Judi Cantu-Thacker, A successful, retired contest groomer and former GroomTeam USA Coordinator for 2005/2006. These days you can find Judi working in the Wahl Clipper or Frank Rowe and Son booth, sharing her 27 years of grooming knowledge and experience. She owns a successful mobile grooming business in the city of Sugar Land and caters to the “Who’s Who” in the Houston area. Through mobile grooming, she has found the perfect balance between work and family. This resulted in more time for her to spend with her husband and the ability to support her children in their academics and extracurricular activities.
Diane Betelak is a Nationally Certified Master Groomer and has owned Heads and Tails Professional Dog Grooming, Inc. in Liverpool, NY since 1982. Diane groomed competitively in the U.S. and abroad and has multiple "Best in Shows" and "Best All-Around Groomer" wins. She qualified for the “GroomTeam USA” traveling team in 1996 and went to Milan, Italy where she won “Best in Show” with her Standard Poodle. Officially retired from active competition Diane is an International Grooming Consultant for The Andis Company. She has been a speaker and has judged all major grooming shows throughout the U.S. and Canada. Diane is also a certifier for N.D.G.A.A.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Evan Gummo, Director of Digital Media for Barkleigh Productions, is a social media strategist and digital advertising specialist with over 10 years of professional experience. Responsible for developing an online presence for countless businesses across the United States, Evan has designed digital content and advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness, generate online sales and successfully target new clientele. With certifications in Google Adwords, the Facebook Blueprint, as well as various others, he brings an unconventional yet logical approach to each campaign based on previous success rates found through analytical data.
Blake Hernandez is a NCMG and 3-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. Having been nominated for 20 Barkleigh Honors in many categories it is safe to say that Blake is well loved and admired in many facets of our Groomerverse. 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. Blake also creates and produces many products with Foxy Roxy's Supply Co. for the professional groomer and now for the everyday dog lover. Blake was also a feature groomer in Netflix's "DOGS" documentary and a contestant on ABC's Pooch Perfect Season 1.
Popular speaker Melissa Jepson has owned and operated the award winning grooming salon Pupscale Pet Salon in Montclair, California since 2013. As a founding member of the Association of Holistic Pet Professionals she believes deeply in creating a soothing, well rounded environment for all aspects of the grooming salon. She also enjoys teaching easy to access webinars at Pawsitive Educational Training when she is not traveling to teach at trade shows. A life-long learner with the heart of a teacher and the soul of an artist, Melissa excels at communicating and is passionate about sharing knowledge with others.
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.
Joshua is a Master Certified Groomer with The NDGAA and a Certified Member with the ISCC. He is a trend setting artist and President of The Dog Beautician Company and Founder of the Puerto Rican National Grooming Team, Grooming Team of Puerto Rico (GTPR), and a brand Ambassador for Hydra Cosmetics, Loyalty Pet Products and Liberty Star Equipment, as well as a 2017 and 2018 Barkleigh Honors award winner and nominee. Now a Learn2groomdogs.com educator for thousands of professional Groomers worldwide and the Co-Owner of the world renowned Päsh The Canine Boudoir located in South Florida, Joshua has become an internationally celebrated, respected and popular speaker/educator in the pet grooming industry.
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.
Sam Nelson’s roots in the grooming industry began in 2006, when he worked in sales for a grooming supply distributor. After working for two major distribution companies, Sam took a leap of faith in 2015, and with just three product lines, he opened Love Groomers. Over the last three years, Sam has spent countless hours attending product training workshops, pet expos, AKC dog shows and grooming trade shows all over the country, broadening his knowledge and understanding of grooming products and equipment. Making customer service and strong relationships with his customers and peers a top priority, he has become a staple in the grooming industry. His hard work and dedication to those customers paid off, earning Love Groomers two back to back Barkleigh Honors Awards for Vendor of the Year in 2017 and 2018.
Owner of Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon in Danbury, Connecticut, Mary is a Certified Master Pet Tech Instructor. Mary takes a holistic approach to handling animals and holds the titles of Reiki Master and Certified Crystal Therapist. The East Coast Chair of the Professional Cat Groomers Association of America, she is also a member of New England Pet Grooming Professionals, and is a Certified Canine Specialist with PIJAC. She was nominated for the Cardinal Crystal Mobile Groomer of the Year in 2011. She is the founder of Pawsitive Educational Training. Mary writes for Groomer to Groomer and Egroomer, as well as a Groomwise Pet First Aid and Care blog.
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.
Madeline has always adored animals and knew from a young age that she would one day work with them. At sixteen, after watching “Groomer Has It”, she started a mobile grooming company, and at seventeen got her first job at a grooming salon. Madeline then decided on a college education and went to Pima Medical Institute where she earned a degree as a Vet Tech. By age twenty-one, she opened her own salon which has been flourishing ever since, with over two hundred five-star reviews. Madeline’s specialty, along with poodles and doodles, are hard to handle dogs. She also grooms and fosters for a local poodle rescue. In 2016, Madeline entered her first competition and placed third, and she has been hooked ever since. Madeline is also a self-taught Creative groomer and has received two people's choice awards.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Annie Williams has been grooming dogs professionally since 2013, and competing since 2015. She was introduced to the incredible industry of dog grooming through conformation dog shows at a young age, and has never looked back. In just a few short years, she has become an international award winning groomer, Barkleigh Honours Up & Coming Groomer of the Year 2016 nominee, Groom Team Canada 2017 travel team member, a representative and educator with the Andis Company, and the owner of a successful salon in Langley, BC, Canada. She is a multiple first place winner in the Open Level and a Runner Up Best in Show winner in Australia.