Denise Heroux owns Awesome Paws Pet Salon, a Cleveland-based chain with two locations and active plans for expansion. Awesome Paws fosters a healthy environment for employees and pets with a focus on employee investment and learning. While managing both locations and a staff of over 20 employees, Denise finds time to work with the Ohio Professional Pet Groomers Association, which she founded. The association focuses on setting a higher standard for pet safety, business-building opportunities, versatile learning experiences, and creating legislative fluidity in the industry. You may have listened to Denise on both the Women PetPreneurs and Small Business Hiring podcasts.
Chris Anthony, weary from her travails in retail management and office work, found her calling when she discovered pet grooming. Her near fifteen year journey in this career has led her through many opportunities, experiences & life lessons, including grooming and managing in both small and corporate salons, and starting her own successful house call grooming business in New Jersey. Supplementing those life lessons by educating herself on the varying aspects of her career, she always sought out innovations in pet care, education, grooming techniques, tools and products. Now her passion for grooming & education has added more in depth knowledge on scissors, scissoring techniques and ergonomics to help preserve her own health and longevity in her chosen profession.
Jay Batista is a Certified Pet Groomer by IPG, a member of the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, and graduated Gold with EduGroom, studying under Victor Rosado. Jay is the Puerto Rico All Other Purebred and Best in Show Champion of 2017 and 2018. A social media influencer, Jay Batista has over 34,000 followers on Instagram, which lead to many brand ambassadorships including Wahl, Fresh Shears, Pawmat, Alpha Grooming Products, Tumi Wear, Duz Dryer, and Hydra USA, Puerto Rico and International. Jay has taught in Puerto Rico, the US, and Columbia featuring unique Salon and Asian Freestyle trims.
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins is the Owner/Master Groomer at Love Fur Dogs in Glencoe, Illinois. Named “Best Groomer in Chicagoland” by the Chicago Tribune, Jennifer has been grooming, breeding, and showing several breeds of dogs and cats for four decades. Jennifer was featured on Season Three of the Hulu Television Series Small Business Revolution as a Grooming Expert. A retired career teacher, Jennifer is a grooming educator who also writes grooming articles and an award-winning blog. Jennifer has published a poster and is working on a book of the same title, A Groomers Guide to the Fifteen Coat Types, based on her ground-breaking seminar. Jennifer founded the Illinois Professional Pet Groomers Association. Jennifer and her husband live with their retired show dogs, two miniature poodles and two Australian Shepherds. They bi-locate between suburban Chicago and their Powhatan, Virginia retirement retreat. Jennifer can be reached at www.groomersguide.com
Nadia Bongelli has been grooming pets since 2009 and competing since 2012. Her accolades include Barkleigh Honors Up and Coming Groomer of the Year in 2016, Best All Around International Groomer at Intergroom 2017, five Rising Star Gold Medals, Rising Star of the Year award at Intergroom 2016, two Canadian BIS awards and had numerous Open Level placements in Canada and several in the United States. Nadia’s proudest moment was being awarded Canadian Groomer of the Year at the very first Canadian Grooming Industry Awards. She is a Nationally Certified Master Groomer with the National Dog Groomers Assoc. of America, Inc. and a certifier with the Intellectual Groomers Association. Her ultimate goal is to represent her country on Groom Team Canada with her peers.
Dave Campanella is an informative and entertaining seminar speaker, contributing trade columnist and genuine grooming enthusiast. He has over 30 years of pet industry knowledge, and has been Best Shot Pet Products sales, marketing, and product director for 15 years. He and his wife Tracy have co-owned a full service pet salon and self-wash in Ohio prior to relocating with Best Shot to Kentucky. Together they enjoy exhibiting at grooming shows, being industry ambassadors and showing their Kerry Blue Terriers, Lowland Polish Sheep Dog, and Samoyed.
Dana got her start as a lead veterinary technician at the North Peninsula Humane Society from 1998. While working there she witnessed firsthand the importance of basic care for our pets. She worked in many areas of the veterinary world before becoming a groomer in 2005 and founded A Purrfect Groomer. After 10 years in the brick and mortar salon she decided to go mobile and has been at it ever since. As a feline grooming expert, Dana was a founding member of the Intellectual Groomers Association and she wrote the guidelines that were used in feline certification. Now a Global Educator with Andis, Dana brings her vast knowledge of feline grooming to the everyday groomer.
Rachel Colant is an award-winning, second-generation dog groomer with over eleven years of experience. She put her stamp on the grooming industry as the go-to drop coat specialist and has become known for the cutest Yorkies in all the land. Her passion for education has led her to the coveted position of lead groomer at Jess Rona Grooming in Los Angeles where she oversees competition-level grooming on every dog, every day. Her ultimate goal is to continue to elevate the industry through education and her signature gentle grooming techniques.
Jonathan David has been the recipient of multiple scissoring awards, multiple Best All Around Groomer awards and Best in Show earning him a position on GroomTeam USA in 2008 and 2009. Jonathan was also a contestant on Animal Planet's "Groomer Has It" and has been featured as a grooming expert on multiple television shows. Currently, Jonathan owns and operates his salon, Lap of Luxury Dog Spa in Delray Beach, Florida and is a board member of multiple dog clubs.
An industry veteran, Teri has owned and operated successful salons and mobiles in Florida and California. A winning grooming contest competitor, Teri was a member of three GroomTeam USA Gold Medal teams. A multiple Barkleigh Honors and Cardinal Crystal Award winner, Teri was a regular columnist for Groomer to Groomer Magazine as well as a popular speaker and judge at seminars and trade shows across the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Mindy Dinwiddie owns Classy Canine in Litchfield, Michigan. She began grooming in 2007, having her own shop by 2008. She started in a back bedroom of her house, growing her business to a storefront. Her experiences include daycare, boarding and training. All while consistently furthering her education by attending expos, seminars and private lessons from top stylists in the industry, Mindy has been competing for three years. With a passion for learning and teaching, she began speaking in 2017 after having one of her grooms published in Doodle Modern Styles Special Edition. Mindy is also a Brand Ambassador for Evolution Shears.
Linda is an International Certified Master Groomer and President of International Professional Groomer, Inc. As a competitive groomer, Linda had many wins, including included Best in Show, Best All-Around Groomer, winning the Edemco 'Total Groom Extravaganza'. After putting several obedience titles on her dogs, she worked as a professional handler, finishing and putting championship points on over 60 champions in over 20 breeds and 7 groups. Her grooming career began in 1973, and her current grooming salon and self-wash is in Salem, Oregon. As an educator and certifier for IPG, Linda travels all over the world certifying, giving workshops, and judging grooming contests, and introducing the exciting new Salon Details Certification.
Dr. Cliff Faver, a 1987 graduate of CSU, is the founder/owner of Animal Health Services in Cave Creek, Arizona. He is the US distributor for Iv San Bernard products. He uses the two businesses as a means of merging the grooming and veterinary professions to pursue his life's passion of healing and helping pets. Dr. Faver is an international speaker and teaches the ISB Pet Aesthetician Certification program. He is a member of AVMA, AAHA, AZVMA, a sponsor for the CPPGA, a Board member for the Burbank Kennel Club, and previously served on the Novartis Lead Committee, Hill's International Global Veterinary Board, and is still active in a Veterinary Management Group.
Elizabeth Gibbs is an award-winning National Certified Master Groomer who has been in the grooming industry for over ten years. She spent nine years of her career in corporate and worked her way from a bather up to a grooming trainer. In 2018 she was nominated for Barkleigh Honors "Up and Coming Groomer of the Year". She has been featured on the educational video page "groomsource" and you can now catch her in the grooming ring competing in open level or showing her Bichon and English Cocker in the AKC ring.
Jill Hailey has created a virtual empire since opening her first mobile pet salon in 2014. Today her mobile business runs eight units in California. She owns Foxy Roxy’s Supply Co. which began in 2017 and includes Scissor of the Month Club and Groomer Supply Box. Along with her partner Blake Hernandez, she also runs multiple continuing education platforms, including the Foxify weekend retreats and GROOM Source. Jill came into the industry with plenty of experience in business management and graphic design, but oddly, none in grooming! And she believes that has brought a unique perspective with her that has contributed to her success.
A groomer of 10 years and former owner of Grooming by Juanita, a storefront located in Pennsylvania, Juanita is now a Brand Marketing Associate for Ryan’s Pet Supplies. Prior to her career, Juanita completed her Degree in Law and spent time researching animal behavior which helped her understand the connection between dogs and humans. Juanita also has an extensive career in high-end sales, retail, and corporate level, as well as private grooming based in New York City which helped her have insight into building successful client relationships. In building a successful online brand, Juanita has worked with brands including Andis, Hydra, Duke & Winston, Skout’s Honor, Blackworks, Chippin’, and more!
Blake Hernandez is a NCMG and three-time Barkleigh Honors recipient. He is best known for his online persona and caterwauling lyrics that speak to our industry. Blake has brought innovation and current outside trends to the grooming industry from Personality Marketing to the FoxEye, a phone holding device for the everyday groomer or aspiring influencer. Blake runs Foxy Roxy's Pet Salon in San Diego, CA, in addition to competing in grooming contests and dog shows all over the country. He is the co-creator and founder of GroomSource, an app made for groomers’ continued education as well as creator and producer of many products with Foxy Roxy's Supply Co. Blake was also a feature groomer in Netflix's "DOGS" documentary and a contestant on ABC's Pooch Perfect Season 1.
International Grooming Industry Speaker and Judge, Judy Hudson, holds an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology and is a National Certified Master Groomer and certifier for the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Judy owns and operates Groomingtails Mobile Pet Grooming in Nashville, Tennessee. Judy has multiple Best in Shows and Best All Around Groomer awards to her credit and stayed in Groomteam’s top 10 groomers for 4 years. Having retired from the contest ring, Judy enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with new groomers! She is also a level V Rodan and Fields skin care consultant.
Melissa Jepson has owned the award-winning Pupscale Pet Salon in California since 2013. As a founding member of the Association of Holistic Pet Professionals, she believes in creating a soothing environment for all aspects of grooming. She is thrilled to partner with Precision Sharp to offer high-quality products and also enjoys teaching webinars through Pawsitive Educational Training when she isn’t traveling. Nearly two decades of experience and a comprehensive knowledge base have made it possible to impart a fresh take with practical applications to her students which she hopes they’ll use long after the seminar has ended.
Alyssa Kasiba is an international award-winning creative groomer. She has almost 15 years grooming experience, and she began competitive grooming in 2016. Over the past years, she has specialized in creative grooming from competing on stage to teach the know hows. In the 2022 season Alyssa won 30+ awards nation wide, was on the cover of Groomer To Groomer magazine twice and ended the year won the Barkleigh Honors Creative Groomer of the Year. You may have seen her featured on Night Line News, Good Morning America, or as a Finalist on ABC's dog grooming competition show, Pooch Perfect. Alyssa has found a passion for teaching the art and creativity of grooming and can't wait to share it, through @Toesnbows on Instagram, private classes, or her favorite classrooms at a Barkleigh show!
Milena started off in graphic design and direct sales before realizing that she wanted to do more with animals. So, she went into grooming in 2013. She is now the owner of Driving Me Knots (Mobile Grooming), DMK Bowtique (Pet Accessories), and DMK Marketing Solutions (Custom Graphic Designs). She started competing in Extreme Creative Styling & Creative Abstract grooming contests in 2015, and won Up-and-Coming Creative Groomer that same year. Her creative work has also been seen on "The Greatest Showman" with Hugh Jackman and "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix. She was awarded the Barkleigh Honors Creative Groomer of the Year in 2018.
Jameson has a degree in International Business Management & Marketing, and has always had interests in working with animals at a young age. After working for a massive online retail company, managing over 300+ employees amongst 7 different call centers both domestically and internationally, he decided to jump right into the world of grooming with his wife, Milena. Now the proud owner of Driving Me Knots (Mobile Grooming), DMK Bowtique (Pet Accessories), and DMK Marketing Solutions (Custom Graphic Designs), his ability to multi-task and market the companies since 2013 is only the beginning for the DMK branding.
Internationally renowned creative stylist and instructor, Angela Kumpe has more placements in creative styling than anyone, worldwide. She won the first ever Barkleigh Honors Award for Creative Competitor. She is the author of A Creative Collection, a step-by-step guide to creative styling. Angela's work has been featured on Animal Planet, TLC, The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, and ABC Nightline as well as in The New York Times and on the cover of Groomer to Groomer magazine. Angela is the owner of Angela's Grooming and Pet Spa in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Cat Opson is a self-taught groomer who has been working in the industry for over 17 years. She has won many awards and accolades for her grooming skills in both regular competition classes and special classes such as Creative Styling, Model Dog, and Rescue Rodeos. She has been owner/operator of Estrella Pet Grooming in Capistrano Beach, CA, for 13 years. Her specialty is poodles/poodle mixes and she boasts a large, busy clientele based solely on word of mouth advertising. She has also shown/handled dogs at AKC shows since 2000 and has earned several championship titles on her poodles owner handled.
Mary Oquendo is the Founder of Pawsitive Educational Training; an online membership portal for professional groomers, and Spirited Dog Productions; which offers business consulting to busy pet professionals. Mary is a Certified Master Pet Tech Instructor and takes a holistic approach to handling animals. She holds the titles of Reiki Master and Advanced Crystal Master, and is on the board for the Association Of Holistic Pet Professionals. In addition, she is the Recipient of the 2012 Cardinal Crystal Award For Outstanding Achievement In The Pet Industry. You can listen to Mary on her two podcasts: Women Petpreneurs and The Traveling Groomer. She is also the author of the Mobile Groomers Bible and Holistic Pet Grooming.
Ashley LaVonne Pacini, owner of Ashley’s Barks n’ Bubbles in Port St Lucie, FL, has been in the grooming industry since the age of 14 as both a bather and a groomer. She graduated from Merryfield School of Pet Grooming, and became the youngest Nationally Certified Master Groomer with the NDGAA only 3 months later. Ashley is the winner of numerous grooming competition awards, including a Best in Show, moving from Entry to Open Division’s Top 15 in 2019, placed in the GroomTeam USA Top 10 in 2020 and was nominated for Barkleigh Honors “Up and Coming Groomer of the Year” award in 2018. She is currently on the World Team for Hyponic Americas.
As a second-generation groomer, Macie has been immersed in the dog world her whole life. She has been grooming professionally since 2010. Macie started competing in 2014 and quickly rose to the top, becoming one of the youngest competitors in open division. In 2016 she was nominated for the Barkleigh Honors Up and Coming Groomer of the Year Award. She will continue to travel and compete nationally until she achieves her dream of making GroomTeam USA. Macie co-owns the Laundromutt in Kenmore, NY.
Adriane Pope is an award-winning Pet stylist in Breed Profile and Creative Grooming. Her specialty is extreme creative styling and creative abstract design. Adriane is owner/groomer of Adriane's Groom and Go Mobile Grooming in Conway, SC., and also the owner of Rivertown Bed and Biscuit Luxury Kennel since 2004. She has 24 years of grooming experience, and has been mobile for 22 years. She started competing in breed profile in 1997 and started the creative world in 2004.
Barbara is the owner of Doggie Style Salon, the first ‘invitation only’ grooming salon in the country in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Some of her accomplishments include several Gold and Silver medals, Best in show and Best all-around groomer awards at prestigious grooming contests, both in Canada and Internationally, was a member of Groom Team Canada for 12 years, and the captain for 8 years, has been on the EGA’s judging list since 2004, and has been a proud member of the ‘Wahl Xtreme Stylist Team’ in Canada for 15 years. Barb also produces Mastergroom Canada. And she and her fiancé Mark are the proud partners and North American distributors for the amazing Nagayu C02 Bathing System.
Jess Rona is a dog groomer in Los Angeles and is known for her Instagram, @JessRonaGrooming that has over 100k followers and features her signature slo-mo videos. She directed the Tegan and Sara music video for “100x”, had a dog featured in Beck’s “WOW” video, and directed a commercial for the Standard hotel featuring her grooming clients. She’s been featured in O magazine, Marie Claire, Glamour, Elle, and Paper among many others, has been featured on several news programs including the Today Show and Good Morning America, and has had several write ups online. Some of her celebrity clients include: Katy Perry, Andy Garcia, Maria Menudos, and Marnie the Dog.
With 26 years of experience in professional grooming and conformation, Victor Rosado is a NCMG with NDGAA, ICMG, and is a certifier with IPG, as well as a Grooming Contest Judge and a Licensed All Breeds Conformation Judge for FCPR/FCI. As a competitive groomer, Victor Rosado is a multiple Best All Around and Best in Show winner, and one of the top groomers on GroomTeam USA. Victor is a member of American Spaniel Club, an AKC Breeder of Merit, and an exhibitor of American Cocker Spaniels for 20 years with multiple Best in Show and Best in Specialty Shows wins. Victor is also an Oster Ambassador in Latin America and owner of Davis Puerto Rico.
Arielle Scavnicky has over 13 years of experience ranging from working in corporate salons, private shops, and veterinary clinics. In 2016 she opened the Cleveland Grooming Academy, a grooming school certified through the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools. She is a National Certified Groomer, active competitor through Barkleigh and IJA, and president of the Ohio Professional Pet Groomers Association. Arielle has dedicated her career and future to creating a safe and fun learning environment for the new and upcoming groomers.
Jay and his wife, Michelle, own Here Comes the Groom, a highly successful mobile grooming salon in Germantown, Tennessee. Jay has won multiple Best in Show and Best All-Around Groomer awards and helped Groomteam USA win the Gold medal in Calgary, Canada, in 2001. Jay was named American Groomer of the Year in 2001, Groomer of the Year Award at Westminster Dog Show in 2002, and Grooming Judge of the Year in 2004. In 2003 Jay won an International Gold and Bronze medal in Barcelona, Spain, helping groomteam USA win the silver team medal. He and Sue Zecco offer seminars nationally. Jay won a Barkleigh Honors Award at the event that he emceed.
Kelsey Ann Sexton is an award winning Nationally Certified Groomer with almost two decades of Professional Pet Grooming experience. She owns an award winning salon outside of Nashville, TN that focuses on customer relationships for routine grooming services. She's also a member of Foxy Roxy Supply Company's Pro Team. Kelsey was nominated for Barkleigh Honors Speaker of the Year in 2022 and has a passion for continued education in the Pet Grooming Industry.
Tammy has been grooming and competing for over 24 years and now manages a busy upscale salon in Hinsdale, IL. She made GroomTeam USA in 2008, 2011, 2012, ultimately achieving her goal to travel to every show that was GroomTeam sanctioned for four years, and has been the Secretary for GroomTeam USA since 2013. Tammy has been the National Grooming Consultant for Espree Animal Products and works for Andis Company as a part of their Small Animal Education Team. She received certification from the USA Judges Alliance in 2012 and now judges at shows around the country and internationally. Tammy is certified in Animal CPR and First Aid and is currently working on becoming a Certified Master Groomer.
GM of Sales and Operations at Whitman's Sharpening, Nick Sklar was raised at the sharpening wheel. With more than twenty years' experience working with grooming equipment and the people who use it, Nick is an expert in proper equipment selection and care. He has done extensive research with top scissor companies and assisted with product design for several brands including Chris Christensen and Whitman's products.
Corina stumbled into the dog grooming industry by chance, but has brought fresh eyes and new ideas. She opened The Laundromutt, a self-service dog wash and grooming salon, on the concept that washing your own dog should be easy and fun. She believes that your dog should always be in the most educated hands, and in the cleanest and calmest environment possible. Corina is a college biology instructor and is currently in graduate school for Biotechnology.
Jeremy Stamper is Business Partner and Director of Marketing for Hydra Professional Line. He is passionate about business management, public relations, marketing and sales with over 15 years’ experience in the service and retail industries. He is also an entrepreneur that has consulted for and launched several businesses and brands. He currently resides in San Diego, CA with his two dogs.
Los Angeles-based dog groomer and social media influencer, Arisa Thomas is the go-to styling expert for turning dogs into cute and cuddly bears. She started her grooming career in 2010 in hopes of following in her mother's footsteps. Together they opened Blue Pooch, along with her sister. The women-powered trio quickly became popular for their Japanese-inspired pet trims. With a following of well over 300k followers on TikTok and Instagram, Arisa is making her mark as a "modern day" dog groomer by inspiring, entertaining, and educating dog groomers, pet parents, and pet-obsessed fans!
Shannon Tupes is a Certified Master Groomer with National Dog Groomers Association. She has been involved in the pet industry for 28 years and has owned several successful grooming salons throughout the US. She is a currently on the board of GroomTeam USA, a global educator with Andis, and has recently joined the team at Botaniqa. Shannon is a national and international speaker and judge. Shannon is very active in breeding and exhibiting purebred dogs, specifically Bichon Frise’s under the kennel prefix Releve’. She also serves of the Board of Directors of the Bichon Club of America.
In 1998, Joey purchased the Nash Academy in New Jersey which he owned and operated until 2008. Now a well-known pet industry speaker and judge, Joey has been nominated 14 times for the Cardinal Crystal and Barkleigh Honors awards. He has been enthusiastically involved with Intergroom International for 33 years and has been instrumental in expanding the organization's reach into Belgium, Italy, and France. Joey is one of the original members of the International Judges Association and has made many television appearances. Today, Joey continues to innovate and explore new dimensions in the pet care and grooming industry. In early 2009, Joey became part of the Animal Radio on-air staff where he is known as "The Dogfather".
With over 15 years of experience, Scott is one of the top winning U.S. Pet Stylists. As 1996 & 2002 U.S. Pet Pro Classic Champion and a GroomTeam USA member, Scott is internationally recognized as a judge, speaker and competitor in England, China, Italy, Spain, Scotland as well as in many other countries. With his extensive competition experience and expertise, Scott is lovingly and respectfully referred to throughout the industry as Mr. Terrier!
Olga is a Certified Master Groomer and owns two grooming salons, Elite Pet Spa & Boutique in Madison, NJ and Grooming Gallery in Morris Plains, NJ. She has multiple BIS and Best All-Around Groomer wins as well as two prestigious Winners Circle Champion titles. Olga is 2009 and 2010 American Groomer of the Year by Cardinal Pet, and was awarded the Lynne Carver Memorial Award as Best All Around Stylist 2009. Olga was born in Russia where she had a Master Degree in Engineering and finished law school. Olga was a GroomTeam USA member 2008-2012 and won the Silver medal in Belgium, 2011 as a part of the traveling team. Olga co-hosts many pet fundraising events.
Sue is a 2011 Barkleigh Honors Award winner. She is a Certified Master Groomer with both the National Dog Groomers Association (NDGAA) and the International Professional Groomers (IPG). She has been grooming for over 30 years. She has won multiple grooming awards, including her biggest show accomplishments: 1998 International Groomer of the Year and 1999 Oster Invitational Tournaments Grand Champion. Sue has been a member of GroomTeam USA since 1997 and broke all records in 1999, earning 113 points. She is also a Wahl Clipper Corporation spokesperson. With Jay Scruggs, she conducts a series of full-day seminars called Super Styling Sessions. Sue breeds Standard Poodles under the “Dreamcatcher” prefix.