Our Staff – What makes Urban Pooch So Special
We’re so grateful to have each of them and how much they contribute to making Urban Pooch one of the most special places on Earth!
We absolutely have THE most amazing and talented people in Chicago AND we have more of them – which means better care and attention to that little (or big) Love bucket of yours with four legs.
You’ll never find that we try to do more with fewer people. This is unique in the Chicago market. Our goal is to always to dazzle pooches and their parents with our Amazing Service, Love and Care!
Our Management Team
He totally changed the lives of his Daddies, so much so that they decided to dedicate their lives to establishing a new level of service for pooches and their parents by bringing state-of-the-art daycare and boarding to Chicago. Berwyn is involved in all decisions, whether small or big. He likes being the center of attention and sometimes growls when his Daddies pay too much attention to other pooches. But don’t that that growl fool you!
Fortunately, Joplin comes to Urban Pooch almost every day. Her job is to keep our operation humming along like a fine pack of pooches! She is quick to alert the entire staff to any challenge with a short quicky bark and is an expert at using her paws to signal her intent. As you can see by her photo, Joplin likes to jump up in the chair and get a good view of what her peeps are all doing. Bark! Bark! Back to work, says, Joplin. We sure are lucky to have such a fine pooch to run our operations. And, she is also quite a Lady!
Dan is the co-owner of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center and will run the day to day operations. Dan is a native Chicagoan growing-up in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood. Dan is the youngest of 6 children and the son of the late and great Marty and Kitty Gaughan. Dan had an incredible 21 year run working behind the scenes in local television news operations here in Chicago and out in both Arizona and California. During his long career in broadcasting, Dan was in management roles overseeing staff and operations at many successful television news organizations. Dan began his broadcasting career at WLS-TV in 1989 here in Chicago and went on to play a key management role in launching CLTV then went on to work for WGN-TV and then WBBM-TV following his return to Chicago from California back in 2002. Dan won an Emmy Award for continuous coverage of The Chicago Bulls 3rd Championship.
For many years Dan had a strong desire to make a career change and to do something completely different. In July of 2007 the beginning of what would lead Dan to make such a huge leap of faith came along when he picked-up Berwyn – his 8 week old Welsh Terrier puppy from an Amish Farm in Central Illinois. Dan’s intense love for Berwyn and the experience of raising this pup planted the seed helping him realize opening a doggie daycare facility is the answer to where he wanted to be in his career and life and most importantly something that would make him incredibly happy! This began the long journey of realizing his dream of owning and operating Urban Pooch Canine Life Center on the North Side of Chicago.
Dan is so much looking forward to getting to know you and your pooch and seeing all of you every day!!
Ed is the co-founder of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center, and also Chief Marketing Officer. He’s a fun, creative kind of dog.
Ed is also Co-Founder and Managing Director of Brand Accelerator, a business designed to help major brands institutionalize the core competency of partnering with disruptive startups to build competitive advantages and ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship within the corporate environment
Most recently, Ed was Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology at Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft Foods Inc.) where he led innovation through a multitude of partnerships and exploration with startups in both mobile and digital. He was the architect and creator of the Mobile Futures incubator program. Through this program, he drove new levels of consumer engagement across 13 blue chip brands and ignited cultural transformation in marketing throughout the US and Brazil. Many of the programs that Ed led, contributed to Mondelez International being named 2013 Mobile Marketer of the Year.
While at Kraft Foods, he led the development of its award-winning iPhone application, the iFood Assistant—enabling the food marketer to deepen consumer relationships and implement new revenue streams. iFood Assistant won an Edison Award for Innovation in 2010.
Ed has more than 26 years of integrated marketing communications experience spanning branding, new product development, advertising, CRM and strategy. He has driven innovation both digitally and in traditional arenas during his tenure at Cadbury/Dr Pepper, VNU, DoubleClick and Draft Worldwide. Ed also published NYC Pet Project while at Good Books Publishing, a company he founded.
In 2009, Fast Company magazine named Ed as “1 of the 10 Most Creative People in Food”. He also participated on the Intel Capital Advisory Board for three years. In December 2012, Ed was recognized as one of “25 Trendsetters to Watch” by Chief Marketer magazine.
If you’ve been into Urban Pooch since we opened….there is a good chance you have ran into Jessie Ray – our Retail Manager and much more! Jessie is also known as ‘the treat lady’ to all the pooches.
Jessie grew up outside of Milwaukee with a household of golden retrievers that her mother led her to believe were her siblings from a very early age. Prior to the pet world, Jessie worked in the travel industry. Being in the travel industry, paired with her study abroad experience in London and Alicante, Spain – has allowed her to visit 24 countries throughout Europe, Central America, and Africa. She hung up her passport to be with pooches full time and loves every minute of it!
Jessie’s little girl is a 4-year-old Golden Retriever named Joplin who comes to work with her everyday. Joplin has become the official GREETER of Urban pooch and absolutely adores meeting everyone (on 2 legs and 4 paws). Don’t be surprised when she comes to say hi:) Joplin also works with Berwyn as a product tester for everything that comes into Urban Pooch.
Jessie has extensive knowledge about every product that Urban Pooch carries and is willing to look in to other ones you desire. If you ever have any questions about food, toys, treats, chews, or other accessories….let Jessie know!
Currently Dylan is studying to be a Vet Tech and is attending Vet Tech University through Banfield Animal Hospital. His ultimate goal down the line is to open a non-profit shelter for under-socialized pooches where he would work with pooches that other shelters would put down. Ultimately he would use his Vet Tech training along with his desire to obtain a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine to expand the shelter into a Vet Clinic for pooch owners who cannot afford vet care.
During my years working on my Master’s Degree I took a part time job at Pooch Hotel and after working there for a while I realized this was what I wanted to do! I worked at Pooch Hotels and their sister company, Raw Dog Organic Food Store where I learned about diet and health needs for dogs and cats. I also worked for a year at Bark Chicago and their sister companies, Meeow Chicago and SpaBark Mobile Grooming.
After learning about many different aspects of the pet care industry, I came to realize Urban Pooch Canine Life Center represented what I liked best about the industry. I currently enjoy working retail and meeting all the pups coming into the facility. The best part of my job is brining my 3 pooches to work – Sigma who is a 5 year old German Shepherd, Lambda who is a 2 year old Mini French Bulldog and Gremlin my 1 year old Brindle French Bulldog.
Our Grooming Team
Deb and her 2 children moved to Chicago last summer to be with her partner have her 2 children. Deb has 3 pooches named Zuli (15 year old Terrier Mix), Birdie (10 year old and sometimes grumpy Schnauzer) and Frankie (6 year old Dachshund) who come to work with Deb every day! Frankie is especially popular at Urban Pooch but Birdie has a special place in the heart of owner Dan Gaughan. Deb finds dog grooming to be very rewarding and even relaxing most of the time. She especially loves grooming Terriers but all breeds (and mixed breeds too) have interesting features and challenges that keep her engaged. One of Deb’s favorite things to do is see live music. She also loves home remodeling projects but these activities don’t happen too much these days as her Partner and Deb’s blended family of 4 children and 3 pooches keep them very busy! She’s enjoyed getting to know all of the regular pooches at Urban Pooch and working with a great staff.
Jeremy now manages our bathing and self-wash operation.
Jeremy comes to us with extensive experience as a Bather-Brusher where he worked as The Lead Bather-Brusher for 4 years at “City Dog, Inc” located in Downtown San Diego. During his time there he was also a Supervisor in their Retail Operations doing everything from opening & closing the store, cash & daily deposits, ordered products, created and managed staff schedules and ensured everything was in tip top shape in their retail store for every customer who walked in their door each day. He is very familiar with every aspect of just about every product we sell in our store here as they sold many of the same quality, holistic & nurturing items in their San Diego operation.
Jeremy also organized, managed and worked booths and tables at many Charity and Community Outreach events for “City Dog” in and around The Greater San Diego Metropolitan Area.
Before all of this, he worked as an Inventory Specialist for Best Buy in La Jolla, CA. Jeremy grew-up in the Virginia Beach area.
Kevin previously worked at Pot Belly Sandwich Shop in Lincoln Square where Dan met him. Kevin saw Dan’s Urban Pooch shirt and said he wanted to come and work for us! The rest is history – Dan really liked Kevin’s energy and enthusiasm and his love for pooches – and he is loved by all – pooches and staff!
Kevin is also a musician, who sings & plays guitar. He also does songwriting and some production. One talented guy!
Our Front Desk & Retail Team
Vanessa was born in Manhattan and spent summers and Holidays on her grandparents farm in Puerto Rico. She graduated from Medaille College in Buffalo, NY with an Associates in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology and took additional courses in Canine Breeding and Genetics. She adores all animals but has a soft spot for Boxers. She shares her home with her first Boxer for the last 15 years. Vanessa now has a Pit Bull, a Malinois, 3 Boxers and a Boston who thinks she’s a Boxer. For Vanessa it truly is “All About The Dogs.”
Lucas has worked in high stress multi-task jobs for many years as a line cook at Burke’s Public House and also at Big Jones in Chicago. He was also a line cook, Chef and Head Waiter at various culinary establishments in his home state of Iowa dating back to 2005. Lucas can do it all – being able to handle high volume under tight deadlines and in sometimes stressful multi-tasking environments while at the same time making sure every little detail was addressed. These are all critical experiences needed to successfully navigate our Front Desk operation and keep it running smoothly.
Lucas is very excited that he was able to combine his experience and passion for Pooches and all animals into a new and exciting career change!! He has been with and owned pooches and cats all of his life! Lucky us!
Matt and his girlfriend Amy have rescued 4 animals (all males!) that all live with them in their one bedroom apartment near Wrigleyville. They have two dogs, Jake and Mugsy, that come to Urban Pooch’s daycare regularly. They also have a cat named Logan and a blind rat named Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, after the Star Trek: The Next Generation character who is also blind.
In his spare time when he isn’t busy caring for the zoo in his apartment, Matt likes to see live music, ride his bike around the city, or sit on his back porch playing his ukulele.
In addition, Alan will also be part of the team that drives the Playtime Express, making sure pooches are safe traveling back and forth for fun times at Urban Pooch.
Alan comes to us with years of experience in the pooch world both as an employee and Manager. Most recently, he was a Supervisor at “Dogma Pet Care” on Armitage Avenue where he did just about everything including Handling, driving their pick-up & drop-off bus, walking pooches and Customer Service up front.
He was also a Supervisor at “Dynamic Dogs Training & Behavior on Elston where he was Head Handler, managed Daily Operations, attended to Front of House customer service and was Assistant to their Head Trainer.
In addition, Alan also worked at “Canine Crews where he was Head Handler, walked dogs and drove their pooch bus, as well as trained their staff. He was also directly involved with Front of House Customer Service.
Our Playtime Express Team
She started her career in the Pooch industry at West Loop Canine Club where she was a Kennel Attendant and quickly was promoted to Night Manager and she was also a bather there. Carmellia went on to work for K-9 University as a Kennel Attendant, Weekend Manager and Bather.
She then joined Mutt Hutt where she worked as a Handler, Weekend Manager, Bather and also drove their van picking-up and dropping-off pooches. Most recently she worked at Bark Chicago where she did it all from being a Handler to opening the facility for the day and also was drove their van transporting pooches and was a bather.
Carmellia has one son in college and another who is a Senior year at Westinghouse High School. She has a pooch and also 3 kitties.
Our Playroom Counselors
Prior to that Josh worked as a Handler at “Dog Play Daycare” in Mount Prospect
Josh owns a pit bull and has a deep life long passion for pooches and has decided he wants to work with pooches for the rest of his life!