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Paragon Experts to Give Seminars at Atlanta Pet Fair

The Paragon Pet School is different than many trade or vocational schools because its on-campus and distance learning curriculum is developed and delivered by industry experts. Those experts will be taking their knowledge on the road this week to share with groomers across the nation at the Atlanta Pet Fair. Founder Melissa Verplank and VP Joe Zuccarello will make three continuing education presentations during the four-day event.

The pet fair features more than 100 exhibitors from the $70 Billion pet industry and is one of the country’s largest trade show and conferences for professional pet stylists and service professionals. The show provides grooming professionals with access to the latest products, education, pets and employee safety training, and networking to ensure they have the tools and insights to operate successful businesses.

Grooming Competition

The show also hosts one of the biggest grooming competitions in the Southeast United States, including competitors on the 2019 GroomTeam USA. Groomers and stylists from around the world come to Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference to participate in the more than 10 contests spread over four days at the show, including a “Rescue Rodeo.”

If you want to learn more about competitive grooming contests, visit GroomTeamUSA. If you’re looking for speakers for your next Pet Industry event, Contact Us.

Here’s a lineup of Continuing Education seminars by Melissa and Joe.


FRIDAY – 4:00 p.m. German Suite with Joe Zuccarello

Culture and Team Building: Why It Is Important and How It Can Make Your Life Easier!

In this session, Joe will speak about the ingredients necessary to build a solid team and the importance of your company’s culture as it relates to productivity, customer satisfaction, and overall operations and management benefits. Have you ever felt like not going to work, either by calling in sick or playing hooky only to realize that you cannot do that because you’re the boss and you have to be there? Do you feel every day is a battle when it comes to managing your employees and your business? Are you exhausted or discouraged? You’re not alone! This session is designed with you in mind! Believe it or not, you may be to blame for the feelings you are having. But there’s good news ahead…there’s a better way and Joe will explore practical solutions for you to put in play immediately when you return to your business. It’s ok, you’ll be a room filled with others who are struggling just like you are. So come prepared to be honest with yourself, open to new ideas, and ready to leave the session with a new perspective!

SATURDAY – 3:00 p.m. German Suite with Melissa Verplank & Joe Zuccarello

Perception is Reality – The Three Pillars of Branding Yourself

This down-to-earth presentation lays out the three pillars every pet grooming business and their team must master: branding your shop, branding your team and branding your marketing message. The bottom line: perception is reality. In this session Melissa Verplank and Joe Zuccarello will present how creating positive relationships with clients and their pets will grow your business. Creating a successful pet grooming business with a strong clientele is not a destination, it is a journey. The right message will create a healthy repeat clientele. The wrong message will leave gaping holes in your appointment book. Together Melissa and Joe offer plenty of positive ideas and strategies. Their concepts allow you to create your own branding platform. Their goal is to help you understand and implement the values of positive branding to build long-term success for you, your team and your business.

SUNDAY – 12:30 p.m. Australia Room with Melissa Verplank

How to Find and Keep Great Groomers

Staffing your grooming department can be a huge challenge. Melissa knows as she’s been there countless times herself. Over the years, she has learned what it takes to find great groomers – and keep them. In this session, Melissa shares her secrets to recruiting talent; talent who wants to grow their own skills and see the company succeed. She’ll talk about what to look for when hiring plus, share ideas on how you can encourage personal growth within your team. She’ll also discuss a unique compensation plan when it comes to paying your grooming team. Melissa’s methods are time-tested and proven. When used correctly, they ensure longevity and job satisfaction. These two areas are important when it comes to growth, profitability and a smooth-running grooming operation.


Melissa Verplank Receives Pet Age’s 2019 Women of Influence Award!

Paragon Pet School is very pleased to announce that our Founder & CEO Melissa Verplank was named a recipient of the Pet Age 2019 Women of Influence Award! Now in its fifth year, the Women of Influence Awards are given by the publication to 30 deserving leaders in the pet industry.

Congratulations to the 2019 Women of Influence Award Recipients

Citing the importance of celebrating the accomplishments of females who have made a notable impact on the field in which they work, Pet Age is honoring 30 “ambitious, hardworking females who are influential in the pet industry” with its Women of Influence Award in 2019.

These women hold leadership positions at companies throughout the sector, including pet product manufacturers and retailers as well as businesses that provide marketing and grooming services. This year’s honorees include women who have followed in the footsteps of family members who already worked in the industry, while others who have realized their dreams to establish their own companies. No matter the paths to their current destinations or their roles—with titles ranging from general manager to president, executive director, CEO and more—these women all share a deep love for animals.

Congratulations to Melissa and her well-deserving cohort of peer recipients of the 2019 Women of Influence Awards. Full profiles of the winners will appear in the March issue of Pet Age. Read the full announcement and recipients list on PetAge.com.

About Pet Age

Pet Age is a business to business media brand that covers the pet industry in print, online and through social media and events.

Their mission is to serve the pet specialty market by delivering timely and practical news and information about the products, trends, and events that impact retailers, groomers, manufacturers, and other related businesses. Visit their website for more info.

 


Westminster 101: Guide for Student Dog Groomers

What is Westminster?

The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs.  Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all-breed, benched dog show held every year at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Today, America’s dog show has expanded into Westminster Week which includes the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and the Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster. More than 3,000 dogs entered from around the world make Westminster Week like no other. As Master Groomer and our founder, Melissa Verplank pointed out in her videolog this week, watching Westminster is a great way for new groomers to improve their pet trims! We’ve highlighted information to help you tune in.

Learn more @ Westminster

How a Dog Show Works

Each dog at a dog show is presented to a judge by either its owner, breeder, or a hired professional. This person is known as the exhibitor or the handler of the dog.

The purpose of conformation shows (also known as dog shows) is to evaluate breeding stock. Judges select winners based on their ability to contribute and improve the next generation of dogs. Dogs start out in the classes competing for points toward their AKC championship title. Dogs win points based on the number of dogs defeated. The more dogs entered, the more points per win. It takes fifteen points, including two majors (wins of three, four or five points), awarded by at least three different judges, to become an American Kennel Club champion.

Breed Groups judged to the AKC Breed Standard include the Working, Herding, Sporting, Hound, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding.

Learn more, including judging criteria, a glossary and terminology, at Westminster Dog Shows 101 

This Video By Purina Pro Plan Describes the Show Mechanics:

Additional Shows During Westminster Week:

For information on the Masters Agility Championship Sat. Feb. 9, follow this link.

For information on the Masters Obedience Championship, Feb. 11, follow this link:

The Schedule – 143rd WKC Dog Show

Monday, February 11, 2019

  • Daytime Session (8 am – 4:30 pm)
    • Breed Judging across Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups
    • Junior Showmanship preliminaries
      For more information about Junior Showmanship, click here. 
  • Dog Show 101 (12pm- 1pm)
    • Pier 94, Ring 10
      For more information about Dog Shows, click here. 
  • Evening Session (7:30 pm – 11:30 pm) Doors open at 6 pm for Best of Breed benching area
    • Group Judging across Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups (begins at 7:30 pm)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

  • Daytime Session (8 am – 4:30 pm)
    • Breed Judging across Sporting, Working and Terrier groups
    • Junior Showmanship preliminaries
  • Dog Show 101 Presentation (12pm- 1pm)
    • Pier 94, Ring 10
      For more information about Dog Shows, click here. 
  • Evening Session (7 pm – 11:30 pm) Doors open at 6 pm for Best of Breed benching area
    • Junior Showmanship Finals (begins at 7:00 pm)
    • Group Judging across Sporting, Working and Terrier groups (begins at 7:30 pm)
    • BEST IN SHOW!

Links for Viewing:

Weekend Television/Streaming Schedule

Monday Television/Streaming Schedule

Tuesday Television/Streaming Schedule


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