Part of the PACCC: Meet Jessica Okon, CPACP
The mission of the Professional Animal Certification Council (PACCC) is to increase pet safety through the independent certification of pet…
The Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit created by a team of industry experts to recognize high quality providers and help them meet the challenge of educating pet parents on the value of a pet care provider’s investment in education and training. Independent certification, using testing from industry developed standards, clearly identifies the premier professional animal care providers in our industry. Both providers and pet parents benefit from the implicit distinctions a reputable and objective third party certification provides. PACCC anticipates awarding the first certifications in 2016 beginning with three levels of certification that will recognize the expansive knowledge required and basic career levels in the industry: Certified Professional Animal Care Provider, Certified Professional Animal Care Manger, and Certified Professional Animal Care Operator.
PACCC was co-founded by pet care services industry veterans, Charlotte Biggs and Susan Briggs, to provide independent certifications for industry providers. Charlotte is COO of the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA), the only industry trade association focused on professional boarding and dog daycare services. Susan is owner of Crystal Canine and co-founder of The Dog Gurus; both organizations provide educational and operational resources to the professional pet care services industry. In addition to the expertise of Charlotte and Susan, PACCC is guided by an experienced Board of Directors who have been actively involved in the animal care industry and who possess proven business skills. PACCC has retained a professional, experienced testing company to assist in the development and management of the testing program for certification.
Charlotte Biggs brings real-world expertise to IBPSA as the original owner and operator of Stay N Play Pet Ranch, Inc. which she and her partner founded in 1998 and grew to one of the most successful, full service, all natural and holistic pet care facilities in the country before successfully selling it in 2013. Having grown a successful pet care services facility from the ground up, Charlotte is uniquely qualified to offer insight and real-world experience to IBPSA and its members. She was also Past President and a three-term member of the Board of Directors for the Pet Care Services Association, as well as Past President and a ten-year member of the Board of Directors for PAWS Shelter and Humane Society which serves the Central Texas community. Before entering the pet care service industry, Charlotte enjoyed a successful 20-year history in sales and marketing management in the pharmaceutical industry.
Susan Briggs is founder of Crystal Canine, a consulting and resource business for the pet care industry, and co-founder of Urban Tails, a multi-service pet care center in Houston, Texas. With over 12 years experience operating a large dog daycare, boarding, grooming, and training center, Susan is a recognized leader in the industry. She has consistently worked to establish quality care standards and share her knowledge with others. In early 2015, Susan co-founded the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC). The council’s mission is to bring independent testing and certification to the industry in an effort to recognize excellent providers and assist consumers in finding quality care for their animals. Susan is the co-author of Off-Leash Dog Play: A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun and the author of Counting Noses, the only industry-specific accounting and financial management resource available.
Anna Torres-Radle is owner of Fieldstone Animal Inn in Millersville, Maryland. While living in Germany, she entered the world of dog training with Schutzhund clubs. That love for animals and hobby turned into a career in the pet care industry when she purchased Fieldstone Animal Inn in 2004. Using her twenty years of business experience, in combination with her love of pets, Anna reinvented a 40-year old “mom and pop” business into an outstanding professional pet care facility. Active in the pet care industry as a member of APDT, IBPSA, and WIPIN, as well as in her local community, she has led her local chamber’s Successful Women in Business Group plus taught marketing, incorporating technology, and entrepreneurship. Anna was the recipient of 2012 Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year award. She is the mother of two children and regularly teaches safe animal handling at local elementary schools, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. Anna is dedicated to continuing education in the industry for both herself and her employees, and has created a business that cares not only for pets, but owners and the demands of their busy lives.
Angie Pickren is co-owner of Canine Cabana in Riverview, Florida. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from The University of Florida and 20 years of experience in the animal care industry. She started her career as an animal care specialist and trainer at Busch Gardens, Tampa, working with exotic animals. Her passion for animals as well as her knowledge of animal behavior and training prompted her to expand into the pet care industry in 2008 when she co-founded Canine Cabana. She has two amazing children and strongly believes in the importance of being actively involved in her community. She supports The Riverview Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and is actively involved in local schools by providing education through classroom presentations about dog bite prevention and business development.
With her professional and pet industry expertise, along with a passion for pets and those who care for them, Lori Davis helps pet care businesses reach new heights of success. As the founder of Paramount Success Group, Lori embraces each client’s unique vision for the business and provides the tools, strategies, coaching and training that has proven to substantially increase overall performance, revenue, and profits. Lori’s track record of success includes experience as a small business owner, project manager, and professional coach for pet care business owners, veterinarians and staff. When she served as Director of Sales for a high-end travel company, she managed a large call center and successfully resurrected a failed custom group sales department. Lori attributes her success in the pet industry and the travel industry to strategic hiring practices, proven sales and customer service training, effective leadership and the implementation of a clearly defined sales and relationship development process.
Bethany Hatch graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Advertising. After spending time in the hospitality industry, she became a full time graphic designer. After working for several years, she realized nothing made her happier than being with her two fur babies. She moved to her hometown and purchased a pet care facility with the dream to offer premium pet care for other fur baby parents. She is living her passion and loving every minute of it!
Beth Turner Jones is the owner operator of the Hill Country Pet Ranch, a full service pet care facility outside of Boerne, Texas. Beth has been involved in the dog business since 1990, owning, breeding, training and showing Labrador Retrievers. Beth is also a licensed attorney and certified public accountant. Taking note of the growth in the pet market as a consumer, recognizing that a pet care facility was not only an excellent business opportunity but also more fun that taxes, Beth retired from a full time tax practice as a KPMG tax partner to design and build the Pet Ranch from the ground up. She has operated the Pet Ranch for over 16 years. As a licensed business professional, Beth has always appreciated the value of continuing education and professional standards. She has been active in the pet care industry as a member of the Pet Care Services Association, IBPSA, APDT, Responsible Pet Owners Association, the Texas State Bar Animal Law section, and the Heart of Texas Labrador Retriever Club.
Dr Nee Kang is a scientist trained in the study of animal behavior, a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA), and the founder of cheerfuldogs.com, Singapore’s premium dog training service. A strong advocate of a “Do No Harm” evidence-based approach to animal care, Nee uses humane, force-free training methods and games that are safe and effective for dogs and people. To promote awareness of animal welfare issues, she conducts training for local shelters and dog behavior workshops for the public. As the only non-US member on the PACCC board, Nee hopes to bring a unique international perspective to the organization.
Jess Zellmer and her husband Dave found their passion for pet safety as owners of Paws in Motion, a Dog Daycare and Boarding Facility in King George, Virginia. Their center specializes in offering small playgroups with ample human interaction and highly individualized care for canine and feline guests. She has previously served on the board of the King George Animal Rescue League and volunteered as a foster family for ACES, Another Chance for English Setters. In addition to her career in pet care, Jess holds a Doctoral Degree in Audiology and has worked in the hearing healthcare field for over 15 years. She combines her love of business and education as a Territory Manager for the largest global provider of hearing solutions. In this role, she works closely with hearing care professionals to build business by helping them achieve maximum benefit for patients utilizing the latest technology and testing techniques. Jess looks forward to bringing her business development expertise to help build awareness of PACCC in the pet care community.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Kari Campbell is an accomplished opera singer. Having toured through Japan, Europe and the United States, she has performed with several opera companies and orchestras. Although her education and singing experiences were very rewarding her lifelong dream has been to work with animals.
In the late 1990’s Kari became a volunteer with Friends of Pets in Anchorage, Alaska. Joining the Board of Directors in 2000, and served as President in 2009. She founded Dog Tired Doggie Daycare in 2005, which has grown to be Alaska’s largest dog daycare facility. In 2008 she was appointed by the Mayor to the Anchorage Animal Control Advisory Board and later the transition team for the Department of Health and Human Services during the 2010 change of administration. Recognized for her work with the municipality, she was the recipient of the 2010 Athena Society’s PowerLink™ award.
She has been active in the pet care industry as a member of the American Boarding Kennel Association, Pet Care Services Association, IBPSA, and WPA. As of 2015 she is serving another appointment on the Animal Control Advisory Board where she chairs the sub-committee tasked with rewriting Anchorage’s animal ordinance. Recently she co-founded the Alaska League for Animal Welfare Standards (LAWS), a group comprised of for-profit and non-profit animal organizations dedicated to raising the standards of care across Alaska through educational outreach, professional mentorship and government affairs. Kari’s passion is using her voice to champion those who cannot speak for themselves.