walmart Stores, including Sam’s Club and Walmart International. Prior to relocating to Phoenix for his newest role, Symancyk served on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to nonprofits aligned with its mission under four key areas of support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets and Providing Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting almost $340 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 15 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.
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Sarah Huether Golin for PetSmart
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