Our Mission

The Groomer’s Emergency Assistance Fund  is an advocate for professional pet groomers in the United States affected by unforeseen tragedy by offering financial assistance for qualified applicants, as well as provide outside resources for assistance.

Our Story

Ileana Nogueras founded the Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund (GEAF) on July 4, 2013 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Us Eastern Shore in 2012. She began thinking of a better way to help professional pet groomers in the United States hit by tragedy. Then came the flooding in the Northeast, followed by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. Ileana knew it was time to put her thoughts into action.

Thus, the Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund was born.

The GEAF is a 501c(3) corp registered non-profit with the IRS. At the current time, we assist groomers in the United States.


Our Volunteer Board Members

Daryl Waters Conner

Master Pet Stylist, Meritus

Certified Master Cat Groomer,

Daryl has loved grooming dogs and cats for over 30 years. An award winning photo-journalist and grooming educator, she shares her meadow hugged Maine home with her patient husband and a lot of animals.

Mary Oquendo

Certified Master Cat Groomer

Vice-President of The Society Of Holistic Pet Stylists

2012 Recipient of the David Salzburg Award for Outstanding Contribution To The Pet Industry.

Mary shares her love of grooming by writing and teaching within the professional pet industry. She shares her home with many dogs and an encouraging husband.

Dawn Omboy

Queen of Color Dawn Omboy NCMG

Creative styling artist, international speaker, judge, writer, and consultant is known throughout the grooming industry for her exciting and colorful creative style of grooming. Her Columbus, Georgia salon” Klippers” has been in business for more than 30 years. She has a mail order business for groomers with creative styling supplies. With more than 30 wins and honors, Dawn is making the world more colorful, one dog at a time.

Jennifer Walker

Jennifer Walker ICMG is a successful mobile pet stylist in Topeka, Kansas. She is booked year-round with regular clients, and on weekends she grooms homeless animals at the local humane society. She has been featured in 2 area magazines and has received awards for her contribution in the community. Her personal herd includes 4 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 parrots as well as an ever-changing cycle of foster animals.

Ellen Ehrlich

When Ellen Ehrlich became a pet stylist in 2005 she fully immersed herself into the world of pet grooming and became an author, speaker, and industry leader in a very short time. She went on to become a Certified Feline Master Groomer, write and produce a seminar DVD, and was a guest groomer on Animal Planet. She has received several award nominations, promotes continuing education and believes all groomers should work in a healthy, safe, happy environment. Ellen’s vision is to make the world a better place for groomers through her motivational and inspirational teachings.

Ileana Nogueras

Ileana Nogueras is the owner of Lather Up Pups Mobile Grooming in Texas.  Ileana began showing dogs during the 1980’s. She found showing and grooming a pleasant distraction to the traveling life of a military wife. Ileana’s experience in the show ring gave her valuable insight on interpreting breed standard to maximize the beauty of dogs. She opened her first salon in Antioch CA called “Petacular”, then moved to Texas and went on to work for VCA Veterinary Hospital. Texas is where she found a special place at Petco. As an instructor in both Texas and Delaware, she was able to share her wealth of knowledge with new, up and coming groomers. In 2006 Ileana became a licensed AKC judge, allowing her to travel to assignments in many states including Alaska and Hawaii.  Presently, she is a Reiki practitioner and Homeopathy student, on her way to become a Back Foundation Registered Practitioner. She is also a Nationally Certified Groomer.

Judi Cantu-Thacker

Judi is the owner of Posh Paws Mobile Spa in Sugar Land/Houston TX. She is member of the WAHL Clipper Extreme Team and Grooming Industry Speaker. Judi has been part of the industry since her days as a sales rep for her family’s business, Lange Dryers and Evolution Apparel. A former grooming contestant, she’s also served as Groom Team USA Coordinator 2005-2006 as well as Coordinator for the Lone Star Groomer’s Conference in Houston, TX.”

Milena Bermudez and Jameson Kon

Milena Bermudez & Jameson Kon are co-owners of Driving Me Knots, a mobile grooming business based in New Jersey. Always continuing their educations in the pet industry, they both became Certified Feline Master Groomers, and have done a variety of charitable events to help those less fortunate, rather it be animals or humans alike. Within the past few years, they have immersed themselves to the world of grooming and have since expanded their business with www.DMKBowtique.com, which provides all sort of pet accessories, to creative grooming supplies, to even coloring books. They are also a part of a graphic designing team at www.DMKMarketing Solutions.com, which provides services to the public in modernizing their business, rather it be updating their logos, to designing a brand image for their company. Milena Bermudez has recently been nominated as the “Up and Coming Creative Groomer” award, and has won several awards due to her imaginative designs in the Creative Grooming world.

Kristie Kingsland Perry

Kristie Kingsland started her affinity with pets working in the veterinary field, followed by 12 years in the grooming industry. With experience in commercial, private as well as mobile grooming, Kristie added business owner to her list accomplishments, in 2010. (As The Tail Wags) Additionally, as an instructor of grooming and business practices and the development of a animal CPR course, she has traveled the country sharing her vast knowledge and experience with the grooming community. She prides herself in inspiring others in finding ways to integrate all aspects of family, community and success into all ventures.

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