Ralph is the Owner/Sharpener of Whitman’s Sharpening, one of the largest sharpeners and grooming tool suppliers in the Mid-West. Whitman’s provides sales and services to over 40 AKC/UKC dog shows and trade shows annually. Ralph noticed there was a need for higher quality, safer, more effective and easier to use products within the pet industry. So, these concepts have been in the forefront of their ideals since conception of the company in 1995. Whitman’s is the developer and manufacturer of the USA quality pet safe clipper blade cleaner/storage solution The Redip and The Diamastripper Tool. They operate out of Farwell, MI where they have a full retail area, as well host clinics and seminars all over the country.
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.
Khris Berry has been actively involved in the pet industry for 33 years. She currently co-owns and operates See Spot Grooming & Daycare with multiple Pet Grooming, Training, and Daycare facilities in Florida and Kentucky. She is the World Pet Association Director of Grooming, and is an advocate for education, safety, business and workplace issues for groomers worldwide. Nationally recognized as a Barkleigh Honors winner in 2017, multiple Barkleigh Honors nominations including Contribution to the Industry, Journalist, Book of the Year, and Speaker of the Year, Pet Age Magazine 2018 Vanguard Award Winner, and 2019 Pet Age Magazine Women of Influence Award Winner, Khris has established a platform of education and awareness in animal handling and safety in the pet industry and is an active advocate for fair and effective pet groomer legislation.
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, ICMG, is a career educator and advocate, an award-winning Master Groomer, and owner of Love Fur Dogs in Glencoe, Illinois. Named “Best Groomer in Chicagoland” by the Chicago Tribune, Jennifer founded the Illinois Professional Pet Groomers Association and serves as IPPGA Co-President, where she played a pivotal role in helping to gain “essential” status for pet groomers during the pandemic crisis. She was featured in the Hulu Network Television series "Small Business Revolution" as a Grooming Expert and serves on the Leadership Team for the National Alliance of Grooming Associations (NAGA). Jennifer and her husband are also nationally respected victim activists and educators and enjoy showing their Miniature Poodle and their Australian Shepherd.
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.
eff Dickerson is the CEO of DaySmart Software, the makers of 123Pet, a leading pet business management software. Jeff has 25+ years of experience building software companies and developing technology that empowers and drives real business results for customers. He previously held the role of CEO at Nutonian, The Neat Company, Sonian, Metatomix and eCredit. Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from North Adams State College.
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.
Dara Forleo attended Nash Academy in Lexington, KY, and upon completion of the Nash Program, earned her BA for Business Management from Ottawa University. Over the last 11 years, Dara has built a state-of-the-art facility called Dara’s Paw Spaw and The Whole Pet Grooming Academy, which has earned recognition from the community and her devoted following of clients. Dara provides students coming to the academy with the best equipment, products and curriculum, unlike any other offered in the country. Dara believes that training is not just about producing a beautiful groom today, it is about the long-term well-being of the groomer, the pet, the customer and the business.
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.
Evan, Director of Digital Media for Barkleigh Productions, is a social media strategist with over 8 years of professional experience. Responsible for developing an online presence for countless businesses, he has designed digital campaigns to increase online sales and generate new clientele. He graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Advertising & Digital Marketing, with additional certifications in Google Ads, the Facebook Blueprint, and other brand certificates. In his free time, he enjoys writing, creating visual media and traveling.
Blake Hernandez, NCMG, is a passionate and valued industry leader. Blake has worked tirelessly to go from complete novice to nationally ranked competitor in record pace. This certain determination and love for dogs and their care has led him to multiple State-Level Groomer of the Year awards and five Barkleigh Honor Nominations. When he is not managing his own Salon in San Diego, he is most commonly found exhibiting Bichon or Standard Poodles at his nearest Conformation Show. Blake is also a Brand Ambassador for Foxy Roxy Supply Co. with whom he partnered to develop his very own line of shears. He has recently garnered an additional Brand Representative position with iGroom.
Michelle Knowles, owner of All Things Paw, has over 30 years of experience as a private and professional pet care provider. Michelle is a Master Groomer and a Certified Pet Medical Aesthetician, has apprenticed, volunteered, worked, owned and managed in salons, kennels, zoos, and veterinary hospitals across the country. Michelle has also been trained in Tuscany, Italy in therapeutic work, hand stripping and advanced dermatological care. She has an ISB certification in skin and coat care, extensive experience with fear and trauma recovery, elderly pets, and a focus on managing allergic/dermatological disorders. Michelle has been published in Groomer-To-Groomer magazine and is a nationally recognized speaker in her field.
Lara Latshaw is a NCMG, Pet Tech CPR/First Aid Instructor and open level competitor. She has been grooming for over 18 years and opened her own salon in 2013. Prior to that she worked as Chief Grooming Officer for Hydrodog in Tampa, FL where she gained a tremendous amount of customer service and marketing education. Lara's salon, Gordon's Grooming, recently expanded into a new location, going from 192 sq feet to 2,000 sq feet.
Lisa Leady NCMG, CMG, is a certifier for National Dog Groomers Association and was a member of Groom Team USA from 2000-2006. In 2005 she qualified for the traveling team to France, where she helped bring home the Silver medal, in 2007 she qualified again for the traveling team to Italy. Lisa is the proud owner of Primp My Pooch Mobile in Genoa, IL, and breeds and shows Smooth Fox Terriers. Lisa was honored to be a contestant on Animal Planet's Groomer Has It 2.
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.
Lynn Paolillo has been grooming both dogs and cats for over 10 years. The last 5 have been dedicated to working as an instructor and certifier with the National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc. teaching cat grooming students from around the globe. She also owns and operates Cat Naps Cattery, a feline-exclusive boarding and grooming business in New Jersey.
Valerie, a second generation groomer, has been grooming professionally since 2001. At the age of 17, she enrolled at the Great Lakes Grooming Academy to get formal training from award-winning groomers, Meggan and Jeanne Mulcahy. She eventually became an instructor there. Valerie was ranked as one of the top 20 groomers in the country in 2013 and received a Barkleigh Honors nomination for “Up and Coming Groomer of the Year”. She has worked with AKC show handlers learning show cuts on Poodles, and handstripping on Lakeland Terriers and Wire-haired Dachshunds. She continues her education by attending multiple grooming shows a year.
Jill Pipino started grooming in 2000. She bought a turnkey operation, turning it into a successful business offering her clients everything from daycare to spa services and personality trims to show styles. She began regularly attending seminars and trade shows at the beginning of her career, and started competing in 2007. She has been a regular in the competition circuit ever since. In an effort to further her understanding of pet styling, she has trained privately with top stylists and breeders. She also works with breeders and handlers at dog shows and is looking forward to showing her field spaniel, Brucie.
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.
Cheryl A Purcell, Nationally Certified Master Groomer, was a GroomTeam USA Member from 2002 to 2007. Cheryl retired in 2010 to become the GroomTeam USA Coordinator from 2011-2014, She captained the 2013 Gold World Grooming Champion Travel Team. Cheryl is also a five-time Cardinal Crystal nominee and a Barkleigh Honors Awards nominee. Cheryl and her dog River where the 2014 Kerry Blue Terrier BOB at Westminster. Cheryl is a sought-after lecturer, judge and mentor. Cheryl owns and operates Pooch Paws Pet Grooming with her husband Ron in Hanover, MA.
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.
Helen is a successful competitive groomer, nationally ranked (2017/18) and NCMG. Over the span of her almost 15 year career she has done everything from Housecall and Corporate to Mobile Grooming. She is the former owner of the award winning The Groom Studio, whose slogan, "Where every dog is a work of Art" has become Helen’ s personal Mantra, and what she hopes to pass on through teaching. She currently works at one of the highest rated salons in Mainline Philadelphia while focusing on her competitive career, teaching, and goal of obtaining a spot on GroomTeam USA.
Philip Schafmayer, NCMG was a Professional All Breed AKC Handler for over 18 years. Philip has been a professional pet stylist since 1997 and became a Certified Master Groomer with NDGAA in 2017. He was awarded Best in Show and Best All Around Groomer at NEPGP 2017 at his very first competition, then again at NEPGP 2018. Philip made the GroomTeam USA Top 10 Pet Stylists for 2017 as well as 2018, and earned the #5 GroomTeam USA spot for 2018, as well as being announced as the 2020 World Travel Team Alternate. In February 2018 Philip retired from Professional Handling and opened Dogs by Design Pet Salon in Danielson, CT, and is getting ready to open his second salon in Cranston, RI.
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.
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.
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.
Shannon is a Certified Master Groomer for NDGAA as well as IPG. She owns, breeds and handles Bichon Frise's in addition to her recognition for one of the top breeders of Yorkshire Terriers. She founded and owns Pink Paw Pet Spa & Resort in Birmingham AL. Shannon is an active competitive groomer.
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”.
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.