The first Intergroom conference was held in 1981; since that time, the event has become the largest international conference of its kind in the world. Over 2,000 dog and cat groomers from over 20 different countries attend Intergroom yearly. 1997 marked the first year Intergroom was held both in the United States and in Europe.
Intergroom was founded by Shirlee Kalstone. Meeting groomers here and abroad was the inspiration for Mrs. Kalstone to begin organizing Intergroom. It was conceived as a forum for professionals from different nations to meet and exchange ideas, to improve skills and education, to encourage competition, and to raise the standards of the profession.
Beginning in 1996, many changes have taken place. Christine DeFilippo, who had served as Intergroom Program Coordinator became a full partner.
The success of the international event in the United States, coupled with requests from groomers abroad who were unable to come to this country, led to the decision to expand and include a European Conference as well, in Brussels, Belgium, the week of September 27 and 28, 1997.
As of the 1999 show, the American Conference is totally in the hands of Christine DeFilippo, leaving Shirlee Kalstone free to expand the European Conference plus other important special projects. In 2015 Joey Villani came on as full partner.
Christine DeFilippo has been involved very actively in the grooming industry for the past 40 years. Amongst the founding members of the Massachusetts Association of Professional Dog Groomers (now known as the New England Pet Grooming Professionals, Inc.) Christine is a past President. She held the title of Newsletter Editor and Seminar Chairperson at NEPGP for many years until she joined the Intergroom team in 1997 as a full partner. She became owner and producer of Intergroom in 2000.
Christine is the owner of Twickenton (Professional Dog & Cat Grooming) in Dedham, Massachusetts (USA) – one of the largest professional grooming salons in the New England area. Over the years, her staff has increased to include several award-winning groomers.
Her interest in continuing education is evident in her current position on the Advisory Board at the Norfolk County Agricultural School and past positions on grooming school advisory boards. All programs presented at Intergroom each year attempt to meet industry needs and interest in continuing education for every groomer.
Christine is a recognized speaker & Judge at Grooming Conferences throughout the USA. She has also contributed to articles in Dog World Magazine, Fancy Publications, and Pet Age through the years. She received the first David Salzburg Humanitarian Award, given by Cardinal Crystal awards.
As the Producer of Intergroom, Christine is a well known figure in the USA and abroad as a leader in the Grooming Industry.
Joey Villani’s life in pet care and grooming began when he was only nine Invited to lend a hand by salon owner and family friend, John Nash, Joey brushed a sheepdog named Cecilia and so began an unbelievable career.
After years as an instructor for Nash’s renowned grooming schools, Joey began to open his own salons. In 1998, he purchased the Nash Academy in New Jersey, which he owned and operated for ten years.
Now a well-known pet industry speaker and judge, Joey has been nominated four times for the Cardinal Crystal Award and twice for a Barkleigh honors for his outstanding achievements, and three times for Grooming Contest Judge of the Year. He has been enthusiastically involved with Intergroom International for 26 years, and has been instrumental in expanding the organization’s reach into Belgium, Italy, and France. He is one of the original members of the International Judges Association and serves as Ring Master and Core Judge.
His outgoing nature and unforgettable charisma have made Joey a natural television personality, with appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day NY, and Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 and Groomer Has it.
Joey has contributed to the development of the Basic grooming standards for PPGSA. A resource created specifically for pet care professionals. The Consortium aims to standardize safety and safety terminology for all students and professionals that become bathers, groomers and stylists, to increase professionalism in the pet care industry, and to provide uniform groomer safety standards.
Today, Joey continues to innovate and explore new dimensions in the pet care and grooming industry. In early 2009, Joey became part of the Animal Radio on-air staff where he is known as "The Dogfather."