Speakers and Judges

Barbara Prueckel
Sponsored by WahlWahl Canada, TOGS

Barbara has been the proud owner of “Doggie Style Salon”, for the last 19 years in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
9 Years ago, she closed her retail store/salon and opened the first ‘invitation only’ private grooming salon in the country, enabling her to pursue her passion for traveling, learning, competing and sharing her artistic ideas with fellow groomers. Some of Barb’s accomplishments in grooming competitions include several Best in show and Best all around groomer awards at prestigious grooming contests, both in Canada and Internationally, including multiple International groomer of the year awards at Intergroom. She took home the gold at Superzoo in the World Poodle Tournament for three years in a row in Las Vegas. She was a member of Groom Team Canada for 10 years, and the captain for 8 years, competing for her country worldwide.
Barb’s judging and speaking assignments have taken her all over the globe, including Belgium, England, France, Taiwan, Spain, Italy, Columbia, India, Japan, Brazil and many more all over North America. She was honored to judge the World Groom Team Championships in Italy 2015. She won the ‘Barkleigh Honors’ award for ‘Judge of the Year’ in 2015. Her passion for animals and grooming is apparent to everyone who meets her in the joy she receives from teaching and learning with groomers worldwide. She has been a proud member of the ‘WAHL Xtreme Stylist Team’ in Canada for 13 years, and enjoys working closely with a fantastic company. In 2016 she created ‘Mastergroom Canada’, an extremely successful grooming convention featuring a trade show, seminars, and a competition with over $19,000 in cash and prizes. She and her team are looking forward to bringing Mastergroom Canada back annually to help educate and bring groomers together from coast to coast.

Diane Betelak
Sponsored by Andis

Diane Betelak, NCMG has owned Heads and Tails Professional Dog Grooming, Inc. in Liverpool, NY since 1982. Diane groomed competitively in the U.S. and abroad and has multiple “Best in Shows” and “Best All-Around Groomer” wins as well as multiple placements at prestigious competitions. She qualified for the “GroomTeam USA” traveling team in 1996 and went to Milan, Italy where she won “Best in Show” with her Standard Poodle which helped the USA team to win the Gold. Officially retired from active competition Diane is an International Grooming Consultant for The Andis Company. She attends trade shows and seminars to promote their products. They are manufacturers of small and large animal clippers and blades. She has been a speaker and has judged all major grooming shows throughout the United States and Canada. Diane is also a certifier for N.D.G.A.A. Diane was the recipient of the Cardinal Crystal Award for American Groomer of the Year in 1997 and Crystal Award for Grooming competition Judge of the Year in 2011.  Diane has shown Standard Poodles in conformation and obedience since 1987. She has finished her own dogs to their Championships in The United States and in Canada as well as multiple obedience titles, including multiple “High in Trials”. She is now actively involved in the sport of Agility wit her current poodles Sid and Rickie Boa.

Nancy Bryson

Nancy Bryson has been grooming since 1976. She owned and operated Bryson Academy of Grooming/Dogs by Bryson Professional Grooming Salon in Caledon East, Ontario where she taught both the beginner and the professional, from 1995 to 2008. She currently operates Dogs By Bryson Professional Grooming salon and instructs professionals in skill advancement workshops. Nancy is a member of the advisory committee for Sheridan College’s “Animal Care Veterinarian Technician Program”.
A Certified Groomer with I.P.G., Nancy is a member of the Wahl Xtreme Team, and has been an active member of the Ontario Dog Groomers Association since its founding. She served as president from 1990 to 1993 and was voted their Grooming Personality of the Year for 2000, 2002 & 2004.
Nancy had an impressive win record, undefeated in the Terrier, Sporting and Creative categories. She is well known in the Canadian industry for her scissoring and creative styling. In 2009 Nancy became the first recipient of the Paws Way Centre’s Groomer of the Year Award. For 2010 Nancy received the Paws Way’s most prestigious award “Participant of The Year”.
Her professional credentials have earned her work as an industry demonstrator & speaker and competition judge. She has appeared both on television and in national magazines.

Nadia Bongelli

Nadia Bongelli has been in the grooming industry since 2009 and has competed in Canada and the United States since 2012. Nadia started in Novice Division and in 2016 she has won her way up to the Open Division where she won the extremely competitive Open Poodle Division at Mastergroom in Calgary followed by a Best In Show win at L.E.T.S. Groom show in Niagara in 2016. Nadia was also nominated for Barkleigh’s Rising Star of the Year twice and won it in 2016. She also won 3 gold medals in Rising Star Division at Intergroom in 2016.

Nadia loves competition grooming and is pursuing her strong desire to become an educater in the grooming industry. She has trained with some great groomers along the way and she credits her success to Allison Cowie, Nancy Bryson, Sarah Moon, Diane Betelak, Jodi Murphy, Makenzie Murphy, Shawna Bernardin, Sally Hawks, Bonnie Nelson and Barbara Bird.

Will Alexander

Will is often referred to as the “Wayne Gretzky of dog shows”, Will is proudly Canadian and arguably the most recognized professional handler in Canada. Here are some of Will’s accomplishments:

  • Past President Canadian Professional Handlers association.
  • Winner of the Garry MacDonald trophy for top handler an unprecedented four times.
  • Piloted four different dogs to number one all breed status
  • Winner of the Wenrick trophy for sportsmanship.
  •  Over 28 years as a professional has shown 25 dogs to top ten all breed status.
  • Winner of over 600 best in shows.
  • Winner of 100 best in shows on one dog, the Irish Setter “Mulldoon’s Dewit Great One”.
  • Winner of multiple national specialties in Canada and the US.
  • Takes great pride in the careers of past apprentices.
  • Lives in Milton Ontario Canada, has two sons –   Jamie and Liam

My family bred and showed Irish Setters, and as a junior I bred English Cockers.  I made my ring debut at the age of 7 with one of our setters, and from then on he was very active (and successful) in Junior Showmanship, and the breed ring, with a variety of breeds. I started handling professionally in 1986 and in 1987 I took the Irish Setter Ch. McCammom Impresario to Top Dog All Breed. This also set a record as the youngest handler to have a top dog all breeds. I am one of only 5 handlers who has had more than one top dog all breeds, and I have had a dog in the top 10 all breeds since 1991!  I am also a published author, my book “For the Love of Dogs” was published in 2014. He also had the honour of winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2015 with the beautiful beagle bitch Am/Can. Ch. Tashtin’s Lookin For Trouble, aka Miss P.

Lior Samfiru 

Lior Samfiru is a co-founding member of Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and heads the firm’s Labour and Employment Law practice group. He is the host of “The Employment Hour” heard on AM 640, AM900, and CFRA 580. He has been quoted in all major Ontario newspapers and his input has been sought on CBC, CTV, CP24 and Global News. Lior has also been a regular columnist in publications throughout the Greater Toronto Area, where he has written about a range of labour and employment law issues.

Carole Saunders 

Carole Saunders has lived in the Kingston area for 27 years and owns and operates a small heritage farm where she is helping to preserve rare and heritage breeds of livestock. She has raised and exhibited numerous breeds of dogs under the Locksley prefix since 1991.In 1993, her lifelong love and interest in dogs drove her to use her skills as a hair stylist to start styling dogs. She has owned and operated a canine styling salon ever since, both in association with local veterinary clinics and a freestanding salon. In addition to styling all types of dogs, from the cutest of companions, to the most stunning of show dogs for 23 years, Carole taught Basic and Advanced Grooming techniques at St. Lawrence College for 13 years, retiring from teaching to devote more time to her farm, kennels and business. Carole’s drive to improve the quality of life for animals and desire to help preserve various breeds and their traits has taken her in many different directions. She is an active member of many different breed and professional associations, has helped start dog clubs, helps organize dog shows and events, ring stewarded, judged classes and events, held fun days and training seminars, and has operated a training service, providing education for people to effectively communicate with and to understand their dogs with a particular focus on the unique needs of rescues and formerly unwanted animals adopted from shelters. More recently she founded Teamwork Canine Centre with Angela Williams, a cooperative of dog professionals who offer a wide variety of canine training and enrichment programs and activities. Carole is committed to continuous learning and professional development and, in addition to achieving academic excellence in Dalhousie University operant conditioning behavioural analysis studies, she has completed a broad spectrum of behavioural studies through seminars, workshops, online courses and webinars with behaviour experts such as Dr. Ian Dunbar, Victoria Stillwell, Karen Pryor and many others. Through her many years’ experience raising, showing, styling and training dogs (and their owners) she has acquired significant knowledge and expertise in behavioural analysis and positive reinforcement dog training. She is a member of CKC, ODGA, CAPPDT, BEN, LCOKC, DDBCC, DDBCA and is an annual participant in the PABA symposiums. Carole’s other interests include gardening, nature, photography, studying ethology, and canine, equine history and evolution.

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.

Nicole Kallish

Nicole Kallish, the owner of Sarasota Grooming Company in Florida, attended The Academy of Dog Grooming Arts in Arlington Heights Illinois. Since graduating in 2004, Nicole has worked in several grooming shops and kennels and for 7 years, owned a successful mobile grooming business. Nicole decided to open a grooming shop in Sarasota after moving from Orlando in 2012.In addition to grooming in her business, Nicole is also a competitive groomer. She has worked her way up the ranks in the grooming contest ring earning many 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placements in entry and intermediate levels, including Best Groomed Dog. Nicole also won the title of “Rising Star of the Year” at Intergroom in 2013 and has moved on to the “open” or “expert” level, competing against the top groomers in the country. In 2013 she was ranked in the top 20 in the nation. Nicole has also been a Barkleigh Honors nominee for “Up and Coming Groomer of the Year” in 2011 and 2012, and a nominee for the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Awards “Mobile Groomer of the Year” 2011 and 2012. Nicole continues to compete at several grooming shows each year, has recently started writing for industry publications and has become a speaker at grooming trade shows. Nicole is an ICMG, certifier, educator and is the Groom Team USA Liaison.Nicole and her husband George are thrilled to be living in the paradise known as Sarasota with their 4 poodles. Rex the Standard Poodle, Brody, Pippa and Sofia the Miniature Poodles. Sofia is currently being shown in AKC and we are looking forward to a wonderful show career for her. Pippa is trying out other competition sports this year such as FAST CAT and CAT, she will be earning some new titles soon.

Mike MacKinnon 

Mike MacKinnon, CPTN-CPT, is a certified personal trainer who has been training clients to successful weight loss for 11 years now. He also holds a B.Com. and M.Div., having a background in both business and pastoring churches. No longer wanting to participate in religion yet still wanting to help people, he has married what he learned from his experiences in business and in ministry. Out of this he has created a weight loss program that works.  His program assumes that the human person must be dealt with “wholistically” for permanent weight loss to be possible. Mike believes that we are a combination of mental, emotional, and spiritual beings each having a physical experience on this earth. To solve the overweight problem – which manifests as a physical problem – you must deal with the mental, emotional and spiritual states that underpin it. Mike has worked with hundreds of people who struggle with weight loss.  Himself overweight to the tune of 95 pounds in 2001, by 2003 he had achieved a “normal” body weight, and has maintained it ever since.  His passion is to show others how to do what he did.