NEPGP 1069 Main Street
Leicester, MA 01524
Leicester, MA 01524
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Ellen Blodgett -President. Ellen has always been a true lover of animals. As a child she bred rats, rode horses and even had a pet goat that went for car rides! At age 10 Ellen began volunteering at the MSPCA. From age 13 until her senior year in high school she worked at a pet store and in the kennels of her local veterinary hospital. This is where she gained vet tech experience and got her first taste of grooming. By age 18 she knew grooming was her calling. After completing her 1 year apprenticeship in a private grooming salon Ellen worked for a few local salons, pet stores and vet clinics. She opened her home based salon, Dog Gone Pretty in 2001, on Martha’s Vineyard. Ellen is certified by NDGAA in Non Sporting and has been a member of NEPGP since 1993 and a board member since 2014. Ellen resides on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, daughter, 2 horses, 3 dogs and 3 cats.
Jen Schoenstadt -Treasurer Jen started her professional career in accounting, eventually managing federal research grants. She decided to leave her stressful career in 2005 to follow her heart and work with animals, and attended Mount Ida College school of dog grooming in 2006. Owner of "Home Sweet Home Grooming" Jen decided to add cats to her repertoire in 2010 and attended the National Cat Grooming Institute of America in South Carolina. Jen now does house call grooming for small dogs and cats.
Rachel Corbett -Clerk
Mary Diez Seymour
Sue Pratt- NEPGP Honorary Board Advisor. Sue has been a member of this organization since it's inception as Massachusetts Professional Dog Groomers, which later transformed in to NEPGP. She was president of NEPGP from 1991-1993, and again from 2013-2015. She has been grooming for 50 years and competed in the mid and late 90's winning many classes and scissoring awards, including two silver medals at Intergroom and Best In Show at the N.E. show in 1995. Sue has been the contest coordinator for both Intergroom and the N.E. shows for the last 15 years. She loves to go to grooming shows and really loves judging the competitions. The highlight of her judging career came when she was asked to judge Best In Show at the Atlanta Pet Fair. She loves to share her knowledge with other groomers and feels that the camaraderie of this organization is what makes everything work. "Everyone can learn something new by keeping your mind, eyes, and ears open and talking and listening to other groomers."
Sue is hoping to be ale to retire in the near future and just enjoy a quiet life with her 6 dogs, 2 cats, 1 horse, and 1 beta.
Nicoll Vincent j- Nicoll joined the Board in 2017. She is a self-taught groomer who owns a small, holistic pet store in Westfield, MA: For K-9s & Felines, LLC. After years of working in the corporate world, she and her husband wanted to open a business and work for themselves. As she is passionate about pets and nutrition, this was the perfect choice to start a career she would love. Her business opened in 2005. In 2007, in addition to managing the store, she started teaching herself basic grooming. After three years, she joined NEPGP and started learning to become a professional stylist. She is CPR/First Aid certified and an AKC Certified Groomer. She is a member of several grooming organizations with the goal of becoming certified in at least one of them. Nicoll enjoys the New England Grooming show held each year and attends as many seminars as time allows. She enjoys the camaraderie of the shows and has made great connections and friends. Nicoll is passionate about giving back to the community that has helped her build her career and is looking forward to working for and advancing the NEPGP.
Steve Ferraro- Vice President. Steve has been on the NEPGP board since 2016. After eighteen years in facility maintenance and management, he entered the grooming world in 2008. After attending the Connecticut School of Dog Grooming, Steve started Clippity Do Dog Mobile Dog Grooming in Trumbull CT. Steve continues his education at yearly seminars and work shops. His passion for animal goes beyond grooming, as he also attended the Bancroft School of Massage (DoggieU) in Worcester Massachusetts and is certified in Small Animal Massage. As part of his massage education, Steve interned his skills at the Connecticut Humane Society where he saw first hand the power touch and massage have on sheltered dogs. Steve has also sat on the board and volunteered for a Bridgeport CT. non profit whose mission is to assist disadvantage dog owners with basic pet care needs such as vaccinations and pet food.
Vanessa Ciancio - Secretary Vanessa started her animal care career at 16, working in the boarding kennel of a veterinary hospital on Martha’s Vineyard. Enjoying the experience of a job centered around animals she became interested in veterinary medicine and worked for a few years as a Veterinary Technician. She fell in love with grooming, in 2004, when her good friend Ellen offered to mentor her. Her vet tech background has given her the experience and technique to work with many difficult dogs. Helping dogs learn to enjoy grooming and seeing their behavioral changes as they learn that grooming can be a positive experience makes this not so glamorous job worth every scratch and bite for this passionate groomer. In 2014 Vanessa opened From Head To Tail Grooming, in Warwick, RI. A cage-free salon where dogs receive “Professional Care in a Playful Environment”. Vanessa has been a board member of the NEPGP since 2014.
Nikki Elie. Nikki has been a member of NEPGP since 2011 and a board member since 2012. After attending her first NEPGP sponsored grooming show, she instantly felt welcome and a part of the NEPGP family. Nikki began her grooming career in 2006 working in a grooming salon cleaning the shop. Nikki quickly advanced to bather and then mentored by the salon owner in grooming. Attending grooming seminars along with critiques and support from other groomers, she advanced her grooming skills. Being a groomer is much more than a career for Nikki as she found comfort and joy of being part the industry. Nikki has won awards in grooming competitions and has been featured in Groomer to Groomer magazine twice. Nikki is a salon owner in Leicester MA.
Kelly Muniz. Kelly has been grooming for 16 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst in Animal Science. She is currently an active board member for the N.E.P.G.P (New England Pet Grooming Professionals) and is working on her N.D.G.A.A. (National Dog Groomers Association of America) Master Groomer certification. She also enjoys the creative grooming competitive circuit and attending educational seminars. She started off her career helping a local rescue shelter groom dogs in need of their forever homes. She found that she loved the feeling of being able to help a pet in need. It is this need that drives her desire for continued education, while sharing what she has learned with the greater grooming community.
Joyce Kahakalau began her relationship with the NEPGP in 1996, when she completed the grooming program at Mt. Ida College. She is active in fighting for small business and supporting continuing education for all groomers. As a “pets with special needs” advocate she has done work with rescue and uses her skills in Behavior & Training as well as Pet Massage Therapy to help pets have the best quality of life. Currently she has her dream of owning a small neighborhood salon. She is looking forward to serving on the Board and welcomes emails from members regarding any concerns, questions and/or comments on what they would like to see from the NEPGP.