Dogtopia Team

As Dogtopians, we’re a unique breed! We love and care for your pup like our own furry family, and we’re your village of knowledge for raising a happy, healthy dog. Our pledge to you is that your pup will always be in great hands with us.


Neil Gill

Neil Gill, CEO/President

Neil Gill is CEO and President of Dogtopia Enterprises. Neil has spent more than 35 years in franchising with international brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Brinker International and more than 11 years at Gloria Jean’s Coffees International as CEO, opening more than 1,000 stores across 39 countries.

He has experience in taking franchise brands through IPOs and worked in a variety of sectors from on-line education, weight loss, bakery and Asian tea.

Neil has a love of franchising and the entrepreneurial spirit it enables in everyone involved.

Alex Samios Holding Puppy

Alex Samios, Vice President – Franchise Development

Alex has been in the franchise industry for 24 years.  He began his career in Operations, opening and running restaurants for Papa John’s Pizza before becoming a franchisee in 1996.  He was a franchisee for a total of 11 years: building opening and operating 34 restaurants in 4 years (nominated “Franchisee of the Year” three times).  In 2000, Alex was also the first franchisee for a mobile pet grooming concept and started his own franchise in the health & wellness industry in 2010.  Before joining Dogtopia in January2016, Alex had been an investor and consultant to emerging brands while serving on several Boards. Mr. Samios grew up in and around the franchise industry – his father was the first franchisee for Jiffy Lube.

Shelley Parnell and Golden Retriever

Shelley Parnell, Vice President – Marketing

As Vice President of Marketing, Shelley Parnell manages Dogtopia’s external agencies and sets the strategic direction of the Company’s marketing and communications. Shelley began her career with 10 years in the agency world, servicing a broad range of clients including Starbucks, Quiznos, Safeway, Mercedes-Benz, Sheraton and America West Airlines. She has since owned her own PR & marketing consulting company, served as vice president of marketing at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and managed marketing and investor relations in the biotechnology space. She lives in Phoenix with her husband Andy, two kids and Murphy the Golden Retriever.

Jeff Farnell with Dog

Jeff Farnell, Senior Director of Operations

Mr. Farnell has been Dogtopia’s Senior Director of Operations since February of 2018. He has served in director and executive positions with franchise companies for the last 19 years. In that time he led teams and the opening of more than 100 units and supporting more than 165 existing units.

Chris Kempner, Chairman

Chris Kempner has been involved with Dogtopia for the past few years. Red Barn Dog Holdings LLC acquired the largest Dogtopia franchise territory with plans to open more than 30 daycares across the East Coast. Prior to founding Red Barn Equity partners, Chris was vice president at Private Equity Firm Metalmark Capital. Chris has experience in both investing and private equity and has worked in numerous financial positions, including as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University. He was born and raised in New York. He and his wife Kelly have one furry family member named Maisie.


Nikayla Cragin

Business Planning Manager

Chris Crosby

Creative Director

Tracy Cross

Tracy Cross

Director of New Franchisee Support

Elizabeth Dimit

Canine Coach Trainer

Theresa Gulbranson

Financial Services and Integration Administrator

Trey Hanson

Trey Hanson

Director of Facilities Management

Doctor Antje Joslin with Pups

Dr. Antje Joslin


Jessica Lazarz

New Store Opening Manager

Brett Letourneau

Operations Training Manager

Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin

Operations Director

Jim McBrayer with Dog

Jim McBrayer

IT Manager

Lorraine Rhoads with Dog

Lorraine Rhoads

Environmental Biologist

Cassidy Sanchez

Cassidy Sanchez

Senior Marketing Manager

Jeff Smith with Dog

Jeff Smith

Operations Director

Toni Teplitsky with Dog

Toni Teplitsky

Director of Marketing

Nick Tran with Dog

Nick Tran

Director of New Store Operations

Foundation Logo

The Dogtopia Foundation enables dogs to positively change the world. To accomplish this, we currently are funding programs focused around three worthy causes: Service Dogs for Veterans, Youth Literacy Programs and Employment Initiatives for Adults with Autism.