Amie Tolomeo

Amie started in the pet industry shortly after college,  taking a retail management position with a well known corporation.  She moved into the grooming salon at the invitation of her salon manager,  and never looked back. She has worked as a groomer and as a salon manager in corporate settings, private shops, vet grooming,  mobile grooming,  and now she owns and operates her own salon.

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Growing up,  she was always in “gifted” and “honors” classes but all her report cards were Cs and Bs, with comments like “daydreams” and “chatty” and “needs to apply herself.” It wasn’t until she was 20 and her little brother was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, that she ever heard of such a thing. But suddenly,  everything made sense. However, the damage was done. She had been a lousy student coasting by on charm and good test scores. Until college, which was a disaster.

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She was good at retail management because it always kept you moving, save for those horribly boring meetings. But she didn’t really feel useful until she got into grooming. She felt a connection with pets that seemed beyond the average pet lover. She understood them. They understood her.

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Its been almost 22 years, and while she sometimes faces difficulties, she still finds grooming rewarding. Some experiences have been better than others, but all have been a chance to learn. She looks forward to sharing some of those experiences with other Neurodivergent Groomers.

Angela Mondor

Angela Mondor is also known as The Geeky Girl – technology has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember, and she enjoys sharing her love of technology with those around her.

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Angela also has strong ties to her local and global communities and loves to volunteer her time. She began working with an organization called Futurpreneur Canada in 2016 as a mentor. She is proud to be able to provide her skills and expertise from the many years of business experience to start-up business owners. She is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the Hockey Helps the Homeless Winnipeg event where she is not only on the board but also manages the volunteers for the event as well.

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Angela is a serial entrepreneur who has been interested in business ownership since long before she was 18. She has had many businesses from Party Plan to MLM while working corporately, but it wasn’t until 2009 when she started Geeky Girl that she realized that this was the type of business for her.

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Angela specializes in helping entrepreneurs build amazing teams using processes, systems & time management. Taking care of these three aspects of their business builds an amazing team and increases productivity while allowing the business owner to focus on business growth without feeling overwhelmed and while working fewer hours.

Anjie Coates

Anjie Coates has been grooming for 33 years. She has devoted many of those years to teaching others to groom. Some have been neurodiverse and have enjoyed a long career in grooming. People with neurodiversity learn better when taught in ways to help them work with the strengths they possess in order to become a groomer. Grooming doesn’t always need to be taught in one manner, and this is one of the greatest things about our industry.

Beth Griffith

Beth Griffith is an autistic marketer who dove into the world of business back in 2018. After hitting wall after wall with being unable to do everything that her business demanded of her, she ended up realizing she couldn’t build a business the way everyone else does. She would have to build her business around her struggles. 

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In February of 2021 she was officially diagnosed with autism and all her business struggles began making sense. She now has a charitable side of her business where she helps other neurodiverse CEOs to have a safe space to acknowledge the problems that their neurodiversity bring to their businesses.

JZ Conrad

Jz Conrad (they/them) is an autistic and ADHD pet pro, relating to many marginalized communities (disabled, lgbtq+, and neurodiverse individuals). They strive to serve as hope and encouragement to other pet professionals who relate. 

Jz is a Certified Feline Master Groomer (CFMG) and has 13+ years of industry experience. As a long standing multi-entrepreneurial business owner with physical limitations they have dedicated themselves to the niche of pet pros and the mental health that often takes a toll on them. 

As a life coach and content creator their goal is to always bring stigma breaking, scientifically based, relatable content to their followers!

Laura Civello Hearn

Laura Hearn has been grooming for over 15 years and has been a house-call groomer for over a decade.

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She always knew she was different, and was diagnosed with ADHD at age 8. Though she’s had many challenges when it comes to learning and communicating, she believes her neurodiverse brain is what made her the person and groomer she is today.

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She has started, grown and sold 3 successful house-call businesses in multiple parts of  the country.

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She is CPR/First Aid Certified, president of the New York State Grooming Association, and a Certified Canine Esthetician. She also authored the best selling Barkleigh Nominated book, “A Practical Guide to House-call Grooming.”

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Laura currently resides in Syracuse, NY with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs and 1 cat.

Michelle Knowles

Michelle Knowles, MPAI, ICMG, owner of All Things Paw, has over 30 years of experience as a private and professional pet care provider. Michelle is a Certified Master Groomer and a Master Pet Aesthetician. She has apprenticed, volunteered, worked, owned and managed in salons, kennels, zoos, and veterinary hospitals across the country. Michelle has also been trained in Tuscany, Italy in therapeutic work, hand stripping and advanced dermatological care. She has an ISB certification in skin and coat care, extensive experience with fear and trauma recovery, elderly pets, and a focus on managing allergic/dermatological disorders. Michelle is certified through NDGAA and IPG and teaches advanced aesthetics at the Whole Pet Grooming Academy and is a nationally recognized speaker in her field.

Tammy Ellis

Tammy Ellis began grooming in 2004.  She went to a grooming school out of state that ended up being a very bad experience, but it is where she got her start.  Tammy worked tirelessly to improve her skills, going to multiple grooming shows every year.  Her first show was in 2009, The Pet Pro Classic in texas.  Her first attempt at grooming competitions was at SuperZoo in Las Vegas.  There were no competitors in the beginner level so they put her in intermediate where she took first place with her toy poodle, Icon.  She then went up against the open (advanced) class and ended up with a second place award overall.

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Tammy was bitten by the competition bug, and entered multiple shows per year after that, making the top 15 on GroomTeam USA’s points list in 2011.  She competed with everything from a hand stripped schnauzer, to a coton de tulear.  Tammy retired from competing in 2013, and officially retired from grooming in 2016, although she groomed a couple of long haired standard dachshunds for AKC shows until 2020.  Tammy was also a National Certified Master Groomer with the NDGAA.

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Altogether, Tammy groomed for 16 years, until she graduated with a masters degree in Social Work from Utah State University.  She had her bachelors degree before she began grooming, but had never actually used her degree.

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In 2013, after years of obsessing about grooming, Tammy was burned out.  It was then that she decided to go back to school to become a therapist.  Tammy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in Sex Therapy.  She also worked 6 years as a therapist for high-risk substance users, and has specific training for drug and alcohol abuse therapy.

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Tammy is currently in private practice in her hometown of Layton, Utah, where she lives with her two cats, MuShu & Gidget, and her border collie puppy, Fizz.  She hopes to get involved in agility when her border collie is old enough.  Not much has changed with Tammy because Fizz gets a bath every week.  Tammy likes to say, “I guess you can take the girl out of grooming but you can’t take the groomer out of the girl.”