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.
Lory Belanger is an owner and shareholder of the Whole Pet Grooming Academy and serves as the Lead Educator. Additionally, she oversees the daily operations of the grooming salon located in Portsmouth, NH, under the WPGA. Lory is an experienced Professional Master Canine Stylist who has honed her grooming skills over a span of 15 years. She also holds Pet First Aid and CPR certifications, has undergone Fear Free Grooming training, and is as an AKC Salon Safe Groomer. Currently, Lory is a member of the ISCC, IPG, and one of the founding participants of the Master Groomer Council of Best Practices. She is pursuing her education to be certified with the IPG, and is completing her Master Pet Aesthetician and Master of Holistic Arts diplomas through the WPGA.
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 began her career in animal care as a lead veterinary technician at the North Peninsula Humane Society. In 2005, Dana and her husband founded A Purrfect Groomer, then after 10 years they ditched the salon and hit the road in their new mobile grooming van, bringing the care and attention they gave to their salon clients to them. In 2016, Dana joined the Intellectual Groomers Association as a founding member and was on staff as an expert in feline grooming. As a staff member of IGA, Dana traveled the country giving seminars on feline grooming and certifying qualified groomers. In 2018, she joined Andis as a feline educator and tours the country giving demos and presentations on feline grooming, feline grooming certifications and the benefits of Andis products.
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.
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.
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.
Markie James is a NC native, member of Foxy Roxy Pro Team, member of the NDGAA, and graduate of the CVCC Advertising and Graphic Design Program. She has been grooming for over 14 years and owns Bark Side Pet Grooming which has won numerous local awards for excellence and quality. Markie has competed in grooming competitions where she placed Best First Timer, Third Place at APF 2020, Honorable Mention at APF 2021, and Third Place at Safari Palmetto 2022. Recently, she had an article published in Groomer to Groomer Magazine.
Suzanne has groomed for 35 years and has owned her own business for 24 years. Her most recent business was Uptown Paw in Huntington Beach, California. She ran a 6,000 square foot cage free daycare, boarding, and grooming facility. She is a charter member for both the SCPGA (past president) and CPPGA. She holds a Certified Pet Aesthetician from IV San Bernard, a CAH certification from WWPSA, working on her IPG licensing and is an award winning competitive groomer. She is owner, breeder and an AKC licensed professional handler. She is also a board member for the Burbank Kennel Club.
Mackensie Murphy is a second-generation pet stylist, following in her mother's footsteps and becoming the very first second generation GroomTeam USA. In 2005, Mackensie started her own grooming career at the young age of 18. Mackensie began her competition career in early 2011 and has been awarded multiple Best in Show awards, Best All Around Groomer awards and is a five-time winner of the prestigious Liz Paul Memorial Best Scissored Poodle Award. Mackensie consistently stayed among the top three competitors and earned herself a position on GroomTeam USA in 2012 which she has sustained up to this current year.
Chrissy Neumyer Smith CPG, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA started Happy Critters in 2000 providing house call grooming and private dog training. As a groomer, behavior consultant, and trainer she understands the unique needs of the grooming setting. She started the Creating Great Grooming Dogs podcast in October of 2018 to help groomers, trainers, Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, owners, and all other dog pros to teach dogs be good for grooming, vet visits, and other types of husbandry.
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.
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.