Administration and Instructors

Gregg Docktor, Director of Operations, Admissions Director: He is a full time Administrator. He previously ran a dog grooming school that was licensed by the “Florida State Board of Independent Post Secondary Vocational Technical Trade and Business Schools.” It ran for approximately 15 years. Gregg also had a 3 store chain of grooming shops, “Just 4 Paws.” In addition, he also had a 3 store chain of Puppy stores called “Merryfield Kennels”. Gregg also owned and operated “Dr. Clayton Pet Specialties” along with his late father Norman and brother Lloyd. This was a product line that was distributed nationally to pet stores and large box retailers. Gregg grew up in the industry; his father was responsible for more than 250 retail pet outlets called “Docktor Pet Centers.”

Merryfield was established in 1961 by Dr. Robert A. Fields, along with his wife whose name was Merry, hence the name. In 1972, Norman, Gregg and Lloyd Docktor purchased the facility from the Fields. At that point it was in disrepair and needed a new direction. The sale of purebred puppies along with showing and breeding was the immediate direction pursued. In 1974, Norman tragically passed and Lloyd and Gregg continued operations. During this time period the company took off in many directions and always was a great source of joy to the owners. Again tragedy struck and Lloyd passed.

Gregg Docktor remained and in 2006 decided to restart the school after about a 20 year absence from teaching. The school was officially granted its license from the Florida Commission for Independent Education in June, 2006, License #3343.

It is interesting to note that every year since the re-emergence of the school; our students have come in either first, second or third place in the N.D.G.A.A. Career Start National Competitions in Orlando, Florida for the years 2007-2016. It is a testament to the teaching staff at the school and it is always wonderful to know that people outside of the school recognize our students’ abilities in this competitive forum.

See for further information on current business activities that Gregg Docktor is engaged in. Mr. Docktor has been involved in the Pet industry for over 44 years at the location where the school is located.

Aura Medina, Financial Aid Administrator, joined Merryfield Academy in January 2022. Aura comes with over X years of financial aid and administrative experience. She began her journey in higher education on 20XX.  Aura is self-driven and detail orientated with diversified experience in proprietary institutions.  She demonstrates proven ability to process critical and creative skills to develop tactical strategies to support developing business requirements.

During her journey at several South Florida educational institutions, Aura has developed interpersonal communication skills, demonstrated leadership, problem solving and the ability to motivate and inspire others to exceed fortitudes.  Aura continues to impact students as the Financial Aid Administrator at Merryfield Academy.

Christopher Wallace, Registrar, is the third generation of Greyhound Trainers.  At the age of 16 Chris received his first license in the State of Florida as a Kennel Technician for the “Janie Carroll” Kennels. When he reached 18 years of age he received his Trainers License and took over management of their kennels.  Under his guidance the kennel became one of the top 5 racing kennels at the Hollywood/Mardi Gras Casino and Dog Track.

He was promoted within that organization and was relocated to Oregon and managed a kennel and farm.  There were over 200 racing dogs at that facility.  While under his management, multiple Stake Races were won with purses reaching close to $200,00. When the racing season ended in Oregon, Chris returned to South Florida. This is when he decided to refocus his career and joined forces with Merryfield Kennels. He stared as a Kennel Technician and was quickly moved and promoted to Veterinary Technician over seeing 100 puppies under his direct care. Merryfield Kennels went through it’s own  metamorphosis and stopped selling puppies. Chris stayed and helped to convert the facility into a Motel for Pets.  He received his “Pet Care Technician” certification from the American Boarding Kennel Association.

Merryfield Academy re-started their famous school in 2006. He became much more involved with the school and was appointed “School Registrar” He maintains all of the student records, from student files, to grades and progress reports.  He has been trained to use the FAME Freedom software and “TimeClock” software. Part of his responsibilities is to make sure that every student’s record are meticulously maintained and uploaded to the cloud for safe-keeping.  He has been with Merryfield in various capacities for over 14 years.

Joanne Marino, Instructor (Full Time): Certified Master Groomer NDGAA has spent the last 35 years pursuing her passion of working with animals. From assisting veterinarians in Pennsylvania to patrolling for the Oklahoma Animal Control, Joanne has dedicated countless hours to the welfare of animals. She began grooming in 1971 and worked in several grooming shops; improving clientele and helping other groomers launch their new business. In 1989 Joanne came to Florida with her husband and two children and by 1990 she had started her own grooming business; Happy Tails, Inc., and achieved the title of Certified Master Groomer. Happy Tails prospered for 12 years. Even though she had a full-time job running her own busy grooming business, Joanne’s work continued in the community. She hosted “dog washes” every weekend out of her grooming shop, where faithful clients and neighborhood friends would bring their cats, dogs, and even horses for a good, weekly scrubbin’. Joanne ran the much anticipated “Strut Your Mutt” competition for the city of Coconut Creek for 5 consecutive years. Happy Tails, Inc. served as a host for the National Dog Groomers Association for several years as well, where handfuls of hopeful groomers would gather to test their skills in hopes of achieving the Certified Master Groomer title.

In 1990 Joanne began competition grooming. She entered classes for scissor work and creative styling every year, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in every class she entered. Over the years, Joanne gained the attention and respect of groomers nationwide. Joanne also made her name in the show world, where numerous dogs, ranging from Portuguese Water Dogs, Miniature and Standard Poodles, Tibetan Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Gordon Setters and Bouviers owed their championships and national rankings to her superior grooming expertise. Joanne has loved every second of developing and utilizing her flair for grooming and is always willing to share her talents and tricks with anyone willing to learn.

Louise “LuLu” Rodriguez is New York City born & raised. She moved to Florida in 1987 where she worked in Import/Export Management & Compliance for 22 years. She made a career move in 2009, choosing to do something she truly loved: working with dogs. She enrolled in Merryfield Academy & studied under Irina Pinkusevich, Michael Lamb, & Joanne Marino. Today she is a National Certified Master Groomer with National Dog Groomer’s Association of America. Her specialties are Terriers, Sporting Dogs & Working Dogs. In addition to grooming, she works part time at Merryfield as a teacher’s assistant in Student Orientation.

LuLu often volunteers as Pina’s assistant & has traveled with her to most of the major national competitions in the United States. She has also traveled to Belgium where she assisted Pina as well as the other members of Groom Team USA in the 2009 World Competition. Recently she has entered the world of competitive grooming & has participated & placed in several shows including Fun in the Sun, Atlanta Pet Fair, Groomania, & Pet Stylists Supershow.

Determined to learn all she can regarding her profession, LuLu often attends continuing education seminars & lessons. She has volunteered to work with some of the top show handlers & has traveled throughout the country to be educated by some of the best in the industry. She is a member of the NDGAA, The Professional Cat Groomers Association of America, The Pet Stylists of Tennessee, & Creative Groomers Association. She is also active with her favorite breeds & is a member of the American Sealyham Terrier Club & the Newfoundland Club of Florida.

Brigette Scalzetti, Jessica Wallace  round out our instructive staff

A Note About The NDGAA and our National Certified Master Groomers (NCMG)

In order for a Professional Pet Groomer to receive the highest levels of certification, they must study under a NCMG who has already achieved that level of certification.  The Professional Groomer who is testing must pass a comprehensive practical test as well as a written examination. This testing, along with advanced training,  is often available at various industry conferences and trade events throughout the year around the country. Merryfield Academy is a test site for the NDGAA.

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