Our Staff Midtown

Meet our team! Did you know? Each staff member is required to become Pet CPR & First Aid certified before completing their status as a Trainee. This helps ensure our Pack Leaders know how to handle any situations that may arise. We are proud to be surrounded by a team of dedicated dog lovers, some of whom have been with us for over 6 years! Read all about your dog's BFFs below.

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Kelly Karolinksi

Facilty Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Rory, a 13 year old Cockapoo

When it comes to happy, positive energy at 6AM - Kelly is our girl! Kelly was looking for a job where the owner was not only passionate about their business, but their employees, too. After her interview, she could tell that Liz Blondy was that person! Kelly has had dogs her whole life and was inspired by her own dog, Rory, to choose a career working with them. Prior to Canine to Five, she was a hairstylist for 8 years. Kelly currently resides in Ferndale with her partner of 7 years and her Cockapoo, Rory. In her free time, she likes to work on art commissions and travel to music festivals. Kelly's favorite thing about Canine to Five is being surrounded by dogs every single day! (duh!)

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Christian Moultrie

Customer Service Since 2020

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Taylor Nault

Customer Service Since 2022

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Colleen Sikorski

Customer Service Since 2022

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DiAna Crawford

Customer Service Since 2022

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Deena Allen

Customer Service Since 2022

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Keara Crook

Pack Leader Supervisor since 2020

Diamond Walters

Diamond Walters

Pack Leader Since 2017

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sydney stefko

Pack Supervisor Since 2019

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Lora Winters

Pack leader & Marketing Assistant since 2021

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Jamila Richardson

pack supervisor since 2021

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Makaila Miller

pack leader since 2021

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Patrick KRamer

pack supervisor since 2021

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Cala Brock

pack leader since 2021

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Kyla Mitchell

Pack Leader since 2021

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Paige Woolsey

Pack Leader since 2021

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Deb Schaffa

Pack Leader since 2022

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Akala Woodruff

Pack Leader since 2022

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Carletha Smith

Pack Leader since 2022

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Christian Shawver

Pack Leader since 2022

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Denica Jones

Pack Leader since 2022

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Lauren Blanchard

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A cute fat cat named Foxy and an Australian Shepherd, aptly named Aussie

Before starting at Canine to Five, Lauren groomed dogs for over 4 years in Macomb County. In her free time she likes to go camping, read books, and get drinks with friends. She currently lives in Warren. Lauren says she chose to work at Canine to Five because of the constant activity, and upbeat positive attitude of everyone that works here. She loves that everyone seems to truly love their job as much as she does!

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Lisa Barnett

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A Boxer-Pitt named Peanutbutter

Equipped with over 2 years of grooming experience prior to joining the Canine to Five Team, Lisa brings a lot to our grooming table. Lisa lives near our past Ferndale location and when we asked her why she chose to join our team she said, “When I saw people taking their dogs in both the pets and the owners seemed excited. I got the impression that people genuinely felt good about bringing their business to Canine to Five. ” Lisa lives with her boyfriend and dog, Peanutbutter. In her free time she likes to craft, roller blade and read. She can also often be found at local venues listening to bands play.

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Jennifer Rehfuss

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Maggie & Fendi the Dachshunds, and Fozzie the Lhasa Apso

Jen is a Groomer who joined our team because she loves dogs and thought this would be a good career change for her! Prior to Canine to Five, she was a bartender and bar manager. Jen currently resides in in Hazel Park with her pups, and in her free time, she likes to travel and run. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is our staff!

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Andrea Twitchell

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2021

Pets: A Pitbull named Loki & a Potbelly Pig named Maple Bacon

Andrea is a Groomer who joined our team after being a hair stylist for 5 years. She has experience working at a pet care facility similar to Canine to Five, and was eager to be apart of our pack! Andrea currently lives in Clinton Twp with her husband, where she likes to relax outside with her fur babies, eat good food and is a sucker for some good board games. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is all the happy/goofy puppy faces and personalities!

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Liz Blondy

Founder and Owner

Founded Canine to Five in 2005

Pets: A Landseer Newfoundland named Clover

Liz is a long-time Detroiter who, after a decade in sales, decided to combine her love of animals and her hometown passion into a career. In 2005, she opened Canine to Five Detroit Dog Daycare in Midtown and in 2013, Canine to Five Ferndale. Both facilities offer daycare, boarding and grooming, and the business also facilitates trainings and hosts events like pack walks and dog-friendly happy hours.

Canine to Five is now recognized as a Detroit small business success story, and Liz has emerged as a staunch and prominent advocate for Detroit’s resurgence. Firmly convinced that small businesses are the key to true revival, she co-founded Open City Detroit, a networking group designed to encourage entrepreneurship, and participates in many initiatives to foster a strong grassroots business community.

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Benjamin Paga

Director of Operations

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: 2 dogs named Bonnie & Kiba, 1 cat named Oliver

Ben is our Director of Operations, and going above and beyond for our clients is totally his thing. Coming from a background in the rescue/vet world, Ben says doggy daycare is a completely different environment. "It has been so inspiring to work with a team that loves, adores, and truly wants to learn more and grow with each dog that comes through our door, as well as our clients that treat their pups as their own children."

Ben currently lives in Ferndale with his Shepherd mixes, Bonnie & Kiba, and long haired cat, Oliver. In his free time, Ben enjoys painting, wood burning, trail hikes with his dogs, gardening, and fixing his house. His favorite thing about Canine to Five is “The need to learn more. I love this company because we grow with the times. I love learning more about each and every dog and their individual behaviors, quirks and personalities and then being able to have a conversation with our awesome clients really just makes my day. Seeing a dog go from underconfident to giving that first booty bump to the owner walking in for the first time with a treat pouch is the biggest win for my staff and I. The ability to enrich all dogs' lives is my favorite thing about Canine to Five."

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Samantha Hillmer

Director of Marketing & Client Experience

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Boxer Mix named Charlie & A Cattle Dog/Terrier Mix named Violet

Samantha is the doer of all things. As our Director of Marketing & Client Experience, she is behind all of our client communication and social media, she helps document and improve our processes, maintains our reservation software, updates our website, writes blog posts, and honestly - so much more.

Outside of having an knack for technology, Sam has over 10 years of experience working with animals! She has worked everywhere from grooming salons to vet clinics, working with border patrol K9’s, horses, and has even helped deliver newborn puppies. She loves working at Canine to Five because basically everything she does is also her hobby! Writing, social media, graphic design - it truly is her dream job. Sam also loves that Canine to Five is all about being positive and provides a healthy outlet for dogs who would otherwise be bored at home. "Working for a business that shares your same values and training beliefs is so great. I know my own dogs are happy and safe at Canine to Five, so it's easy for me to communicate the benefits to potential clients when doing my job."

Samantha currently resides in Allen Park with her husband, Matt, her two daughters, Hailey & Hannah, and her two dogs, Charlie & Violet.

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Melissa Daris

Human Resources Manager

Joined Canine to Five team in 2021

Pets: A Sheltie named Luna and a Bengal cat named Ivan

Melissa came to Canine To Five with a background in Human Resources and Management.  She previously worked in animal medicine at an ER and Specialty Veterinary Hospital.  This combined experience made her the perfect fit for Canine To Five.

Melissa takes care of all of Canine To Five's employees whether it be recruiting, benefits, payroll and anything else "HR"

Melissa currently resides in Royal Oak with her husband Tom, daughter Eva, son Tommy, her dog Luna and cat Ivan.

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Cullen Perry

Manager of Training & Development

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2012

Pets: 4 dogs - Birdie, Beowulf, Sabretooth, and Charlie, 5 cats - Elvira, Inana, Ishie, Lulu, and Flea, and a catfish named Salvador

Cullen is our dog guru. As our Training Manager, he makes sure all of our Pack Leaders are proficient in dog behavior and body language, and that all of our dogs are being taken care of properly and with positive techniques. When asked what his favorite thing about CTF was, he replied, "The dogs, obviously. I like that we have created an environment that can be healthy, positive, and enriching for so many different personality types. I love that our staff puts in the work to help dogs learn the skills they need to be successful. Our level of dedication and knowledge, matched with customer transparency and education, means that we can provide a beneficial service that is unique within the industry."

Cullen currently resides in Detroit with his 4 dogs, Birdie, Beowulf, Sabretooth, and Charlie, his 5 cats, Elvira, Inana, Ishie, Lulu, and Flea, and his catfish, Salvador.

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Kaitlin Lulofs

Canine Concierge

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A Cocker Spaniel named Noah, and two delicate Millipedes named Thorne and Admiral Rodcocker

Kaitlin is a Pack Leader who joined our team in 2016. She previously lived in Denver, Colorado where she was a live-in care provider for a special needs Chow Chow and studied Mortuary Science. The very first day she moved back to Michigan, she was walking around her neighborhood and saw Canine to Five.. her eyes lit up! She knew she had to work with us.

Kaitlin currently resides in Ferndale with her roommate, her Cocker Spaniel, Noah, and her different species of insects! During her free time, she legitimately plans all year for Halloween, watches Law & Order, and is currently learning how to drive so she can get her license! She is also always trying to convince the world that leggings are pants. Her favorite this about Canine to Five? “All the dog kisses, duh!”

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Jes Merkle

Operations Assistant

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: 2 Pitbulls named Alison & Denis

Jess lived next door to Canine to Five owner, Liz, for years. One day while she was walking her dog, Liz asked if she’d like to work for her. Jess’ boss at the time also happened to be a Canine to Five client, and suggested she worked here as well - They knew she would love it! Working with dogs is a true dream come true for Jess. She was in the retail and food industry and had always held a few jobs at a time, but a couple years into Canine to Five she decided to resign from everything else and dedicate herself fully to this job! Jess currently resides in Detroit with her boyfriend and two dogs. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is the friendships – both human and dog!

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Cecelia Perry

Employee Recruiting & Company Events Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: 3 Dachshunds named Simon, Garfunkel, & Tazz, a mystery mutt named Lurch, and two cats, Julius & Angelo

Who's that lady walking 4 dogs at once? It's our HR Manager, Cecelia! In 2014, Cecelia joined our team looking to break out of the food industry. Her brother, Cullen, had already been a Pack Leader with us for 2 years and introduced her to Canine to Five. Starting out as a Pack Leader herself, Cecelia quickly moved up to Supervisor, then Facility Manager at our Midtown location, in just 3 short years! Between her love for animals growing up, and her managerial skills from working at Qdoba, we knew she would be a perfect fit.

Cecelia currently resides in Dearborn with her Husband, Chris. They share their home with Dachshunds Garfunkel, Simon, & Tazz, mystery mutt, Lurch, and cats Angelo & Julius. During her free time, she loves reading and seeking out live music. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is the family atmosphere. From the staff, to the dogs, to the clients - so much love! ❤
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Lou Ray

director of finance

Joined Canine to Five team in 2019

Pets: Suzie & Blue Ray the Lab Mixes

Lou is a Certified Public Accountant who joined our team to provide our company assistance with accountability, metrics, and strategy development. Prior to Canine to Five, he owned and operated an industrial supply distribution company. When he isn't talking finances, Lou enjoys golfing, cycling, hiking, and traveling up north. He has owned dogs his whole life, and currently resides in Grosse Pointe with his wife and two dogs, Suzie & Blue Ray. Lou says his favorite thing about Canine to Five is our employees and their enthusiasm for the dogs in our care.