Call Now: (888) 344-8658
 - Instructor ImageCertifications: CMG
Retired: 1992

Melissa Verplank

Melissa Verplank - CMG, has over 30 years’ experience in the pet grooming industry. Her mastery of grooming techniques has won her numerous awards on a national & international level earning her the right to become a team member on GroomTeam USA. She has been the GroomTeam Coordinator and currently sits on the Board of GroomTeam USA. Ms. Verplank is an industry speaker, author, two time Cardinal Crystal Achievement award winner, Barkleigh Honors award winner and contest grooming judge.

During her formative years she ran a fleet of mobile grooming units and a busy grooming salon. In 1992, Verplank founded one of the Midwest's largest and progressive pet styling training centers; The Paragon School of Pet Grooming Inc. in Jenison, Michigan. Ms. Verplank realized the need for quality training and reference materials. To meet that need she created White Dog Enterprises Inc., a business which develops creative learning products for the professional pet stylist. The leading products for this company are Notes From the Grooming Table, The Theory of Five, and core-skill method training videos geared to training professional pet groomers. In 2007 she opened Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa. The resort has become the premier boarding facility in the west Michigan area offering luxury accommodations for boarding, daycare, grooming, and pet training. In 2010, Melissa launched her latest educational business,, an on-line streaming video library of educational material for all levels of professional pet grooming and styling.

Most recently, Melissa has earned the 2016 Barkleigh Honors Award for Book of the Year with the release of the second edition of Notes From the Grooming Table.  Her website, also was its third consecutive Barkleigh Honors Award for Website of the Year.

More About Melissa Verplank

What are the two proudest moments of your career?

Just 2???? Seriously? Winning the World Poodle Groomer Title in 1990 at Intergroom under the late Liz Paul and writing Notes From the Grooming Table.

Are you formally trained, apprenticed, or self-taught?


What is your favorite breed of dog to groom?

Anything that I can make a positive massive change on with grooming – especially the big furry ones that you just have to reach down and bury your face in their fur when done.

What is your favorite breed of dog to live with?

Maremma Sheep Dogs (and friendly felines!)

What advice can you offer to aspiring pet professionals?

Never stop learning. Learning keeps you alive and fresh. Always strive to be the best you can possibly be in WHATEVER you are doing. Be passionate about life and your career. It will pay you back with massive rewards.

What do you love to do when you are not working?

Riding my Friesian horses, horse camping, healthy – farm to table type  cooking (Paleo) spending quite time at our farm with our fur family, spending time outdoors, being creative with nature.

What driving force keeps you going?

I get totally jazzed by helping people and their pets by creating companies within the pet care field. I love to inspired people to expect the best out of themselves and/or the services they offer. There are so many areas that could be improved in this field – I love being a visionary in the pet industry that pushes the envelope.

What one thing really ticks you off?

People that say “I can’t” or “I won’t” and folks that are not accountable for their own actions when a situation trends toward the negative.