Dr. Robert Duquette is a Professional Services Veterinarian for Merck Animal Health’s US Companion Animal business. Prior to joining Merck in 2014, he served as the head veterinarian for a large municipal shelter in California. Dr. Duquette holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara College of Creative Studies and earned his doctorate in Physiology and Veterinary Medical and Surgical from the University of Liverpool in England. After working at the University of Liverpool, he spent several years in companion animal private practice in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
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 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.
Dr. John Boyd, DVM, CEO and founder of Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resorts and Veterinary Centers, is a considered a leader in the emerging veterinary hospitality industry and intends to take his successful model of “whole-istic” pet care nationwide. Dr. Boyd attended the University of Southern California as an undergraduate before earning his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of California-Davis in 1986. Dr. Boyd has been an active member within numerous veterinary associations at the local, state and national levels. Prior to creating Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort, Dr. Boyd founded Pacific Petcare Veterinary Hospital of Carmel Valley in 1992, Dr. Boyd’s Foundation for Pets in 2004, and in 2007 Dr. Boyd developed a 25,000 square foot integrated veterinary hospital / boarding facility that Dr. Boyd now fondly refers to as his “practice business model.”
Dr. Branshaw has always had a passion for science, biology and veterinary medicine, which lead her to UCSD for an undergraduate degree in General Biology. Dr. Branshaw's first job in the veterinary field was with Dr. Boyd himself, where she started as a kennel attendant, and worked her way up to veterinary school. After finishing her undergraduate degree and obtaining her degree in Veterinary Medicine in Colorado, she moved back to San Diego and started working at Dr. Boyd's. Over the last four years at Dr. Boyd's, Dr. Branshaw has had an opportunity to build long standing relationships with patients, clients, and the team, and has been fortunate enough to be a part of the development of their veterinary hospitals in both San Diego and their newer Irvine location.
Susan Briggs is a Certified Professional Animal Care Manager, author, speaker, and pet business expert. As co-founder of The Dog Gurus, she brings over 18 years of experience in the pet industry with 12 years as co-owner and operator of a successful dog daycare, lodging, grooming and training business in Houston, Texas. In addition to being a co-author in publishing Off-Leash Dog Play and Knowing Dogs, Susan used her educational background in accounting and published Counting Noses: Accounting and Financial Management Guidelines for the Pet Services Industry. In 2015 Susan co-founded the Professional Animal Care Certification Council whose mission is to provide independent testing and certification for pet care professionals.
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.
In 2010, after selling a software business, Claire decided to incorporate her passion for pets into her career. She took on the challenge of becoming the General Manager of Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Houston, TX. Her skills in business management, customer service and marketing have helped Rover Oaks Houston realize year-over-year growth and maintain its reputation as the premier pet resort in Houston. Claire makes it a priority to cultivate relationships with pet care facility managers and owners across the country to share best practices and gain ideas to better serve Rover Oaks’ clients, both furry and human.
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.
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.
Jamie Migdal, CPDT-KA, has been working with dogs and their people, and innovating within the pet industry for 25 years. Having successfully built three national pet service companies and worked hands-on with more than 20,000 dogs and 100,000 clients, Jamie is an expert in all aspects of the pet industry, including education, technology, business development, sales, marketing, and management. In 2017, Jamie was named as a Pet Age ICON Award Recipient and received the Women Tech Founders Midwest Women in Tech award. Her fourth and current company, FetchFind, provides staff training and other business solutions to pet care service companies around the globe, and was selected as one of the top five most innovative pet care companies via the Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize.
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.
Laura Pakis Davis is an experienced Certified Professional and owner/founder of Acme Canine. Having trained over 5,000 dogs and run a boarding and daycare facility for the past 13 years, Laura focuses her blog, Spike’s Dog Blog by Acme Canine, on training knowledge and the care and understanding of dogs. Well known throughout the canine community for quality training, high standards, and professionalism, Laura was nominated for the Woman of the Year in the Pet Industry, the BBB’s Integrity Award and Worthington, Ohio Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year. Acme Canine received The Silver award for the 2014 Pet Age Boarding Facility of the year.
Teena Patel is a Certified Dog Trainer and Behavioral Counselor. She received her certification in 2000 and now owns and operates The University of Doglando, an enrichment center for dogs in Orlando, Florida. Patel earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2000, where her research focused on animal behavior and cognition. She continued her education by pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration. Patel has over 16 years of professional dog training experience and has focused much of her professional research on the human-dog relationship around the world. Particularly, she is interested in the stray dog community that still exists in many parts of the world. Patel is passionate about educating responsible pet ownership and is steadfast to her commitment to improve the dog daycare service industry.
Chris Quinlan grew up in a family business that has specialized in hospital hygiene, sanitation, laundry, and floor care since 1958. While earning a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic University, Chris also received extensive training in the areas of chemistry, microbiology, hospital infection control principles and practices, institutional hygiene, environmental sanitation, odor control, floor care, and OSHA compliance. Today Chris is president of Health Technology Professional Products, a leading brand in the pet care industry, and owns the Riverwalk Pet Resort with his wife Gia. Chris has been a speaker on sanitation for the Pet Services Association national meeting, as well as speaking on hospital hygiene and sanitation at several veterinary schools and associations.
John Sturgess is the founder, owner and operator of RetrieveOne Advisors and ADOGO pet hotels. RetrieveOne Advisors works within the pet industry helping early-stage to established organizations implement strategic business solutions. ADOGO has four locations in the Twin Cities, with the fifth and sixth locations in the development stage. Sturgess graduated with a marketing degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and earned his MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and is on the Board of Can Do Canines, a non-profit company focused on raising service dogs for individuals with disabilities.
Garret Tadlock, named “Top 40 under 40” for 2017, came to the pet industry with a proven success record in high tech consulting. He discovered an opportunity to marry his experience and passion when he started PawLoyalty Software. During the last 10 years, he has helped over a thousand pet care facilities leverage technology to radically grow their business, delight customers and ensure they are providing the highest quality of care for pets.
Greg Taylor is the CEO of the Mason Company, the leading designer and manufacturer of animal enclosures for humane societies, animal control, pet care, veterinarians 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 9 patents or patents-pending, including the Sani-Slope™ and Silvis Seal™. Mason sells around the world, has installations in over 30 countries, and has worked with many of the most successful shelters and animal control facilities to develop animal housing unique to their facility’s needs. Greg is a frequent contributor to animal care periodicals and speaker at conferences. Greg earned a BA from Denison University and a 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.
Bella Vasta is the dynamic personality behind Jump Consulting. After starting her pet sitting company while attending college at Arizona State University, she went full speed ahead growing her business to become nationally and locally award winning, boasting with employees. Throughout the years, Bella has been known to blaze her own trail through the pet industry, carving out a path that many have followed. She has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, NBC, ABC, FOX, NPR, and more. Bella sold her pet sitting business for over six figures, and now lives out her passion to inspire, motivate, and challenge business owners through her coaching, consulting, speaking, and podcast.
Laurie Wagner, IACP CDT/PDTI/CDTA, an authority on socializing and dog rehabilitation, is the owner of Doggie Fun and Fitness in Kingston Massachusetts, and has over 18 years experience as a dog care professional. In 2016 she developed the Quiet Dog Daycare, a program that teaches daycare professionals kind, yet effective handling skills based on body language that allows most dogs to thrive in the daycare environment.