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MARY OQUENDO

Mary Oquendo is a professional speaking strategist who works with seasoned as well as novice professional pet speakers. Mary understands the importance of not just encouraging the next generation of educators, but to give them the tools to effectively present and organize their knowledge to the next generation of pet professionals in an easy to digest manner, along with the necessary technical skills to keep ahead of the competition.

Mary is the host of two award winning podcasts, The Traveling Groomers & Women Petprenures.

Mary has worked with thousands of students and has beamed with pride

as she watched as professional pet educators reach and change the lives of their students. 

Mary was awarded the 2012 David Salzberg Outstanding Contribution To The Pet Industry.

Mary was first nominated for a Barkleigh Honors Award in 2012 and has been every year since.

.Before founding Pawsitive Educational Training, Mary has spoken and continues to speak at numerous professional pet educational conferences since 2006, as well as been published in Groomer To Groomer and Natural Awakenings magazines as columnists.

Mary got her start in the pet industry in 1998, when she answered a help wanted sign at a corporate grooming facility and in 2002 operated Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon until she retired in 2019.

Mary's first student was a mobile grooming client who was coerced into taking her pet first aid class. Once the class ended,

her client hugged her and thanked her. From there it was no stopping her.

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KATE KLASEN

Kate Klasen is the owner of a holistic pet spa, Balanced Paws in AZ. She is Fear Free certified, a Reiki master, crystal healer, and certified canine esthetician. Kate is also certified through Science Dog on canine nutrition and teaches classes on pet foods. She brought her passions together when she formed The Frontline Coalition where she brings in her past experience as a first responder and teaches emergency preparedness skills for people and pets, including Pet Tech CPR/First Aid. The Frontline Coalition teaches human CPR/First Aid and is an official training center for the American Safety & Health Institute.

Kate is also certified to teach the American Heart Association curriculum as well.

 Kate has recently studied sound therapy through Pima College and  paired up with Iso-Sync Labs for their pet line of calming tones which was released in August 2021. Kate also works with a holistic veterinarian and has added in PEMF treatments into her salon modalities. Kate’s passion as a WHOLE-istic practitioner is to bring light onto the whole perspective of the animal from the inside and out.

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CHRIS BEAR ANTHONY

Chris Anthony, weary from her travails in retail management and office work, found her calling when she discovered pet grooming. Her near 20 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, ergonomics and self care to help preserve her own health and longevity in her chosen profession. She is the owner/groomer at Have Shears Will Travel, customer service Vp at Evolution Shears. Chris is also honored to have co-founded the New Jersey Professional Pet Groomers Alliance and serves as its current Chairwoman. 

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SCOTT WASSERMAN 

ISCC PDS, MPS, Meritus, Certifier
Scott began his love of pets at the early age of 10 when he went with his father, who was a carpenter, to an Airedale Terrier breeder’s kennel to do some work. He spent more time playing with the Airedales than helping his father and this led to the attraction and love of dogs, in which he would dedicate his life to.

In 1992, Scott started a successful pet styling contest ring career and his winning began to take off. His most prestigious wins include Best Pet Stylist in Show at the U.S. Pet Pro Classic twice and the coveted Intergroom International Groomer of the Year award. Scott has had a successful international judging and speaking tour having traveled to England, Italy, Brazil, Scotland, France, Argentina, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, and Canada. He has received several nominations for the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Awards, winning the award of Congeniality in 2001 and Judge of the Year in 2014. He was also the recipient of the Barkleigh Honors Speaker of the Year award in 2017. 

Scott is also active in the show ring as a breeder of Kerry Blue Terriers under the Kiluntin prefix. 

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MINDY DINWIDDIE, APG

Mindy owns Classy Canine in Litchfield, Michigan. She began grooming in 2007, having her own shop by 2008. Starting 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 in Poodles, Wired, Salon Freestyle, and All Other Pure Breeds. With a passion for learning and teaching, she began speaking in 2017 after having one of her grooms published Doodle Modern Styles Special Edition. Mindy has Traveled to Taiwan as part of the US Model Dog Team. As a Instructor at Whole Pet Grooming Academy she teaches several different courses along with participating as a Pet Pro Educator. Mindy is also services a Brand Ambassador for Evolution Shears. 

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TAMI VORNBROCK

Tami started training and showing dogs at the age of 15, and her first jobs were in the pet care field. In 1996 she graduated from grooming school and has owned a grooming business since 2006. She has achieved her ICMG with International Professional Groomers, NCMG with National Dog Groomers Association of America, is a Certified Canine Esthetician, and has earned her Pet Groomer Credential from World Pet Association. Tami has also taught grooming at Washington Corrections Center for Women for women in Purdy Washington. She started Washington Association of Professional Pet Groomers in 2020.

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HAZEL CHRISTIANSEN NCMG

Hazel’s articles have also appeared in the Nevada and California professional groomers’ association newsletters.  She coordinated with employees at the Lewiston Morning Tribune to create a special edition that covered the local annual dog show and the people involved from 1992 through 1995 

Hazel presented a program called “Learn to Groom Your Dog” at the local YWCA in conjunction with Lewis-Clark Kennel Club.  She became Vice President of the first Idaho Chapter of Idaho Animal Interest Alliance. She appeared in the video “The Grooming Business” produced for the American Boarding Kennel Association by MMV Locklin Productions. Hazel has shown dogs in conformation and obedience in the U.S., Canada, and Hong Kong.

She has taken A.K.C. judge’s seminars for sporting dog breeds in 2002 and 2003 and for terrier breeds in 2013.

One of Hazel's greatest grooming achievements was judging the 2003 World Grooming Competition in Barcelona.

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ERIN MARTIN

Erin Martin got her start in grooming in 2004. She started All About Paws Pet Spa with her business partner in 2013, and it has grown into a successful grooming spa in the community. In February of 2020, she began her journey in the competition ring. In the same year, Erin began teaching webinars in the grooming industry. Her love of creative grooming inspired her to start The Creative Groomer, a creative grooming supply company. She is currently a Secretary of the CPPGA (California Professional Pet Groomers Association). She is a member of the IJA traveling model dog competition team. She has placed in all of the model dog competitions she has entered, as well as placed Best in Show. She holds several placements both online and on stage with her creative grooms.

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KATHRYN DIXON NCMG

Kathryn Dixon is a 15 year veteran of the pet care industry, having obtained her first position as a bather at Petsmart in 2006. Since then she has offered grooming services in all manners from in-home care to conformation show prep. Kathryn has been an active competitor in Groom Team sanctioned events since 2016 earning countless placements in all breed standard classes, as well as the 2018 Will Stone Joulie memorial award. She currently grooms at Lakeside Pet Resort in Hanover, PA. Additionally, she works closely with companies such as Pawmat and Whitman’s Sharpening, two of the last family owned businesses in our industry, to introduce innovative tools and products to our workspaces. In her free time, Kathryn shows her own pets in the conformation ring and is devoted to breeding temperamentally sound Kerry Blue Terriers. 

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SAMANTHA PALYA

Samantha Palya started her grooming career in the year of 1996  at Great Lakes Academy of Professional Pet Styling.  She entered her first competition at the All American Grooming Show in 1996.  From then she earned placements in poodles, and handstripping in her division.  She was awarded Best Groomer and Best Groomed Dog in Show for a handstipped terrier at Groom Expo in 1998.   At the age of 21 she opened  Absolutely Pawfect Pet Styling.  Samantha apprentices to help give opportunities to future pet care professionals.  She holds certificates for CPR and Pet Safety,  Skin and Hair,  

Salon Sanitation,  Canine Body Language, Dog Gurus College, Pricing for profits, and many more. 

As of recent she has been speaking on The Dog Gurus platforms in her advancements in grooming enrichment.

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STACEY HESS NCMG, CFMG, RYT

Attended grooming school in 2007, after working in a salon for 3 years through high school. 2011 opened her own grooming salon in Billings, MT. Completed her NCMG testing 2013, the second in Montana. She supported other groomers in her area by hosting the first and second NDGAA test sight in MT. After only 5 years of grooming, back muscle spasms, hip flexor tightness and plantar fasciitis was developing and the pain could not be ignored found myofascial release therapy and continued care lead to yoga. Her passion for learning and sharing knowledge with others, she found and completed a registered yoga teacher training program in 2019. Sharing the wisdom of yoga and encouraging others on their healing journey is a new passion and excited for her first presentation, outside a yoga studio. 

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QUINCI COLE

Quinci set up her first social media account on “My Space” (you remember  that don’t you?) She admits, her only intentions were to scope out new “fresh”  music and connect with cute guys around the globe. She had no idea that  what she would learn there and soon thereafter Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok would take her down a path to starting Her own social media business.  

Quinci Started in the grooming industry back in 2007, learning and honing  her skills not just as a groomer but as a businesswoman. Starting out in  corporate and eventually creating her own small grooming business out of  her home. Between the years 2020-2022 she was able to completely fill her  books a full year in advance by simply using great customer service, word of  mouth and of course social media. Social media has allowed her to connect to not only her clients but other likeminded people within the pet industry that has aided in her continued education and growth. 

Social media has its dark sides and, in many cases, has done more bad than  good, but when used correctly it can help your business blossom. Quinci would love to help you reach your full potential. So Join in for “The Social  Groomer’s” class and make a connection.

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HELEN SCHAEFER

Helen Schaefer NCMG CCE,  is an internationally award winning, nationally top ranking competitive groomer with over 15 years of experience. Her second career, Helen has worked in all facets of the grooming industry, from corporate salons to mobile, even owning her own business, The Groom Studio, that made it to the Top of the Philly Hot List after being open only 20 months. She was the 2020 Barkleigh Honor Recipient for Up and Coming Speaker of the Year, and finished 2021 ranked 3rd in GroomTeam USA points, earning her a spot on the 2021 GroomTeam USA.. Helen is best known for her resilience in the ring, wealth of practical knowledge and giving sound and genuine advice. She lends this voice to her personal takes on many industry topics every other Sunday on her popular video blog #GroomerProblems, featured in the facebook Group Pet Groomer Town Hall.

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ROBERT WYLIE

Robert Wylie lives in Rexburg Idaho with his sweetheart, partner and wife, Catrina. Where they own and operate DPPDefense. Robert has studied predators, personal defense and weapon craft skills for over the last three decades and is the author of

"Defense against Frogs, Dogs and Humans (and everything in between)"

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KIRSTINE REYNOLDS

Kirstine Reynolds has worked in the Pet Industry since she was 15.  In 2007 she made the leap from the wholesale/retail side and attended grooming school.  Immediately she knew this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.  In 2012 she opened an at home salon, Groom with a View.  

In 2011 she achieved one of her grooming goals and became the first Certified Feline Master Groomers in Utah.  By the summer of 2022 she hopes to achieve her second big grooming goal and become a Master Pet Stylist with International Society of Canine Cosmetologists.  

In 2012 she began her teaching career at The Cat Grooming Symposium in Chicago, Illinois, and has taught classes from coast to coast.  What started as a curiosity about shampoo ingredients and a desire to find out which manufacturers disclosed ingredients,

has turned into a passion about the science behind grooming.    

She shares her house with an old man she calls dad, and a myriad of pets, including 2 Maine Coons, many terriers, some spiders, a goat, and a couple turkeys.  If she has any time after taking care of her little zoo, she is working towards her Bachelors in Family History, and absolutely adores knitting.

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SHANNON TUPES NCMG

Shannon started her career working as  a part-time dog bather while in  college. That introduction to the  industry led her to attend grooming  

school over the summer and would put  her on a successful career path in pet  styling spanning more than 25 years.  

Shannon is involved with purebred Yorkshire Terriers and Bichon Frises  and not only shows them but was a  past member of the Yorkshire Terrier  

Club of America (YTCA) and an active  member of the Bichon Club of America  where she is also a club-approved  ringside judge and mentor.

Additional grooming titles include Nationally Certified Master Groomer with the NDGAA, a member of Groom Team USA and is  on the Board of Directors for Groom Team USA. Shannon has used Andis  products since her start in the industry and she credits them for not only  making her job easier but helping her to become the groomer she is  today.

She gives back by teaching online and in-person seminars  throughout the U.S. as well as offering private tutorials for new groomers  entering the industry.

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