Anjie Coates

Anjie Coates has been grooming 34 years. She co-owns a very successful salon and has been doing her own clipper and dryer maintenance for over 20 years. Keeping your tools in their best condition is the best way to make the hard earned money we spend on them last a career. One of those tools includes our own bodies, and ensuring we groom in a manner that is safest for the pet as well as ourselves will help us have a long and successful career.

Barbara Bird

Prior to becoming a groomer, Barbara earned a Master of Social Work degree and worked as an Associate Director of Research at Arizona State University, designing a three-year study for the US Dept. of Labor. She supervised the data collection, data analysis and writing results and reports.

Barbara also contracted and completed a study for the National Institute of Mental Health on the effects of closing down the State of California Mental Hospitals. In addition, she worked for several years as a clinical social worker, culminatingin a private practice counseling women in a feminist-empowerment model.

  • Barbara began grooming in Her speaking career started in 1994 with the Colorado Groomers’ Association

  • She has presented on a broad range of topics focused on understanding products, the mechanics of coat damage and improving customer She has taughtseminars at all the top trade shows and several state groomers organizations.

  • In 2003, She began teaching about shampoo ingredients and chemistry, initiated the call for more ingredient disclosure in the grooming This was met withmixed reaction and a loss of some speaking engagements. She then initiatedsome of the first online educational webinars for pet groomers.

  • In 2006, Barbara authored, edited and published Beyond Suds & Scent -Understanding Pet Shampoos & Conditioners, the first and only book about pet grooming products.

  • In 2010 she was the featured speaker for Chris Christensent Systems, Inc.

  • Tours have included England/Scotland/Ireland and NewZealand/Australia.

  • Awards: Cardinal Crystal (Journalist) 2006, 2007; Barkleigh Honors (Best Blog) 2011, 2012; Pet Groomering Industry Educators Award (Lifetime Contribution) 2019; Barkleigh Honors (Podcast) 2021.

Chris Pearson


Chris is a career pet stylist and dog person of over 38 years. 

Currently she is the owner and operator of Finer DeTails Pet Spa & Wellness Center, Sage Pet Grooming Academy, and Special Kneads Canine Massage in Mazomanie, WI. 

She is an award winning competition groomer, has multiple national grooming certifications from the NDGAA, IPG, DAATA, WPA-PCG and is a Certified Canine Esthetician specializing in canine skin & coat care.

Christein is the first pet groomer and industry teacher to ever gain her accredited title as a Holistic Animal Educator, thru the HAA. 

In addition to her efforts within the grooming salon and its industry, Chris is the founder of the Wisconsin Association of Professional Pet Stylists/WPGA and MPGA, cofounder of the NAGA, and as a breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, she also sat as the WI State Director for the National Cavalier Rescue Trust and helps in small breed dog senior rescue & foster work.

Chris actively writes and is the author of several industry guidebooks and continuing educational courses, has created her own line of all natural canine spa products, Canine Spa Therapies.  

Find learning opportunities from Chris at:

Malissa Conti-Diener

Malissa Conti-Diener is the owner of and Both focus on Holistic Pet Grooming, through education for both the groomer and the client. As a compassionate groomer and Master Lightworker, Malissas’ goal has always been to see the grooming experience from the pets perspective. Her main goal has always been to create an energetic connection with the animals she works with. Specializing in a natural approach to both Cats and Dogs, has helped her grow her business spanning over 20-years. Malissa also is a master holistic feline groomer, cultivating a safe space for felines to experience grooming. Being an in demand Holistic Pet Business coach and consultant, as  well as a respected educator has led her to share her talents. As a Master  Animal Aromatherapist and Master Animal Massage Therapist. Her goal is to blend all things Holistic and pet grooming, into her unique style of alchemy. She is a founding (board) member and Treasurer for the Association of Holistic Pet Professionals. Creating a community for all holistic pet professionals to come together, learn and grow. When not working on educating  professional pet groomers, coaching or consulting, Malissa enjoys spending time with her animals, practicing yoga , journaling, meditating, and gardening the very plants she uses in her own holistic grooming practice.

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.

Tami Vornbrock

Tami Vornbrock graduated grooming school in 1996, became a business owner in 2006, and has groomed in every setting except housecall throughout her career. She currently has a homebased salon and that has given her the freedom to start pursing other career opportunities such as speaking and consulting. Tami has her Master Groomer certificate with both International Professional Groomers and National Dog Groomers Association of America, and is a Certified Canine Esthetician. She started Washington Associaton of Professional Pet Groomers in 2020 and serves as the president.