Get to Know Us
Melissa Verplank has owned multiple pet-related businesses in the Grand Rapids community for over 30 years. Repeatedly asked by her clients, "Do you have a good recommendation for a local boarding kennel?," Melissa could never confidently recommend anything, but realized that Grand Rapids pet owners were looking for a better solution.
A Dream Realized
She and her husband had a vision, a dream of recreating a home-like environment for their four-legged clients. They imagined a facility that included overnight lodging for dogs and cats, doggie day care, outdoor canine play yards and full service grooming. In 2007, the first 90-room facility opened. Due to Whisker's overwhelming popularity, a large expansion was added in 2014 with 90 more rooms, indoor play yards, a full onsite canine training center, plus a host of other amenities catering to furry guests. Melissa was determined to create a warm, inviting and appealing place for dogs and cats to come and carefully considered every single detail, from the specific mechanical systems so the dogs won't smell the cats and vice versa, to what type of material was used on the floors so dogs don't slip and slide. Safety and cleanliness were top priorities.
Melissa is an award-winning, world-class pet stylist, a leading educator in the field of professional pet grooming, an industry speaker, author, multi-pet business owner and general animal lover. Marc is a Certified Master Groomer, was a successful mobile pet stylist and an instructor at the Paragon School of Pet Grooming in Jenison, Michigan for years.
Rebecca Valiska-Mosele President
Rebecca has been the operations manager at Whiskers since 2009 and became the President of the company in 2017. She is originally from Chicago and went to school at Grand Valley State University. She has a business and hospitality management degree. She has worked in the restaurant business most of her life managing all aspects of the restaurant including leading her own kitchen as an executive chef. She has always been an animal lover and enjoys volunteering at the local shelters and rescues. Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa has completed her life by allowing her to utilize her business degree and passion for pets all in one place! She enjoys taking breaks from her daily office work to cuddle with all of the adorable pets in the facility. She loves working with such a passionate group of people. Whiskers is truly a magical place where work doesn't feel like work. In her home life she is married to her wonderful husband Mike and they share their Caledonia home with their children Zachary, Stella, and dogs Charley, River & Cash. In her spare time you can find her doing anything outdoors. She loves the lake life and spends many weekends down at the family cottage or camping.
Kathi Rand Assistant General Manager
Kathi started at Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa in the Spring of 2010. She began as a part time Pet Care Associate while going to school full time. She loved working with animals and quickly began working full time as the Kennel Supervisor. She is now the Assistant General Manager and handles a great deal of our daily operations. Getting to know all of the pets on an individual basis has always been her priority. As time has gone on, she now focuses more on training new staff and helping with the overall management and organization. She enjoys working with the Whiskers team to develop new ideas and being able to use all of the resources that we have at Whiskers to do the best thing for every pet. When Kathi is not working, she loves spending time with her growing family, including her two dogs, being outdoors, and traveling. She loves watching Whiskers grow and is excited to continue to make it the best choice for your pet!
There Is One Place Like Home
For many of today's families, our pets play a large role in our lives – they are our family. Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa offers exclusive services to pet parents – luxury pet care with overnight boarding accommodations, canine daycare programs and premium grooming services for both dogs and cats. If your pet is the center of your family life, Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa is the place where we pamper and care for your pet as if they were our own. We are The Resort that’s the envy of all furry family members.
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