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Our Speakers

Judi Cantu-Thacker

Judi Cantu-Thacker

Growing up with both parents as groomers, Judi Cantu-Thacker began bathing dogs at the age of nine. By the age of 21, she entered the grooming industry professionally.  Her love for grooming led her to the contest ring where she took first place and went on to place as “Best All Around Groomer” and “Best Groomed Dog” in the 2001 Nashville competitions. Soon after, Cantu-Thacker was invited to participate in the Tournament of Champions Grooming in 2004 and 2005. She has served as Coordinator for Groom Team USA and currently serves as a board member for the Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund. Today Cantu-Thacker has 25 years of experience in the industry and owns her own mobile grooming salon where she caters to clients that are busy or on-the-go. Passionate about working with young groomers, she loves to teach and empower others through the craft of grooming.

Lisa Leady

Lisa Leady

Lisa Leady NCMG, CMG, a Barkleigh Honors Award winner, qualified for Groom Team USA in 2000. Lisa is a certifier for National Dog Groomers Association. Lisa breeds and shows Smooth Fox Terriers. Lisa was a member of Groom Team USA from 2000 – 2006. In 2005 she qualified for the traveling team to France, where she helped bring home the Silver medal, in 2007 she qualified again for the traveling team to Italy. Lisa is the proud owner of Primp My Pooch Mobile in Genoa, IL. Lisa was honored to be a contestant on Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It 2.

Sue Watson

Sue Watson

Suesan, a third generation pet stylist, began working with dogs over 39 years ago. She is a Certified Master Groomer, and owns a mobile grooming business, Best All Around Groomer, serving the Chicago area. She was the winner of the Wahl 2003 Groomer of the Year Award at Westminster Dog Show and the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards for American Groomer of the Year in 2002 – 2004. Suesan has been nominated two times for the Cardinal Grooming Contest Judge of the Year award. Since she began competing in 1995, Sue has received Best in Shows and Best All Around Groomer awards. She has been a member of the 2000 – 2005 Groom Team USA teams. She is a representative of the Wahl Clipper Corporation who is sponsoring her at Groom Expo.

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

Heather Carter graduated from Orlando School of Dog Grooming and at 19 opened her 1st salon in Central Florida. Now 20+ years later she currently owns her 3rd successful salon FairyTails Pet Spaw in Winchester, Kentucky. Heather has studied art professionally since 2007 at Plymale Gallery in Lexington , Ky. Her passion for art and animals inspired her to start Tickled Pink Pet Designs which features her art and products from her designs. She currently offers paint classes and commissions.

Susan Gregory

Susan Gregory

Susan Gregory, creator of “Zen Dog” Aromatherapy Formulas is proud to offer her professional insight on the medicinal benefits of incorporating True Aromatherapy into the workplace of our pet care professionals. With over 20 years of experience as a professional, Holistic groomer, Susan takes her knowledge of Aromatherapy well being for canines and care givers to a level of understanding from a groomers point of view.
This fun, yet insightful seminar is open to all who are seeking to create a more Wholesome & intimate experience with the canines who seek their care.

Dave Campanella

Dave Campanella

Dave Campanella is an informative and entertaining seminar speaker, contributing trade columnist and genuine grooming enthusiast. He is Best Shot Pet Products sales and marketing director and has over 25 years of pet industry knowledge and experience. He and his wife Tracy co-owned a full service pet salon and self-wash in Ohio prior to relocating with Best Shot to Kentucky. Together they enjoy exhibiting at grooming shows, being industry ambassadors and showing their Kerry Blue Terrier and Samoyed dogs.

Dawn Omboy

Dawn Omboy

Known to the Industry as “The Queen of Color,” Dawn brings both color and excitement to everyday grooming, with over 30 awards from her competition days she also holds 4 Cardinal Crystal Award nominations, 1 Barkleigh Award and 3 covers of Groomer to Groomer Magazine. She is an international Industry Speaker, Judge and Creative consultant.

Pam Lauritzen

Pam Lauritzen

Pam Lauritzen, MPS, Meritus has been a leader and pioneer within the Pet Styling Industry for over 30 years. She is recognized by her peers as an accomplished Pet Stylist, Pet Styling Judge, Lecturer, Author, and Trade Show Manager. She has authored numerous articles for pet styling association newsletters, pet industry trade publications, and has served as a field editor for “Groom & Board” magazine. She also is past Publisher and Editor In Chief of “PetStylist”, a trade publication committed to advanced education.

Pam is recognized and respected throughout the industry for her tireless effort to promote pro- fessionalism, education, and the organization of Pet Stylists. In this capacity, she co-founded the Illinois State professional Dog Groomers Association and the Southern Association of Professional Dog Groomers and served as the their first President.

Pam was also instrumental in the creation of Professional Pet Groomers Certification, Inc. (PPGC) where she served as their President and first “Certification Coordinator”, and was selected by her peers to be the first “Certified Master Groomer” and Certifier in the United States.

In 1988, by virtue of her outstanding pet styling credentials and accomplishments, Pam was select- ed to be the first “Chairman of the Board” of International Professional Groomers, Inc. and is cur- rently the founder and Executive Director of the International Society of Canine Cosmetologist (ISCC).

Pam is the creator and manager of the U.S. Pet Pro Classic, a major pet styling show and the largest such show in the American Southwest. She continues to conduct a variety of “Advanced Continuing Education” seminars on a variety of subjects including skin and coat care, fitting shears, the mechan- ics and art of pet styling, carding and handstripping techniques and breed specific styling techniques

Chris Anthony

Chris Anthony

Chris Anthony, weary from her travails in retail management and office work, found her calling when she discovered pet grooming. Her near fifteen 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 housecall 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, and ergonomics to help preserve her own health and longevity in her chosen profession.

Debi Hilley

Debi Hilley

Debi is a groomer who has been the owner/stylist at A Cut Above, in Albany, GA since 1997. She is a former competitive groomer who has over 35 placements, including a Gold and Silver at Intergroom and group placements at the Atlanta Pet Fair. Several years ago she decided that teaching is more satisfying than competing and she retired from competition grooming. She has been blogging since 2008, and has written for numerous publications. Her blog has been nominated 4 times for a Barkleigh Honors Award for Best Blog and she won in 2015. She has written articles for Petgroomer.com, Groomer to Groomer, Groom Team’s Newsletter and Modern Styles magazine. Her blog focuses on speed tips and techniques so that you can Groom Smarter not harder. An industry speaker since 2004, she has focused on some very unusual topics, specifically wet shaving. With 3 adult children that she raised as a single mother and business owner, and now her 4 grandchildren, her life is busy, yet she loves teaching and it shows in her blogging.

Lis De Souza

Lis De Souza

Lis De Souza is a National Certified Master Groomer and Certified Canine Estetician.  She opened her salon, Serenity Pet Spa, in September 2014.  She now has two groomers in her Master Apprentice program as well as a full support staff.  She has shown and bred collies for 19 years and frequently grooms and handles other breeds.  She has been competing since 2012 and quickly moved into open division after winning Best All Arounds, Group Placements and Rising Star of the Year in 2015.  She is excited to begin this year as an Andis Educator so she can share her knowledge to help other groomers to achieve their goals.

Megan Kingsland

Megan Kingsland

Megan has grown up in a groom shop along side her Mom. She has been bathing and assisting since middle school days. Megan is actively learning to groom from Emily and Kristie and taking continuing education class as often as possible to further her knowledge as a groomer. Megan began her competition career in 2014 with a Bichon. Megan is a grooming industry budding speaker as well as a Pet 1st Aid and CPR instructor. She also is a co show producer for Mardi Gras Pet Expo.

Deana Mazurkiewicz

Deana Mazurkiewicz

Deana Mazurkiewicz IGMS, IFMS, NCMG is a Intellectual  Groomer Master Stylist and a Intellectual Feline Master Stylist with Intellectual Groomers Association, Inc as well as a National Certified Master Groomer with the National Dog Groomers Association of America. She is a registered member of the National Cat Groomers Institute and Creative Groomers Association, a former board member of two different animals organizations. An International Judges Association member and most recently an IJA Judge.

Deana has 24 years of grooming experience, and is currently a home based business owner. After owning and operating a successful salon in New Tampa for over 13 years that was voted best of Tampa Bay more than four years in a row, she decided it was time to open her own home based, one on one business, to better serve her valued clients. Deana’s business proudly offers straight through grooming while you wait.

Throughout her career, Deana competed across the USA and placed at every major grooming competition she has entered, including:
· Best In Show,
· Best All Around Groomer,
· Bronze and Silver Medal winner at Intergroom. Countless 1st, 2nd and Third placements.

Deana recognizes the importance of continued education and learning and while she was self-taught when she started grooming at the age of 18, she finished her first certification with her Cocker Spaniel 6 months into her grooming career and then became a NCMG.
Deana has been featured on local Tampa Bay TV stations for her grooming, and has been a featured speaker at the Tampa Pet Expo, and a guest on live with Tracie Hotchner. She competed one time In entry and placed 1st with every dog she competed with and went on to win Best In Show. She spent two shows in intermediate before moving up to the expert “A” division. She ranked in Groom Team points in the years she competed. A Cardnial Achivement Award nominee in 2015 for congeniality. Deana stopped competing in 2009 to focus on her daughter and family. Founder of Intellectual Groomers Association.

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