Melissa Mitchner is the CEO and founder of The Bark Shoppe, located in Harlem, NY. Melissa has over a decade in business management and expansion. Prior to entering the pet care industry, she worked for one of the largest retail companies in the nation and was responsible for hiring over 6,000 + people. She has 7 years’ experience in owning and managing a profitable salon. Since opening in 2012 she has expanded her services from grooming, to boarding, daycare and self-service facility and has also created private label products for her brand. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow and establish their brands, and is currently a licensed grooming instructor by NY State.
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.
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, ICMG, 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. She teaches, writes grooming articles and an award-winning blog, and is publishing A Groomers Guide to the Fifteen Coat Types in 2021 based on her ground-breaking seminar. Jennifer founded the Illinois Professional Pet Groomers Association and works on the leadership team for the National Alliance of Grooming Associations (NAGA).
Dennis Brooks is a second-generation, full-time Certified Master Sharpener with over 25 years of experience. Dennis and his wife Tonya are the owners of Sharp Edges Sharpening Service - IL and Hamaguri USA, where he manufactures sharpening equipment and provides training for those in the sharpening industry. Specializing in the sharpening and service of pet grooming tools and equipment, Dennis is dedicated to his craft and believes strongly in sharing that knowledge with his customers. He helps empower groomers to maintain their equipment, which makes their grooms easier, faster and more economical, as well as extending the life and performance of their valuable tools.
Elli found her passion for grooming over a decade ago when she started as a bather at PetSmart. Not long after training to be a groomer there, she moved to the private sector. She is an award-winning competition groomer, certified pet aesthetician, NCMG, and co-owner of Retro Stylist wear. In 2017, Elli started at Smoochie Pooch and currently wears many hats as she is currently a marketing development and regional manager, helping run a company with more than 7 locations and about 40 employees. She is passionate about helping the business grow and creating an employee first, compassionate work environment for her team.
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.
Malissa Conti-Diener is an entrepreneur, Certified Aromatherapist, Master Massage Therapist, a Professional Holistic Pet Groomer and animal wellness advocate, as well as a published author, educator, speaker, business coach, ordained minister, Level 2 Reiki Energy worker, animal communicator, and a proponent of the mindful, compassionate, and holistic style of pet grooming. She has a background in pet psychology, western herbalism and personal/business coaching. Her life has always encompassed a deep love and respect of animals. Cultivating a mindset of deep connection and kindness are staples in Malissa’s life and my practice.
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.
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.
Janice Fehn started her grooming career in high school by grooming her own Cocker Spaniel and a Standard Poodle that no one else could groom. Those two dogs were the first of many second-hand and rescues she had over many years since 1966. Janice started breeding and showing Cockers in the late 70's, gaining her Master Grooming certificate in '82. Sunshine Acres was her kennel name and horse farm. Janice still attends seminars and is always striving to move forward. Janice continues to enjoy grooming, mentoring, and teaching. From managing her solo grooming shop to managing four corporate grooming salons, she has seen about everything that groomers encounter!
Erin Flynn started her grooming career 16 years ago and has always had a passion for improving her skills while providing a safe and comfortable setting for dogs of all sizes and types. In 2021, Erin and her friend opened Furst Place Pups, offering high quality care and grooming in Dayton area. Her focus has been on mastering handling and technical skills with a focus on difficult and mobility challenged dogs. More recently she has applied those skills to the show stage and looks forward to many more years of competing and educating.
Anne has been a professional pet stylist for over 20 years, joining the team at The Village Groomer & Pet Supply in Walpole, Mass in 1995. Anne was the recipient of the Cardinal Crystal Award for Journalist of The Year for her work on the instructional article in Grooming Business Magazine, “The Grooming Table.” She was a member of GroomTeam USA in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and winner of “Taxi Award” at the NEPGP for the best expression and character on a mixed breed. Anne is excited to share her knowledge she has gathered over the years as she transitions into being an educator in the industry that she loves.
Raised in the pet grooming world, Donovan has seen and done it all. As young as seven, he found himself at world-renowned trade shows such as Groom Expo, Groom Expo West, and Intergroom. Over the years, he has worked with incredible stylists from across the globe to learn and integrate some of the most advanced grooming and bathing techniques into his pet styling education. This allowed him to work and help prepare dogs for private classes, online education, photo shoots, and competition grooming. In 2021, Donovan and his mom, Jayne, were competitors on the cultural phenomenon Pooch Perfect on ABC.
Who would have thought that someone who grew up in a "No Pets Allowed" household would end up spearheading some of the most iconic grooms in the country? Jayne graduated from the Jersey Shore Grooming Academy in the year 2000, took courses from the prestigious Nash Academy, and took private lessons from top pet stylists and GroomTeam members from around the globe. She marks herself as a perpetual student, always excited to stay sharp in her craft. She is an award-winning legend who is known far and wide in the grooming community, even being featured as a competitor in the 2021 cultural phenomenon Pooch Perfect on ABC Network. Jayne specializes in creative styling, salon freestyle, Asian fusion, poodles, and bichons.
Misty is an IGA Certified Master Groomer and has won many Best in Shows, Best All Around Groomer. She was on the US Gold Winning Model Dog Team in Taiwan and took BIS Creative. She won the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Award for her Charity "Groomers for Groomers." Nominated for Creative Groomer Barkleigh Honors and awarded IJA Creative Groomer. Misty started grooming in 2005 and helped open 3 other salons. She owns 2 upscale salons in Columbus Ohio with a staff of 15; Designer Paws Salon. 1st opened in 2013 and second in 2018 with receiving multiple service awards.
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.
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.
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 twelve years grooming experience, and she began competitive grooming in 2016. Over the past five years, she has pushed herself to attend as many classes, shows and competitions as possible to continue her growth in the industry. Her hard work has paid off having placed in the majority of Barkleigh shows she has competed in, Superzoo and an international model dog competition in Taiwan. Alyssa has been nominated for Creative Groomer of the Year by the prestigious Barkleigh Honors Awards. She has also been featured on Night Line News and was a Finalist on ABC's creative dog grooming competition show, Pooch Perfect. Alyssa has been a Brand Ambassador for Foxy Roxy since 2020 and a member of the Foxy Roxy Competition Team.
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.
Jessica Moore CMG, IGMS is the owner of Show Stoppers Pet Styling in Waukegan, Illinois. Jessica has been a pet stylist for 18 years and began competing in 2006. After accelerating in the competition ring quickly she moved from entry level to open in a matter of a few shows. In 2007-10 she ended the years in the top 20. Jessica has walked away with multitude of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place wins, including many group placements in every level as well as several Best Groomed Dog Awards and Best in Show.
Samantha Palya started her grooming career in the year of 1996 at Great Lakes Academy of Professional Pet Styling. She entered her first competition at the All American Grooming Show in 1996. From then she earned placements in poodles, and handstripping in her division. She was awarded Best Groomer and Best Groomed Dog in Show for a handstripped terrier at Groom Expo in 1998. At the age of 21 she opened Absolutely Pawfect Pet Styling. Samantha apprentices to help give opportunities to future pet care professionals. She holds certificates for CPR and Pet Safety, Skin and Hair, Salon Sanitation, Canine Body Language, Dog Gurus College, Pricing for profits, and many more.
Irina Pinkusevich, NCMG, has been in the grooming industry for over 20 years and currently teaches the art of pet styling at Merryfield School of Pet Grooming in Ft. Laugerdale, FL. She was a 2011 Barkleigh Honors Awards nominee, is a multiple BIS and Best All Around winner and Best American Groomer 2008 at Intergroom. Irina was a member of GroomTeam USA travel team in 2008 and competed in World Team Championship in Dachau Germany in 2009 where she helped bring back the gold for the U.S.
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.
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 a Nationally Certified Master Groomer with over 16 years’ experience. She received training in a corporate salon then worked alongside several Master Groomers. After working as a veterinarian’s head groomer, Kelsey became a business owner and ran a successful home-based salon for four years. She opened her salon “The Dog Studio” outside of Nashville, TN in 2020. Kelsey is a proud member of the Foxy Roxy Pro Team and is ferociously passionate about continuing education in the grooming industry. She is published in Groomer-To-Groomer magazine, and has helped the Nashville area orchestrate seminars and industry events.
Susan has been grooming dogs and cats for over forty years and has taught grooming for fifteen years. Her first love of dogs began very young while on the television set of Rin Tin Tin and then in her teens on the set of Hogan’s Heroes. Like many groomers, Susan turned a “hobby” into her life work. Her career began with showing and grooming her own dogs, progressed to showing and grooming for others as a Certified Professional Handler and, in 1997, Susan turned in her show leash for a judge’s book. She now judges breeds in five groups and has judged grooming competitions. Susan is presently an AKC Delegate for the Black Russian Terrier Club of America, where she holds the office of Recording Secretary and serves as Chairman of the Judges Education Committee.
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.
Adrian Smith is the owner of two locations of “Groomed by Adrian’s Pet Salon” in New Orleans and Atlanta. He is known on social media as the “Color King” which landed him a spot on the ABC primetime network show, Pooch Perfect. Grooming for over 8 years, Adrian has over 10 grooming certifications with extensive knowledge on creative grooming. Adrian’s affinity and passion for the well-being and care of animals have truly been the fabric of his life, shaping and guiding his career. A firm believer in “dream-chasing,” Adrian lives by the following mantra: It’s never too late to follow your first love — and succeed!
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.
Jessica Uzzetta is a Nationally Certified Master Groomer with a passion for continuing education and bringing groomers together to better the industry as a whole. She has been competing in grooming competitions since 2012 and earned multiple first place and a Best in Show award, quickly reaching the highest level in three short years. She is a single mother of two beautiful girls who owns and operates two upscale pet salons and mobile grooming businesses in Wentzville, MO. She is passionate about her Poodles in showing, breeding, rescue and education. In addition to grooming, Jessica has also been an active Veterinary Technician for almost 20 years. Her passion for animals and education to her clients, peers and the public are shown every day.
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".
Daniel J. Williams is the managing director of EZ-Groom Pet Products Inc. in Oak Park, Michigan, U.S.A. He holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Lawrence Technological University, earned a master’s degree in business administration from Baker College, and has completed the University of Chicago Advanced Leadership program. He has authored numerous articles on cosmetics, and metallurgy as it relates to pet grooming shears. Dan has designed and engineered a number of manufacturing projects at metal-making factories in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Over the past 22 years, Dan has served as president and CEO of three small closely held organizations where he managed a number of mergers and acquisitions. Dan has worked with EZ-Groom since 2002.
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.