Mel Forbes is a National Sanitation Consultant for Health Technology Professional Products Inc. Mel’s passion for teaching a simplified approach to Sanitation in Animal Care facilities has been the hallmark of his 10 year career. Working closely with Veterinary and Pet Boarding staff, Mel has been able to identify areas that are of major concern and implemented a leading brand of products and equipment that are simple for staff to use on a day to day schedule. Mel is proud to be part of the Health Technology team of consultants that has specialized in hospital hygiene, sanitation, laundry, floor care, Odor control and Turf maintenance since 1958.
Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been serving patients in New Jersey and parts of Philadelphia for over 15 years. Her last 4 years have been dedicated to owning and managing a busy mobile practice with 2 satellite hospital locations. Since 2009, she has been writing the "Ask the Vet" column in the Burlington County Times. In conjunction with routine medicine and surgery her special interests and training includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, advanced dentistry, pocket pet medicine/surgery, and abdominal ultrasound. Dr. Lisa studied undergraduate at Sweet Briar College, an all-women's college in Amherst, Virginia and graduated in 1999 from VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg. Dr. Lisa passed her certification exam from the Chi Institute in acupuncture in 2013.
Ritch Batterton is President and Co-Founder of Tristar Vet and founder of Direct Animal Products located in Boyd, Texas. In 1998, Tristar Vet was co-founded alongside his late father, Richard Batterton, Sr. when they saw a need for custom stainless steel products in the animal care industry, specifically veterinary clinics. In 2005, Ritch established Direct Animal Products to provide an affordable, durable stainless product line for groomers, humane societies and boarding facilities. Ritch leads his team in working with architects and animal care professionals to develop custom features for function, safety and ergonomics; and the company holds patents for a number of their custom-engineered product advancements.
Robin Bennett is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, author, speaker, and expert on dogs. She founded one of the largest dog training companies in Virginia and has been using her expertise in “reading dogs” to teach families how to train their pets as well as helping others in the pet care industry keep dogs safe for over 20 years. Robin’s first book, All About Dog Daycare is the number one reference on opening a dog daycare. She is also Co-author of Off-Leash Dog Play… A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun, and an extensive staff training program called, Knowing Dogs, which are the leading staff training resources for dog daycare and boarding facilities. Robin is currently co-founder of The Dog Gurus, the nation’s premier resource for dog care professionals.
Khris Berry has been involved in the Pet Services industry since the early 1990's. She has owned grooming shops, boarding kennels, and obedience training schools and is a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She is the co-founder of See Spot Grooming & Daycare which currently operates 3 locations in 2 states. Her vision has led her to create a Groomer - centric company which provides education, a positive work atmosphere, and benefits for all Spots. She owns and competes in a variety of events with Wirehaired Vizslas including dock diving and obedience.
Susan Briggs is the founder of Crystal Canine, a consulting and resource business for the pet care industry, and co-founder of Urban Tails, a multi-service pet care center in Houston, TX. With over 12 years of experience operating a large dog daycare, boarding, grooming, and training center, Susan is a recognized leader in the industry. She has consistently worked to establish quality care standards and share her knowledge with others. In 2007 she co-wrote Off-Leash Dog Play: A Complete Guide to Safety & Fun with Robin Bennett. Susan and Robin have partnered on Knowing Dogs, a staff training resource for the pet industry on dog language and safe off-leash playgroups, which was published in 2012. Their latest joint venture, The Dog Gurus, is an online membership community serving as “your best resource for off-leash play.”
Amber Burckhalter is a renowned expert in canine obedience, behavior modification and canine business development. She has spent 20 years working with all types of dogs and is considered an expert in the field of canine aggression. Amber currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Dog Behavioral Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Certified Nosework Instructor. Awarded Small Business of the Year, 40 Under 40 Business Owners to Watch and nominated for National Small Business Person of the Year. Amber has been featured on CNN and Animal Planet as a small business success story and trainer as well as several other national media outlets. She is proud to act as a mentor to other trainers and business owners.
Fern is a dog behavior consultant and trainer in Northern New Jersey, where he focuses on in-home behavior consultations. He's also the host of the The FernDog Podcast and the author of three books, including “A Better Life with Your Dog,” and “The Dog Rescue Handbook.” In 2012 Fern created The FernDog Trainer Academy, where he helps people take their passion for dogs and turn it into a career as a dog trainer. He loves to help dog businesses meet and exceed their potential by doing in-person consulting and with his online coaching program, DogBiz Rocketship.
Dr. Campbell attended the University of Delaware for his undergraduate training and graduated from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. He is currently the head of the surgical department at CARE Emergency and Specialty Animal Hospital in Santa Barbara, California. Dr. Campbell is a regular guest on programs such as The Doctors, Hallmark Channel's Home and Family, The Real, and The Pet Collective’s YouTube channel Ask a Vet. He is now the co-host of National Geographic's Pet Talk, a first of its kind talk show dedicated to the wonderful world of pets.
Amanda Crook owns the multi-location pet boarding and daycare business Pawtropolis, which is celebrating its 16th year. She also offers consulting through Dog Daycare Business Consulting where she uses her business to help others in the form of on-sight training, as well as long distance mentoring. In 2006 Amanda served as the Georgia Representative for the American Boarding and Kennels Association and was also recognized by the ABKA with their Community Service Award in 2007. Amanda was named the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the United States Small Business Association and was ranked in the top three women in the running for the Georgia Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. And just this year, Amanda was honored for the 5th time at the University of Georgia's Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses.
Melanie began her career as an intern in 1996, and after graduating Cum Laude from Kent State University, she progressed all the way to the top of the firm with a passion for great design. Now as one of the owners of FMD Architects, Melanie has 19 years of experience, and is on a mission to serve others. She has developed educational programs for conferences for various industries, traveling to places like Columbus, Ohio, the Finger Lakes of New York, and Washington, DC, as well as within her own community of Akron, Ohio. She has also worked in collaboration with her business partner, Mark Moore, to co-author an upcoming book specifically for the veterinary industry, as well as provide content for podcasts and webinars.
Since 1989, Laura Laaman, president of Outstanding Pet Care, has been providing world-class consulting and education for the pet care industry. Laura's effective strategies and techniques are proven to boost revenues while empowering pet care facilities and veterinary practices to deliver even greater pet care. Laura's road to sales success started when she was just 16. She quickly went on to break numerous national sales records. Due to Laura's success, several companies studied her and then modeled their training program around her techniques. Laura became a published author in 1996 and top selling business author in 2002. She is an award-winning speaker, trainer and author.
Al Locker is president of Turnkey, Inc., a 52-year-old design/build construction company. He and his wife, Suzanne, have also owned ABC Pet Resort in Houston, Texas, since 1991. Turnkey, Inc. Specializes in design, design consulting, and both commercial and residential construction. Al has designed over 40 pet care facilities around the U.S. and built 12 in the Houston area, as well as exhibits at the Houston Zoo. Designs range from “ground up” construction, conversion of existing buildings, and lease space build-out tenant improvements. Al is a popular seminar speaker for groups such as American Boarding Kennels Association, Pet Services Expo, and AUSboard (Australia’s Association For Pet Professionals).
As principal of FMD, with more than 36 years of experience, Mark believes that every project is all about helping you. He is motivated to continue to grow FMD’s Animal Care Studio and wants to educate each client and help them get started, while meeting their design, budget and schedule expectations. Mark has done podcasts, webinars with banks, lectures to universities and private companies, all to help the clients. He values the importance of personal, professional relationships with all of FMD’s clients and collaborative partners. The ultimate goal is to have a client that is as satisfied using their facility as when they first started to dream of their new project.
Craig L. McAllester, President, Craig L. McAllester, Inc, Kennel Design USA, has been designing veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels, animal shelters and police, military, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Border Patrol working dog kennels here in the United States of America, and in countries around the world, since 2003.
Laura Nelson has collaborated with local businesses for over 10 years in her career as a business manager and marketer. She is currently Director of Marketing at Broadly.com, which helps local businesses improve their online presence and grow word-of-mouth. Nelson earned an MBA from the University of Michigan, where she focused on business strategy and marketing, and a BFA at Carnegie Mellon University.
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.
As a Director of Marketing and Industry Consultant at Market Hardware, Alain has nearly 10 years of experience in speaking and writing about the pet care industry. His marketing makeovers have helped countless pet care businesses transition from traditional “offline” marketing strategies to more modern-day digital strategies. Market Hardware has helped pet care professionals compete on the Internet for close to 15 years. For more information, visit markethardware.com, email Alain at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-381-6925.
Originally from Northern California, Claire Pickens (certified veterinary practice manager) has a long history of experience in the animal industry. Writing her own business plan, designing and building her veterinary hospital, and bringing the business from vision to reality has taught her valuable lessons about the business side of pet care. Her experiences as an owner/manager of her pet care facility since 2005, as an athletic coach, and as a speaker in multiple industries have given her leadership perspectives that have contributed to her ability to build and maintain successful work teams.
Sara Beth is the Manager of Hiring and Staff Development at Pawtropolis in Athens, Georgia, where she leads more than 50 staff in providing exceptional care for pets. Her professional experience includes time with doggy daycare and boarding facilities, veterinary clinics, dog-walking companies, animal shelters, training centers, zoos, and a free-flight bird show. While gaining hands-on animal care experience, she earned BSAs in Avian Biology and Biological Science and a PhD in Avian Biology. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through CCPDT and a professional member of APDT. Sara Beth's philosophy is that animal ownership should be a fun and enriching experience for humans and animals alike.
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 the Top Dog at Camp Bow Wow, Christina's focus is on driving system growth, unit level profitability, and innovation. Under her leadership, Camp Bow Wow is experiencing record franchise sales and revenue growth, and a dramatic increase in franchise owner satisfaction. Before joining Camp Bow Wow in 2014, Christina spent 15 years with the world’s largest fitness franchisor, Curves International. She started as a franchise owner, owning four successful clubs, and worked her way through the system as a Business Mentor, Area Director, and ultimately as the Vice President of Operations for thousands of franchise owners across the US and Canada.
Renuka joined the Camp Bow Wow family 10 years ago and started out as a Camp Counselor at the unit level. She was brought over to the corporate support team in 2007 to help open more than 100 locations in a 3-year period. Renuka has held multiple roles at Camp Bow Wow. Today she oversees the franchise sales department, which is responsible for new unit, additional unit, multi-unit and resale development for the company. She is very passionate about animals and helping people realize their dreams of operating their own successful businesses.
Garret Tadlock is the founder and CEO of PawLoyalty. He spent almost a decade in technology consulting, helping Fortune 500 companies like Wells Fargo, Jamba Juice, Levi’s and Chevron build custom applications to better support their business processes, streamline operations and enhance customer experience. After many years of record-setting success, he began looking for a new challenge. PawLoyalty blossomed as a way to marry his passion and proven track record in technology with his lifetime love of animals.
Greg Taylor is President and CEO of the Mason Company, a leading designer and manufacturer of animal enclosures for pet care, veterinarians, humane societies, animal control, and other animal facilities. Mason was founded in 1892 and has developed the widest product line in the industry, many with innovative designs and features, and has nine patents or patents-pending. Mason sells around the world, has installations in over 25 countries, and has worked with many of the most successful pet resorts to develop animal housing unique to their facility. Greg is a frequent contributor to pet care periodicals, and he or other Mason personnel can be found at all the animal care conferences. Greg earned a BA from Denison University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
As an animal lover, Nancy Webb has focused her banking career on the Pet Care Industry. And since the late 1990’s, Nancy has financed over 100 expansions, acquisitions, and start-ups Nationwide. Nancy has been a speaker at the Pet Care Services National Convention, the Pet Care Services Organization (PSCA), and the Pet Services Expo. She has also written finance related articles for Pet Care Publications. Nancy was honored to receive the PSCA National Award of Excellence for her support and development of the Pet Care Industry. Nancy also serves as the Vice President for The Houston Economics Club and is a Member of the District Export Council of Houston.