Portsmouth, NH Location
Dara Forleo is the founder of The Whole Pet Grooming Academy for animal arts and sciences and is a leading influencer for the advancement and professionalism in the pet grooming industry.
She co-hosts The Groomers Cut live streaming show with her team of Pet Pro Educators. Dara has been recognized as Educator of the Year, Emerging Business Leader and a Pet Age ICON Awards honoree for her experience and long term contributions to the pet industry.
Dara has honed her education and experience over the last 2 decades culminating in her mentor program for business owners all over the country. She can help any entrepreneur with their grooming business startup and helps established companies grow, giving life to their dreams. Her insights have been featured in multiple publications like Grooming Business and Groomer To Groomer. She is a sought after speaker for conferences nationwide including organizations like the International Society Canine Cosmetologists and Barkleigh Productions. Dara is quickly becoming a well respected entrepreneur and industry leader.
Wilton, NH Location
Katie Heikkila has an extensive background in AKC showing, handling and training with working breeds and terriers and is a licensed AKC Earthdog Judge. Katie turned her attention to the pet grooming industry in 2005 when she started a career path that led to becoming a Lead Instructor and satellite academy for The Whole Pet Grooming Academy, a licensed secondary career school in the State of New Hampshire.
Katie is certified in pet First Aid and CPR, an ABKA certified Pet Care Technician and AKC Salon and Fear Free certified. She has studied and perfected her skills as a professional pet stylist underJodi Murphy, Sue Zecco, Jay Scruggs and Tip Campbell. A large part of her career focus has been the study of dog behavior and body language with industry leaders like Susan Bulanda, Chris Murphy, Susan Briggs, and Robin Bennett. Katie is currently working towards becoming a professional Certified Professional Dog Trainer through CATCH Canine Trainers Academy.
Katie enjoys sharing her knowledge, skills and experiences with students from the local high schools as well as the apprentice stylists she has trained throughout the years. Now that passion has been fine tuned and will give new apprentices a chance to begin their career through her at the Monadnock Canine Center in Wilton, NH.