Who We Are
Jason : Founder, Doggy guy.
Jason Puleio is the founder of The Barker Lounge.
I welcome you to the exciting world of The Barker Lounge!
I first discovered the world of doggy daycare in 2002 in my pursuit to provide Lilah, my dog, with as much happiness in her life as humanly possibly. In my search, it became apparent to me that there were a lot more dogs than just Lilah who spend their long days sitting at home with no outlets for their energy, waiting for their owners to return home from work. The world of doggy daycare was the perfect alternative to this all too common lifestyle! It was a way to truly better the lives of countless dogs...and a way to make my "work" a thing that I truly love. So I began exploring the world of doggy daycare a bit deeper and was pleasantly surprised at the opportunity that existed within the industry. With an eager "okay" from Lilah, just one short year later I left the security of corporate America and opened up the first doggy daycare center in central New Jersey with great success. It didn't take long for me to realize the incredible impact that we had on the thousands of dogs (and their people) who used our services, and the incredible reward that came from doing so! So over the next few years, I dug deeper into the doggy world and began to refine The Barker Lounge processes, improve the system, challenge the "norms" of the industry, and continue to find ways to better the lives of every dog and owner with whom we came into contact. My ambition led me to other seasoned professionals within the industry who assisted in my efforts to improve the doggy daycare concept. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we would become what is now The Barker Lounge Franchising Team!
The collective efforts of our entire Barker Lounge Team has led to the creation of new standards in the doggy daycare world! We have created an environment for dogs that is quite different from your average doggy daycare center...an environment where dogs aren't indifferently put into big open spaces to play. Instead, we've created a well-thought-out system in which all of our doggy guests are safely exposed to enriching environments full of mental and physical stimulation of all different varieties! One dog at a time, The Barker Lounge continues to better the lives of every dog in the doggy world!
If you are interested in becoming part of the Barker Lounge world, I invite you to learn more about what we do, how we do it, and the fantastic people who make it all happen. It may very well change your life!
Susan : Animal Management.
Susan is our Animal Management Specialist...The Barker Lounge's very own "Dog Whisperer". With over 15 years of experience, Susan's involvement with The Barker Lounge has made us much more than your average doggy daycare franchise. By creating a physical structure and environment that maximizes animal and employee safety and minimizes canine stress, Susan helps to create a safe and sane environment where our doggy guests' lives are truly enriched. She assists in the standardization and development of our facilities for purposes of animal safety and enrichment, our franchisee and employee training programs, our animal handling procedures, and much, much more!
Susan has dedicated her life to the betterment of the canine world. Her many years of service bettering the lives of dogs and their people speaks for itself.
Susan is a trainer/handler of dogs for television, commercials and print. Her work includes Saturday Night Live, Conan O'Brien, One Life to Live, All My Children, Bank of America, Nordstroms, Clarinex, American Express, Lowe's, Bell South, Advair, Citizen's Bank, Volkswagon and L'oreal.
She is a lecturer, consultant, and author on topics that include Animal Assisted Therapy, Managing Canine Stress, Animal Assisted Crisis Response, and Service Animals for schools, institutions, hospitals and government agencies.
She is the executive Director of Dogs In Service, an organization that supplies trained Assistance Dogs to people living with disabilities, supervises Animal Assisted Therapy programs and provides public education on AAT and Service Dogs to schools, government institutions and community groups.
She is the founding member of the Northeast Crisis Response Coalition whose mission is to pool specialized resources in order to coordinate Animal Assisted Therapy/Activity organizations for Crisis Response Work and provide a structure for rapid response and incident command.
She is the Therapy Dog Coordinator for The Family Assistance Center at Liberty State Park. Her role involved coordinating 142 dog/handler teams from 4 organizations under the guidance of New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Mental Health from September 2001 through January 2002. The teams worked with family members, first responders and disaster workers after the events of 9/11/01.
Susan is the owner of a country club exclusively for dogs that offers training classes in Competition Obedience, Animal Assisted Therapy, Rally Obedience and Puppy Kindergarten; and activities such as Lure Coursing, Agility, Flyball, and Carting.
Susan and her dog Tuka were the only dog/handler team in New Jersey invited to participate in the Federal Gateway Response Chemical Weapons Full-Scale Disaster Exercise in November of 2003.
"...In recognition of Susan's conviction that the bond that exists between animals and humans can nurture, heal and teach both species and the skill and dedication she has brought to making that conviction a reality."
- The New Jersey Veterinary Foundation Award 2004
Kay : Growth and Development.
Kay is currently a Managing Director of a domestic and international franchise advisory firm. She has over 20 years of experience in franchising as Director of Franchise Development for major franchise systems.
Kay advises franchisors on system expansion, enhancing franchisee performance, franchisor-franchisee communications and relations, increasing profitability, system compliance programs and effectively instituting change. Her clients range from companies in the Fortune 500 to small, local businesses.
Kay is a frequent speaker for the International Franchise Association (IFA) and other professional organizations, in the United States and internationally. She has authored numerous articles on franchising, has appeared on television and is often quoted in the press on franchising and business expansion.
Kay has completed the requirements and has earned the designation of Certified Franchise Executive (CFE). She teaches CFE accredited classes for the IFA's Educational Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of the IFA's Supplier Forum and is a member of the Glomak Committee, the international marketing arm of the IFA.
Josh : Creative Genius.
Josh is our "behind-the-scenes" creative genius responsible for the development of The Barker Lounge website, franchisee sitelets, BarkOps software, Barker Lounge intranet, marketing material, and brand development.
Josh got his feet wet in the creative world making his first video game at the age of eight years old. He got his first full-time design job at fifteen before cutting his teeth at several dot-coms and ad agencies up and down the California coast. He started designing print ads and marketing collateral at an advertising firm in Los Angeles before transitioning to web design at a media agency in San Francisco. There he created frontpage layouts for online stores, radio stations and dot-com startups. He gradually expanded to coding the functionality of the sites as well as designing them. Since 2003, his own practice has produced complete print and web design packages, everything from letterhead to sophisticated database-driven websites and software -- as well as broadcast animation -- for a diverse group of clients including photographers, musicians, record companies and online retailers. His agency draws on both in-house and outside talent in design, programming, illustration, copywriting, music and video production, to devise unique all-purpose solutions for a select group of clients.
Jim : Marketing/PR.
Jim is the guy who makes The Barker Lounge known to the whole world! Jim has over 10 years of experience in Marketing and Public Relations, working with the many forms of media including television, print, radio, outdoor and online. He has managed multi-million dollar national marketing campaigns for companies where he helped grow a customer base from under 50,000 to over a half million customers. Jim's job with The Barker Lounge is to help you get the dogs lining up at your door!Kay has and continues to play a critical role in the development and growth of The Barker Lounge.
Benji : Merchandising.
Benji comes to us with over 30 years of experience in retail and merchandising. His responsibilities with The Barker Lounge include product research, retail development, and vendor relations.
Blythe : Training and Development.
Blythe comes to us with a background in organizational development. She played a critical role in the design and development of our extensive franchisee training program, serves as an instructor of the training program, and continually evaluates and improves the health of our organization.
Her experience working for the Institute for Defense Analyses and for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has included responsibilities that include the design, development and delivery of skill concept training programs for both staff and management. Her depth of knowledge and insight into the heartbeat of an organization's infrastructure plays an integral role in The Barker Lounge's growth!
Chris : Business Development.
With a degree in Finance and Multinational Business, Chris most recently served as Director of Acquisitions for a multi-billion dollar real estate firm where he was instrumental in the growth and development of the firm's operations. He has over 10 years of experience in financial analysis, negotiations, and business development.
Chris's work with The Barker Lounge involves all finance, legal, and compliance elements as well as the strategic growth and development of Barker Lounge operations.