Our 2019 Featured Speakers 


Lynn Switanowski-Barrett is the Founder and President of Creative Business Consulting Group, (CBCG) a Boston, MA based Retail Strategy Consulting firm. Using 30+ years retail experience as her guide, Lynn – aka – “Pet Retail Helper” lead the CBCG team to engage with pet retailers and manufacturers helping them create and implement profit improving sales, marketing and inventory management strategies.


CBCG helps pet businesses of all size understand the opportunities created by changing consumer trends and helps retailers improve the business outcomes by innovating and improving sales, marketing and financial strategies.


N.G. Gordon is a speaker, writer, marketing strategist, consultant, influencer on social media influence, and blogger.  An ex-tennis pro and a former Silicon Valley startup founder, N.G. brings over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C marketing to social media and influencer marketing.


The back story: As a brand owner with a successful business on Amazon, N.G. was looking for a social media influencer to help promote his products. When he didn’t find the right candidate, he decided to create his own influencer, in the form of a unique character, ‘Dear Mishu,’ an advice columnist based on his dog. Having launched ‘Dear Mishu’ as a micro-influencer in the pet and wellness spaces, N.G. turned his energies to applying his marketing experience to helping other brand owners understand how to strategically use influencer marketing.

N.G.’s analysis and thoughts on doing influencer marketing right have been featured on app masters, eCommerce Momentum, and Social Launch podcasts, and he is a frequent conference presenter and judge, most recently at the Influential Summit (Carlsbad, CA) and the Mobile Growth Summit (San Francisco). His audio book, Influencer Marketing Mastery, teaches the ins and outs of finding, hiring, working with, and integrating social media influencers into a brand marketing strategy.


Dr. Morgan is a best-selling author, speaker, and certified veterinary acupuncturist, chiropractitioner, and food therapist. Based in southern New Jersey, Dr. Morgan currently operates two award-winning veterinary hospitals that offer an integrative approach combining holistic medicine with traditional Western techniques. In her effort to educate pet owners, she is an author of four best-selling books on holistic pet care and feeding, along with hundreds of blogs and articles reaching millions of pet owners worldwide. Her Naturally Healthy Pets supplement line is available on her website drjudymorgan.com, as well as Amazon. She lives with her husband, Hue Grant, along with their six rescue spaniels, four adopted cats, eight chickens, and four horses.


Chris Avery is the CEO of Wholesalepet.com, the leading US online sales and service hub for pet supplies.

Owner of a Golden Retriever (Harvey) with a never-met-a-stranger personality, Chris is focused on driving sales and solutions for WholesalePet.com suppliers, retailers and partners.  Having joined the pack in 2015 after a decade leading teams at Lowe’s Companies, Inc., he also prioritizes building new partnerships and growth initiatives.  Whenever possible he likes to spend time outdoors with his son (9), daughter (12), wife and Harvey.


Antoine Seailles is the Market Strategist for the independent pet distributor Pet Food Experts, distributing to 4,000+ retailers across 32 states. Antoine leads a team that looks for the next innovative products to bring to pet retailers. Having spent more than 20 years in retail evaluating trends and looking for more environmentally sustainable products of the highest quality, Antoine has a keen eye for what products will continue to fuel the pet industry with a focus on the independent pet channel.


Jim Ackerman is a renowned marketing & advertising speaker, Marketing Coach, author and copywriter, who specializes in direct response and alternative marketing, and in helping businesses “genetically engineer” their sales systems for ever-increasing success.  He is a regular contributor to Pets+ online Bulletins with his renowned video series called Animal Ads.  He has written material for the likes of Novell, Franklin Covey, and Nature’s Sunshine, HerbaLife, Jafra, Melaleuca, and others.  Perhaps Jim’s greatest accomplishments come helping small to medium-size business owners and entrepreneurs dramatically increase sales and profits, and reduce costs through smarter, results-driven marketing and advertising.  His Principle-Centered Marketing Coaching™ Program is unparalleled for producing results… often turning companies around in a matter of just a few weeks.  President & CEO of Ascend Marketing™, Inc. Founder of The BizKaboom™ Alliance Author/Publisher of The BizKaboom Alliance Newsletter™, National columnist and author of many articles in a broad array of industry publications.


Dave is a smart business owner and a genius marketer who is fighting big box corporations on their turf and winning the war.  Despite his humble retail beginning over 43 years ago in an abandoned 3-bay gas station, Dave Ratner has managed to build a powerful 7-store chain.  He sits on the Board of Directors of the  National Retail Federation alongside the CEOs of Petco, Macy's, QVC and other national chains.


Jane Harrell is President of 'cause Digital Marketing and Co-owner of Working with Dog. With nearly two decades of pet-industry experience, Jane's projects have been noted by Apple, TIME, INC.com, Women in the Pet Industry Awards, Search Engine Land and many more. She's also lead in-house marketing and digital product teams for industry leaders like Petfinder.com and IDEXX Laboratories. Now her teams focus on helping small and large pet businesses alike understand what will work for them, and how to deliver it on time and on budget, every time.


Joe’s journey in the pet industry started in 1986.  At one of the World’s most prestigious Pet Resorts for nearly 20 years, Joe successfully lead countless initiatives in the role of Vice President. In 2008, Joe expanded his pet industry experience by immersing himself in the pet products sector of the industry. His 10 year efforts included various roles such as National Sales Manager, Project Manager, Brand Leader, and Director of Innovation and Product development.  Joe became a leading guest host on HSN (Home Shopping Network) representing pet grooming and dental products and driving the pet category to unprecedented levels. Joe is also named as an inventor on several patents in the pet industry.

In early 2018, Joe joined the team at the leading pet professional development and education solutions company as Vice President. Joe has lead the company’s efforts in launching a unique, comprehensive, and synergistic web-based learning solution for the pet grooming services industry.  This online tool is currently used by hundreds of individuals, pet salon owners, and multi-unit retailers as their core training tool for new groomers and enhancing the skills of existing staff.    


His relationships, experience, education, and drive help bring out the best in people and their businesses and pushes individuals, companies, and the industry to new heights. 


Meet “The Pet Lady,” Dana Humphrey. She happily wears many collars in the pet industry, including operating the very successful Whitegate PR firm, staging pet fashion events and educating all of us pet lovers about the must-have pet products and pet trends. And, her home base in New York City, but this is a gal who travels coast-to-coast and beyond to ensure pets everywhere lead enriching lives. Learn more at www.whitegatepr.com and thepetlady.net


Fernando Camacho has been a dog behavior consultant for the past ten years, helping people and dogs live together better. In addition to working with dogs he also does private consulting with dog businesses, doing staff training as well as helping them utilize modern resources to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Fern is also the author of 5 books and a speaker at national conferences and private events. 


Capturing moments of dog life around MA and the world, I'm a pet photographer, storyteller and dog-charity fundraiser. I believe every dog has a tale and I am on a mission to capture it through the power of photography.  dogsimeet.com


I don’t want to see more local businesses closing due to the growth of big box retailers and eCommerce giants. So we use our expertise to help independent pet stores grow by managing and executing effective online marketing strategies.

As a true marketing partner, we are as committed to your store’s success as you are. Our strategy is to combine the same marketing tactics and resources used by retail titans with localized, small-town branding to create a loyal community of pets and pet owners.


Nancy Hassel is the founder and President of American Pet Professionals, an award winning business networking, educational and multimedia organization for the pet industry since 2009.  Leading over 100 in-person educational networking events, seminars, fundraisers and online events for pet industry professionals. A Public Relations specialist for the pet industry, Nancy works with pet companies in many aspects of PR, event planning, media relations and training for pet professionals.  Nancy also co-hosts the boutique B2B trade-show, NYC Re-Tails & Sales Pet Expo, with Dana Humphrey every spring.  Also, Nancy is a speaker at various pet industry conferences, a writer for pet trade and consumer magazines, blogger, avid photographer, and was a TV producer and production coordinator for 10+ years. Nancy created a Responsible Dog Ownership program and taught over 2,500 pet parents in a 5-year period. Recently awarded the 2018 Women of Influence by Pet Age Magazine and her organization was voted Best Networking organization three years in a row by LI Press newspaper.  Nancy resides on Long Island, NY and is the proud pet parent of Cody, a rescued American Pit Bull Terrier. 


Paul Allen founded Woof Gang Bakery in 2007, after a decade working in the franchise industry. Believing that big box pet stores and online retailers left something to be desired, he identified a market opportunity for pet retail with a personal touch. Allen realized his vision and created a new specialty pet retail concept that offers customers a better shopping experience.


Woof Gang Bakery is now the leading specialty retailer of pet food, pet supplies and professional pet grooming in North America, with more than 130 locations open or under development the U.S.


Candace D'Agnolo runs a company called Pet Boss Nation, where she's dedicated her life to working with successful business owners in the pet industry who want to make more money, get their personal time back and make their business fun again on a daily basis. Having been in the pet industry for over 16 years (retail, wholesale, doggy daycare, grooming, walking) she translated her passion for pets into multiple million dollar businesses. 


Pet Boss Nation is striving to be the world leader in pet business coaching, consulting, mentorship and profit building resources. They own the space for pet business owners wanting to move past a passion for pets to being consistently profitable; or who are scaling their business and need the right team; or who are looking for a community to connect to - helping them move from burnout to booming. To learn more visit - petbossnation.com


Bill Bookout is a founding member of the National Animal Supplement Council, serving as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization and has been in the Pet Industry for over 20 years. He is widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the supplement industry for companion animals. Mr. Bookout was President of Genesis Limited, a company he founded in 1999 that provides both feed and health supplements for companion animals. In March of 2012, Genesis was acquired by Kemin Industries Inc., a privately held, family-owned company that has nearly 1500 employees and operates in more than 90 countries. He was Vice President of Global Sales at Kemin before reassuming the role of NASC President.  Mr. Bookout was selected by Health Canada to serve on the Expert Advisory Committee for Veterinary Natural Health Products.  Prior to founding Genesis, he spent 15 years in the human medical device and animal health industries, including executive positions with Medex Medical, the All-Care Animal Referral Center (a specialty referral veterinary hospital) and AnaMed International, and was Director of Sales & Marketing for Marquest Medical Products. Mr. Bookout received his bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from Pepperdine University, Presidents and Key Executive Program.


Andy Krinner loves animals.  All kinds.  Through his review site, www.dogdadapproved.com, he has grown to be recognized as the defender of dogs and protector of pooches everywhere. He is a pet parent’s best friend because he evaluates products designed to assist in raising our four-legged friends.

Andy, is the creator of www.dogdadapproved.com, a website for impartial reviews of a select group of pet products curated by the Dogdad himself.  Prior to that, Andy earned his bones as the Pet Content Director and on-air video personality reviewing pet products for another website.

He began with dog toys and eventually expanded into pet gear including pet apparel, pet carriers, pet bedding, pet tech and dog treats.   If it’s for your pet, Andy has an opinion and offers helpful advice and suggestions for whether it’s the right product for your pet. 


B.C. Henschen is a well-known champion for pet owners who want the best in their pet’s food. He is the Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) consumer advocate at Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), serving on the Pet Food Ingredient Definition Committee, and is a director with the World Pet Association (WPA). Henschen is a popular speaker at industry events and meetings. A certified pet care technician and an accredited pet trainer, he is a partner in Platinum Paws, a full-service pet salon and premium pet food store in Carmel, Ind. His knowledge of the pet food industry makes Platinum Paws the go-to store for pet owners who want more for their pet than a bag off a shelf.


General practitioner and owner of The Bronx Veterinary Center in New York, Stephen M. Katz has been working with animals since 1972.  Dr. Katz has mapped sea turtle nesting beaches in French Guinea and the Galapagos Islands, and was the assistant director of the Hai Bar Biblical Wildlife Preserve in Israel.  A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Katz has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1984.  He opened the Bronx Veterinary Center in 1995 to provide care for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and pocket pets.  Since then, it has become one of the largest pit bull practices in the nation.  Dr. Katz created Therabis Veterinarian Formula and has been administering it since 2015 in a clinical environment.


Tazz Latifi is the founder and owner of Petropolis Natural Pet Supply & Grooming Facility in NYC's Financial District, which specializes in a holistic approach to animal health and wellness through the use of individualized, species-appropriate nutrition.


Tazz received her certification in holistic pet nutrition form the American Academy of Natural Sciences, and continues her education through continuing education courses, traveling and touring pet industry manufacturing facilities, researching the ins and outs of food and animal wellness, attending lectures and seminars relevant to my field.

She is not a veterinarian, her goal in setting up the nutrition and pet health counseling site, The Petropolist, was to empower pet owners to take their pets' health and well-being into their own hands. By understanding and learning the best way to care for your pets using whole foods, supplementation where necessary and knowing what questions to ask in order to get the best care and information from your veterinarians and pet professionals, so you can truly have the comfort of knowing that your pet’s health needs are properly met and addressed.

Tazz is armed with extensive knowledge of brands and the companies that make, market, and sell them, and more than a decade of hands-on experience with direct consumer contact. Coupling this with her work as a buyer within the industry enables her to speak with confidence and intimate familiarity about the ever-confusing pet food industry, and how millions of pet food consumers perceive the market and choose their pet products.  


Sherry Shupe is the founder and operator of Fur Baby Pet Resort in Delaware. After spending a decade in the pharmaceutical industry, she decided to make her love of animals into a career. With over 8 years of hands on experience in Retail, Daycare, Boarding, Grooming and Nutrition, Sherry now shares her wealth of knowledge and experience with other pet industry professionals looking to raise the bar and become leading pet industry professionals! 

She specializes in helping pet businesses succeed in retail with non-traditional retail locations such as daycare & boarding facilities,  veterinary office and grooming salons. Sherry also helps to coach working moms on how to successfully blend and balance their careers and family in this demanding industry through her own experience of raising 2 children from infancy in her resort.

Her numerous certifications include animal behavior and handling, canine nutrition, AKC grooming salon safety, Pet Tech 1st Aid & CPR instructor, and Raw U educator.


William “Bill” Chappell is an independent pet retailer from Magnolia, NJ. He has one full line store, Bill’s Wonderland of Pets. Bill has been in the pet industry for over 51 years and has seen many industry trends come and go. Bill was recently recognized by the World Pet Association with the first ever Pet Retailer Lifetime Achievement Award in Las Vegas at the SuperZoo trade show in August.


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For more information contact Laura Ames   Phone: 781-603-6965 - Email: lames@icdevents.com

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