About Dogtopia


Our team invests in YOU. Supports YOU.  We foster a culture of collaboration and respect amongst our franchisees as a true partnership from one CEO to another. At Dogtopia, we own the brand….you own the business.

This ensures our leadership, Support Office Team and franchisees are all on the same page. We are all determined to enhance the brand and grow it in every community we touch. Our work ethic is fueled by the confidence in this industry, our team and tenacious franchisees because we believe that there truly is no limit to where we can take our brand.


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 . 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, Vice President – Franchise Development

Alex Samios, Chief Growth Officer

Alex has been in the franchise industry for 30 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 four 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, Vice President – Marketing

Shelley Parnell, Chief Experience Officer

As Chief Experience Officer, 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, Murphy the Golden Retriever and Gizmo the Pug.

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 fiancé Kelly have one furry family member named Maisie.


Nikayla Cragin, Business Planning Manager

Nikayla Cragin

Business Planning Manager

Chris Crosby Headshot

Chris Crosby

Senior Graphic Designer

Tracy Cross, Director of New Franchisee Support

Tracy Cross

Director of New Franchisee Support

Jeff Farnell, Director of Operations

Jeff Farnell

Director of Operations

Theresa Gulbranson, Financial Services and Integration Administrator

Theresa Gulbranson

Financial Services and Integration Administrator

Trey Hanson, Director of Facilities Management

Trey Hanson

Director of Facilities Management

Dr. Antje Joslin, Veterinarian with two dogs

Dr. Antje Joslin


Jessica Lazarz, New Store Opening Manager

Jessica Lazarz

New Store Opening Manager

Brett Letourneau

Operations Training Manager

Jeff Martin, Operations Manager

Jeff Martin

Operations Manager

Jim McBrayer, IT Manager

Jim McBrayer

IT Manager

Lorraine Rhoads, Environmental Biologist

Lorraine Rhoads

Environmental Biologist

Cassidy Sanchez, New Store Marketing Manager

Cassidy Sanchez

New Store Marketing Manager

Jeff Smith, Operations Manager

Jeff Smith

Operations Manager

Toni Teplitsky, Director of Marketing

Toni Teplitsky

Director of Marketing

Nick Tran, New Store Opening Manager

Nick Tran

New Store Opening Manager

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.