Melissa Verplank, CMG, petentreneur and founder of the Paragon companies, was recognized by Pet Age as one of the “Power 50” influencers and visionaries who’ve improved the pet care industry.
According to the popular trade magazine and media brand, the inaugural Power 50 list is designed to recognize the people whose vital work has made a substantial impact on the pet market. The selection team identified the people influencing the pet care community in positive way.
“The Power 50 honorees are making important contributions to the pet care community, to the well-being of companion animals and using their dogged drive and steadfast leadership to pursue uncharted territory in the pet care industry,” Pet Age wrote in its article.
“I am deeply honored to be included in this collection of outstanding industry icons,” Verplank said. “Our work at Paragon is truly a team effort and our impact on the industry was made possible through the synergy of our collective talents.”
Honorees of the Power 50 include mavericks such as Chris Rowland, CEO of Pet Supplies Plus, Mike Bober from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and Andrea Faccio from Nestle Purina.
Pet Age cited Verplank’s involvement in the ground level of the voluntary certification testing programs, where she earned her Certified Master Groomer title in the mid-1980s. She was a member of the traveling team for GroomTeam USA, representing the United States in World Team Competition in France in the early 1990s. Later, she was the GroomTeam USA team coordinator, served on the board of directors and currently sits on its advisory board. She assisted in the start-up of the International Judges Association and is an approved grooming judge with the United Showmanagers Alliance. Today, she remains a highly sought-after industry speaker, contest grooming judge, author and a two-time Cardinal Crystal Achievement winner.
Verplank’s foundational Notes From the Grooming Table and Theory of Five are perennial top sellers in the grooming instruction category and underpin the curricular development of Paragon’s educational platform. Verplank founded Learn2GroomDogs.com in 2011 and took the renowned Paragon School of Pet Grooming online in 2018 to extend its reach, training individuals and corporate teams.
“Our unifying mission across the Paragon companies is to elevate the grooming profession and those who work in the industry to the highest possible standard through continuing education. For my own skill development and the thousands I’ve witnessed who’ve become better groomers, I know first-hand that education is everything,” Verplank said.