George Harrop is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in finance and real estate. George has been involved in founding and advising numerous business ventures in retail, commercial mortgage, and franchising. In 2010 CapitalSource acquired substantially all of the assets of SBA lender MainStreet Lender LLC, a firm George co-founded in 2005. George now serves as the managing director of CapitalSource Small Business Lending. CapitalSource, a division of Pacific Western Bank, has originated thousands of small business loans nationally to dozens of industries, including franchises, physicians, veterinarians, pet boarding and grooming facilities, professional offices, insurance agencies, and many more. CapitalSource is a designated SBA preferred lender.
Jeff Adney has worked in the resinous coating industry for the past 20 years and has been heavily involved in the Animal Care Industry for the past 16. In addition to working with the various flooring and wall products specific to this industry, Jeff consults with designers and architects, and is a sought after speaker. Jeff earned his BA degree at the University of Evansville and has since earned a Master Certificate in Decorative Concrete. Jeff Adney is proud to be the new Sales and General Manager for PermaTek Coatings – “Animal Care Flooring by the Animal Care Experts.” PermaTek Coatings is a national company that specializes in installing floor and wall coating solutions specifically for the animal care industry. PermaTek is the only exclusive authorized licensee of Prime Coat Coating Systems line of products in the United States for the Animal Care industry.
Michelle Allen owns Gemini Dogs, established in 1991. With a staff of 20+ employees, she operates a full-service dog care center in the Greater Boston area, with 1,000+ active family members. Gemini Dogs offers doggie daycare, boarding, grooming, and training. Michelle is a member of the APDT, is a Certified CGC Evaluator, and is taking her CCPDT exam this year. She teaches Pet First Aid & CPR, and holds weekly seminars on a variety of topics. She has deployed with multiple disaster animal response teams over the years, and is an author and editor. In just 10 years, she has tripled her company’s gross revenue. Michelle was recently chosen as one of only 500 businesses to attend Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery program, and has just relocated her business to a brand-new facility.
Rick Bacon is a registered architect with over 35 years’ experience in the design and construction industry. He holds architectural registrations in 24 states and he is a LEED® Accredited Professional for sustainable design, a Florida licensed General Contractor, and a member of the AIA College of Fellows. Since 1995, Rick has designed or consulted on over 165 animal housing projects in 29 states, Canada and Taiwan. Bacon Group, Inc. is located in Clearwater, FL, and provides architecture, planning, interior design, and project management with 85% of its design work done for pet boarding and daycare, humane sheltering, and veterinary care professionals. Rick is a frequent design workshop leader for national conferences and regularly contributes articles on animal care facility design for Pet Boarding & Daycare magazine and other industry publications.
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.
Eric is an educator & coach for pet care facility owners around the world wanting to reach full business and staff potential. His industry leading staff education and management systems help make facilities “best in class” via a process called management automation. Mr. Beck holds a bachelor’s degree from Belmont University, is a thirty-one time international martial arts medalist (3rd Degree Black Belt), an accomplished jazz musician, and has served as a Specialist in the United States Army National Guard. Before launching Masterplan Pet Care, he was the international Director of Training for E-Myth Worldwide. He enjoys life with his family in beautiful Colorado.
Robin Bennett is an author and consultant for pet care facilities on the subjects of dog daycare, training, and off-leash dog play. The tips you will pick up in her sessions stem from Robin’s 20 years of involvement in the pet care industry. Her book All About Dog Daycare: A Blueprint for Success is the number one reference on owning a daycare, and her book, Off-Leash Dog Play, co-authored by Susan Briggs, is the key reference on supervising dogs in playgroups. Robin has a passion for educating pet care facility owners on safe handling techniques and canine body language with the Staff Training Program she developed with Susan Briggs called Knowing Dogs. Together Robin and Susan (better known as “The Dog Gurus”) have recently launched the best resource for off-leash play at www.TheDogGurus.com. Robin is an active member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and has a B.A. from Roanoke College. She regularly attends dog training seminars and has earned Level 1 certification through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the first national certification for dog trainers. Robin is a retired Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserves, and is married with two children. She lives in Stafford, Virginia.
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.”
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.
Dr. Bernadine Cruz graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis. She has been practicing companion animal medicine at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital in Southern California for over 20 years. Dr. Cruz acts as a multi media consultant for several major veterinary pharmaceutical companies, along with being featured on numerous local and national television shows such as the Early Show, the Today Show, the Doctors and Inside Edition. She communicates on a daily basis in over 3,000 veterinary reception rooms as one of the hosts for PetCare TV. She can also be heard on the internet radio show, ‘the Pet Doctor’, part of PetLifeRadio.com.
With her professional career in sales, coaching, and project management, Lori began working in the pet industry, providing coaching for pet care business owners, veterinarians and staff. Lori attributes her success in the pet industry to strategic hiring practices, proven sales and customer service training, effective leadership, and the implementation of a clearly defined sales and relationship development process. She is utilizing her professional and pet industry expertise, along with her passion for pets and those who care for them, to once again help pet care businesses reach new heights of success! As the founder of Paramount Success Group, Lori embraces each client’s unique vision for the business and provides the tools, strategies, coaching and training that has proven to substantially increase overall performance, revenue, and profits.
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.
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.
Dr. Joseph Hahn, DVM is an Associate Director Technical Services for Merck Animal Health. Prior to joining Merck Animal Health Dr. Hahn was in practice for ten years. He spent the first four years in general practice while his last six years in practice were with Chicago Veterinary Emergency Services, the only emergency clinic in the city of Chicago at the time. It was during that time that he gained the experience with infectious disease. Dr. Hahn received his DVM degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998.
Teija Heikkilä founded National Kennel Sales & Appraisals in 2007 after 18 years of being an owner-operator of 2 full service pet care facilities. Having owned, and successfully sold her own facility, gave her the invaluable skills to understand facility operators, their businesses and how to best structure a confidential sale while maximizing profits. National Kennel Sales & Appraisals focuses strictly on the pet industry by listing, selling, and appraising dog boarding and daycare facilities nationwide. Principal Broker Teija Heikkila has been recognized for her accomplishments by several national organizations, including Business Woman of the Year by National Association of Professional Women and Industry Expert by Business Brokerage Press.
Ken Karmie is part owner and product manager of the K9Grass product for industry leader ForeverLawn Inc. Ken and ForeverLawn have innovated specialty synthetic grass products and installation solutions to address the challenges dog care and boarding presents. ForeverLawn is the recognized leader in the industry and the only company with a synthetic grass product specifically designed for dogs. Ken and ForeverLawn have developed and implemented hundreds of installations across the United States. Ken has a Bachelors of Science Degree from Mount Union College and over 20 years experience developing and implementing business solutions.
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.
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.
Lorena Parada is the National Sanitation Consultant for Health Technology Professional Products Inc., the leader in commercial sanitation, hygiene, laundry and floor care products for the animal care industry since 1989. Lorena has 17 years in the pet care industry, specifically in the areas of hospital infection control principles and practices, institutional hygiene, environmental sanitation and odor control. She has educated facilities on how to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by integrating a simplified approach to sanitation. Lorena has worked as a Sanitation Consultant for over 14 years, and is an expert in the field.
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 email@example.com or call 888-381-6925.
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.
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.
Annette is the founder of PetAirapy, LLC, an Illinois-based company manufacturing advanced commercial-grade Air and Surface disinfection units by means of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). Annette has a passion for promoting the health and wellbeing of all animals through raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. Through research and development along with a team of doctors and engineers, she has been able to identify and mitigate over 200 Animal specific micro-organisms that can spread illness throughout animal care facilities. PetAirapy products have been tested & proven to kill over 99.9% of viruses, bacterias and germs including K-9 cough, Distemper, Canine influenza, Feline calicivirus and more. PetAirapy units are widely used in many animal hospitals, shelters, boarding facilities and more.
Janelle Whiteman began her career in the Pet Industry in 1991 when she co-founded the now AAHA accredited Willow Wood Animal Hospital in New Albany, Ohio. In 2002 she opened the first luxury pet resort in Central Ohio, Willow Wood Pet Resort & Training Center, which she owned and operated for 14 years, also earning her CKO and becoming a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Janelle sold the resort in order to pursue her passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve not only financial success as small business owners, but balance and fulfillment in life. Janelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and is now a personal growth coach, speaker, teacher, master trainer and owner of ClearPath Worx, a business dedicated to the balanced success of entrepreneurs.